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Author Topic: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...  (Read 2716 times)

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Offline ndrew

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Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« on: March 10, 2007, 01:18:38 PM »
My schedule has been pretty intense and I have not been very active here, but I need to release some thoughts.  Something continually troubles me in the forums, but before I discuss this, I want to apologize, because I think I have made assumptions about other people’s disease and experience.  For that I am truly sorry.  This is part of what concerns me- prediction/assumption.

NEWBIES/OLDBIES

I don’t think it is constructive to reduce each other down to such categories as those who have been around for decades and those who have been recently infected, those on meds or not on meds or those with debilitating symptoms and those without, young and old, etc., the list could go on… Some members may find themselves in the gray areas of such binaries and how will they be served? 

Things have changed a lot and continue to change.  None of us can really quantify what the future holds for each other in relation to this virus, starting meds, symptoms or life expectancy.  However, we can be a supportive force for each other at whatever stage in our journey we may be.

I am of the opinion, considering the complexity of HIV/AIDS, treatment and singular circumstance, that we cannot and should not make assumptions about the future for individuals.  Am I being a denialist to think so?  Am I being irrational to think that we can be positive about the future based on how far we have come and the continued research and healthy choices of body and mind that people make years into the future?  Doesn’t it make more sense to support each other as we cope with the stones in our stepping path, than to make assumptions of the outcome?  And with this logic, why not assume and work for the best outcome?  Why not apply a light positive veneer that may go deeper than we may know?

Yes, we have a tragic history with this disease, one that will never find peace and one that we should never release, but we should avoid being divisive.  I have seen this tactic used politically in other realms and I have to wonder some times if it is purposeful?  Is forming a debate around the ignorance of experience and understanding of those “recently infected” driving folk away?  Could this be intentional?

With some of the rhetoric and mud, I would have a hard time referring someone recently infected to the forums and I want to ask if perhaps this is not a place for someone in such circumstance?

WORDS

Words here, devoid of an interpersonal communication, are problematic.  Things can be written in the forum that one would never say in another person’s presence.  I have to think that people would not be so cavalier in person.  We should consider the limitations of the medium as we form discussion and debate.

DRUGS

I do not think I have been judgmental of anyone’s recreational use of drugs, however I want to point out that this should be a safe place for everyone.  There are members who have had problems with drugs in the past and one should be sensitive to this when extolling the virtues of one’s own experiences.  Does this make sense?

Drew

Offline NycJoe

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 01:28:55 PM »
Drew you have made a lot of sense.  Common sense.  Thank you for such an inclusive and insightful post...Joe

Offline Bucko

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 01:58:29 PM »
Drew-

This schitzy dichotomy has been around since at least I started posting here in 2005 and will probably always remain. It's an artifact of certain life experiences that those who live with HIV/AIDS will have to inevitably face.

I remember a very heated thread in the old Living forum that started off similarly to this one. A couple from Tampa posted a thread extolling the virtues of living well and not letting the virus interfere too much in the pursuit of happiness. The words used were (for the most part) optimistic and upbeat, and they spoke with the certain self-satisfaction of affluence.

It would have been fine, except they chose to respond defensively to a member who suggested that, while happy for their ability to retain the trappings of middle-class comfort, not everyone was so lucky. The couple chose some very unkind and stereotype-heavy words in describing those on Disability, and the flames roared for a week.

Under the new rules of engagement, I don't think that such a thread would be permitted. And that is probably for the best as the dialog stopped when the venom flew.

The point is that I have met no one who has been able to continue a comfortable middle-class lifestyle while battling certain stages of their condition, and this is every bit as demoralizing than any medical illness, probably much more so. It grates on we who live unimaginably simplified lives of poverty and deprivation to read that we've somehow caused our own financial downfalls. It's as onerous as suggestions that we somehow "deserved" our infection.

I am not saying that you have broached this line of argument. What I'm trying to do is illustrate what I think is the main factor leading to the divisive us/them feeling so often in play on these boards.

Brent
(Who never ever saw it coming)

/modified slightly for a typo/
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline ndrew

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 02:33:44 PM »
Thank you Joe.

Brent, this notion of class/privilege is another strand in such a complex dynamic, thanks for bringing it up.  It has also come up in terms of nations and access to care and medicines in other threads.

Drew

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2007, 03:42:31 PM »
Drew,

Yes, it makes perfect sense.

I tend to avoid the conflicts and mud slinging any place in my life, just because it's irrational and mindless. It helps no one. My time is important to me. I won't waste one minute of it on petty squabbles or get mixed up in other people's baggage.

If someone has HIV, then I consider them on equal footing, period, regardless of how long they’ve been living with it. If anyone wants to judge me, then that's their problem to have and to keep.

No assumptions taken, therefore no discord or arguments can follow. Works for me.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2007, 04:40:24 PM »

The point is that I have met no one who has been able to continue a comfortable middle-class lifestyle while battling certain stages of their condition, and this is every bit as demoralizing than any medical illness, probably much more so. It grates on we who live unimaginably simplified lives of poverty and deprivation to read that we've somehow caused our own financial downfalls. It's as onerous as suggestions that we somehow "deserved" our infection.


