I have an STD. Words I never thought I’d have to say. Words I never thought would come true. Of course, it’s easy to believe that “it can’t happen to me” mindset…it’s the easy mindset to believe. The anxiety that I have felt over the last weeks has been crazy… and to type it out is both terrifying and cathartic all at the same time.
I have HPV. One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases…in fact, according to the CDC…the majority of adults will have HPV in their lifetime and most of them won’t even know it because they don’t have any symptoms and their bodies immune system will do its job and kick it out of your body. Not me. I got symptoms. Now I get to be treated for the symptoms and hope that my body can fight this off. I’ll be honest…I still don’t know enough about the disease to truly understand what I have or what I need to do.
But that’s not why I am writing this blog. If I wanted to learn more, I would research it with the CDC or ask more questions of my doctors. Why I’m writing this, is all the other feelings that I have regarding it.
I completely understand that some people are going to say that this is what I get. This is my punishment for having sex with people other than my husband. But, as much as that has gone through my head, I refuse to believe that. Hubby and I opened our marriage to other sexual partners as a consensual decision to try something new, and despite the ability for others to understand, it has worked for us.
The question that was asked to me “Don’t your partners get tested?” Yes, we all get tested…on a regular basis. We trust our doctors to run the full gamut of tests and make informed decisions from there. However, part of the poly world means that I don’t have control over who my other partners have sex with. I have to trust my partners to tell me if they have introduced someone new to the polycule. I trust to take their word that their test results are clean, just like they trust me. But sometimes things happen.
I don’t know who I got it from. I don’t know who gave it to who. I don’t want to blame anyone…there is enough meanness in the world…I don’t need to make anyone else feel bad about it. I made the only choice I could when I even suspected something…I told my partners. Anyone that I have been with since my last clean test. I’ve had some hard choices in the past that I’ve had to make, but telling someone that I may have unknowingly passed an STD to someone has been one of the hardest. Luckily, my partners have been willing to have the open conversation and haven’t walked out of my life yet.
I feel like I might as well tattoo it on my forehead…I feel like everyone knows just by looking at me.
I don’t know how things are going to change. I am scared to touch my husband, let alone have any type of sexual relationship with him. I don’t know that my partners are going to stay in my life…and if they do, will it be as friends or something more.
I don’t know.
All I know is that the shame and judgement that I feel is awful. I hope that no one else ever feels as alone and shitty as I do.