SECRET REGRET OF THE DAY: March 27, 2017

My STD saved my life
I lived your typical small town life growing up. I was involved in everything in high school, had a supportive and loving family, and a high school sweetheart. I graduated high school and went off to the university I had always dreamed of attending to pursue my dreams. My high school sweetheart helped me get through the first year of college; the stress, the homesickness – he was there for it all.
After freshmen year our goals in life just didn’t match up. After three years we decided to split ways. I spent two weeks laying in bed, feeling sorry for myself, trying to get him back. It wasn’t until my friends drug me to a party when I started learning to love the single life. I discovered there were numerous guys who thought I was attractive. That one party I was drug to led to more and more parties. I went from never being around alcohol to drinking underage every weekend. My life started going down hill when I met a guy at a party. He was handsome, he seemed sweet, he had a good job, his name was “popular” – everyone knew him. We texted for a while and the texting led to me coming home every weekend from college to see him.
Every weekend turned into my driving home two hours to see him, getting hammered on both Friday and Saturday, fighting with my family, and letting my friends slip away. I did it weekend after weekend. He made me feel “popular”, he gave me attention – sexual attention. However, he didn’t care about me. He would take me to a bar or party, make sure I had something to drink while he socialized with everyone but me, and then took me home to his bed. He did things to me I wasn’t okay with. He didn’t give me much of a choice and I was scared to say no. I had seen him fight with people; I saw how angry he could get. I was afraid if I fought back he would hurt me. So weekend after weekend I laid there while he did what he wanted, letting my life slip away.
I was still getting A’s in college. I still had a successful job. However, I started getting muscle spasms and had acid build up from too much alcohol. My body wasn’t okay with what I was doing, but I was addicted to the attention and lost all respect for my body. I came to realize this boy was sleeping with other girls – even when I was around.
Just then I turned to other guys for the same attention. Other guys wanted to do what he did, and I let them. They wanted to take advantage of this girl who let them do what they wanted. I went from one sexual partner, my high school sweetheart, to 10 sexual partners in a short year.
I had lost all respect for myself. I didn’t listen to my family or friends. I let guys do what they wanted. I enjoyed the attention. It was out of control, sleeping with numerous guys in one weekend (twins even). I didn’t care if it was good attention I was receiving; I just liked the attention.
All this came to a stop when I finally had the nerve to go get a yearly check up. I knew my body wasn’t right for quite a while, but I was too scared to do something about it. I got my test results while at work one afternoon. They said “You have chlamydia.” I wasn’t surprised. I was scared. What was I supposed to do? Who did I get it from? I had been with too many people to know. Do I tell people?
I texted my two recent partners telling them the news because I thought that was the right thing to do. I then went to the pharmacy and got my medication. That afternoon my friend called. The entire world of Twitter knew about my STD. People were tweeting like crazy, retweeting like crazy, and favoriting it like crazy. It was everywhere!!
I called the police in tears desperately wanting this to all go away. I had to tell my mom. I had to face my problem. The police were able to have it removed and my mother responded better than I expected. I met with a county attorney about what was posted on Twitter. Unfortunately, her response was, “It is freedom of speech. I can’t do anything about it.” I had to have the police on speed dial because for a while after this happened I received phone calls saying, “I’m going to kill you for telling people you got it from me.” However, my main concern was having to face the public because everyone knew. How was I supposed to face people?
But facing people is just what I did. I opened my eyes to the last year of my life and faced it with broad shoulders. I leaned upon friends and family that had stuck with me the entire way and overcame people’s laughs and dirty looks.
My STD saved my life. I started respecting my body again. I no longer needed attention from guys to be happy. I am beyond thankful that year ended with an STD and not a positive pregnancy test, getting caught underage drinking, getting in a wreck from riding with a drunk driver, and better yet getting beaten by some of the guys I had chose to be with. My STD opened my eyes to where my life was headed and helped me turn it around. My STD made me grow as a person and I am forever thankful for that.

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