Stupid HSV Virus
I was diagnosed with HSV when I
was 18. I thought I was in love and this was the first partner I
had ever had. After I was diagnosed, my partner told me that he
had never had anything like that, so it must have been me?????
He knew I had never been with anyone else, so I'm not sure how
he thought that worked. I was in complete denial for a couple
years. I really didn't date much, I was busy in college,
studying, working, partying and I really didn't get serious with
anyone. I was pretty "anti-men" for a long time, and I never
really connected that to my HSV diagnosis.
After a few years, I finally was
in a serious relationship and got up the nerve to tell my new
boyfriend. Thankfully, he was ok with it. Unfortunately, he
already knew, my "friends" had told him. I think it was then
that I started to become more ashamed, as I knew I had been the
subject of ugly gossip. After we had been dating for about 6
months, he developed a nasty case of oral HSV. He had an
outbreak all over his throat and mouth. He went to the doctor on
base, and they sent him to the DENTIST! (After 2 visits to the
base hospital he was finally diagnosed with HSV) We dated for
almost a year, and then broke up amicably. I did feel terribly
guilty about giving him herpes, but logically, I knew that we
had discussed it and he had known it was a possibility. As far
as I know, he never had a genital outbreak.
Life went on and I had a few other
relationships over the years. No one ever "rejected" me
because of HSV, but I did have one vindictive ex-boyfriend who
told a lot of people after I broke up with him. After more
harassment and a protection order, I realized it was well worth
the price to be rid of him.
A year later, I met my husband to
be. He was wonderful, and very accepting. We hadn't been
dating very long when I told him. I already had a feeling he
was "the one". He was perfect and couldn't have been more
understanding. When I finally told him he said..."is that
all? I thought you were going to tell me you had 3 kids
hidden in the attic or something." After a while, I
realized that everyone comes with baggage, be it emotional or
physical. No one is perfect. Herpes isn't a huge part of my
life - it stinks when I DO have an outbreak, and I will admit,
on the rare occasion when I do, I silently curse the a**hole who
gave it to me, but I also realize that by having sex, even with
one partner, I was taking a risk and I paid a price.
A few years later my husband and I
were married. We now have a beautiful little girl born without
any complications. We had a fantastic Nurse Midwife who
delivered her and was great about reassuring me and getting me
on Valtrex a month before my due date. I don't know about
"happily ever after" but I can say that herpes has not stopped
me from getting on with my life.
If you are reading this because
you have been diagnosed with HSV - here is my message to you.
A herpes diagnosis is only a SMALL part of who you are.
Please don't let it consume your life. Sometimes I think when
we tell potential partners, they make a bigger deal out of it
because we make a big deal out of it. If we are ok and
understand the diagnosis, I think it is easier for them to
accept. Bottom line - keep your chin up. There is NO
reason you can't have a perfectly normal life - including having
healthy children and a great sex life. Don't let a stupid
virus get the best of you!