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Bhbr2018

My disclosure changed my perspective for good e

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Bhbr2018

Hey all. I wanted to share my disclosure story, and it’s not what you think. I opened up to my 3 girlfriends about having HSV1

Now I will disclose to you all I did this in a very round about way. I simply brought up the topic of herpes and “cold sores” in a casual conversation.

All 3, in separate times, said having HSV1 downstairs would be their ultimate nightmare and they would kill them selves if this happened. Not one of them admitted to having “herpes” but yet all 3 admitted to me they get “cold sores” and have since childhood.

 3 out of the random 3 friends I brought this up to admitted to having active herpes sores on their lips their entire lives, but have never once disclosed to a sexual partner. Not one single time. 2 even had active sores recently and still engaged in oral sex with men. Without telling them. 

The last straw for me was the final and third friend who said to me “ I can’t pass it on with it an active outbreak” I said you most definitely can, and she replied “to be honest I don’t really care”

I’m done beating myself up over having a virus that billions of people carry orally and feeling like shit about myself.

use condoms. That’s the only thing you can do. No one else has the knowledge or even cares to learn about herpes, and lives in denial land. So will I. If you use a condom, you are doing literally everything in your power to protect people. More than ignorant assholes who could careless about their cold sores and pass on without a blink of an eye.

We don’t need support groups. We need to live normally. Fuck everyone else because I guarantee you they don’t give a shit about their status and you don’t need to either.

 

 

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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 me? And do I even like them? My experience has shown me that respecting and liking myself is much more important than worrying about whether other people like me or approve of me or my herpes. And If somebody says no after I disclose to them, 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. 

Edit: I also want to mention that sometimes we come across people (not all people) that have strong opinions and judgement about things they don't understand. My opinion about herpes before I contracted it was uneducated and small-minded and pretty negative. We know how it really is. We don't have to force others to understand, but there will be people that have questions when you tell them because they want to understand and there will be people who really don't care one way or the other. If they do, that's fine. If they use it to degrade and/or define you (maybe my biggest fear when I previously thought about the day I have to disclose to someone), don't waste your time or energy. Find somebody better to spend time with. 

Edited by Ashleerae

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dont quit!17

Thanks for the share @Ashleerae. I relate to your story as I have been beating myself up lately. Love the perspective and self development. PM whenever.

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Bhbr2018

I agree your post was very well written. I think I was speaking from more of a GHSV1 perspective as it relates to the oral virus so many carry and spread. 

 I too, before being diagnosed, was small minded and ignorat about herpes. But I believe it had to do with the way I was brought up. Looking back now I want to say it was because of my experience in college. I went to ASU, we are absolutely known for partying and STI’s. I was heavily involved in Greek life, and bascially if one person found out you had herpes your life was changed  socially and romantically. You were the girl/ guy on campus with herpes. A bunch of little 18-22 year old shits who didn’t give a flying F if you said HSV1 or HSV2. It was herpes. That’s all they were known for. Surrounding schools found out and people from your hometown found out. Maybe my generation sucks but that’s extremely sickening to witness and go through. 

I now work in marketing with a bunch of people my age and older. There is a guy who disclosed and was open about herpes to a lot of us in the office and again, he was just known as the herpes guy. And no, not by me but grown adults with real jobs and education. Most likely those adults statistically had some strain of it too. But again these are my experiences. I know they are wrong now but who knows when the rest of the world will catch up.

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Ashleerae

Yeah whoops, I didn't see you wrote HSV-1 until later haha. I definitely see your point. 
Just some random thoughts on the subject that I've been thinking about similar to your situation, even if they are a little different.

I've been in a workplace where a girl was the herpes girl so I totally get that. Not the brand you want. Yeah it is so common. Somebody else in the room probably has it, like you said. It feels like its so unnatural and isolated when diagnosed because nobody talks about it, but its so freaking common. Maybe people are more open about HSV1, but maybe not. 

Who knows if the rest of the world will catch up. It's nice to not care what the rest of the world has to say sometimes. That would be tough at 18-22 having everyone you know find out. I assume my own hometown will find out one day from someone who knows; that was one of my other biggest fears about this too, but it's fading. I guess I better start working on my comeback game so it's in the holster when I need it ;)

Have a good night, good thread Hairpees. :)

 

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      Hey Carrie, firstly sorry you’re going through this. I  want to tell you my story and then you can draw your own conclusions. day 1: sex day 3/4: horrible fatigue, headache, and feeling unwell day 6: woke up in middle of night wired. Felt bumps down there. Knew I had herpes. Just knew.  Day 10-24: horrific outbreak 25+ sores, suicidal unable to function.  On day 7 I had swab and blood test. Was shocked when It came back positive for Ghsv1 because it was a quicky with no oral. Negative blood test, positive swab. Now I was ALWAYS tested for HSV prior to this so luckily I didn’t have to wonder.  the guy who gave it to me got tested and was positive for HSV1. Never mentioned it to me, told me, or even showed me his results. Scum. I would say the only way you can be 100 % sure is to get a swab AND and blood test igg. If the swab is positive and blood test negative highly likely YES Michael gave you herpes. You should see his results with your own eyes. Don’t let him make you feel like shit as he’s the douche who prob.put you in this situation. 
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