My story, time to stop hiding

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    I am recently diagnosed. When I was 10 I was raped by a cousin. I was never allowed to talk about it. My mom told me it was my fault, that I had wanted him to do those things to me. The way I coped with it was acting out. I stole, lashed out, lied about everything. I would intentionally do things to get sent to my room. I was ashamed of what happened. If only I had yelled and my dad had seen what was happening my mom would realize it wasn’t my fault. As a result of my actions I was put into placement and eventually therapeutic foster care. And I had never gotten help for how I was feeling. I pushed the pain down. Come 18 I had a serious boyfriend. I pushed having sex off for a long time. When we finally did it I started having flashbacks of what he did to me. I never told my boyfriend that I was having flashbacks. We broke up because I became distant. I started college and thought the more I did it the less often I would have flashbacks. I know, that logic makes no sense. But at the time that’s what I 100% believed. I was careful. I used protection. Eventually I realized that it was helping but making things worse. I couldn’t focus during class. I kept thinking about what he did to me all those years ago. Then I met josh. He was cute but he had a high body count, which didn’t bother me. I was careful. We didn’t use protection which was sooo dumb on my account. But he said he didn’t like them and I wanted him to like me. We were never serious but I liked him. Every time we would have sex I would ask him when was the last time he got tested? What we’re the results? He always said they were negative and I believed him. For so many years I thought that sex meant that you cared and loved a person. Again a stupid logic. I never really understood love. My parents didn’t treat me like they loved me. When things got tough they sent me away. My mom said it was my fault that my cousin raped me. She even made me look at pictures of sexually transmitted diseases. It was traumatizing. And now here I am. I was in so much pain. I was scared. I got tested and my worst fears were confirmed. I asked josh and he said it wasn’t him. Even said how did I know it was him. I couldn’t believe he said that. He was the only one I had unprotected sex with. Then he finally told me that his test had come back positive. Flash forward to today. I’ve been on a few dates. But I’m scared to make them anything. How do I tell them that I have herpes?? What will they think of me?? Do I tell them the exact story of how I got it? Or do I make something up, tell them I have it but not exactly how I got it? I know I have to tell them, and I will. I refuse to be like Josh. But I’m scared. How could anyone want me? How do I even bring up the topic? Well there you go. That’s my story. And it feels good to get it out. But I’m scared. I’m so incredibly scared of what the future will hold.


    It helped me to tell my partner from the beginning. Try to think about how you would like to be told. Would you want all the details? But also, evaluate for a moment how much you are willing to tell. Its tough reliving your story over and over again by telling it to someone new. In my opinion, letting them know you have HSV can already be a very scary and vulnerable thing and if at that moment you feel like starting from the beginning that is OK. You should definitely let any new sexual partners know you have HSV, but if its too hard to relay the rest I think you should let them know that too. Communication is key, and if they are mature, even just letting them know that what you’re telling them is hard and scary and vulnerable but you like them enough to open up, they should see that means a lot. And if they don’t realize that, then that might not be the kind of person you want to be with anyway?

    Let them know that your sexual history was traumatizing and, if your in a safe space and feel open to telling, do so. If not, you don’t have to tell anyone anything that you don’t want to! Especially when it’s a scary place to go back to every time.

    Hang in there. I know life has dealt you and made you face people that are terrible, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this (having HSV) its that not everyone is bad. Having HSV and carrying that knowledge can be very heavy under the weight we give it in our minds. It gets lighter the more people you tell and open up to. Sending love <3


    Hi Idkanymore97,

    Sorry to hear about your childhood. It sounds really awful how your mom didn’t support you when you really needed support from people close to you.

    When telling other people, the facts are your friends. Learn as much key information, people are particularly concerned about whether or not they will be safe – you will have to assure them that you care for their safety and that it will include abstinence when you have an infection and some post-infection days too. Tell the person your experience, how it has been for you and what the future could be for you. The more you know about it, the more control you have and the more confident you will be when pursuing relationships. I think it could help also to highlight how many people have it – you could look at Dr.Kelly’s fact sheet. I remember when my doctor who diagnosed me told me how easy it was to get and just how common it was, how that made me feel better. Take care. Be strong, you got this!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Terra.

    Thank you so much for all your support. I recently joined a dating site made specially for those who have STDs and STIs, which helps when it comes to being honest about what you have. I’m talking to a really sweet guy, hopefully it goes well. Life has been hard but I refuse to let it hold me back any longer. I’m still learning about love and how to truly tell if a guy loves me. I can’t thank you ladies enough for all the support, and it felt good to finally tell my story. Thank you again you ladies have helped me so much words can’t express how helpful you amazing women have been. ♥️

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