It's Not So Bad

I contracted herpes 5 years ago, in the Summer of 2007. I then hooked up with an ex once who texted me to say he had been told he had herpes. I didn't have any outbreaks and tested negative for an STD screening (not realising they didn't test for herpes as a matter of course) and told him it must have come from someone else cos I was negative. I actually pretty much forgot about that and started a new relationship. 8 months into this relationship (august 2008) I got my first outbreak. I had literally no idea what it was but having tested negative for std's before and being in a monogamous relationship, herpes was the last thing on my mind despite what my ex had said. When the nurse at the out of hours doctor's clinic I attended told me it looked like herpes I even said "well that can't be cos I have been sleeping with the same person for months and I was tested clean before that" That's when i found out herpes can lay dormant in your system for ages. I cried and couldn't even tell my boyfriend what it was, I couldn't say the words "I have herpes" so I wrote it in a text and showed him that. He was sitting next to me in the car and just said "it's ok, I still love you" He was actually fantastic about it. We continued our sex life as it had always been, no protection but avoiding sex during outbreaks and he never caught it from me, and I had a daughter with him. I even had an outbreak right before delivery but my daughter was born perfectly healthy in a natural delivery.
The toughest time for me came after we split up. This whole new scary world of disclosing to new people opened up. The first time I told anyone, I was absolutely terrified of rejection. I handled the disclosure badly but he was also very understanding and didn't mind at all. When that relationship fizzled out I met a new guy. He did not handle it well. First off he said he couldn't cope with it, which hurt. It's not personal, but my god does it feel it when it happens! Then he changed his mind, but was obsessed with every little pimple that he got anywhere below his waist being herpes, askign me constantly if I thought he would get it every time we had sex. Acting like it wasn't a big deal when i asked him about it, but in reality his behaviour showed it WAS a big deal to him. And fair enough, if it was something he didn't want to risk then that's fine, but acting like I'm some big disease just waiting to catch him and as if him getting it was the worst thing in the world really really knocked my confidence and in the end we split up over it, among other things but that was the biggie for me.
We split up 8 months ago, and it's only now I feel ok with myself again to start dating. I have ust met a lovely guy and things are going well. I'm not going to pretend like I'm not bricking it at having to have "the talk" again, but I'm a lot more prepared this time. Prepared with what to say, hwo to approach it, and crucially, this time, I'm prepared to accept that people aren't always ok with it and if someone cannot accept it, it's better to just cut my losses rather than try and persuade them it's not a big deal etc. Fingers crossed this time it goes better than last time!
But that's just the dating side of it, which to me is by FAR the worst part of herpes. Tingles, itchiness and a few cuts or lumps in my bits is a minor inconvience to me. i'm lucky in that my outbreaks now are short and also few and far between. It doesn't affect who I am, I have plenty of friends, a great social life and I'm a uni student who is graduating next year. I have a good life, when I got the herpes diagnosis I was devastated, but it's not who I am. It doesn't define me. I have herpes, so what. Some people have much worse conditions to live with. And more than that, I'm a good person. I may have herpes, but it doesn't make me a bad person. I don't lie, cheat, steal or hurt people. I don't fight or upset anyone. I have herpes, but I am so much more than that
nosilalouise nosilalouise
26-30, F
1 Response Dec 15, 2012

It seems so scary to move on and to find a new relationship and someone whos going to want to be with you. How did you initially cope with moving on and telling someone you want to be with? When did you find it was okay to have "the talk?"

It is scary, because of the chance of being rejected. When the relationship I was in when I was diagnosed broke up, I then dated a few guys. The first one I told after I think 4 dates. I liked him, he liked me, I could sense things were getting towards the next level and so I told him. I kind of blurted it out actually, but he was ok with it all. I have told 3 people, and none of them have been disgusted or anything like that! I think you have to wait until you feel you would actually want to be with that person and then tell them. Don't blurt it out too soon, but don't leave it too late. I don't know if you have already, but search the herpes talk or similar and have a read of the tons of info out there :)