(Fourth in a series of posts, best read in order. Part I, part II, part III. )
The first time I found out I had to be tested for herpes, I was scared. The second time I found out, I was incredulous. What the ever-loving fuck?? Seriously? Where’s the hidden camera? Hadn’t I already passed this test with flying colors the first time? My lawyer objected, based on us the fact that I’d already been tested and they already had the results of that test. The two lawyers went before a judge, and from what I got third-hand as I wasn’t there, it was apparently insinuated that I’d somehow scammed the system, and hadn’t actually taken the test. The judge granted their motion that I be re-tested, but I was allowed to do so at my doctor’s office again, and at the ex’s expense. I would arrange to do it after my return from Ireland, and before mediation on December 19th.
On December 6th, I once again boarded a plane to go see Paul, this time on a 17 hour trip overseas. The flight was long, as was my layover in Houston, long enough I was able to read the bulk of the first Twilight book for the first time. I got off the plane in Ireland to frost so heavy I’m still not convinced it wasn’t snow. December in Ireland is much I imagine like December in the States, as long as you are close to the Canadian border. Meaning I thought I was going to freeze to death every time we left the hotel. I loved Ireland, and I can’t wait to go back one day, but this southern girl couldn’t even begin to imagine living there. As for the visit, again, a huge blur. Seeing the town he grew up in…meeting his family…spending time together…It was magical, it was beautiful, it was familiar-foreign, and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Once I got home, the ex was angry at me, and made one or two remarks, but surprisingly was able to leave it at that. With mediation coming up, I think we were both focused on getting to the end and getting it done with. I went for my 2nd herpes test, and within a couple of days had my results back.
December 15th, 7 months after possible exposure, and 3 months to the day after my first test, I again tested negative for herpes.
Although this then raised a few questions for me, namely if I didn’t have it, where had my husband picked this up?, I just mostly felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Relief I didn’t have it, relief I couldn’t have given it to anyone, and relief I would no longer be dragged through the mud over this.
I have said ever since the night the ex found out about my affair that I did this, and I was going to take my lumps like a big girl. I haven’t tried to deny any part of it, and I never will. Paint the big scarlet A on my forehead if you like, I made my bed and as such I will lie in it. But…all that said, the herpes thing bothered me for the simple reason that once we knew I was negative, I was still being accused of something I hadn’t done. I had expected for that lawsuit to be dropped after the first test and was shocked that it hadn’t. Being forced to be tested again was a bit insulting, but I was eager to prove, once and for all, that I was innocent of this much at least, and that’s exactly what the test showed.
On December 19th, we went into mediation armed with that info, which the ex and his lawyer did not have yet. We were not in the same room, nor were either of us allowed to be in the room with the other person’s lawyer at any time. This meant that when my second set of test results were presented, I don’t know what was said, save for what very little my lawyer has told me. I *believe* what happened in mediation as far as the offers were considered confidential, so I won’t go into detail here, other than to say we presented an offer, they declined, they presented an offer that we declined, and somewhere in all that the other lawyer allegedly threw a bit of a shitfit when he saw my second negative test results. We walked away from mediation with not even a hint of an agreement. The whole thing from start to finish was less than three hours.
With Christmas around the corner, we stayed in limbo, waiting for word of our next court date. The holidays were uncomfortable for both of us, and the tension between us could have been cut with a knife. Paul called me early Christmas morning, and we unwrapped our gifts to each other and spent time together on video chat before my kids got up. It was hard on both of us not being together, but we tried to make the best of it.
At some point in late January, I got a call from my laywer regarding court. Our date had been set at a mind-boggling 4 months away, and oh yeah, btw, that herpes lawsuit? Still there.
To be continued…