About Me

I lived with genital herpes for 20 years. I know firsthand the stages of getting from pain to joy, denial to acceptance, stagnation to living, as well as going from a victim to a victor! Don’t get me wrong, being a victor doesn’t mean I’m rich or that I don’t have problems. What it means is that I no longer focus my energy on those who harmed me, as my focus is on taking responsibility and deliberate actions on behalf of my personal well-being now.

As a lifelong resident of Baltimore, Maryland, I faced some very emotional, mental and physical challenges during my childhood.

LIFE AS A VICTIM

I was molested three times between the ages of 9 and 16, by three different individuals. I experienced multiple miscarriages and also became a teen parent. I was just 21 years of

age when I was first diagnosed with HSV-2.  I know what it’s like to want life to be over. I remember staying in shitty relationships because my flaws were welcomed with open arms. I also recall that horrible stage where you don’t want to tell anyone about the seemingly unbearable sexually transmitted disease. I was no angel; I didn’t initially tell everyone I was involved with that I had an STD. I was so ashamed. Sometimes I would tell someone much later. Other times, I would literally tell people that I didn’t like oral sex (although at the time, I didn’t love it, just yet), and just require they use a condom.

LIFE AS A VICTOR

I grew a lot over the years. I’ve had my share of fun (I mean really living my best fuq’n life (pun intended)), and I mean even after disclosing I had genital herpes. You’d be surprised to know that some people literally don’t care, and well, of course, some do. Also, after you disclose your diagnosis, you may find that others will disclose they too have a diagnosis, but don’t let that become your standard for dating. I also married, then divorced, three times (go judge someone else – LOL).  My mind was open to people who were not diagnosed with HSV-2, as well as people who were diagnosed. What became most important to me was becoming my authentic self, and being honest from the start.

My favorite part of this journey is when I got to the point, diagnosis or not, of hopping into the driver’s seat for setting my own standards, rather than tolerating anyone who was willing to tolerate me. I learned to accept myself and the parts of me that were not comfortable.  If there is something about me that I do not like about myself, I work on that aspect for me, and not for other people.  If anyone told me to lose weight, gain weight, grow my hair back, etc., my response became “No”.  Oh, and I most certainly lost the desire to explain my answers.

You can get that confidence back too, as soon as you begin to take as much responsibility as you possibly can, for your today and tomorrows.  You simply begin by letting go of your yesterdays.  What does a life of joy and confidence look like for you?

# of books I wrote

# of times I've gotten married

# of times I divorced

% of time I failed but got back up again

  Contact Me

natima@natimanicole.com

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