I just wanted to respond to your post as well. I am grateful to you for sharing your story, and I think it’s brave of you to do so–NOT because there’s anything wrong with sharing–in fact, I think it’s a wonderful thing–but because I know that feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment, etc. can be so hard and disheartening.
And yet, as I read your post, I have several thoughts:
1. I’m grateful for this writer’s sharing, even if it wasn’t easy to do so.
2. “This writer has had some difficult family challenges, but she seems to have a clear sense of what happened, and how some dynamics may have been repeated in her adult experience.
3. This writer sounds like a really intelligent, insightful, and good person. She sounds like the kind of individual who would bring so much goodness into a relationship, and she sounds like someone who’s on a path that won’t just follow her family-of-origin’s path.
4. If were very interested in (or, of course, falling in love with) someone who happened to have herpes,n. In fact, I don’t know if it would have any impact. But, if it did, it might have the opposite effect–I might think, “Wow, this indiv it would have absolutely no negative effect on my interest in that persoidual is so special and good, and I know she’s hurting about this issue. I just want to wrap her up in my arms, show her/prove to her that she’s in no way diminished by this (very common) virus, try to make her feel safe, and try to take away her hurt.”
5. As someone who has some psoriasis, I’ve often been worried that I’d be seen as not attractive. (Fortunately, I don’t have such a severe case of it, but I do have it.) Truth be told, though… despite my worries about this condition, it never was an issue in my relationship that lasted 5 and 1/2 years. There were other issues, for sure, but the medical-related one was inconsequential!
6. After my partner (in the above-mentioned relationship) cheated on me, I thought I had contracted an STD. (Turns out, I was having an allergic reaction to some laundry detergents.) But, the testing was extensive and actually did a bit of damage to my skin. The details are less important than the theme: I truly know the feeling of being damaged, and yet I also know that points 4 and 5, above, are very real.
Hope this is helpful, and thanks again for sharing!