The victim mentality means that you blame everything else for what happens in your world. Identifying as a victim can arise with anything in our lives. But the initial stress and denial that a herpes diagnosis can trigger can allow our inner victim to take the wheel. It’s a way that we subconsciously and unhealthily protect ourselves. Being a victim ultimately seems to shift the heavy, uncomfortable feelings off of us and onto someone else. But this phenomenon of placing blame and shifting ourselves into the role of victim does something else: it shifts away personal power and a sense of control in our lives.
Let’s be honest … sometimes being a victim has its perks. It allows us to sit back and not take full responsibility for our lives and what happens in them. If we don’t take responsibility for our lives, then we aren’t held accountable to any mistakes we might have made. And we are then less likely to learn from our mistakes and grow. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is imperfect. It's only human. It’s what we create from those mistakes that matters most.
So how to shift from victim to empowered? Regardless of the specifics of how you got herpes, what’s done is done. Forgiving your past self for making a decision that only in retrospect you wish you wouldn't have made. It’s a decision to have consensual sex and take the inherent beauty and also the inherent risks involved in it. Don’t shame yourself for your desire to have sex. Then sex itself and your natural urges become negative. Sex is still a beautiful thing — with or without herpes. Herpes and sex do not have to be intrinsically connected now. Ultimately, now is now. Your future moves from right here. You are in complete control of your own relationship to herpes. Take your power back. Appreciate that ultimately how you experience your life was, is and always will be your decision. Take responsibility for the beauty and risks in life and you will feel your personal power seep back into your own hands.