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oh the shame...

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well here i am. on a herpes support site. thank god. my story is very, very complicated so please bear with me. i have been married for 16 years to my husband. we didn't have sex together before marriage, as i grew up in a religious family and also had some unfortunate experiences with sexual abuse and assault. it was a relief to not have to deal with sex at that time. my then boyfriend/fiancee was understanding and supportive (mostly). looking back i married him mostly because i knew he was a good man, a hard worker, would be a good father, etc. i felt i needed someone to take care of me. you should know that i also struggle with dysthymia...a long-term, low-mid grade depression. can you say

S H A M E???? i was (and am) loaded down with it. so there i was, struggling with just getting by day by day, worked when i had to, birthed and am raising two girls. i love them - and my husband. convincing myself i could live nicely without sex (i already had my children) it was a 'duty' and a hard thing to have sex with my husband. here i am at 40, realize now that i have a huge attraction for other women, and cannot deny and repress it any longer. looking back now, i have always been attracted to women. i secretly planned my 'divorce strategy' and had affairs with a few women while keeping this all from my husband. one fateful day, he found out EVERYTHING. Holy F U C K! since then he's forgiven me and we've talked more than we ever have, and openly talk about all sorts of things. so now what? do i stay with him? leave and find a woman? actually, through lots of talking and lots of tears, we decided that this does not have to be the end for us and our family. we do make a good team, he has been there to support me to his best ability through E V E R Y T H I N G. but still i long to be with women. we have been working towards juggling both - our marriage, and my 'special friendships'. we have a few kinks yet to work out but it has been pretty good. enter *h e r p e s* it seems that during one of my trists with a woman, she gave me the herpes virus. it has never been confessed, but that's of no matter now. my life has taken yet another dramatic turn. now...when it looks like i am finally close to finding some peace and happiness, WHAMMO! BAM! POW! it all came crashing down. having had a couple of women that i told AFTER we were intimate (with disasterous results and MORE shame), the last few times i have tried telling women I've been spending time with and have been left time and time again. the last one said "but it's not you, it's the herpes" well guess what, the herpes IS a part of me and therefore, not seperat-able. the shame and guilt i feel are enormous. i've always struggled with feeling damaged or defective...the sex abuse, depression, attraction to women, and now herpes??? man what must i have done in past lives! (not that i necessarily believe in them). i am currently feeling like i will NEVER find a woman that can fill me and love me...when the women my husband is most comfortable with me being with are other bisexual women who are married (he still fears losing me, and i am still regaining his trust). this takes a lot of the control away from just she and i, and now - with other views and fears and opinions to consider - i am alone. who would want to put not only themselves at risk but their husbands and families???? I am lost. i've cried more in this past week than ever before. i feel like a really, really bad made-for-tv movie, but it is sadly, my reality. i also feel that i have no one to talk to who will understand. i don't want anyone who doesn't have to know, to know. my husband is fine with the herpes and continues to stand by me, and hasn't caught it yet. i take twice daily suppression meds and haven't had an outbreak for almost a year. the risk is low for someone to catch this from me...and i've only ever had 'spots' or sores in two little spots...but it's taken over my life seemingly, as well as my confidence, pride, and self-acceptance. please respond if you have advice, support, or a kind word. thanks, for those of you still reading to the end.

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I feel so sorry for you, with all the things you've been through. What a trooper you were to make it through the abuse, find a comfortable marriage, understand yourself and your own needs, and then herpes stops your show. :(

I don't think you're at a complete loss, though. My husband and i have considered introducing a 3rd into our relationship, but the idea of having to explain my virus makes it that much harder. Surprisingly, 2 of my best friends and SO's best friend's girlfriend all have herpes! At least i'd have options if i decided to exercise them! :)

I really think if you were more open about it, you'd find it's not uncommon at all. I know that's a really hard thing for you, and understandably so! I just hope you can find some sort of situation that works for you and your family. Best of luck!

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Maybe you can find someone who already has it. Have you tried any of the dating websites? I have to imagine there are gay/lesbian herpes websites out there. Do you know what type you have? If you have type 1 genitally, 80% of the population has type 1, some orally. So it would be very rare for someone to catch type 1 genitally if they already have it orally. Have these women who have rejected you ever been tested? They may have it already and not even know it!

Don't punish yourself for your feelings though. Each and every one of us deserves to be happy. So do what makes you happy! Having your husband to support you is wonderful! Lean on him! You guys obviously have a very special relationship! Be thankful for that!

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  • The Hive is Thriving!

