I cannot tell you how much ALL of your comments mean to me. They have been so helpful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It feels so good to know I am not alone. This is the first time I have sought feedback and discussion. I have held it in for a year and a half and no priest knows this. My confession was more general in nature.
Pug- thank you. I know God is with me because I had a mystical experience two years ago and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I didn’t even know these were possible or that they existed, but I had no doubt at the time what had happened. I have share that experience with anyone who would care to listen because it is witness to Our Lord, the living Christ. I don’t know about ‘the motherhouse of a group of women religious’ - any direction here? I really feel God wants me to speak, but I don’t think speaking publicly about ME having an STD (Herpes) is in my best interest. I do feel God wants me to speak to teens. I’ve had a strong desire to do this, but haven’t found a forum.
jmcrae- thanks for your prayers
FrankLawrence- About going public, see my comment above. I feel going public would have a social and economic impact on my family members (and myself). However, the statistics of Herpes are 1 in 5 and teens (and adults) need to be aware. I asked my OBGYN what percentage of patients in her practice have Herpes. She said 30 - 40%. I live in an affluent community. Money has nothing to do with getting it- it crosses all socio-economic strata. I believe I got it from receiving oral sex from someone who had an open Herpes infection on their mouth. It NEVER occurred to me that I could get it this way. I asked my OBGYN if she warns teens and she said ‘No’. Someone MUST admonish our youth because we are in a culture that is saturated with sex, violence and parental neglect. Immoral behavior has been normalized by our culture. I would speak and write anonymously, but again, going public would negatively impact my family. Although, I do recall a woman from Greenwich, CT, another affluent community, who went public about having AIDS. Her family supported her. Mine would NEVER be able to handle it. The stigma associated with it in our society is too great.
CarrieH- thank you for your encouragement and for telling me not to feel like a leper because I really do. People say, “You’re so great, why aren’t you married?” and I think to myself, “If you only knew…”
FraterInChristo- Love the homage to your wife and your marriage and love your handle, ‘FraterInChristo’. I appreciate your thoughts.
johntkd- my heart goes out to you. I don’t believe you blew it. I believe you made mistakes you were supposed to make to learn what you needed to learn and that it’s meant to be.
I struggle with this idea myself. If God knows my heart and knows that I was going to do this, I guess He knows the choices of our free-willl even before we exercise them. So, in that sense, maybe I was meant to get Herpes and talk about it so others may learn. But then, aren’t they also pre-ordained into the choices of their life that God already knows they are going to make? I often wonder: if God knows what we’ll choose, is it as simple as following Him and showing Him that we are with Him and not Satan? We choose to do good with whatever he has allowed to happen or ordained happen. We do not choose evil. We want to live with God eternally because we love Him above all else and all others. (Good theological feedback would be appreciated here.)
JFonseka- thanks for the vote of confidence. Regarding 'Why Christianity and Why not Islam? BECAUSE JESUS WANTS US TO WORSHIP HIM, NOT MUHAMMAD. GOD SENT HIS SON, CHRIST, TO EARTH TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS AND SHOW US HOW TO LIVE IN HIS GRACE. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE WORSHIPPING OTHERS: SEE THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
KCT- maybe for someone else to truly love another person (me) they might have sympathy and compassion for them (me) and show that the loving thing to do is to love someone and not abandon or shun them because they have a disease they never wanted in the first place.