Written by Charmed.
Chapter 1: Myself
My story is not unique nor an isolated case. I believe there are people out there who have gone through, about to go through what I am (have) going through. Growing up as the eldest in the family, I am expected or rather have pressured myself to set a good example for my siblings. My parents like any parents out there place heavy attention and emphasis on good behavior, living a principled life and conducting yourself the right way – all for the better good of their very treasurable children.
I was also taught nothing comes easy – rewards are translated from effort. I remember vividly when I was 15, I got my mom to sign a deal with me – in the event I get straight A in my public exam (PMR, yes!), she will get me my very first hand phone. I have been living with this believe system or idea for as long as I can remember.
I fell in love for the very first time when I was 16. It is nothing like the perfect high school love story that I have envisioned but it impacted my life to a certain degree. It showed me what I want and don’t want in life. When I got into college, I met someone else. I was captivated and I admired him a lot at that time simply because he was working to pay for his own education. Nothing very impressive (I know) but as a young girl at that time, when her education fees were taken care of, I admired the tenacity. We dated for a while before I finally had the courage to walk out of that relationship. He was possessive and emotionally abusive, he belittled me in everything, told me I am not capable of this that and another. I was just glad, so glad someone I briefly met at that time, gave me the courage to walk away and I remembered, I celebrated the end of that torturous chapter.
With the two bad experiences, I should have been afraid and avoid falling in love again. Perhaps, I should have stayed away from anything to do with the big word L.O.V.E. I supposed I should have but this person, he did turn my world upside down. He showed me care and he took care of me very well. He reassured me I can be anything I want and yes, he rebuilt my confidence that I am worthy in so many ways.
Those few years with him, were one of the prettiest and brightest time period of my life. I was excelling in career, I pursued my postgraduate degree, I have a happy relationship and I have a loving family. Everything seems to be falling so right in place and so picture perfect. In no time, I will have family of my own and walk down the journey called life with this man, whom I love and treasure dearly. Yes, this is the definite measurement of being successful in life following the popular society’s belief.
Somehow, somewhat, insecurities found its way and crept in. I begin to wonder if this is what life all about. I begin to wonder if this is it. Married, have kids and that’s it? I felt like I have so much more to experience and accomplish. We both didn’t know how to deal with that emotion, we both didn’t confront the issue and with that we drifted apart, emotionally checked out and eventually parted ways. Some people told me it was a marriage cold feet but there are also some who said I was not ready to commit. Honestly, I really don’t know – it could be combination of both.
This was the very first time in my life, I felt so lost after a break up. My life started to change so tremendously. It was so foreign to me and I didn’t know what to do. I only fell deeper and deeper to the extent of finding myself an absolute failure. I seek validation from career and relationship and ultimately losing the very precious, self-esteem that led me to where I am NOW (I hope I get to get out of this shit hole soon enough).
Chapter 2: Living in MESS
”Pain will go away with time. It will not stay. I will get better”, I repeatedly told myself that. Then, I read gazillion amount of articles – ‘How to deal with breakup’, ‘How to be single’, ‘What to do when you are single’ and so and forth.
Ironically, while trying to ‘move on’ I was still seeing my ex-boyfriend. It was as if we never parted ways but we were also not together. Somehow, along the way, he moved on but I was still stuck with the possibilities and fantasies we could get back together. I was holding on to the idea of ‘what if’– what if my ex and I have worked things out, then I would not be here. I would be living that life I have always imagined – marriage, kids, family and a decent job that I like.
I did a lot of things during this time to feel better – I was active in gym, I joined hiking groups, I travelled alone, I went to church, I spent time with my family and oh yes, I spent a lot of time and money in speakeasy bars too (my new found hobby). Did I also mention, I was on dating apps too? Yes, all in the effort of rebuilding and finding my equilibrium once again.
