So after declaring the secret I have been harbouring for the last 2 years, today I have felt apprehensive but lighter. It’s like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. It’s clichéd, I know. I do though.
I spent 20 years not knowing. Telling myself that the lumps were just a part of PCOS, because the Docs had told me so. Then I go to a Nurse Practitioner because I want to be doubly sure and she sends me to an STD clinic. They asked me about everything. They left no stone unturned. That’s when I realised, in that consulting room, that I’d been getting these outbreaks since before I had lost my virginity and the only person I’d been in contact who could have given it to me…. Was the prick who molested me. I held it together, they did an exam and I was told “Yep, definitely looks like herpes.” They did swabs, took some bloods and I was sent home with some anti-viral medications and to wait for the results.
I was sobbing the moment I left the room. I was a mess by the time I had reached the car with my Husband and Child in. I broke down completely and the first words out of my mouth were, “You don’t have to stay.”
My husband responded, “If you haven’t killed me after 9 years of being together, you won’t now.” I cried some more. I then had to deal with a week long wait for the results. Which were a nightmare. The guilt, the feeling dirty and the shame just wouldn’t leave me. They wouldn’t.
I got the phone call whilst I was at a friend’s. I collapsed against her kitchen worktop. I was devastated. The voice on the phone said the swab came back positive for HSV-2 or genital herpes. I was told to look at a herpes website for all the information I needed. This was comforting… NOT.
I went home and cried some more. Whilst trying to deal with my diagnosis, my dog was on death’s door because a flesh eating bacteria was attacking her leg, which meant I could no longer afford to go to college to start the ball rolling to become a counsellor. By the October after the diagnosis, I lost my shit. My grip on reality went from under me. I had already stopped exercising (I had been really ill with consecutive outbreaks, which had left me weak and feeling rough. Imagine the worst case of flu and multiply it) and now I was eating lots of crap. I couldn’t pick up a cigarette so I turned to an old friend of mine. Chocolate. I ate it like it was going out of fashion. That did not help with how I was feeling.
So here we are. 2 years later. Finally comfortable with who I am to tell the world, or at least those who have read this blog or haven’t hidden me from their timelines on Facebook. They know and as I said before, as apprehensive as I am about the fallout, I feel better for telling people. I don’t want to be ashamed of who I am. Herpes can make me really ill. It can also leave me walking like John Wayne because it feels like I have sandpaper in my pants. Outbreaks aren’t fun and I want people to know that Herpes is one of the most common, and incurable, STD’s out there. You can take anti-viral medications but if you get stressed, you could have an outbreak. I have BPD for fucks sake. Me trying not to get stressed is harder than me trying to live without chocolate. Seriously. I try hard, but it’s a constant thing. Even when I am not stressed, I can still have an OB. So I have now reached a point in my life where I shout FUCK IT.
Like fuck am I going to hide it and let some spiteful prick use it as a weapon to control me. Like fuck am I going to be ashamed of who I am.
So yeah. Oh and as well as being all “Fuck it” about my herpes. The Psychiatrist I see has discharged me back to my GP. He is happy I am off the meds, but would like me to stop reading between the lines, and looking for things between the lines when there isn’t anything there. His optimism is astounding!
Any way, that’s enough for now. My head is killing me. So I am probably going to have a nap. x