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Author Topic: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?  (Read 2532 times)

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Offline SouthSam7

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  • Posts: 428
Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« on: April 21, 2007, 01:55:38 AM »
I was diagnosed about a year and a half ago.  When I was growing up, everyone with HIV was a 20 or 30 something white guy.  Now I'm that 30 something white guy and I feel like I don't fit in with many other hivers.  Hope's Voice doesn't want me (I'm too old), Brother2Brother doesn't want me (I'm too white). 

I'm not a long-term survivor but I sometimes feel I can relate to them simply because they are closer to being a peer more than anyone else because of age.

Someone wrote into POZ magazine and complained there aren't enough black people represented in their magazine.  I feel the opposite.  I never see people like me in that magazine anymore.  I want to see people like me on the cover sometimes.  It's just human nature to want to fit in with some kind of group.  Especially when I don't have anyone in real life that I consider a peer. 

I don't know anyone with hiv, black, white, young, old, male or female.  Is there really so few of us out there?  How did this shift occur?  And what happened to all the people with hiv, like me, that are between the boomers and the gen-xers?

If I didn't have the forums I think I'd off myself sometimes.

Peace,

Sam

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 06:48:25 AM »
Hi Sam,

I moved your thread from the LTS forum to the Living forum, as it is a question that can be answered by people more newly diagnosed, such as yourself, as well as LTS. They still read the Living forum, so I'm sure you'll still get some LTS input on your quandary.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2007, 07:10:00 AM »
Hey Guy,

I don't care if you were diagnosed 24 years ago, or yesterday, this is one of the most isolating dignoses one can get.  If we are diagnosed with cancer for example, we can find all kinds of support anywhere in the country, but HIV; well that is a horse of anther color.

Be mindful that this is one of the main reasons that Peter decided to create this space and one of the reasons that it is probably the best site for HIV on the internet. 

I know being in Alabama, there are probably few outlets for you to seek out, and we in the Arizona hinterlands have the same quandry.  I would ask why Brother to Brother is unavailable to you, and I would say that if I were in your shoes, I would lovingly challenge that.  Do you not want to be in their organization, or are they not welcoming you into their organization.  That would be a question I would want answered, but then I am also always one to question prejudice from any angle.  I would think that the need to be with people who are HIV+ is far more important than to be with people who are exclusively black or white in skin color. 

I would also make every attempt to seek out ways for you to become stronger in your own right.  This bug is never leaving your body, so the sooner you can come to a place of comfort about that, the less you will need others to bolster you during this acceptance period.  This is one of the most difficult challenges of HIV, but one that will be important to conquer. 

Do what you can and always feel comfortable presenting here and questioning everything.

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 pozinbama

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  • Posts: 74
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 08:08:37 AM »
I understand your feelings too. When I was younger it seemed like every gay person I knew was poz, and I was the only neg person. But now that I've tested poz, wow, where did they all go? I have my partner, but otherwise don't know a single other poz person yet, and I still feel very isolated through this too. Part of it IS where you/I live. If you go over to big bad ATL it wouldn't be as much of an issue. There's just a bigger group of them there. But not everyone can up and move to the big city to feel unisolated, I know.

So far I've not found any solutions either. It seems like poz people around here(not on these forums, but in this area) are still shunned, even within the gay community, so people just don't speak up about it, which makes it harder yet to find new people to relate to. Ugh is right sometimes.

Steven

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 10:26:26 AM »
Sam, I'm going to send a link to this thread to the Editor of POZ.

No one should be falling through the cracks. And the rainbow HIV flag should include the white30somethings just like any of the other colors.

You're definitely NOT going to be ignored here.

Stay tuned.

Cheers,

« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 10:29:09 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Blixer

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  • Posts: 712
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 12:03:50 PM »
Sam, we were diagnosed about the same time and I can identify with you.  I have found absolutely no support in my area.  There are no support groups here designed for newly diagnosed individuals in our age group.  And the "long term" individuals have a whole different perspective and set of issues than we deal with.  There is no social outlet.  I tried going to a support group in Memphis and even though I was accepted, the individuals we so different that I found no real help.  Because of the fact that I have a good job and insurance, I was even told by the ASO here in St. Louis that I didn't qualify for ANY services and was discouraged from even signing up for any type of support.  Maybe I've missed it, but it seems that everything for the newly infected is directed at either much younger or ethnic groups.  It is frustrating.  And then the social outlets... there seem to be NONE.  So you end up trying to fit in with the "regular" crowd and you feel very uncomfortable.   I know it may just be my own personal reaction, but I do totally understand what you are saying.  These boards have been the only place I have been able to come.  Maybe I just haven't found what is out there.
David
Diagnosed 1/9/06
8/27/2007 CD4 598, 29%, VL 58 (72 wks)
11/19/2007 CD4 609, 30%, VL < 50 (84 wks)
2/11/2008 CD4 439, 27%, VL <50 (96 wks)
5/5/2008 CD4 535, 28%, VL <50 (108 wks)
10/20/2008 CD4 680, 28%, VL <50 (132 wks)
Changed to Atripla in 2012
1/14/2013 CD4 855, 35%, VL <40

