Saying Goodbye To My Old Life and Embracing My New One With H
(East Coast )
I'm 43 years old. Been married once, divorced and spent the past 7 years living a good life. Single (again), dating like crazy, great job, happy, money in my pocket, travelling, good friends. I felt on top of the world. I had been seeing one woman in a string of women. It was a physical relationship that began to develop into an emotional one.
One day she came to me complaining of pain urinating. I assured her it was a UTI and not to be concerned. I was clean- had no issues, no outbreaks nothing. Days later she gave me the bad news- she had herpes and said she got it from me. I about dropped the phone, but also thought- "Hell if you're going to pin this on me. I'm clean. Never had a sign/ symptom. NOTHING. Last herpes test a year ago was clear- this is bullshit and I’m going to prove it and stick it in her face!!" I mean hell. I'm in my 40's- this happens to kids!
I rushed to a walk in and had a blood draw. Still in disbelief- I assured myself- I’m fine. No signs. Never had any issues. Results: POSITIVE HSV1 and HSV2. I remember standing in my kitchen thinking my life was over. I've never contemplated suicide but in that few minutes- I felt I was handed a death sentence. I called her back and was next hit with the barrage of what a M'Fer I was and how I ruined her life as I sat crying in a corner. She threatened to sue me, expose me, you name it. Hell hath no fury.....
For the next year I went into a very dark place. I severed all ties with the women who I even remained friends with after dating. Several contacted my work / family thinking I had died. Severed without warning or reason. Some of which were good friends - I cut ties. Created as much distance between the life I knew and the life I was going to have now. I put on weight, went from work to home, and kept waiting for the lawsuit papers that I had been threatened with.
Spent most of my nights alone behind a closed door. The depression became worse and worse. I was alone. Many nights contemplating suicide by the gun I kept in the house. I mean REALLY ALONE. I still never had a symptom but the emotional pain was what was killing me inch by inch. I have a very close relationship with my parents even at my age (they are in their 80's) and probably the only safe place I've ever felt.
I finally spoke with my mother who seems to be wise beyond her years. She said something so simple but it finally hit me like a brick: "This doesn't define you as a person". I finally saw the light I had been hiding from for so long. I took a deep breath and went back into the sunlight of the world and decided - I’m not going to let this control me and rob
me of my happiness.
I feared more than anything the rejection I had heard so much about from dating. The first two women I dated I told them and to my shock, they were not concerned. All those nights I spent in the dark and alone depressed were all wasted times. But I grew from it. I learned to be an honest person- something I think I had forgotten to be before.
I don't' know if I ever gave it to the other girl or the other way around. Many of you recently diagnosed may obsess over this- want to save yourself a lot of energy and wasted anger/fear-- don't bother. You'll read that there are millions of people walking around with it and no idea. Many will refuse to be tested just because they don't want to be right. Sadder thing- some people are fully aware of having it and say nothing, but Karma will take care of them. Don't try to play detective. It’s not worth it and you'll only end up more upset than you already are.
I will say this about my case. I don't know wherever she is in the world that gave this to me, but I hope my message reaches her that (1) If I ever spread this- I hope that you know that I didn't know and I'm sorry for any pain or suffering you endured. (2) To whoever gave this to me- I finally found the peace within myself to say I forgive you and thank you.
Because I truly believe that this "gift" is exactly that. Not the gift I wanted but the one I needed. To learn to be able to give forgiveness that I never was able to before in my life. To learn that someone can love me for who I am- not what I am. For teaching me (a prior player who lied without hesitation) to be able to be secure enough to tell the truth about everything in my life now (and the respect I've received from people.
The gratefulness when the bad news is there to hear, "Thank you for being so strong to be honest"... words I've never heard in 43 years). But lastly- for teaching me that I can overcome troubles in front of me; that this condition is a skin rash- nothing more. Ask a cancer patient or someone with leukemia what real problems are. It'll put this in perspective.
For those of you here for your first time or recently discovered, I know you're scared and I know it's not easy. BELIEVE me I know. But from this - I joined a support group and met some amazing people I would have never known if this had not happened (I'm going to a concert with a girl this week from the group). You have a new life ahead of you. It won't happen overnight, but EMBRACE it.
I promise, you'll be a better person in the long run and someone out there WILL appreciate you for it in the end. God bless. I hope my message helps even one of you.