Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Of Ironic Heimlich Maneuvers (And Recipes for Crow)

For the time being, this is a locked post. It's actually an e-mail I sent this morning regarding this topic, which is also why I've been so quiet of late. However, it was recently pointed out to me that silence is often considered a form of admission, so I think it's appropriate I post it here. Skip the cut if not interested in my long-winded writing style.

* All names have been replaced with deliberately vague [PRONOUNS], with the exception of Roni... And no, I won't tell you who's who. That's up to them.

There's this whole "lying" concept being stretched to the breaking point. I am willing to admit to a lapse in judgement, at worst... my goal was not to stir up some huge hornets nest without cause. The point is, until [HER] outbreak, I was convinced that I did NOT have genital herpes, and that the risk was that I might have gotten it from [HER] -- since that was AFTER the last time I saw you, I elected to keep the conversation limited to the people I had seen after [HER].

Now, I understand that [HER] post (Which, btw, I have NOT seen, nor has she otherwise communicated with me) apparently alludes that I'm the source. From what little I can piece together, I think that she believes that my speculation of where the disease could have vectored from was some sort of denial -- in other words, she thinks I had it all along, and (I'm also speculating here) I knowingly passed it along. I short, it's always easiest to blame the "slut", regardless of the facts.

The only reason that testing didn't happen faster with me was that I *just* had gotten new insurance, and didn't even know who my doctor was yet. Once I had that info, I admit it took me several days before I could get the courage to make the appointment (I have ALWAYS had an immense distrust to the point of phobia with things medical), which was 10 days ago. I had my blood drawn a week ago saturday, and should know for certain by the next few days. Unlike several others, I didn't get any resistance at all from the Dr. about getting the appropriate test done, something that impressed the hell out of me. I was all geared up for a fight -- nothing takes the wind from your sails as fast as having someone acknowledge and validate your concern. I got a complete STD screen in the process (it had been nearly a year anyway), and noted that the only STD NOT on the form was Herpes II. In other wirds, there were check boxes for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, clamhydia, HPV... but not Herpes. Since I was getting the blood drawn anyway I got a PSA and a cholesterol check as well. The irony of this whole thing was that it sped up a process that might have dragged out another month or two before I got the courage on my own -- that is to say, if [HER] outbreak hadn't occurred, I would have procrastinated out of my fear of things medical to do what I would have otherwise done. What scares me there is that, if I don't have Herpes (and I'm starting to ponder that might be the case), what the hell else will turn up? I'm terrified I'm about to jump from a herpetic frying pan into the fire of prostrate cancer, a fear reinforced by the fact my uncle George had his first bout (he's been through TWO thus far) of prostrate cancer... at 38.

The lack of hard info is why I haven't even posted privately to the LJ, or communicated with anyone outside of the immediate circle who seem to have a better grasp on who I am than even I do. In short, they know that I would never, EVER have knowingly infected anyone. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I can honestly say that I would NOT do something like that, to any one. They also understand that we're all adults, and make our choices as best we can, and take on the consequences if, or when, they come. Yet I also don't want to create a needless excess of drama in lives that are already full to overflowing with it without cause.

I suppose the cynic in me see a lot of this is yet another example of so-called sex-positive pagans reverting to the kind of behaviors that they supposedly eschew. It's all fun and games until the judeo-christian buttons get pushed, and then the old reactions can come out, freshly sharpened, and used to verbally (or otherwise) eviscerate people based on their actions based on pagan ethics.

Roni doesn't understand why I was willing to cut you immense amounts of slack about your initial e-mail. It's because MY initial reaction was tinged with complete and utter panic. For several hours I KNEW that I was about to be ostracized by everyone who loved me, no one would ever want to touch me again, and even Roni would hate me.

That's not logic. It's not knowing the people in question. It's that old, previously mentioned judeo-christian bullshit about the topic imposing itself. Much like the "educational movie" parodic coda to "Amazon Women on the Moon", I had contracted a "social disease" and thus was now unclean.

Then I shook it off, and did the right thing as best I could. I told Roni, but was in a quandary about [HER] (she had a direct relationship with [HER], so how the Hell do I decide whether she should hear it from me or [HER]?). Ironically, [SHE] did exactly the same thing she accused me of doing with you... she neglected to tell [HER] about it. Most of that quandary, btw was in hindsight... I made the bad assumption that she had already told [HER].

After she had told me, she also told me she needed a lot of time to think about it. After I told her that I would be here when she was ready to talk to me, she turned around and wrote the post in question.

After you had sent me the e-mail, I was incredibly hurt. No, that's not a plaintive complaint, just a simple statement of how it felt to me. I went to [YET ANOTHER] and asked her what she thought, as someone who knew us both and who might have a better perspective. As I mentioned that night, she's the one who pointed out where my tunnel vision had crippled my response -- it never occurred to me to simply mention that I may have been exposed , and that people should just get tested as a without violating a confidence. Once again we see how useless so-called IQ tests are -- what's that high number really meaning in the face of stupidity like that?

On the other hand, if you had wrote me about [HER] post and asked me about it, I wouldn't have lied to you. As it was, I so desperately wanted someone to talk to I almost said "screw the confidence" and talked you about it that night we had dinner, but you were going through so much I decided against it.

In a way, this is the LiveJournal post I've been WANTING to write -- positive or negative test results not withstanding -- because I almost fell into the same traps as a lot of people did. I even automatically assumed that I WAS the vector, out of the same mis-placed self judgement. Only the constant effort on so many others pointing out the fact that this is not a case of blame, and that if I did have it, a lot of other people would have caught it before now. Not to mention the lack of outbreaks on the part of myself and Roni. [SHE] is the first person I've known first hand to have an outbreak, actually.

Which means it's impossible to know who gave what to whom. Even if I test positive now, I could have gotten it from [HER]. Or any number of people in my recent past, a number not as large as people might think. Over the last two years I've withdrawn a lot, and the number of people I've been intimate with has been a LOT smaller, which is a blessing in this case.

The point here is that I'm a victim of this situation too. I am NOT the catalyst, the central figure, or even a major player -- If I have this, I'm one of 25-30% of the population that has this particular form of Herpes, of the 90% of the population that has SOME form of herpes. It's a virus, not a moral judgement from on high.

If you (still) really think that I lied to you, then there's little I can do about it. I'm not going to beg, wheedle, or otherwise carry-on about it. At the same time I still love you, and even if Roni's still miffed about it, I forgive whatever part you had in the negative parts of the drama -- even if you can't forgive me as yet.

We all have to eat our words at times. This is not a huge conspiracy, it's just life, human stupidity in all its glory, and a mere mortal trying his best. Even if the most intimate thing we do from here on in is the occasional [TOO OBVIOUS TO POST HERE], I still want you in my life.

With much love,


The short form is: Sex positive is easy when it's fun and the risk os more theoretical, but really hard when the reality of one of those risks comes up. Regardless of how you deal with such things, you should get tested regularly without such reminders. Also, if a Dr. insists that you don't "need" a certain test, fire them and find one who WILL perform it.

More info as it becomes available.

[Edit to Add]
Unlocked 11/29/2006
Tags: private, rant, sex
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