How My First Sexual Partner Almost Became My Last

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How Getting Chlamydia Changed My Life Forever

How could you be so stupid, Paris? Why didn’t you trust your gut feeling? How could you be so stupid to contract Chlamydia? Why did it have to be you?

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I lay in bed, tears falling uncontrollably from my eyes. I had never felt so low. So helpless. So broken.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

A few years ago, I made the hard decision to break up with my first — and only — official boyfriend. He had treated me fairly well, but there were a few things I didn’t like about the relationship. He wasn’t the best communicator and he never liked to go out.

As an introvert, I typically didn’t mind just hanging out in the house, but even someone like me enjoys being taken out on dates from time to time. I had voiced my unhappiness with never going out, but no changes were made.

At that moment I had to decide how important it was to me to be taken out.

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I decided that it meant a lot and that I could not settle for a guy who didn’t want to take his girlfriend of almost two years out on a date. This might seem trivial to some, but for someone like me who rarely ever asked for anything, it was a big deal.

Only three weeks had gone by and I realized I missed him more than I ever thought I would. So, I reached out.

A few days later we met up for about an hour or so and I instantly felt better. Once I made it back home that night, I regretted my decision to meet up with him. I didn’t want him to think that I had changed my mind about breaking up with him. My feelings hadn’t changed.

Another week went by, and I started to really pay attention to my body. I felt uncomfortable. I’ve never hesitated to go to the doctor when I felt like something was wrong, so I quickly made an appointment.

I explained what my symptoms were and proceeded to get tested for STDs.

Those next few days of waiting for the results felt like an eternity. If nothing was wrong I would simply get a message saying I was fine. If I wasn’t fine, then I would receive a phone call.

At that point, I received the worst news of my life. I had Chlamydia.

Leaving the doctor’s office, I felt myself fighting back the tears. I proceeded to text my ex to tell him the news.

He responded by asking if I had been properly cleaning myself, as if an STD comes from not taking a bath or not fully wiping after peeing. In his next response, he asked if I had been with anyone else.

I was disgusted. He was my first partner. My only partner. I had been sleeping with him and only him since I was 18, and now he had the audacity to question if I had been faithful. I felt hurt and betrayed.

My anger began to increase, not only towards him but towards myself. I knew better than to ever be in a situation like this.

For as long as I could remember, my mother had always told me four things: don’t have sex without protection, don’t have sex without getting tested, don’t come home pregnant, and don’t come home with an STD. 

I had only managed to not get pregnant.

In my mind, I was only having sex with one person, my boyfriend, so why should I not be able to completely trust him to value my health? But I soon realized that it didn’t matter what I thought.

No one would value my health and look out for my overall well-being as I would.

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I began to replay moments in my mind, moments I knew were clear signs that he might not have been faithful or clean.

I immediately went back to the first time I brought up being tested. I said that we should make it a date. He said that he didn’t like doctors. I left it alone, but I should’ve started to worry then.

Then I went to the doctor and was told that I had bacterial vaginosis. I explained this to my partner and told him about how scary the experience was; he barely responded.

I definitely should have been worried then, but I pushed my feelings aside and continued to have unprotected. That decision will forever haunt me.

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I took my medicine as instructed, and within six weeks I was disease-free.

So why did I still feel disgusting months later? I would often find myself sitting in my room, listening to the most upbeat song and all of a sudden feel the tears coming. I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened to me. How could I have been so stupid?

The next nine months were spent healing. I barely even glanced at other men. I didn’t want to attempt to put myself in a situation like that again. Men were the last thing on my mind. 

I kept thinking about how fortunate I was. I could’ve gotten an STD that wasn’t curable. What would I have done then? Allowing myself to think that way suddenly made me understand how people all across the world might be feeling.

You put your trust in someone, listen to them tell you they love you, and then they leave you with an STD. You are left to pick up the pieces. It isn’t fair, but that's life.

My ex will always be a part of me. But instead of thinking about him being my first and smiling, I will always think about him and become sad. Sad because it took that experience with him for me to realize that I couldn’t trust anyone. 

It took that experience to realize that STDs don’t discriminate. All it takes is one unsafe interaction to change your life forever.

My life has been changed forever. I don’t think about what happened every day anymore, but whenever I even think about being involved with a guy, my ex pops into my mind. It’s almost as if he is taunting me.

A year and seven months later, I still feel like I can’t breathe sometimes. I lay in bed, tears falling uncontrollably from my eyes, thinking about how my first partner almost became my last.

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Paris Sullivan is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.