Two Stigmas: Stripping and Herpes
Within my second month of "stripping" (dancing or entertaining); I had also reverted back to celibacy. I randomly requested to get a full STD screening, which by the way must be requested. The OBGYN only tests for Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and other STD that are harmful and prevent future pregnancy. About three weeks later I received a call informing me that I indeed have herpes. I thought I was going to die! I was grateful I’ve already decided to begin practicing celibacy, and could never fathom including sex in my love life ever again.
I knew my sex life was over; not only, was I a stripper, but a stripper with an STD. At least once I graduate I can stop stripping, but this HERPES stigma will stick forever! I was in denial for a long time, since I have no symptoms or signs. Eventually I faced it, found supports sites, and begin telling my close friends. Especially speaking about it I found it is extremely common. No one ever said anything, but PLENTY OF PEOPLE HAVE IT. Once facing it, I took responsibility and started taking Valacyclovir which was $200, until I changed to Acyclovir which is $21 taking a pill a day.
Almost a year later, I met the most amazing guy at my place of employment as he celebrated his birthday. I was working of course, but I knew he was someone special so I gave him a chance. On date three we had sex. I was terrified of telling him my dark secret, being my first time in this situation. I met it with fear. Our 8th time a few days later he wanted to have unprotected sex and he asked my STD status, "Are you clean?" I lied and said, "Yes," but refused to have unprotected sex with him. It ate me up. Every second I was with him I wanted to tell him the truth. I had grown so close to him and felt as though I could tell him anything. I hated myself and wanted to
fix it but how?
I googled "dating with herpes" and read thousands of questions and responses. Most said don't say anything, few said tell him/her. I asked my friends and they were afraid for me saying, "disappear on him", "tell him", "he's going to ruin your job", "make a lie for both of you to get tested"," he'll put you on the internet", and "please don't tell him".
Current in world literature we were reading "The Bhgavad-Gita" a historic Hindi parable, the teachings are phenomenal, philosophical and life changing. Ghandhi and Martin Luther King Jr studied it. One of the many themes is MAN MAKES DECISIONS BASED ON THE REACTIONS: SUCCESS, PLEASANT OR FAILURE, WRONG, UNPLEASANT. TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT ONE MUST DETACH ONESELF FROM THOSE REACTIONS/CONSEQUENCES AND LIVE IN MODERATION. DEEP SHIT. And another friend mentioned, "Character is not based on the mistakes we make, but the why we try to recover and fix those mishaps."
Those thoughts helped me decide to take my chances, tell him the total truth and act selflessly. Consequences being I may lose a great love, he may want or try to kill me, ruin my job, put me on the Internet or never speak to me again. On Super bowl Sunday we had an amazing date then went home to sleep. That afternoon I prayed for the Packers and my situation. Without hesitation I told him that evening. He was grateful for my honesty and held me as I cried until Monday night. Monday he skipped his workday to hold me, comfort me and figure it all out. We are still dating and closer than ever. We have a very healthy sex life. I love him, and am very grateful for him. I am also grateful for all of the support I was given.
I will admit it was hard, but take your mind off of the consequences and do what is right. Tell the person and see what will happen. What is meant to be, will be in the end. Pray about it……. Best Wishes