Along my journey of living in the mess, I MET HIM. When I thought there won’t be any men who would appeal to me anymore, HE walked just right in. I have never felt the way I did with him. He was different from all the men I met and it got me so captivated. Our first date ended on a high and we make plan to see each other again later that week.
He dated me in a way that no other men have, the old fashion way. Phone calls instead of texts. Evening strolls in parks instead of going to cafes. I was totally swept off my feet. I love all our dates. As sweet as it may sound, it was not all perfect but I chose not to see them. We had our fair share of arguments even at the very beginning. It always revolved around unspoken expectation that I should make myself available according to his timing. I vividly remembered, one on fateful Friday, he knew I got something planned prior but expected me to cancel it without telling me. We ended up fighting for hours in the car while being stuck in Friday traffic. What a fun evening to be! Red flag one.
As we dated, I gradually become more reserved and I constantly felt like I was walking on eggshells. I was so scared that my unintended words or actions or just anything would upset him and he would leave me. My happy, cheerful, straightforward, bold self just evaporated into the thin air and, I become a version of myself aspired to live up to his expectation. For instance, I put on a mini skirt because I knew he likes that despite not being comfortable wearing one. Red flag two.
I could feel how bipolar I was especially each time we fight. One on hand, I will be complaining about him to a very close friend and on the other, I did try every possible way to keep him. I was trying my best to hang on so I would not lose this person and be all alone again. I do not want to feel lonely and empty again. Red flag three.
We eventually parted ways. To be honest, it was not entirely his fault as I was also very insecure about myself. I doubted my self-worth and I thought being in a relationship was the ultimate solution to everything. I thought being in relationship means I would be alright AGAIN. I thought being in relationship means I find contentment and happiness in life AGAIN. Truth is, that will never be the case. Self-worth, contentment and happiness are not depending on the other person but it comes truly from yourself which I am still learning to find that piece.
Chapter 3: Is there an end to this?
It was about a week after my recent break up and not hearing from him for 2 days after spending some last moments together so we could bid goodbye and move forward with a sweet and tender memory. I woke up that morning telling myself it will be a good day, IT HAS TO BE A GOOD DAY. I am starting my life again, I am meeting people to have my feet on the ground again, am getting back to life.
But the good day stopped there, JUST RIGHT THERE. I was presented with the news that I am HSV1 and HSV2 positive. I freaked out – my hands were trembling, my body was shaking – I can barely hold myself together but I still walked up to one of the staffs asking if she could explain the results to me. She could not and told me to see the doctor who will only be back in an hour’s time. I reached for my phone, called him right away to make sure he is fine.
Truth to be told, the news that I am HSV1 and HSV2 positive is not the easiest piece of information to digest. It goes over and over in my head, blaming myself for that mistake which landed myself here. There is absolutely nothing I can do to turn back time or can I? I spent the next couple of days reading and reading and reading all information I can find about HSV. (I am probably a qualified expert by now). While processing the break up, letting it to sink in, and this piece of newly discovered information make me feel like where is the end of this ULTIMATE fuck up. How do I move forward? Where do I go now?
I am lucky, very lucky indeed. I still have my support system. After speaking to my mentor, instead of replaying what had happened and how I should have avoided this from happening, I went to a relatively prominent STD clinic (I found them in search engine) to get a second opinion and go through some salient points with the doctor.
Yes, it is unfortunate because of my recklessness I have contracted HSV. But it is so common and it is not deadly, according to the doctor. Yes, the virus stays in my body but it is treatable not like HPV which can cause cancer and HIV which is life threatening. I can still live a normal life as long as I keep myself healthy. I can still get pregnant and not affect my baby. The only thing I have to do is to have an honest communication with my future partner and doctor.
I am only glad I took that step to put things into perspective instead of continuously beating and blaming myself which probably holds me back from moving forward. At this point of writing, I am still making baby steps to rebuild myself which hopefully then I am ready for Chapter 4: Rainbow and Cotton Candy AGAIN after fucking up my life TERRIBAD!