Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr Instagram
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 22, 2014, 11:46:37 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 650186
  • Total Topics: 49633
  • Online Today: 198
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?  (Read 2861 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline zeb

  • Member
  • Posts: 172
Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« on: April 15, 2007, 01:11:31 PM »
Hi all

I know since dec my status. And noone in my environment knows. why?
1. I don't want to hurt my parents and beloved;
2. I work as a professional and don't want to be 'the hiv guy';
3. I'm divorced and don't want hiv to be an issue when i want to see my kids;
4. The support groups are very gay here and i'm straight (not homophobic), many issues i have they don't have and the other way around.

It's really hard, i fel lonely with it. But i always keep saying: Zeb you're still alive and you will be for some time. But sometimes when i'm alone at night i can't fall asleep. I keep on worrying and mourning...

Are there more silent copers here? And if you are, how do you deal with it?

Zeb

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 04:16:57 PM »

I spent fours years after my diagnosis being a silent coper for several reasons.

The workplace environment I was in at the time would have been unbearable to deal with if they knew - and in a related note and specific to this topic - I was given my diagnosis two days before a major international conference that I was asked to administer – After the event was over I got a letter of commendation from the Chairman of the board and several emails from top executives all congratulating more or less on a perfectly administered event and noting that I was to be commended on handling everything (including several major crisis) with an extremely professional, calm and efficient manner.  Of course what they did not know was that for that whole week I needed to be detached or else the screaming that was going on in my head would have become vocalized.

For the next two years I worked like a dog and in many ways I think I worked hard to avoid dealing with HIV.  It was a form of escapism for me as being successful in the workplace must mean that HIV didn’t have a hold on me, right?

As for family -  my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer not long after my own diagnosis and I just didn't feel I could lay the burden of my health issues on the family at that time.   I'll tell you though that watching my mom deteriorate and thinking "that's going to be me" and not being able to talk to anyone was incredibly hard.  At my mom's funeral, my family told me that they were concerned as I hadn't yet cried and I just shrugged it away...I shrugged it away because if I had shed one tear at that time it would have released something I would not have been able to control and control was immensely important to me in keeping my HIV silent - silent to both others and to me.

You see “control”  was the issue for me in being a silent coper – crazy, psychotic and unheeding control….control beyond normalcy.  It has taken me a long time (and this lesson is still not fully learned) to learn that by being silent for so long I transferred my need to control knowledge about my disease to other areas of my life that were not HIV related.  Subsequently, letting go of that control has allowed me to let go in other areas that I had not realized for so long that were being handled by me in a tight white knuckled grip that was having profound effects on m health –both mental and physical.

Most of my family members now know due to the sadism of others and I was forced to reveal many things about my life to my family before they could find them out by another's malicious actions.  In that specific situation the person(s) got what they wanted in causing me great harm and I always hope that someday they realize that I really have suffered as a result and I hope it satisfies them enough to leave me alone.

My family has been there for me in a way that I didn’t expect and I am grateful that I am no longer hiding my HIV with them, but I really wish it was by my own actions and on my own timetable than having it decided for me.

And this brings it all back to you and your situation. When you are a silent coper – you must always deal with someone else taking the luxury of privacy of knowledge away from you whether through malicious actions, or in my guess -in more cases than most know, by accidental and benign release of information.

I in no ways suggest you tell others – that is not for me to say, but I do hope you are speaking to someone (besides an online board) about the realities of your HIV – it’s too much a weight to bear alone and regardless of how well you think you are handling it, it has the ability to knock you over one day if you don’t have some preparations in place (such as talking with a therapist now before there is a crisis.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 04:19:55 PM by Iggy »

Dan J.

  • Guest
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 04:50:55 PM »
Wow Iggy, I always like reading your post.

Zeb, give the local support group another chance. Straight or gay your still a person LIVING WITH HIV & so are they. Maybe some of the topics they discuss don't pertain to your situation, but hopefully if your spoke about some of your concerns in the group you just might gain something from the experience. & at the same time you just might make yourself a new friend.

Good Luck,

Dan

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 05:26:05 PM »
I'll second Dan's suggestion: try giving the support group another chance – a good long try – at least several meetings. It's not healthy for you to live in isolation, especially since you are fairly recently diagnosed.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline mark54

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 05:32:52 PM »
zeb, i don't know where you live but even here in new hampshire we have hiv support groups for straight people.  ask your aids doctor or contact a local aids service organization for info.  i know it's difficult to open up to others and be a little careful those you choose but it is important that you have people around you who know what's going on in your life.  there is enough straight people just on this site for you to make contact with till you are more comfortable.  it's all about you getting comfortable with this very new part of your life.

