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Strawberry Letter: Coping With A Mistake With Life Changing Consequences

Dear Shirley and Cedric the Entertainer,

Last July I broke off my engagement. This was my first serious relationship and the first guy I had ever had sex with. After we broke up, I started seeing this guy I’d known for a while as a “rebound” situation. I found out in December that I had contracted Herpes from this guy. I cannot even be mad at anyone but myself because I knew he had this disease. I guess I didn’t care and slept with him anyway. We, or at least I, thought we were being safe. When I found this out in December, I felt like the ground had crumbled out from underneath me. This was only the SECOND guy I had ever been with. I feel like it is completely unfair that I am having to deal with this. I feel as though I’m dealing with it okay, and then I have days (several times a week) where I can’t do anything because I am so upset. No one could possibly ever want to be with me. I am a good person with an awesome personality! I don’t feel like I deserve this. I feel as though as soon as I reveal this to a potential person I am interested in, they will run for the hills. I feel like a common day leper. My question is: How do I reveal this appropriately to someone? I have been talking to a guy online for a few months and have no idea how to tell him. He wants to meet in person, so I’m strongly considering just calling it all off and saying I’m not interested. I don’t think I can handle the rejection. Also, how do I fix MY way of viewing myself? I think I am absolutely disgusting and unworthy to find anyone. I don’t want them to “settle” for me when there are many other women out there who are not diseased. Thank you for any advice you can give. I’m at my wit’s end over this whole thing.

Listen to Shirley and guest host Cedric the Entertainer respond to this letter below:

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