Hello, my name is C, and I’ve had herpes since the summer of 1987, at age 22.
I’ve been a member of PUP for a long time – over 5 years, I think. I mostly read, sometimes comment when inspired, and feel I have something positive to contribute. My heart aches for each and every new member who finds their way to this group, while simultaneously feeling relieved they were able to make it here to us! We have some of the most amazing moderators and knowledgeable contributors anywhere, people dedicated to educating, directing, advising, soothing, and just plain listening.
When I was first diagnosed, there was no such thing as the internet. The doctor gave me my diagnosis, gave me zovirax ointment, and told me to urinate in a tub of warm water. I think he gave me a pamphlet that said I had to tell prospective sexual partners, but that part is fuzzy. The only people I told was my one girlfriend who drove me to the doctor, and my cheating boyfriend. I never discussed it with either of them ever again. Over the years, my mother came to know – we don’t talk about it. I have one girlfriend I told when I was pregnant, only because she was my birthing coach – we don’t discuss it. The father of my daughter, well he had HSV2 already, and beyond the first “telling,” we didn’t discuss it. I’ve been with my current boyfriend for over 5 years, and I told him before we were intimate, and we’ve talked about it in passing 3 or 4 times over the years (he’s still negative).
I guess my point is that I don’t talk about having herpes, to anyone, other than on PUP. Over the past 23 years, I never talked to anyone about how it really made me feel – like everyone here at some point – ashamed, dirty, useless, unworthy, despondent, desperate, lonely, afraid, sad, angry, pathetic, etc. I’ve come to terms with my H over the years, have it all straight in my head, and it’s mostly a non-issue for me. I don’t hate the giver. I don’t like having H, but don’t have regrets that make me morose. It’s such a minute part of who I am.
I find it very neat that so many of you have friends you can talk to about how you feel about having herpes. You’re SO incredibly lucky to have them, and to have found PUP. If some of you are like I was, and don’t really feel like you have the sort of friendships that can support you during this difficult time, please come here often to get the encouragement you need to make it through your days.
Hugs all around!