I dated a man on and off for 18 months and never disclosed my herpes status. We parted ways because he did not want a committed relationship. After seven months, he returned. We are not going to be together because he still doesn't want a committed relationship. But I care about him very much. So, I disclosed. He said that I should have told him. He is right. He was kind and compassionate. I had to tell him because it hurt too much to keep this a secret from him any longer. It hurt most because I didn't tell him from the beginning.
Still, for me I have lived too long in secret, in silence, in shame, in fear of rejection and judgement, and in denial of this infection. During the relationship, I told myself that as long as I did not have any active outbreaks I would be keeping him safe. My shame and fear was so powerful that it over road my internal moral dictates to disclose. I've reached my threshold and I can no longer live in that painful, secret, shameful, fearful place.
I am worried about him. I am worried that he is worried that he could be infected. I am worried whether he is and doesn't know it. This is all so very painful for me that I have caused him to worry. I sent him this factsheet from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm
and a few videos: one from Kirsty Spraggon, TedTalk, Ella Dawson, TedTalk, and finally one with Dr. Peter Leone, MD answering question with a group from YouTube.
The aftermath is an emotionally and physically painful journey that I’ve just began. My mood is very low. My back and stomach ache. And I had insomnia most of the night after telling him. As much as I’m trying to keep my thoughts positive it is a challenge. I am trying to practice self-compassion and forgiveness but I just need to know that he’s ok. I don't know how else to handle this for him or myself beyond this point. This is a most difficult lesson to learn to ALWAYS practice the values I believe in, no matter how difficult it might be to be vulnerable. Doing the right thing is truly the best practice because it allows love to be an action that presides over, and go before, shame or fear.