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    • Atrapasueños
      Hola chicos recibí mis resultados de mi cultivo de mis brotes en hombros y cuello y dio positivo me siento mal aunque ya sospechaba me niego a pensar que este virus es inofensivo ahora no sólo tengo que lidiar con mis brotes en mi cara o genitales también los que aparecen en mis hombros y cuello sólo les deseo lo mejor y cuiden mucho su cuerpo __________________________  Hi guys I got my results of my culture of my shoots on shoulders and neck and gave positive I feel bad even though I already suspected I refuse to think that this virus is harmless now not only do I have to deal with my outbreaks on my face or genitals also those that appear on my shoulders and neck I only wish you the best and take good care of your body
    • IcantThinkofaName
      I agree completely with @Dutchy and what she said. You are always going to think about this. Its best to get a conclusive answer if you can. I am not sure it is herpes. Sorry to ask, but: Is there any chance you could have been sexually assaulted at a young age and not remember? or  Were you  ever a wrestler or Boxer ? Those are the only two instances I can think of that would cause HSV 2 if you haven't had sexual contact  Chances are high that you don't have it. And, if it turns out to be HSV1 , you already have that , so no worries there either. I have had 2 Drs say a bacterial infection on my face was HSV1 . I have never had HSV1, My IGG tests results have always been negative too for HSV1 in the past and present too. ( It was really a bacterial infection, I had had an injection and was touching the area a lot and I infected it with my dirty hands. I then went to a infectious disease specialist who told me looked  bacterial not viral).  I did sadly get infected with Hsv2 almost 2 years ago now ( 1 year after the facial bacterial infection) and it was intense and severe. If I had had HSV1 my outbreak would have been less severe from what I understand. My Hsv 1 IGG tests are STILL negative. Those drs were wrong. Maybe yours are too. And if it is from a wetsuit, then people need to know that its a possible risk.  I truly wish your results to be negative.  You deserve peace. Best wishes to you.
    • IcantThinkofaName
      @Rain and Ashes get a blood test, don't go by visual diagnosis, esp. if you  are a virgin and haven't had sexual contact. It could be  a staph infection or somethign else Drs misdiagnose things all the time. Its terrible and unprofessional of them to refuse to do the bloodwork, and to only visually diagnose if you haven't had sex.  If its a privacy issue or not wanting it on your records, then  maybe go to an anonymous place and pay out of pocket. And if it is indeed HSV2, and you got it from a wetsuit, then there is a lot we don't know about this virus and your story needs to be shared, if it is indeed true. Best of Luck to you!
    • Ashleerae
      I totally see where you're coming from. Having herpes made me feel like the biggest piece of shit I could be, thought it would be nice to kill myself and not have to deal with it, but not a serious thought, just a fantasy.  I was diagnosed over 3 years ago with genital HSV-2. I can't be 100%, but I think I got it from my ex. Over the last 2 years, I've been hitting personal development hard and trying to get totally comfortable with myself for everything I am, including herpes. I've improved things about myself that I've struggled with my entire life and I won't stop striving to be the real me, not take everything in life so hard or seriously, and be somebody I could respect. I've become more confident, which I've never been. Now I see herpes as a little bit of a blessing (haha crazy), but without this, I may have never confronted my issues with myself and changed it. I am more empathic to myself and to other people rather than being self-centered and shallow like I was sometimes. Herpes forced me to love myself and become more resilient. I'm telling you this because it's normal to beat yourself up over this and feel ashamed, but fuck it. Don't feel ashamed. Own it and get so comfortable with it that nobody's opinion could sway your feelings about yourself. I don't mean tell everyone unless you want to. I've told my immediate family and 4 friends recently and they were all very receptive and said it's not a big deal - these are people I trust. And for some of us, we know it's not as big of a deal physically as we imagined it would be before we contracted it or during the worst outbreak(s) - for me it was emotionally destructive because I let it get to me. Let me tell you my first disclosure story.  A month and a half ago, I got drunk and was talking to this guy, a friend of a friend. We hit it off and were having fun. We got pretty drunk and hooked up and I didn't tell him. Wanna know how I felt after that? Anxious, fucking horrible, like a terrible person. And I'm not judging others here, but I judged myself hard because I felt like I had hurt someone. This was eating me alive. I was going to tell him the next day and then he was out with friends so I didn't want to ruin his night. Two days later I talked to him and asked him to call me (live in different cities). I had practiced how I was going to say this over and over. I told him we got a little carried away and asked if we used a condom (couldn't remember), we didn't. I apologized and told him my status and that I'm on repressive meds so it doesn't surface, but it's still possible that it would. I was expecting him to lash out, call me names, tell our mutual friends and all of his own friends, which would be his right. I was lucky and I didn't feel like I deserved his actual response due to the situation of not disclosing before anything happened. He said, "It's okay. I'll make a doctor's appointment to get tested and get on meds if I need to. It sounds like you've been beating yourself up about this, so stop doing that. It's fine. I had a condom in my bag that I found the next day, I should have used it. Really, don't worry." Seriously, this is how the conversation went. He tested negative and is going to test again in 6 months. And we've been talking for the last month and a half since, he told me he's glad he met me and had fun, and he's coming to visit for a weekend in October. I talked to our mutual friend, who one of my best friends that I trust; I told her after I told him and confirmed he hasn't told anyone else about my status (I asked him not to unless he does have it, then he can say whatever he wants).  The reason I'm telling you this is because I've learned an incredibly important lesson from this. I know that not disclosing is against my moral code and I don't want to give this to anyone without giving them the choice first because I wasn't given the option and it destroyed me for awhile. Condoms don't guarantee it won't be passed on. If I want to feel good about the person I am, this is a conversation I have to have with anyone I'm going to have any sexual contact with.  I also know I was lucky with this guy being so kind. He didn't have to be that way. This taught me a valuable lesson too. Choose wisely who I want in my life and who I trust. I'm not worried anymore what other people think of me; what do I think of them? If somebody says no after disclosing, that is their right and it has no bearing on me, it's not a diss. They don't want herpes and neither did I; maybe there could be a friendship there instead. Some people don't see this as a deal breaker though and I know I don't feel bad about myself for telling somebody the truth and giving them the option. I'm not proud about not disclosing first, but I made it right and know that's how I will handle it from now on.  I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do either. This was my experience and this is just what I learned. 
    • PhilFletch
      Thanks for the post! We appreciate it can sometimes be difficult to talk about the subject or even to go and see your GP about it. Thankfully theres lots of online companies now that do an online consultation to get your herpes meds delivered in the post. Have a look at PostMyMeds Ltd, https://postmymeds.co.uk

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