There and Back Again from Singer to Statistic
So I was involved in an operatic production at my Alma mater and became intimate with a student at said university. She was vibrant and positive, talented and lovely. She was seeking pleasant company and no-strings intimacy, as was I (though I have a primary partner, she lives across the continent and we have, until recently, been a poly-amorous primary couple, so it should have been no issue).
This lovely lady also came about at a time in my life when I was in a very emotionally compromised state from a former partner's effects on my psyche. In summation, we were both attracted to each other, looking for fine, non-traumatic company and fun in bed. It seemed too good to be true... and it was.
Unfortunately, she declined to tell me that she had Genital Herpes. I wouldn't have known had I not given myself jock itch from sitting in the bathtub during showers without cleaning it... bad move, for those who have athlete's foot, as it can spread to the genitals, as my STD clinician pointed out. I decided to get a full spread of testing done. During the testing, I finally asked the questions of my lovely fling friend that I should have beforehand, and she confessed that she had Genital Herpes.
I was mortified... not only had we been together several times before I finished my contracted work and gone home, but I had since been with my then and current partner and, in an odd and desperate twist of emotion, my former partner, from whom I was suffering traumatic psychological effects.
Doesn't sound much like a success story so far, but bear with me. When I went through testing, I told my current partner the situation and that both she, and my former partner had been exposed, as I was, and I was awaiting my test results. My current partner was more forgiving than many would be, but she was, nonetheless, forgiving. Then, on Christmas Eve of 2011, Herpes, the Christmas Elf delivered my IGG results. HSV-2...
I informed my current partner that my fear was confirmed. Even with no outbreak, the word from my fling had rocked me to the core, and now, with the test results, I knew for certain.
Just last week, I told my former partner (the one who was tearing
the living emotional hell out of me until just very recently when she got her head back on straight) that I had just tested positive and she should get checked. Even though she was upset and is still concerned, she didn't go spiraling downward again, as I had feared she might. I took her to a clinic that did a walk-in blood test and she's awaiting results.
So what could be considered successful here?
I'm not religious, but I am spiritual. This diagnosis has compelled me to live up to my convictions, and despite my fears, do the right thing, as the Gods would want. I have been rewarded with compassion, forgiveness and love as well from both my former and my once and current partner.
Both women await word on their status, but even if they turn up positive tests, my fear of being hated and abandoned has been mollified and I feel confident that I can be there for them and to say what so many (some who have HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 and should know) have said to me... "It's not the worst, it can be lived with, you're still a wonderful person, you still are lovely and talented, and you can get through anything as long as you allow yourself to do so."
Oddly enough, my immediate family also knows and has been with me on each step of this initially traumatic journey, which has brought us collectively closer together this past holiday season than we have been for years.
Compared to the positive Genital Herpes diagnosis for the Holidays, I am able to reflect on the many other gifts of love and support I received from those for whom I care very deeply... and those gifts far outweigh a lousy virus diagnosis. I am still singing, still enjoying life, still looking forward to the future. And come what may, I know I can continue to do so.
My friendship is becoming more comfortable with my former partner and we are finding closure for the end of our romantic relationship, which began dying nearly half a year ago. My current partner and I are, for the indefinite future, settling comfortably into monogamy and we are augmenting each others' lives with joy and happiness again. We hope to reach the ends of our lives with such contentment and togetherness.