Dear Readers: Following is new information from a previous letter-writer who contracted a sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI) from his girlfriend who’d kept her infection secret:
She was diagnosed with Genital Herpes shortly before we started dating, but didn’t tell me for three months.
I loved her and we’d been intimate many times.
I suggested complete testing for both of us and asking doctors how to stay intimate while keeping myself safe.
After we were convinced that we can still be a couple, she broke up with me.
Shocked, I tried to reconcile but met only silence.
Two months later, when diagnosed with genital herpes, I said there’s now no problem of us being together.
She was bluntly cold and didn’t want to reconnect.
I felt betrayed, used up and abused. She encouraged me into the relationship and left me infected with an incurable STD.
I gave her an ultimatum to meet/sort things out, or I’ll take her to court for infecting me, hoping she’d take things seriously.
She panicked, went to a counsellor, then told me the counsellor said this isn’t a healthy relationship and not to have further contact with me.
She doesn’t respond to my texts and calls.
I want to get back together as I was deeply involved with her. I’ve had many doctor visits as my symptoms took a bad turn on my body.
She was cold-hearted, and unempathetic.
I gave her love, support and caring, only to be left with a broken heart and an STD.
I’m contemplating telling her parents what’s happened and asking them to help reconcile us. If I do this behind her back, might she call the cops on me?
Infected, then Ignored
Yours is an understandably sad, fearful and angry story about contracting this incurable infection, because of the love you felt for someone who secretly and knowingly put you at risk.
In Canada, it’s a crime not to disclose HIV or another sexually transmitted infection before having sex that poses a “significant risk of serious bodily harm.”
However, by 2017 most prosecutions had been strictly related to HIV and hardly any have been related to herpes, syphilis, Chlamydia or other STIs.
In the U.S., California has made it a crime to knowingly withhold an STI diagnosis, including HIV, from a sexual partner, even if the disease is not transmitted.
You have every right to consider and want to pursue the matter in court.
BUT threatening your ex-girlfriend and involving her parents in your pursuit of her, may be seen as harassment, which is also illegal.
If you truly want to sue her, see a lawyer for advice. Renewing your relationship is highly unlikely to happen.
The pain you both suffer about having this lifetime diagnosis, has driven you apart. She should’ve revealed her illness but didn’t. You expected that, once both infected, it’d bring you closer. That didn’t happen.
You still need emotional support, however, and should seek help from a sexual disease clinic where professional counsellors are available.
My cell phone’s an albatross. Email’s useful, as is texting for specific purposes and necessarily-immediate feedback.
Neither replaces the comfort and nuanced efficiency of conversation.
Caught in a Silent World
Follow your instincts. Arrange to see friends in person whenever possible (you’ll sometimes have to text to set a place/time).
Shop locally… one can develop interesting conversations with merchants, especially those who’ve come from elsewhere and love to share stories of their history and culture.
Join a walking group. Plenty of time for good chats.
I wrote previously regarding my father's disinterest in working after years of alcoholism/financial insolvency.
I’ve tried what you advised: reviewing his resume, suggesting jobs, supporting his mental health counselling.
Nothing stuck with him. He recently said he’d never work again and he’d live off little money until “the end.”
How can we move forward in our relationship?
Frustrated Adult Child
You can still be supportive by visiting, and being “there” for him if anything goes seriously wrong.
But you need to support yourself through this, too.
Al-Anon is a proven supportive organization reached online, by phone, or through meetings locally, across the globe.
Their website states: “Al-Anon members are people, just like you, who are worried about someone with a drinking problem.”
You’ll learn more about why your father lives as he does, and, in a support group, you’ll discover how other relatives, friends, loved ones, handle similar situations which you’re facing.
Tip of the day:
Never resort to threats or harassment.