Hello! I'm a new member, so I thought I would share a little bit about myself. I go by "W", I'm a young adult in university, I hold many passions including acting and psychology, and I recently found out that I (probably) have genital herpes.
The story goes, I met someone great, we began dating, and after just over two months of dating, he began having both OH and GH symptoms. It began with rashes around his mouth and down south that didn't go away and turned into the scabby sores. He went to a doctor who said they believe it is herpes, and he's gotten the tests for it (but as I understand now, the blood test will only be positive if he's had the virus for at least 4 months, which we don't believe is the case). I'm set to go in for testing next week.
Now, we believe it was me who transmitted the virus onto him. Unlike quite a few stories on here, however, I did not know I (probably) had it. He got tested before we began dating, I did not, and neither of us has seen anyone else. This was an incredibly hard thing to come to terms with. My past is filled with painful memories of sex that I used as a replacement for love and emotion, as a coping mechanism for my depression, and was the only way I ever felt any value in myself. Less than two years after I had sex for the first time, my body count had hit double digits. At the time, I thought it was what I wanted, but hindsight is everything, and now I know that it was a mistake to place my value as a person on who wanted me. So, we call that mistake 1. I was normally very careful about using condoms and getting tested, the sexual health clinic practically knew me by name. But then, that caution faltered. Not because I felt invincible, I just got caught up with moving, with school, and just generally slacked on my safety measures. This was mistake 2.
I thought I had no symptoms or outbreaks, but then I was reminded of an incident last year in which I was having the symptoms for a yeast infection. I had had one before, so I didn't think much of it, and used a yeast infection topical cream on the area (I believe it was Monistat but I can't fully remember). I woke up with what looked like little red bumps around my anal area, which I thought was bizarre because I hadn't put the cream in that area. The bumps became sores/boils, which peeled off and bled. I looked up the cream online and discovered that an allergic reaction could cause similar symptoms, so obviously I thought that's what it was. My campus clinic suggested I take benedryl for an allergic reaction. Two full boxes later, the sores were just beginning to heal. I now realize that wasn't an allergic reaction at all. This was mistake 3.
Now because of these lapses in judgement, I've harmed someone I actually care about, and this is a permanent effect I will have on this person. It kills me to think that even if he decides to leave me, that mark I left on him will remain. I was beyond excited to leave my hurting promiscuous history behind me and move on with a new person who actually treats me right and cares about me. Now I feel like I can't escape my past. I feel like it has followed me and will forever haunt me in the form of an STI, and that doesn't even bother me so much as the fact that I've also dragged him into this. Words cannot express how sorry I am. It doesn't matter that he tries to take some of the blame for not wearing a condom the second time we had intercourse, because I should have known, I should have tested myself before ever engaging in sexual contact with him, and for that I hold full responsibility.
He has been a little distant since this happened. We talked on the phone briefly, which was a very tearful conversation (on my part). In it he admitted that this rattled him, and he doesn't normally get rattled, and that he really liked me but this outbreak has cooled the feelings a little. I expected all this, and even though it didn't hurt any less to hear it, I cannot be mad at him for feeling differently towards me, or feeling differently at all. We will speak next week in person and decide where we want to go.
I won't lie, I was devastated at all this at first. Angry that I let myself be so stupid as to not be 100% knowledgable about my own body (I hold no anger to whoever gave it to me, mostly because I really have no clue who did), upset that I hurt someone I really really cared about and saw a future with, and grief that I may lose something that literally a week ago was so strong and promising. I felt myself teetering on an edge I promised myself I wouldn't let myself get to this new year. That's where this forum page comes in. I've been reading it a lot, getting a handle on others experiences and stories, and just generally gaining information on this virus. Obviously I know I'm not the only person who is feeling these things, but it always puts my mind at ease to visibly see other people going through similar situations. I've regained a lot of control, and while this virus (that I'm virtually 99% sure I have) is a shitty thing to go through, I feel a lot better about the situation. This can be a chance for me to grow as a person. It encourages me to not go seek out meaningless sex as a coping mechanism. It will bring the right people close to me. I've only told my 3 closest friends about what's going on, and immediately they offered me nothing but support, which is already to me a good sign that I've made the right decision with who I spend my time with. Regarding him, I'm trying to be both optimistic and realistic. If he wants to leave, I will do my best not to hold it against him, and while it will hurt I am telling myself that it will not be as bad as I think it will and I will move on eventually. However, best case scenario is he decides to stay. If this happens, I know that things won't be the same, and it will take communication and a rebuilding of trust, as well as a whole lot of waiting probably, to sort of restart and continue on with this relationship. I wish this could have happened later into when we were stronger, but this is the hand we have been dealt and I will do my best to work it out with him. He's not a bad guy, and I don't think he would hold it against me, nor dwell on the negatives if he so chooses to stay with me.
So, I proceed cautious but hopeful. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading, and any advice you can offer regarding how to build a relationship back stronger will be greatly appreciated. I'll be reading the forums a ton, and hopefully will find peace with everything.