Everything Will Be Ok
First I would like to say, I have NEVER found a website like this one that has actually made me feel not alone in having a STD. So thank you for that, I wish I saw this 2 years ago but oh well.
My herpes story...
I was 19 when I found out I had herpes. I came from a smaller town, and grew up with the idea that STD's would never happen to me. I'm good looking and from a wealthy family. I thought only trashy people get STD's. I was very careless at the time I learned I had herpes.
I had been dating a boy for 3+ years, during high school and the first years of college. I was pretty naive, and thought I was somewhat invincible and that it just wouldn't happen to me. Anyways, I had a pretty rough breakup with this guy at the end of summer and I decided the only way I'd actually get over him would be to go to college and live with my 2 girlfriends who were moving out too for their first time. My mindset was finding cute guys and keeping your mind off your ex. Well I had become pretty accustomed to not always using condoms, and in general not really realizing how many people in the world have herpes, let alone other STD’s and that people wouldn't just tell you if they had one. I ended up finding it extremely easy to get guys, and had about 3 one night stands. I had sex with 2 other guys, both of whom I sort of dated, but they didn't work out. Then, something tragic happened, which caused a downward spiral and I started just drinking more and eventually myself and 1 of my roommates got really sick around the time H1N1 went around. When I went back home to go see the doctor, she said "hey, first time you've been single, in college, lets test you for fun." That was the beginning of my nightmare.
One week later, she called and told me my tests came back positive for an STD. She only said one, Chlamydia, and when she heard my reaction to that, she decided not to tell me I had herpes yet. When I went back home that weekend to get retested to make sure Chlamydia went away, she broke the news that I tested positive for another STD, herpes but she didn't have the heart to tell me over the phone. When I learned this news, that I had herpes, I asked, is it curable and she said no. I 100% thought my entire world was over. I didn't think anyone else had it but me, I had no idea who I had gotten either STD from, but I was devastated.
I ended up moving home immediately to deal with a new life with an STD and didn't think a college town would be the best place to learn to live with it. Unfortunately having herpes wasn't the worst part. It was learning to deal with it, and what happened next was worse. I ended up telling my 2 best friends so that they would understand why I had to suddenly move. That was my mistake and this is why I am choosing to share my story. UNLESS YOU ARE WANTING TO HAVE SEX WITH A PERSON, DO NOT TELL ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once 1 of my friends told someone it spread like the plague. People would quietly talk about it behind my back, more times than I can count on all my toes and fingers.
I wasn't even okay with myself or what I had, but learning to love yourself when you hate something you can't change is so hard when other people make you feel like you’re absolutely disgusting, dirty, untouchable and unlovable. If I even looked at a guy or talked to one, without doubt, there would be someone to let him know, she has herpes, walk away. My
good friends would defend me or deny it, but enough people had told me I should just be honest and whether it was a guy or girl, friend or potential boyfriend, if I even talked to them, it was their right to know I had herpes. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG!!!! It is absolutely no one’s business to know, unless you plan on sleeping with them. What was harder than learning to accept it and accept myself, was figuring out how someone else would accept me when all I had experienced was rejection in every way and to every degree.
I did make the mistake of sleeping with 2 people and not telling them. I had learned to control my herpes; I didn't stress out, took my medicine, and still to this day have only had 1 outbreak. I did in fact learn of other family members who shared the disease and they shed a lot of light on the actual real facts instead of the doctor’s horrifying facts. For 1, if you are not having an outbreak, you will not spread herpes. I did have sex with 2 people, which I regret more than anything and wish I had done it right, but no one can imagine how to deal with that unless you are in that position. All I knew was rejection, and I thought if I ever wanted to be sexual, I just had to lie. I did end up coming clean to those 2 people and both were tested and STD free. Thank GOD. And when I did have sex with someone with them fully informed of my situation, it was OK, I didn't feel like I would never be loved.
What I realized is that even though you have a STD, there are people out there, not everyone, and not a ton, but there are people who will not deny you because of that simple fact. However, the most important thing I learned from so many people knowing about me is that it’s not always the case that people just want nothing to do with it, it’s that so many people are so uninformed and all they know is the Google image definition of herpes and that it’s incurable. However, when you know yourself, and you know the facts about herpes in general and your own case of herpes, it is so much more tolerable and explainable. I was young when I found out, and I wouldn't say I dealt with it in a way I'd hope for anyone else just finding out, but from so many people finding out about me, I learned so much about myself and others.
Like I said, it is no one else's business unless you’re getting physical with them, but telling someone after just learning their name isn’t a good way to go about it. I was single for 2 years after learning I had genital herpes. I have had 1 outbreak, and I have a boyfriend. He does not have herpes and he does know I have it. I told him in a letter, so that I could thoroughly explain myself and everything about herpes. Not saying that is right for everyone, but for myself I needed to get it all out, minus the emotions. He accepted me instantly for it and said he respected me so much for being honest. We are in love now and have been together for almost 5 months. I still cannot stand TV shows, movies or people who mention herpes, or make jokes about it. It is so disrespectful and thoughtless, considering how many people around you do have herpes, or have it and aren't aware. It will never be easy, you will always battle it, but I want people to know, I went through such a difficult experience for years, but it does get better. I am living proof of what not to do, but still being honest and being happy almost 3 years later.
Thank you Gary for this website.