Truer words were never written, Brent.

Also, I prefer to think of myself as "battle worn" rather than "grumpy" !   Definitely an oldie though, anyway you look at it.
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline bear60

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2007, 04:45:39 PM »
Maybe we are grumpy because we are battle worn? Alan
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline ndrew

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2007, 06:04:04 PM »
Hey guys, I like "battle worn" as well and I offer you all the kindness.  I like the mixed company and learn a lot from the "old generals" around here (I am certainly no spring rooster for my part...)  I just hope to move beyond the stereotypes when they become divisive.

Daniel, I wholeheartedly agree.

I must confess I don't know what the future holds in terms of maintaining the quality of life I have.  Yes, there has been an impact, but I am taking it one day at a time.  (And it's hard to know how much of it is my getting old and other symptoms not related to HIV.)  I would be interested to know how different folk lifestyles were effected, was there a sudden change or was it more gradual over time?

Would it make sense to have a topic "Planning for the future," where these things could be discussed?  Can anyone really guarantee what will happen 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years down the road with infection?  Are things that clear?  What should people expect?  What should they plan for?

Best,
Drew

Offline dtwpuck

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  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2007, 06:10:21 PM »
Drew... thank you for posting this.  I totally feel that the newbie/oldie dichotomy is a strawman... essentially created for no other purpose than to divide.
I stated my opinions in the Lament thread:  http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=9979.msg123975#msg123975
But in any case, I think you expressed it beautifully.

Scott
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2007, 06:26:48 PM »
Drew,

Matty the Damned has no problem with your views on the Newbie/Oldie thing. That shit's cool with him. However this:

I do not think I have been judgmental of anyone’s recreational use of drugs, however I want to point out that this should be a safe place for everyone.  There are members who have had problems with drugs in the past and one should be sensitive to this when extolling the virtues of one’s own experiences.  Does this make sense?

does not, alas, make any sense. Are you suggesting that just because there some Forums members who lack a modicum of self-control we should no longer discuss drug use issues, except to decry the practice like that odd character in South Park?

MtD

Offline David_CA

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 06:37:46 PM »
Drew,

I agree completely and have said something similar in the 'Lament' thread too.  It odd 'cause in the other forums where I'm a member, or have been a member in the past, the 'class' or newbie vs oldie issues haven't come up.  Of course, these forums don't deal with HIV/AIDS, but recreation and interests, like motorcycles, boating, jet skis, electronics, bus conversion, whatever.  Here, where we are dealing with much more serious issues than those trivial hobbies, why can't we show the same consideration?  We come here for support, information, friendship, a laugh or two, whatever, not to trash each other.  I think this is something that a lot of us need to work on, and all of us need to be mindful of.  And Alan, I don't believe you could be grumpy (not much, anyway  ;) ) even if you tried.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
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You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline bocker3

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  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2007, 07:09:55 PM »
Would it make sense to have a topic "Planning for the future," where these things could be discussed?  Can anyone really guarantee what will happen 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years down the road with infection?  Are things that clear?  What should people expect?  What should they plan for?

I think this could be a very good and useful topic, but the fact is, you can take out the words "with infection" and pretty much sum up what everyone in the world deals with too.  I certainly had no idea what the future held before I got infected and I still don't know now that I am infected.

I do like this thread though -- I think it is important to remember why these forums are here.  So that we all can find mutual support as we deal with our lives with this virus.

thanks,
Mike

edited to add the word "now" near the end of the firts paragraph (because I definately do know that I am infected).
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 10:13:00 PM by bocker3 »
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Lis

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2007, 07:16:00 PM »
EEP!!!...

The cheese on those crackers looks kinda funny... No thank you!!

poz 1986....

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2007, 07:49:20 PM »
When I read the title of this thread I said..."Oh Gawd, here we go again. The title alone was pretty over the top. I am an oldie, perhaps wrongly think that I am not grumpy...And there are several newbies that are far from "Stupid".

Aside from the title, and the drug comment, it all made pretty good sense.

I don't know quit how to explain the feeling I get in my gut when I find out someone, whether I know them or not, has just found out they have HIV.

My heart goes out to the immediately. I want to tell them it is not the end of the world, that you can survive this, it just takes work, like anything else worth having in this world.

Does this happen because I've been around for 23 years with HIV? I'm not sure. All I know is that I care.

But then again that's just me. One little spoke in the complex wheel of living with HIV.

And I will always care. It's just what I do.
Positive since 1985

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2007, 09:26:02 PM »
That is exactly how I feel, Jeffrey.  It breaks my heart whenever someone new comes along.   We understand the true cost of it all.....
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2007, 04:43:59 AM »
OK, I know it's one am, and I should be trying to sleep, but I couldn't, and the stomach isn't allowing sleep to return, so I will share what I feel here.

I have really been thinking about this so very much since I posted the Lament thread.  So much so, that I have come to feel very sad that I posted it, as some of the responses are so very far from my intent, but once something is read, and opinions have been formed; this medium is difficult to repair.  For example, in that thread, I said some things that came from my head and heart, as what I was writing was a mind dump of sorts, I never go back and recreate the piece, but obviously in this case I should have probably passed and moved on with life.