Offline mjmel

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2007, 07:07:57 PM »
Zeb, I wouldn't recommend the "silent coping" strategy. Having read many of your postings here, and composing a few replies, I just can't see you keeping it all inside. Just as it took a few postings on this forum site to get somewhat comfortable with the site/members, so it may be with the physical support group. I recommend giving support group meetings with a bunch of gays a chance........a few visits..........before dismissing the idea. They may really surprise you and also you may meet someone other straight men--who are in same position as you.
xxx,
Mike

Offline zeb

  • Member
  • Posts: 172
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 07:38:57 PM »
Hey you guys,

Thank you very much for your replies. well listen, let me put this straight first: I'm not homophobic! So that's not the issue. But let me tell you something: I'm dutch and the reason you find me here is that i really feel uncomfortable with the Dutch situation. Generally speaking the contributions here are of a much better level and comradeship then at our place.

This does not mean that there are no good poz gay guys in Holland; of course they are there. But my experience until now is that i probably must have had some bad experiences. And yes, there's also the fact that (thank God) the hiv prevalence in Holland is not as high as in the US. That means there are not so much heterosexuals positively enhanced.

Well silent coping is hard. But I'll give the support group another try. Perhaps it will work out after I've visited it more often. I also was thinking of the church; faith, fate and meaning of life is basically the stuff i need to work out i guess...

Zeb

Offline mark54

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 08:04:45 PM »
zeb, i don't think you're a homophobe and your concerns are real.  i'm gay and sometimes the gay concerns wear me out.  and you do have concerns that you need to get out.  first of all you've got two kids you want to talk about and that is important, so i hope you always feel welcome to come here and i hope you do stick with your group.  most guys do understand family and will be glad to share about the subject.  my whole life is wrapped up in my family and it's the only thing that takes priority in my life.

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 10:00:38 PM »
Hi all

I know since dec my status. And noone in my environment knows. why?
1. I don't want to hurt my parents and beloved;
2. I work as a professional and don't want to be 'the hiv guy';
3. I'm divorced and don't want hiv to be an issue when i want to see my kids;
4. The support groups are very gay here and i'm straight (not homophobic), many issues i have they don't have and the other way around.

It's really hard, i fel lonely with it. But i always keep saying: Zeb you're still alive and you will be for some time. But sometimes when i'm alone at night i can't fall asleep. I keep on worrying and mourning...

Are there more silent copers here? And if you are, how do you deal with it?

Zeb

Hi Zeb. I was a silent coper for a long time especially in 2000 but finally I had to tell someone and it was my ex-co-worker Sharon. Instinctively she said "Please address this right away and not delay." I didn't listen. I didn't want to be the HIV guy in the family or at work. The silent coping was really bad for me but perhaps it's right for some people. Everyone's life is unique. I wish I opened up sooner because now everything is hunkydorry with no problems. 

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2007, 06:35:19 AM »
Zeb dear

I am back in the Netherlands and unable to leave the house (despite the awsome weather) because if I go to work today the Big Boss (my bosses' boss) wants to know what is my story already and I feel intimidated by telling him and not sure at all it is right. My bosses themselves know from the start as do several of my collegues. But you see even this doesn't help when I might have to take it 'higher'. Luckily I have a meeting with my social worker today so I shall discuss this with her and stall one day more.

I think you have to have some control over who knows and who doesn't. Not all of us can go all public like Regan Hoffman. For example, my BF's parents would just DIE if they knew. Some people I know would not take it so bad but I still choose not to put myself in the focus and not to tell. You don't HAVE to tell, you CHOOSE to tell. I think we are very lucky to live in this country where "most" people would take it differently than we imagine. Some surprises that I had: Telling a collegue and having her say that her best friend is infected so she already knows all about it; having my mum (not in the Netherlands) tell her best friend (who is the only one of my parents' circle who knows) and hearing that her best friend's brother is infected. Having my boss say he would have hired a HIV+ person knowingly (I still swore him to secrecy not to tell his nosy wife). Having my BF (then just friend) say at the time it made me more 'intersting' and showed I was 'strong'. I know it's awfully hard but surely some of your friends/close people deserve some credit for being able to handle this information?

Greetz
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 25,399
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2007, 08:46:15 AM »
Zeb, I'm glad you have found your way here. There are some experiences which are essentially the same whether someone is straight or gay. The feelings and situations you have described are ones which many members here, whatever their sexual identity, can relate to.

Also, please keep in mind that becoming HIV positive is something that is still very, very new to you -- only since December. Although December may now seem at times to be a long time ago to you. So you need to give yourself time to get adjusted to having HIV in your life. Right now I suspect it looms very large, but it won't always have to be that way.

Gradually I think you will see that it is a part of your life, (and an important part at that), but by no means something that will define who you are or what you can have in your life. So you need to give yourself time.

Also very important important in making the adjustment is that you not be isolated. By coming into the Forums you have made a good step out of isolation. Isolation is very unhealthy and just allows your worst thoughts and most discouraged feelings to take over. Coming here is not the same as sitting with a friend in person, but you maybe amazed at how much you can benefit from the exchanges here.

