Hi everyone, felt the need to share my thoughts and story because I’ve been reflecting a lot on vulnerability lately. I’ve had herpes for about 3 or 4 years now. Not sure where I got it, I had a ton of unprotected sex with a man I think I was in love with but realized he was not a good person, extremely selfish and careless. He wasn’t my boyfriend, I should have been more careful but the truth is until this happened to me I had no idea how common herpes was and I didn’t know I had to worry about it, sad excuse but true. I was also sexually assaulted a few months before being diagnosed (I was too drunk for consent, a shockingly common story), so that’s a possibility as well. I’ll never know, honestly. I look back and I know I made some poor choices, but I feel NO SHAME. I did nothing that everyone else hasn’t done before. I took risks like so many others. I’m just unlucky like the rest of us here and I do not beat myself up over that. How can I hate myself for that, how can I blame myself for being human? I choose to love myself because I’m a good person who cares deeply for those I love and I try to never put myself in a position where I have to feel guilt because I have always felt guilt so deeply, and it’s such a sad feeling.
All that being said, I struggle with dating because I am really bad at vulnerability. I’m such a strong, independent woman and my parents maybe never gave me enough affection so now I don’t know how to put myself out there. I’ve down it before a few times and I have never been rejected (had a long term relationship for a couple years) but what I realize is that I am more terrified of rejection than I am of telling my “herpes story” to someone. Because that person is human too, and how could they not understand? I know they will probably be just as uneducated about herpes as I was when I found out I had it, and that scares me. I get angry thinking some man gets to turn me down because of this, ah well. I think maybe herpes will teach me courage where I have lacked it in the past. And maybe it’s weird but strength to see past some hot guy who would just use me for one night and toss me to the side. Maybe herpes will help with self respect and patience.
I’m in the prime of my life. I’m so damn cute, I have a career and an education. I feel no shame about this even when my friends make a joke or I hear a reference on TV. I’m ready to grow and not settle for less. I’m just hoping I can be courageous like so many of the wonderful people on here and open up and if I’m rejected, that’s just life! Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck to us all.