An Important Fact About Having Herpes - YOU are NOT your vagina/penis!
This may seem a bit off, but but India Arie has this great song titled "I am Not My Hair". The lyrics are as follows: "I am not my hair, I am not my skin, I am not your expectation ... I am just a soul that lives within..."
This song is not about genital herpes (lol, wouldn't that be funny?), but I still believe that it is a song that everyone on this forum could be inspired by. The song's message is that we are not inherently the stigma, expectations, labels, (and in our case diagnoses) that society places on us--and when it all comes down to it, we are all really ANYTHING BUT our mere physical traits. When we came into the world we did not bring herpes with us, when we die, we will not take it with us (I mean that in a so non-morbid way, lol).
Now don't get me wrong. We all live in the real world. Nobody wants herpes. The outbreaks suck and living with it can be frustrating as hell--but the same goes with all of the other issues real people living in this real world deal with-- for example: bi-polar disorder, multiple sclerosis, obesity, a learning disability, chronic anxiety, addiction...the list goes on.
Now, one can make the argument that none of those things are contagious like herpes. True--but all of these conditions can greatly affect the lives of those who are around it--just like herpes.
OK--enough preaching! Here is my story:
I found out that I had herpes in Jan 2011. Yes, the guy who gave it to me was an ass--but part of my healing process was accepting the fact that I had unprotected sex with someone before taking the time to get to know them--to really investigate their character. I was careless.
OK--I'm no saint. At first when I found out, I definitely experienced the blinding rage! I contacted this person's ex-wife (who he was going through a nasty, fragile, child custody case with at the time) and told her everything that would make him look like Satan. I don't recommend revenge tactics for getting back at infectors. For one reason, its risky and dangerous and can open a can of worms. And mostly, when all was said and done,
along with having herpes, I felt like even bigger scum. And did that magically erase the herpes like those Tide stain removing pins on T.V.? No!
I've been in two brief relationships since then. I vowed to never be like the cowardly man who infected me. I vowed to always be honest and upfront about my herpes BEFORE getting sexually involved with them. In contrary to popular belief--exercising integrity is extremely liberating!
Sadly, some people allow herpes to turn them into terrible people, sneaking and covering up the disease--affecting life after life. That is such bad karma! Most of these people I know are miserable and still haven't found true love.
Now back my two relationships--one man totally accepted it, was intimate with me, and even held my hand and cared for me during debilitating outbreaks (see there are people like that out there). The ending of our relationship had nothing to do with herpes. The other lasted for three weeks. The guy adored me and wanted to be sexual, but as soon as I told him about the herpes he kindly and respectfully decided to opt out of our relationship. This was my first herpes-related rejection.
Yes, it hurt and there may even be more herpes-related rejections to come. But, I can live with that because, at the end of the day I know I deserve someone who loves me for who am, and does not obsess or judge me over the occasional condition of my vagina.
I deserve a mature partner who lives in the real world, can deal with reality and hardships, and will support me...because I am not my vagina! I am funny, smart, compassionate, and strong--and THOSE qualities are what I want my partner to make love to.
And a note to all of the I-have-herpes-whiners out there. I feel ya! I was once an I-have-herpes-whiner too. But I've come to learn that an even bigger turn off than an STD is low self-worth.
Perhaps true love hasn't looked your way NOT because of the herpes, but because of the self-esteem issues. Work on that! We'll all be fine!!! God bless!!!!!!!Thank you so much for sharing your straightforward, inspiring and entertaining story! Heck, it inspired me and I know that it will inspire others.