“Getting sick is not your fault.”

This is a phrase I read on an HPV forum. As I read it, I could feel myself trying desperately to have it bring some comfort, alleviate some guilt, but it didn’t.

If it’s not my own fault I got HPV, whose is it?

B would tell me similar things in the months following my initial diagnosis when gut-wrenching guilt would leave me sobbing. He would say we can’t know for sure where you got it, you can’t blame yourself for getting it, you made your decisions in the moment based on your own knowledge and that was the best you could have done.

I can’t not take responsibility for getting HPV. I can be angry at the person I think gave it to me, I can resent his actions and want to give him a good slap across the face, but I can’t say: “It’s his fault.” I just can’t.

It’s empowering, in a way, to take a responsibility for my actions. I would rather be the reason that both good and bad happen in my life, I would rather know that I am the driving force behind what happens to me, than to blame others, and feel out of control.

Who made my decisions except me? No one.

There are influences and external factors and personalities and misconceptions, but in the end, it was me. Just me.

I did it.

 

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