However, I didn't, it now lives here, and I deal with the consequences of people reading it and in their minds; forming ideas and opinions about what kind of asshole could have lobbed this piece of shit into our very tame forum.  Unfortunately, sometimes age, wear, fatigue, broken spirits and many other things enter into our writing and maybe we place the wrong thought, feeling, adverb, pronoun or other word boo boo that then makes it seem we are letchers through and through.  When in fact we are very weary HIV warriors, making an attempt to shine a light on our progress with this bug, or just let people know where we are on the trip.  This then becomes the measure by which you are judged by many readers who then place you squarely on the lunitic fringe at best, or on the trasheap of "ignore" at worst.

Always trying to keep the words of the poster in the context of a struggle that many of you hopefully will never have to face; is a challenge that many of us are inept at achieving.  Because of the personal nature of this bug; this can be someone who is newly infected, or in the case of this board, someone who has come into care with advanced or untreatable infection, or a veteran of the fight who is really struggling to stay alive.  I suffer this constantly, and when I read something here, I always try to let it rest for a day before I respond.  Not everyone has that luxury, and they respond at the moment and then the inevitable feelings are hurt and any intelligent discussion is completely squashed.  Keeping mindful that many members here are young, and while still starting out on a very fearful road; are here whether or not they want to be.  How can those whose infections are new,  be ignored and the feelings they feel squashed?  They can't, and I don't know one member here, whose membership goes back a few years, and whose infection is multigenerational; has ever tried to minimize the experences of those who are unfortunate to be new experiencers with HIV.  I think that the inability to know who is posting, and what their circumstances might be, requires a huge amount of restraint which most of us don't have at one time or another, and when I was young, I didn't surely posess. 

That is just me, not the way everyone handles a post, I think however, that this discussion is far broader in scope than any one of us might have imagined.

I just hope what I have written here makes enough sense to donate it to this thread, but I fear in my attempt to return to bed, and used this post to promote that goal; I might just have created another completely obtuse and irrational posting.  If so, ignore it and someone else chime in.

LOve,
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline ndrew

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2007, 09:54:01 AM »
Good Morning,

Thanks everyone for contributing.  Firstly, I think the title "Stupid Newbies and Grumpie Oldbies" has a bit too much volume.  I was using stereotypes to refer to how they really fail us.  I should have used quotes, however that could have been misconstrued as actually quoting specific members.  I think we understand that and I would like to redirect energy to the following questions- How do we support folk from such varied experiences?  Some of the differences that I questioned related to age, experience of infection and other members raised issues such as class and quality of life.

What would be helpful for me is for folk to share their experience and I do not want anyone to feel attacked personally.  I am supportive of a friendly, civil and open discussion.

How do we serve both recently infected and those who have had the virus for much longer?
What should we plan for further down the road 5, 10, 15, 20 years after infection?  This could be helpful for me as I was infected 3 years ago this month.  I do need to start thinking about the future and planning for complex scenarios.  What have others done?  What are your experiences?

I think Tim's comment about "letting it rest for a day" brings up the question for me, are there rules of engagement we share or could share that would preserve a level of civility, that would not squash the silliness that sometimes has me rolling with laughter, but helps us maintain a certain comfort level in such a shared space?

Matty, I don't know your reference to Southpark, as I have not watched television since the late 80s (sorry, it is a bit of a problem for someone teaching in the area of mass media), but what I was getting at was a kind of sensitivity for members who have or are dealing with issues of substance abuse.  I am not looking for condemnation, as I am prochoice regarding what people do with their own bodies. 

What are your thoughts or experiences?

Thanks,
Drew

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2007, 04:36:57 PM »
Matty, I don't know your reference to Southpark, as I have not watched television since the late 80s (sorry, it is a bit of a problem for someone teaching in the area of mass media), but what I was getting at was a kind of sensitivity for members who have or are dealing with issues of substance abuse.  I am not looking for condemnation, as I am prochoice regarding what people do with their own bodies.


Cheers Drew.

MtD

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2007, 04:49:09 PM »
How do we serve both recently infected and those who have had the virus for much longer?

Perhaps that's just a matter of someone speaking up when they can relate to someone's problems and maybe making suggestions and/or sharing what worked for them? Kindness costs nothing.

I think free will has to be the order of the day in any group. When it’s sour or irritating, I just pass it by. The cold cruel world is hard enough without wading through it on a message forum.

As for civility, I believe that's nothing that can be mandated or even requested, although I do find it more helpful and agreeable to read than gibberish and nonsense. ;)

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2007, 05:59:23 PM »
Exactly Daniel!  If we have something 'productive' to add to the discussion, by all means add it.  If not, it's not necessary to comment at all.

Awhile back in the forums, it bothered me that we had a couple of posters who felt the need to appear in EVERY single thread, no matter if the topic was AIDS or rocket science.....

Just as with respect, a little common sense goes a long way!

hugs,
Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Stupid Newbies and Grumpy Oldbies...
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2007, 08:57:52 PM »
Right on Daniel and Alan. I couldn't agree more.
Positive since 1985

 


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