My head is spinning and my chest hurts.  I don’t want to be here.  I can’t believe that I am here.  I for sure never saw this in my future.  I look around teh large office.  It is spacious, I want to nestle myself in a corner, to hide myself, but the lay-out doesn’t permit it.  The office is quiet, there are few others to fill up the space.  The smell of the antiseptic makes me ill as I wait. “I shouldn’t have to do this.” I tell myself.

I am so unsettled, I don’t think there is any betrayal that is as deep as this.

I am innocent, he is the only man that I have ever had sex with.  All the years I carefully prepared myself and waited for him.  I have no regrets, but it seems so unfair that all of my work might be swept away.  I had saved myself for him, and yet I sit here and I feel like I am bad.  Logically I can remind myself that I am not here because of anything I did wrong.  I am not here because I was unfaithful.  I am not here because I deserved this.

Why am I here?  I am here to find out if I have an STD.

I worry, what if I have something that I could pass to them?  I need to know.

As I wait in to be called back I am fidgety.  A piece of me is nervous that they won’t believe my story.  I feel shame for his actions.  What if these people think it was my fault?  Tears well up in my eyes and my vision becomes blurry.  What if the results come back positive?  Then what do I do?

My Shame

The day I went to the health department to be tested for an STD was more than humiliating.  I felt so much shame about being there.  My mind was jumbled with thoughts… “This is not fair.”  How is it fair that I might have a disease that could change my life forever because of his poor choices.  I didn’t do anything wrong?

How could he do this to me?  How could he sleep with other women without protection and then sleep with me?  It is hard for me to understand.  He claimed to care for me.  Heck, he was supposed to be safe.  He was supposed to be mine.  That was something we were supposed to share, just the two of us.  I would never even think about giving someone a disease that could kill them.  I am so confused.

The Results

That day in the doctors office was scary and sad.  When I talked to the nurse and told him that I wanted to be checked because my husband had not been faithful.  He was nice and compassionate.  My worries melted and I could see that my fears were unfounded.  He did not think it was me.  A week later I called and to my relief I founf out my test results were negative.    I have been tested twice since this day.  They recommended that I be tested 6 months after the initial tests, then I was willingly tested before I got remarried.  Each and evert time I was

I have been tested twice since this day.  They recommended that I be tested 6 months after the initial tests, then I was willingly tested before I got remarried.  Each and every time I was relieved at the negative reading.

A New Scare

At the beginning of March of this year I went in to give blood.  I was excited because I have never given blood before and contributing feels good.  Two weeks later I received a letter from the Red Cross and my heart stopped.  The letter told me that at this time they will no longer accept my blood. That I should not volunteer to be a blood donor again. The letter said that the initial screening tested positive for Hepatitis C.  Not Again!

The angry feelings towards my ex-husband returned.  I continued reading….

I was relieved to find out that my blood was sent off and further testing showed Negative Results.  Regardless, the letter recommended that I show the testing at my next doctor’s appointment.

This morning as I waited in the doctors office with the 9 page document from the Red Cross I felt some of the same concern and worry as I did 3 years ago.  The shame was not near as deep as it was back then.  I know that if something is wrong that it is not anything that I am to blame for.  The moment sent me back to a time when I was more scared and more unsure.  I was still nervous as I waited… past memories and anxiety resurfaced.  Three years later I still can’t make sense of why my husband felt it was okay to sleep around.  Still to this day I have so many questions that are unanswered.  I still have tears that are shed because of what he put me through.

Today as the doctor read through the results and verified that I do not have Hepatitis C.  Again I felt the same relief that I felt in 2013.

I know many women who were not as lucky as I am.  They did get a disease that changed their life forever.  They like me had saved themselves for their husband, and they have faced the same betrayal. My heart breaks with each of you.  The only thing worse than the emotional betrayal of infidelty is when that betrayal left you with a disease that creeps up and reminds you.  I am so sorry. Others have felt that pain and fear that comes with the unknown.  You deserved better!

Sending Love,

Norma