We live in an affluent, highly privileged society. We spoil and indulge ourselves shamelessly. We consume way more than our fair share of the planetís resources. We drug ourselves with coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and comfort foods. We distract ourselves with junk culture coming from our televisions, radios and print media. In the midst of all this the temptation is there to want to identify ourselves as a victim so we can have an excuse to feel sorry for ourselves.
There are many real victims out there: children who are being sexually abused, women who are the target of menís rage, seniors being targeted by con artists or mistreated in nursing homes. For those of us with herpes there is no need to buy into to the victim role and feel sorry for ourselves.
Herpes is a minor sexually transmitted skin disease. Itís easily managed and you can effectively protect your intimate partner/s from being infected. Between herpes, HPV and Chlamydia alone thereís probably no one you know who has had more than six sex partners who hasnít caught a sexually transmitted disease, so having herpes isnít unusual- you havenít been singled out by God for punishment, you are simply dealing with the reality of life in the 21st century, we are hosts for a variety of microorganisms, some of them sexually transmitted.
I donít expect anyone to throw a ďIíve just been diagnosed with herpes ď party, but why all the doom and gloom? Must we really buy into this false stigma? Is it all that bad?
No it isnít all that bad. Get down on your hands and knees and be grateful that you donít have a real illness like my patients with M.S. and Cancer and HIV. Make peace with that little red virus inside of you and go on with you life. Love and laugh and enjoy the blessings of being in a wealthy, peaceful, abundant society. Face whatever challenges life throws at you with dignity and courage.
MY feeling is that we with herpes have no right to behave like victims. I reserve that right for the women in Africa who have endured genital mutilation, for the people starving all over the world, for the children scavenging for scraps to sell in garbage dumps, for the families destroyed by war and its aftermath. Theyíd all trade their fates for a simple herpes infection any day of the week.