I failed to protect myself in the most intimate of situations.
"Failure is a part of life. This is something I used to struggle with consistently as I was growing up; however, I’ve come to accept this as I've gotten older in life. There will be times when you feel like you've let others down and for some reason, letting down others is easier for me to deal with than letting down myself. I never let myself down until the morning of my 22nd birthday. I got the call at eight that morning from my doctor’s office informing me that I tested positive for Chlamydia. I honestly almost passed out. My brain was constantly thinking, “Chlamydia. You have Chlamydia. Congratulations you’re a statistic.” I failed to protect myself in the most intimate of situations. I put my trust in an ex-boyfriend that I still “loved” and contracted Chlamydia. The crazy part is, I was well-educated in sexual protection, I just didn’t want to use a condom and he didn’t either.
Luckily, Chlamydia is an easy STI to deal with. Just take your antibiotic and the problem is solved. It was so much deeper for me than that. This was something that scarred me emotionally and mentally. I was depressed, I was unable to trust anyone, and I felt disgusting. I wouldn’t even hug my mom, the woman who gave birth to me that day 22 years ago. It took months for me to overcome those feelings and to feel “normal” again. I spent my time doing arts and crafts because it would take my mind off of what happened. But the most therapeutic thing for me reading scripture and praying. I found solace in God. It was through Him that I was able to rebuild my self-worth and trust in others.
My biggest takeaway from this experience is obviously that I have to protect myself. I don’t think I would have taken this whole experience so seriously if I had gotten it from a one night stand. I got this from a “loved” one who I thought was smart enough to take care of himself and had my best interests in mind as well. I refuse to fail to protect myself like that ever again. I encourage other women to remember that you can’t always trust men to do the right thing. If you’re sexually active, get tested regularly and use condoms."