I need to recover my self-esteem from a possible STD diagnosis?
March 25, 2012 3:12 PM Subscribe
I need to recover my self-esteem from a possible STD diagnosis when I'm a vulnerable place?
posted by anonymous to human relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just moved to a new city and started dating a guy who shared some common friends from college. I had an inkling this was a bad idea because I was already the "new girl" and if it didn't work out then it would endanger me integrating in with these people. But I didn't follow my inkling.
A month into the relationship I thought I had maybe either a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. I booked an appointment with the closest OBGYN with the soonest appointment because I was so uncomfortable.
I should have followed my instincts and left when she started castigating me about my sex life. I come from a religious background and for the past two years I had been dating a religious guy and we had been waiting until marriage (we broke up because I realized I was an atheist). Before that, I was not a virgin and had several sex partners in the context of long term relationships. But after the breakup of that two-year relationship I was just starting to come to terms again with the idea of having sex.
But then this doctor, who doesn't speak good English, looks at my cervix and says it is "covered" with HPV genital warts all over and that she will biopsy them. I am shocked and start to cry. She tells me that most American women have this because they sleep with different men. She hands me a prescription for Avesta. I didn't know very much about HPV and she gave me no idea what the prognosis would be, how long the test would take, or how to apply the medicine.
I called my then-boyfriend and cried about it. He's a medical professional, so he says it's not a big deal, but he comes over to comfort me. But when he comes over he says he no longer feels comfortable having sex with me because we could spread the virus back and forth to each other even if he gave it to me ("it could mutate" he says, I have enough of a biology bg to believe this is bullshit), so we shouldn't date anymore. He says he has been in a LTR for years and then had sex with a girl a month before he met me, but he has never had sex without a condom (which he also used with me).
I'm not so much devastated by the breakup, but by the fact that he broke up with me because I had a venereal disease. I feel gross, ashamed, and broken. My mother suggests I see a doctor at a more prestigious hospital and I do. This doctor looks at my vagina and cervix and tells me that she can't see anything of note, certainly not anything that looks like a wart. But gives me a pap and takes some scrapings. A quick lab test shows I have bacterial vaginosis. She also explains to me the real prognosis and tells me not to be ashamed. She tells me not to fill the original prescription because if I HAD warts on my cervix, it wouldn't even have worked and would have made my vaginosis worse.
At this point I just feel so messed up. I called my now-ex and begged unsuccessfully for him to take me back and just break up with me for another reason, any reason, particularly since he's moving away from the city for a job in a few months. I'd rather be broken up for nearly anything but this and it makes me feel too ashamed to hang out with these old college friends now.
I feel alone, since I'm so new to the city that I don't have many friends to talk to, and used. The one main friend in this social group is away and I keep thinking...how do I stay friends with her since this now-ex is one of her close friends? We have been friends for many years.
I shouldn't have kept talking to this now-ex because he keeps describing us both as "damaged goods" now, which is scary since he is a high-ranking medical professional. I'm just waiting for the tests, hoping I don't actually have this, but what if I do? How do I feel safe enough to be in a relationship again without a crippling fear of being rejected?
Should I see a counselor? Should I take action against the first doctor? I just don't know how to feel good about myself again.