Straight / Female / 28–32 / North America / Single
This post is about a personal story that is no longer personal.
A year-and-a-half ago, on a plane from New York to Los Angeles, I walked out of the halo of shame I had created for myself by publicly sharing I have genital herpes, and that it doesn’t say a single thing about who I am.
Going public about my status was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself, hands down. But prior to that moment, I would have done anything to keep my herpes diagnosis confidential.
I would hide my herpes prescriptions and drugs away from potential visitors’ eyes.
I would joke about STIs with friends, pretending STIs didn’t affect me.
I would doubt new partners’ ability to embrace my STI or keep the information to themselves, and preferred not telling them about it before engaging sexually.
But let’s go back to the beginning, to that Thanksgiving day four years ago where I felt everything but thankful.
Thursday November 28, 2013.
Every Thanksgiving, I make plans to volunteer at a senior home and then spend the evening celebrating with friends.
I wake up that Thursday morning immediately feeling like something is wrong. Not only do I have fever-like symptoms, but there is an abnormal pain in my groin that I can not explain. Peeing is painful, standing up is painful, sitting down is painful and I am so tired that simple movements require what feels like colossal efforts. I resign myself to cancel my volunteering plans, not really sure what to do next.