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Third time's the charm? Successful disclosure

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The other day I disclosed my GHSV1 status for a third time and I think I can finally say that it was a success! My first two didn't go over very well, so I was definitely pretty nervous to disclose for a third time, to someone I care a lot about. The first time I disclosed was a complete disaster because it was to a guy I was seeing and I happened to experience my very first outbreak during that time. I was extremely transparent and explained all of the stats and facts of my new diagnosis and he decided that I was not worth the risk to be with. We hadn't slept together yet and I could tell he was extremely relieved that we hadn't. I really got down on myself about it because not only was I struggling to cope with my outbreak and the emotional trauma that came with it, I faced my first rejection post-diagnosis just 2 days after my test results came back positive. This guy who I thought was a really nice and caring guy, turned around and basically called me disgusting. He told me he was going to get tested and then make his decision about me based on what his results were. I couldn't believe how insensitive he was being and it was all about him...not once did he ask me how I was doing or if I was okay. He ended up ghosting me a few days later and while that really stung in the moment, I am now glad that he is no longer in my life because he clearly was not the right guy for me.

My second disclosure was a bit lukewarm. I wanted to get a bit more practice disclosing, so I decided to tell a guy friend of mine who I am not particularly close with. We would talk periodically, but we were nothing more than platonic. I asked him if he knew what HSV was and he didn't, so I explained that it was also known as herpes and that I recently found out that I am positive. His first response was, "Oh, that sucks. I'm sorry to hear that." My mood kinda fell flat after that because I wasn't expecting much from him, but thought I'd at least get a little bit more of a reaction. He asked me a few of the basic questions: how you get it, how can it be passed on, etc. but I could tell that he really wasn't interested in hearing about it, so I stopped and changed the subject. We hardly talk anymore. Again, not too upset about it, but I was basically 0-2 in the disclosing game.

My third and most recent disclosure honestly went better than I imagined it would. I disclosed to a currently long distance friend with benefits that I really care about, let's call him Ben. I was terrified at the thought of telling him and having him reject me. My friends really supported me telling him and had been gently prodding me to have the conversation with him for the past few weeks. I was on the fence about it (I always wanted to tell him, but just hadn't worked out when the right time would be) and knew I needed to do it soon. One night, I was laying in bed thinking about it and just decided to bite the bullet and text Ben. I asked if he had a moment to talk because there was something I had been needing to tell him. He asked me what was up and I started to type out my long winded intro, but was taking a bit long I guess because then he asked if something was wrong. I told him kind of, but potentially not if he would let me explain the whole thing. I hit send on the message and closed my eyes, bracing for his response. 2 seconds later, my phone starts buzzing in my hand because I had an incoming call from Ben. I couldn't believe that he called me without even knowing what the problem was, just that something was potentially wrong. I take a deep breath and start to explain how I found out about my HSV and some of the basic facts about it. Ben let me get my initial rambling out without interrupting me, paused for a second and then calmly says, "Okay, are you okay?" and I knew right then that this conversation was going to be alright. He asked me questions about transmission, how likely I am to pass it on and asked if there was any way that he may have given it to me and not known. He also said that he wants to do his own research so that he can get a better understanding of what HSV is. We talked about the last time he was tested and I explained how HSV isn't usually on the basic panel and he told me that he wanted to go get tested again specifically to see if he tests positive. Ben told me that for now he doesn't want to stress too much about it, but if he has it, he has it and if he doesn't, he doesn't. He never once raised his voice or made me feel judged or gross or like he was blaming me for this situation. He didn't accuse me of possibly giving it to him, but instead said that in the grand scheme of things, having herpes isn't the worst thing to have and that he honestly thought I was going to say that I was pregnant. We kinda joked around about a few things and I was so happy to have him try to make light of such a scary situation especially since I had dropped a bit of a bomb on him. Ben wrapped up the conversation by saying that he appreciated me telling him and that he would keep me updated on what happens with his tests. We said our goodbyes and as we hung up, I let out the hugest sigh of relief...I did it! I couldn't believe that I finally disclosed to Ben after about a month of constant worrying.

Ben's still going to be gone for a couple more months and I'm hoping during that time, he's able to work through this on his end and that we'll be able to continue seeing each other when he comes back. I'm very nervous to see what happens next because there's still a chance that he will choose to walk away, which is completely up to him. I told Ben that I don't want this to change things between us or make things weird, but that I understand if it does. HSV may no longer be a huge deal to me now that I've accepted my diagnosis, but if he doesn't want to risk it, that is a decision I won't be able to change. I will be over the moon if Ben decides to continue seeing me because he is a really great guy and it would suck to lose him over something like this. A small part of me is still holding onto that sliver of hope that he'll be willing to move things forward, but I'll just have to wait and see. Even if nothing happens for me and Ben after this, I can at least for now hold onto the bliss of my first successful disclosure 🙂

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Hey brown-eyes

That's great news, congratulations to you 😄

Your attitude is good too because you are right to still be a little wary as it does take time for it to sink in for most people,
but I must say, his reaction sounds fantastic, so things truly seem rosy.

& I know its not his real name but as MJ sung "You have a friend in Ben" (sorry 😄)

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