Topic: Bedroom Confessions
Alright Ladies! I suppose its time for me to jump on the “Share your Story Wagon” lol. Its quite scary putting a voice to your diagnosis, letting the control that it can have over someone, waiver just enough to allow that glimmer of hope that this doesn’t define a person, this doesn’t determine where someone will go in terms of their sex life in the future, this doesn’t discredit one from their successes, this doesn’t make someone unworthy of happiness.
I draw strength from each and every one of you as you share your stories and exhibit such love for yourselves and for others! I am so happy to have found Dr. Kelly’s book when i did at the time of my diagnosis and in turn, made that step toward self healing. I hope to find long term friendship with the women that i meet here and hope that at some point, i can offer the level of support that is also needed from me. This community is so awesome!
Let the healing begin!
I am 25 years old and was first diagnosed with HSV-1 earlier this year in May. I haven’t had sex since. The level that my self hatred and self loathing stems is much deeper than this condition, and luckily, i had been intensively working on this for about a year prior to my diagnosis. However, with the self loathing, hatred, and general lack of self confidence that I’ve had, sex was something that i turned to often for validation, a good time, distraction….whatever you want to call it. I also grew up in a catholic family. So i suppose one could imagine the knee-jerk reaction that i had to finding out that this was my fate. “Youre a slut” “You deserved this” “You had this coming” “Your family will never love you now” “How could you be so stupid”. The same script made its appearance about 4 years ago when i was faced with one of the hardest decisions that i feel any woman could ever come to make….I had an abortion.
My damaged sexual self, traumatized by my own actions, and ignored in the worst kind of way is left in desperate need of healing. After the abortion, fear kept me silent. Afraid of my family’s reaction to my horrid actions, i didn’t even give them the chance to be there for me. I decided early, that this would be different. After my appointment with a doctor, not my original mind you, in may, for something that i originally thought would be hemorrhoids, due to constipation..which turned south after the doctor expressed a completely different idea…”I’m 98% sure this is herpes”, with a grim expression, expecting me to break down. I was confused at first, as i was just tested for sti’s in January which came back negative.
Let me tell you that I’m also in the military. A blessing and curse at the same time. We are taught to suppress emotions in a crisis situation…so whatever he expected, it didn’t come. He gave me some general facts and his card, for questions when they come up. I broke down in my car in the parking lot before i left.
By the time i started driving, the crying stopped and i welcomed “fix it” mode. I had no idea who i got it from, as the information i was reading mentioned asymptomatic shedding, 1/4 people carrying the disease, etc, so I pushed every fear and feeling aside and called every man i had been with in the last 5 months (their health and the health of others who it could possibly be spread to, was more important than what I was going through)….including two of my best friends a complete stranger, and a fling that i was with for about 2 of those months. One person took the information well and was supportive to an extent, the stranger responded with anger and said “i expect you know that we wont be talking to each other anymore”, one was rather calm about the imformation however followed up with “I almost would rather you be pregnant”, and my best friend…i haven’t talked to him since.
I told my family, which was much more the same reaction that i feared and imagined would come. My grandmother…”How many people have you been with?” My mom…she said nothing, she cried(whether for me or herself, i don’t know). The only thought that i had, was i hope Lyndsey…my 13 year old cousin who is practically a sister, doesn’t find out about this. I don’t ever want her to see me differently, to see me with the eyes of my family, to lose trust in me….it would break me.
I told my therapist within 2 weeks of the outbreak. Although i had thoroughly delved into my “fix-it mode” he reacted to my confession with love and compassion and patience. He didn’t ask me about my sex life, and he didn’t judge me for my actions. He only asked if i was ok which meant more to me than anything anyone so far had done.
It wasn’t until this passed week that i had my second outbreak, and the finality of my diagnosis brought with it a fresh wave of emotion that i wasn’t quite prepared to handle. I found Dr. Kelly’s book early on and delved into a workout/nutrition program that has been hit or miss on my part. This second experience, also brought a level of desperation and responsibility to my own healing as my thought process, depression, and familiar “words” suggested something darker that i refuse to experience anymore. The truth that “herpes is a blessing in disguise” has been something that struck me and “lit a fire under my ass” so to speak at the importance of self awareness, self love, self forgiveness…..it is all so beautiful and accepting. I would say that a goal i work toward…acceptance.
My work right now, is in mindfulness, self love, and forgiveness. The rest will follow. Ive taken practice for physical healing, met with a naturopathic doctor, and continue to talk to my therapist about my journey. I hope that the sharing aspect of our stories start to get easier….sharing this had hurt…a lot. I can happily say, though, the experience has brought some level of peace.
Ive kept you all long enough, thanks for taking the time to read. I look forward to growing and healing with each and every one of you.
With love and understanding,
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