Oh my god it’s been a whirlwind couple of days in both the best and worst possible ways.

I’m coming to grips with a reality I have been avoiding for the last 4+ years.  This is something that will be a part of me for the rest of my life and I have to start accepting that.  Acknowledging it.  After the little epiphanies I’ve experienced (and documented in prior entries) I guess I am more capable of dealing with it than at any point before.

I have genital herpes.  It’s HSV-1, the one most commonly associated with cold sores. I’ll let the reader work out how I got it.  Let me just say it involved my boyfriend-at-the-time and a very intimate moment.

I knew he got cold sores. What neither of us realized was that it can be transmitted even without the presence of a cold sore.  So here I am, one sexual partner into my life and I have a disease with such an outrageously strong stigma (disproportionate to the facts, in my opinion) that it can make or break relationships in some cases.  Which wasn’t a problem when I was with the guy who infected me.  I didn’t have to think about it or face up to it.  So I didn’t.

Then of course I broke up with him.  Moved out, got my own place, I’m flyin’ high, living the single life, getting myself together.  I’m so shy and not into social scenes that I figured it could be years before I met someone I was really interested in, and who was really interested in me.

Not so, apparently.  In a matter of a couple days hanging out with a relatively new acquaintance we seriously clicked.  Sense of humors mesh, physical attraction, check, witty banter and engaging conversation, check.  He’s even an atheist.

It was honestly the first time in my life I had the experience of wanting someone who also wanted me. It blew me away.

Here’s the kicker.  I slept with him.  We were hanging out at his place and I was enjoying it so much I guess I really didn’t have room for anything else in my brain.  It all happened so fast (literally a matter of days) and I wasn’t expecting to have to bring it up that soon.  I just didn’t think about it.  So then I had to tell him.  I feel so guilty about it; it’s a huge breach of trust and if someone did that to me I don’t know what I would do.  I’m pretty much done crying for now, I’ve “come out” and talked with a couple people who have been very kind and understanding and while it will still take a lot of processing to get over the fact that I did the biggest, douchebaggiest thing I can think of to someone I could potentially have really really come to care for, I do believe that I will eventually be able to forgive myself. And I will learn to accept this disease as a fact of my life.

He’s actually being really nice about it.  Of course he’s disappointed.  And he’s bummed too, because he really likes me.  He still wants to be friends, which shocked the hell out of me.  I don’t know if I could have been so generous if our roles had been reversed.  I am extremely grateful though.  And maybe he’ll get to a point where he feels “ok” enough to try a sexual relationship. Or maybe we’ll cool off and drift apart because it’s just too weird. Or maybe we’ll just end up good friends.  I just know that I can’t undo what I have done.  I can’t undo getting infected, I can’t undo not telling this new flame when I should have.  I have to keep moving forward because looking back and treading water won’t get me anywhere.