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Author Topic: Searching for rationality.  (Read 445 times)

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Offline FearVersusIntuition

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Searching for rationality.
« on: July 06, 2013, 12:40:14 AM »
I've slept with two women in my life. After my first partner, I was tested, and the results were negative.

The second girl I slept with only had one partner before me, and that man had only slept with her. They lost their virginity to one another, then she began dating me.

I have been faithful my whole life, in every relationship I have ever been in. Infidelity is something that I have always looked upon with confusion and wonder. I've always questioned how people manage to do it without feeling guilty. I also wondered what I would think about myself if ever I was unfaithful.

Two months ago, I was unfaithful. I didn't have sex with someone else. I didn't penetrate her vaginally, anally or orally. We kissed. We were naked. We masturbated each other. Immediately afterwards, I felt such an overwhelming wave of guilt and remorse that I can't even begin to describe. I couldn't fathom how I had done what I just done. I knew immediately, infidelity is not something I'm capable of.

The next day, I had diarrhea, I passed out afterwards while leaving the bathroom (for the first time in my life), hit my head, and spent the next twelve hours throwing up. The next day, I, like everyone else who finds themselves feeling unwell, Googled my symptoms. HIV showed up and I immediately began panicking. I didn't know that ARS can't show up in 24 hours. I didn't know that it's impossible to contract HIV through mutual masturbation. I knew that I had done something terribly wrong, immoral, hurtful, and out of character for myself, and I began convincing myself, that I was going to die and that I was going to unknowingly kill my girlfriend, the person that I love.

After a week, I began having muscle and joint pain. I went to the immediate care clinic and had blood work done. My white blood count was high by .3 and I immediately took my panic to the next level...because it was high by point three.

A few weeks later, I went to another doctor and had a complete blood count done. Everything was completely normal, white blood count included.

After a month and a half and A LOT of surfing, I realized that there was no way I could have contracted HIV from what I did. It was impossible. But then why were my muscles hurting? Why did I feel like I was finding swollen lymph nodes all over my body? Why were my eyes tired CONSTANTLY, no matter how much sleep I got? Why were my extremities tingling? All classic cases of prolonged anxiety...but I was already caught in the web of irrationality and I did everything BUT use my brain. I convinced myself that my girlfriend's previous and only other partner, prior to myself, cheated on her, gave her HIV and then she gave it to me. A fear that I understand and know to be completely irrational, but one that my brain has chosen not to let go of.

I go through periods of the day where I'm ashamed of the fear that I'm struggling with, when there are other people who have had high risk situations and are going through something so much more deserving of their time and worry. I had no fever. No rash. No sore throat. No thrush. I vomited for a night and had diarrhea once. My muscles have hurt for 2 months (which is way, way, way, way too long to possibly be ARS) and I push on things in my body, that I ignorantly think are swollen lymph nodes. I am the definition of worried well.

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to accomplish or hear by writing this. I've read a lot on this forum over the past two months and have never spoken, so I guess I thought it might be therapeutic to speak up. Thanks for taking the time to ingest my jumbled thoughts, and please feel free to share yours.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Searching for rationality.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 01:05:41 AM »
It's sometimes good to vent, to let stuff out. That can be therapeutic.

If you find these thoughts of being infected (which is not a possibility in the situation you drescribed, of course) then it might be worth your time to see a counselor. A process called "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" works VERY well for teaching you how to redirect these irrational thoughts.

Regardless, I certainly hope that you find some peace.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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