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Herpes Anniversary


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I’m not sure if others think about the day they found they had herpes as their anniversary or not... Maybe it’s strange. But mine is fast approaching, and every day seems to be more painful. It’s only been a year and I’m sure to many it seems short. I struggle a lot with my thoughts about the future. I was always so independent, career focused, I still am. And I always said that marriage and family wasn’t for me, not until later, after I had achieved this or that goal. I see now how people say it’s different when it’s not a choice. That was my first thought when I contracted herpes, that I might not find someone to date me, marry me, have kids with me... I’ve dated one guy since, and I’ve realized that isn’t necessarily the case. Instead I worry about if he will get herpes from me, if he ever wonders if I tell the truth about what happened, if he thinks I’m disgusting, if he’d still be as proud of me if his friends knew about me. Almost like I don’t believe I’m enough. I have flashes of these thoughts at certain times, triggered by memories. Of the guy who did this to me. Every time I see a Harley, since that’s what he rode. Every time I drive by that downtown bar we went to the day before I found out he had given me herpes. The memories I hope will fade, into a forgiveness that is real. The judgement of myself I wish to mold into something stronger, a self acceptance of being enough. Of being myself, with herpes. Not without, not before. The strength gained from my experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. But now, I guard my vulnerable heart. And I search for healing. 

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Thank you for sharing. I was only recently diagnosed in October, but yes I have the date ingrained in my mind, as well as the last day I saw my partner before herpes. I reminisce about the great time we had, both sexually and conversationally. I remember the date I called to tell him of my diagnosis. I remember every date since when he avoided me, finally texted me, said he missed me, and apologized for being disrespectful.  He said we would continue to talk but that never happened, and I have that date in my head as well.   

I am happy to hear that you have a relationship. It gives me hope. Prior to my diagnosis I had only been seeing this man for about six weeks, but we had just connected at a class reunion.  I had not been with anyone in 4 years and was perfectly content being without a relationship, didn't feel I needed a man to be happy, etc.  Reconnecting with him at the reunion and spending time with him in those 6 weeks was wonderful and I had hoped it would progress into something more.  I have always been very shy and introverted, and was never into the dating scene.  Prior to the man 4 years ago, I hadn't been with anybody in 7 years, and that was with a man I was in a relationship with for 3 years. 

Between the shock of finding out I had herpes, assuming he gave it to me, and then dealing with the possibility that he didn't, and his belief that he truly doesn't have it was so much to deal with in addition to the physical pain and discomfort, missing several days of work, etc.  I am still dealing with the heartache of the loss of the relationship itself more than the idea that I have herpes.  The fact that I was happy without a relationship before gives me the strength I need to know that I will be okay with or without a relationship. But the feelings I had for him, and still do, make me sad to think I may not have that with anyone else again.  I struggle, going back and forth between regretting my decision to even get involved with him in the first place, and allowing myself not to regret it and trying to keep the good memories separate from the bad memories from the herpes experience itself.   I find myself wanting a relationship that I never wanted before. But I really don't want to be with anyone else. I just want to be with him. I know that I will eventually heal.  Thank you for sharing your story.  This forum has been a blessing to me just to read all of the experiences and success stories.

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Thank you I’m comforted by what you said, experiences are similar. My biggest thing too was growing up very Christian and feeling alone with no one to talk to who wouldn’t judge me. This made it very difficult for me when I first found out I had herpes. I had a lot of shame and guilt associated with what happened. 

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