You're always welcome to discuss whatever is on your mind and to ask questions. You can get the benefit of years of experience from others, and as I said earlier, whether they are gay or straight there is a common humanity that can often trump any differences.

You've made a good start in letting us get to know you. Keep coming back. The things you are concerned about -- family, your children, your beloved, your co-workers and more -- you don't have to get everything all "solved" in a hurry. Give yourself time. I don't know what maybe available in Holland in terms of support groups through AIDS service organizations. That might be something to look into. Your doctor might be able to suggest something related to that.

Meanwhile and openendedly you are welcome here. We're glad you have found us.

Cheers,

Andy Velez

Offline SouthSam7

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2007, 08:26:05 AM »
I haven't read all the replies but I have some comments to your posting.

I am a "silent coper" because I live in a small town and anyone else here positive is terrified of others finding out so there is no social network. 

There are some poz support/social groups in larger cities I've been to. It was very helpful to me to see that many other people with hiv.  Every support group I've been to is all gay males, though, you are right about that.  It's a double-edged sword, too, because no one wants to talk about hiv when you're there.  And that was the point of me going, to get information and others' experiences, etc., and to talk with others with hiv.

Good or bad, 98% of my support system and hiv social networking has come from right here in the forums!

Sincerely,
Sam

Offline belgium

  • Member
  • Posts: 30
    • jean's blog
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 12:43:18 PM »
4 years ago i became infected, the first year was bad but then it wore off.
luckely my numbers are holding up well so i have no health concerns at this time; at this point i mannage to pass days and even weeks whitout thinking about hiv once!
i told my parents and my brother and sister and of course my partner, thats it, dontsee any need to inform other people.
having a busy life and lots to do keeps my mind fully occupied, i hope it stays that way for a long time, i just get a bit uneasy once every three months when my bloddwork comes up (as now, i'm waiting for the results)
if it isn't working, it must be windows

Offline wishihadacat

  • Member
  • Posts: 220
    • Therainstorm.com
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 05:37:03 PM »
Zeb, I'm glad you have found your way here. There are some experiences which are essentially the same whether someone is straight or gay. The feelings and situations you have described are ones which many members here, whatever their sexual identity, can relate to.

Also, please keep in mind that becoming HIV positive is something that is still very, very new to you -- only since December. Although December may now seem at times to be a long time ago to you. So you need to give yourself time to get adjusted to having HIV in your life. Right now I suspect it looms very large, but it won't always have to be that way.

Gradually I think you will see that it is a part of your life, (and an important part at that), but by no means something that will define who you are or what you can have in your life. So you need to give yourself time.

Also very important important in making the adjustment is that you not be isolated. By coming into the Forums you have made a good step out of isolation. Isolation is very unhealthy and just allows your worst thoughts and most discouraged feelings to take over. Coming here is not the same as sitting with a friend in person, but you maybe amazed at how much you can benefit from the exchanges here.

You're always welcome to discuss whatever is on your mind and to ask questions. You can get the benefit of years of experience from others, and as I said earlier, whether they are gay or straight there is a common humanity that can often trump any differences.

You've made a good start in letting us get to know you. Keep coming back. The things you are concerned about -- family, your children, your beloved, your co-workers and more -- you don't have to get everything all "solved" in a hurry. Give yourself time. I don't know what maybe available in Holland in terms of support groups through AIDS service organizations. That might be something to look into. Your doctor might be able to suggest something related to that.

Meanwhile and openendedly you are welcome here. We're glad you have found us.

Cheers,



Andy's advice is absolutely right on and very thoughtfully written, Zeb, and you should assume that you have friends here.

28 years poz
20 years of silent coping, with a little help from my closest friends.
Your name here  X_______________

Offline Just John

  • Member
  • Posts: 267
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 06:14:27 PM »
Beyond my partner and the members of this site I've told no one about my status and for the time being I'm happy for it to stay that way, I have some really personal issues about telling my family and friends so it's going to stay that way for some time, I hope. I'm fairly happy with the status quo and glad that at least I have the luxury of time to prepare myself for the inevitable need for disclosure.

I'm a gay guy Zeb, but like you I feel really uncomfortable with my local support groups, I don't want to generalise too much but I got the feeling that most of the people there wanted to dramatise their status rather than find ways of carrying on, or resuming their 'normal' lives.

I know that I'm lucky not to have any serious issues at the moment, either with the virus or the meds and that I can get lots of information both from this site and my hospital health worker if necessary. I also 'feel' a sense of belonging when I come here and therefore, I'm not coping alone.

John.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Who of you are silent copers, and how are you doing?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2007, 09:10:16 AM »
"  I got the feeling that most of the people there wanted to dramatise their status rather than find ways of carrying on, or resuming their 'normal' lives."  quote
................................................
There is something to be said for a healthy dose of DENIAL.... as it helps us feel normal.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.