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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Dear NwaVic, My Boyfriend of 5 Years Gave Me an STD
I was with my ex-boyfriend on an off for nearly 5 years until with the help of his friends and family, I found out that he had been sleeping around. Consequently, I broke up with him quickly and for good. After months and months of deliberating, I decided to go and get tested. Do you know this worthless bastard gave me an STD?!?!? Herpes?!?!?!!? I still can't believe it. I was faithful for goodness sake! Now, here I am barely 24 realizing that now all the plans I had for my life must change. I am scared and now I don't know if I will ever marry and start a family. Basically, what will I do? Please any advice?
That Bastard gave me an STD (T.B.g.m.a.S)
Thank you for writing NwaVic at email@example.com. Your letter genuinely floored me. I can only imagine the anger, resentment, and sense of loss you must feel. So let me resonate with you...it is frustrating! I mean, this is a man you dedicated 5 years of your "new adult" life to. From what I understand, Herpes cannot be cured. I assume this is where your "I don't know if I will ever marry and start a family" anxiety comes from. First of all, take a deep breath. While you have every right to be angry at the ex, there's a tiny bitty part of it that was your responsibility. And that part is to protect yourself by all means; protected sex and requiring that your partner get frequent STD check-ups. Every time, you had unprotected sex, you took a risk. Notwithstanding, what has happened, has happened. And it's time to focus on yourself. The first step is to forgive yourself and forgive him. This is easier said than done. But anger and resentment for him, especially without remedial action, will only eat you up and bring your worst fears of loneliness into realization. If you must act, the only legal option you have is to file a civil action against him in court. To do this, depending on your state/federal law, you'll need to prove knowledge, premeditation and/or intent- that he knew about the STD prior to having sex with you. It's important that you also realize that if you are seeking privacy on this issue, a court case will only bring you the opposite. Regardless of whether or not you seek remedial action, forgiveness will bring you peace. If you can't convince yourself to forgive him for him, do it for yourself because it is you who could benefit the most from it. Then, you should educate yourself on Herpes as this will effectively equip you with what you'll need to minimize its symptoms and live a healthy life. Here's a fact sheet that has all you need to know about Herpes. If you don't remember anything I've said so far, remember this: STDs, especially Herpes, are more common than anyone will like to admit. The only reason you feel so "damned" is because of the stigma associated with it. Noone talks about it. Noone admits to having it. But a good number of people do. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has a derailing life event, the consequences of which they have to contend with daily. This STD, standing alone, cannot dictate whether or not you'll find someone who'll love and appreciate you (flaws + STD and all) and be willing to take the extra sexual-protective measures to be with you. I say all this to say, Herpes is not a death sentence. With the right doctor and medications to control symptoms and flares, just like others, you can live a healthy, whole and fruitful life. So dust yourself up, learn from this experience, be strong and make a conscious decision to continue to strive for the life you want, including getting married and starting a family. If it's in God's plan for you, even Herpes can't derail it. Hugs! Best of luck!