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I never want to be touched again

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Hi, Everyone -

I am the mother of a beautiful two year old little boy. The father of my child is the only person I have been with since we first started dating a few years ago. We took a break for awhile and he slept with other women. I asked him if he was safe and if he was checked - he said he was checked and did not have any STI's. He lied to me. He was diagnosed with HSV2 and gave it to me. I feel so dirty. I feel unlovable. I feel so betrayed. I don't want anyone to touch me. I don't even want to touch myself. I am washing my hands so often that they hurt. I am scared to even be around my little boy. I hate changing his diaper and applying his diaper cream because I'm terrified I will give him my disease. Before I change him I wash my hands, dry them, then apply a sanitizer to them. I don't even feel like a human anymore. I feel like a walking disease. I don't want to live like this anymore. Honestly, I can't.

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@organicmama I'm sorry you're suffering so much, but the good news is that a lot of this suffering in terms of herpes is the fear getting the best of you. And fear can be settled with knowledge and understanding. Not to minimize what you're going through because for most people (myself included) going through a herpes diagnosis can be a big trigger that brings up a lot of fear and self-worth stuff.

Do your best to separate out the fear that surrounds the herpes from the anger and deep hurt that you've experienced from your child's father betraying your trust. Try not to lump these things together. They are best processed when seen as separate things. Working on forgiveness (for your own good) is a long road of letting go and regaining trust ... first with yourself, then with men in general, then with the next man you get into relationship with. Unfortunately it's a fucked up world we live in when it comes to trust and sexuality (especially when it comes to how men treat women), and it's so important to continue to learn and grow, especially through the worst of times. By being on these forums and sharing like you do, that is exactly what you are doing. Kudos. 

The key words you used in what you said is that you *feel* these ways. The good news is that feelings can be worked with and shifted. Your feelings are based on the thoughts you think and the beliefs you choose to hold. And your beliefs can shift, too. Those aren't unchangeable facts you listed off; they are a mixture of your thoughts, beliefs and feelings. The fact is this: You Are Lovable. Period. And with time, you will come to feel that more and more as you heal through this trauma you have experienced. As your heart heals, she will also be able to trust more and let in more love, which will heal you even more deeply. Don't give up. You're getting stronger with each breath you take. And hopefully this forum helps to remind you that you are not alone. All of us are healing and growing together. 

When it comes to herpes, it's incredibly important that you see the facts for what they are. Know that you can't pass herpes from your hands to your child. As much as herpes does get passed around in this world, most of it is because 80% of people don't know they have herpes. So knowing you have herpes is your first line of defense. The next line of defense is to be careful when you're having an outbreak. That is when you are most contagious. Asymptomatic viral shedding is incredibly hard to pass when it comes to non-sexual touch. Your children deserved to be touched by you with all the love you have. And you deserve to touch your children and not let the wedge of paranoia distance you. 

Have you watched this video yet?



  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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