Offline otherplaces

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  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 02:12:24 PM »

Sam,

I don't have much of the way of advice on this one, but just wanted to say I'm totally with you.  I'll spare you the details but I'm never going to fit into any group.  Fitting in would be nice, but that's not what I seek really.  I more seek just to be accepted without judgement.  When I went to a support group here in Chicago it's was okay, but not without judgement.  It has made me gun shy to try and go again as I have no idea which one to go to knowing none of these are going to match my....um, "uniqueness".  AM is the closest thing I got, and for that I'm thankful.  I wish you the best.

much love,
brian

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 04:45:56 PM »
Hey Sam,

I'm well over 30 something and have spent the past couple of years with the Commission on AIDS and all of the subcommittees and was thinking today about isolation and the Jack of Hearts (with apologies to Bob Dylan).  Going on my 11 year AIDS anniversary.

When I leave any HIV related meeting, I leave alone, go home to a dog and have little contact with anyone until the next meeting.  In real time, I have two friends... a straight guy (with a bad attitude) and a disabled crazy lady.

Don has to use me to make himself feel better about being himself.  He uses every opportunity to point out who said the words "AIDS ridden Faggot".  Recently we were sitting in a country club bar and he started poking my ribs and saying, "My gay friend doesn't like pussy..., whats the matter Michael, why don't you like pussy?, there is two more queers over there, see, go talk to them."

After awhile he got up to go to the bathroom... Two guys got up from their seats, the singer put down his microphone and three guys pulled him out of the can into the parking lot.  They kicked him in the face and basically stomped his ass in the ground.  I didn't see anything because after all, I'm just an AIDS ridden faggot.  I just got in my car, put the top down (like any self respecting AIDS ridden faggot) and went home to my dog.

I got a phone call last night from my other friend.  She holds an MA in Psychology, has taught university students in San Francisco and has spent 20 years counseling hispanic men with HIV, but is also disabled.  In our society, they throw us away when we are no longer good enough. 

Seabreeze called because she wanted to know why, I am so unhappy and what I would do if I had a choice in my life to make me happy again... I told her of the death threats, I had recently recieved by phone (long distance), the police report, the calls coming from a friend of Don's cousin and had come from a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in San Francisco.  The Deputy Sheriff recommended that if anyone comes to my door at night, I do not answer the door but dial 911.

This is my reward for all of my work and all I want is to go home (Los Angeles).  When that day comes, I will never drive North of Santa Barbara again.  Have the best day
Michael
(who never has to answer the door because there is never anyone there anyway)

 

Offline GoodMatchHawaiiRetreat

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  • Posts: 51
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2007, 02:19:31 AM »
Aloha Sam,  thank you for posting.  It helps to know others have those feelings of isolation.  For me the isolation is compounded by the fact that I live on the most isolated land on the planet.  Hawai'i is further from any other land mass in the ocean (3000 miles).
It is a beautiful place.  I love the ocean, the warm weather, tropical plants & fruits, gardening, clean air.  BUT, there aren't many poz guys here.  New to this forum, but really gratefull for the connection with other poz guys.  Not quite the same as meeting in person, having coffee or lunch, or just hanging out, but certainly better than no connection at all!   I do try to stay active with art, photography, video work, and involvement in the community; playing volleyball, community dance, community planning volunteer.  Interact with a lot of people, and have friends.  Still that feeling of wanting to have poz friends and even a partner keeps lurking....
  Hang in there and keep active in the forum.  It helps!

Offline SouthSam7

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2007, 06:34:42 PM »
I appreciate everyone's replies. 

I stayed away from the computer yesterday.  I was packing for a big move and wanted to get a lot of it out of the way.  I was really pleased when I signed in today and saw all of your helpful postings.  Just knowing that other people have felt the same way I do helps a great deal.

I'm feeling better today.  I guess it was just a case of the blues.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sam

Offline Andy101

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  • Posts: 33
  • Hello there,, How are ya ???
Re: Feelings of Isolation...anyone else?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2007, 09:31:08 PM »
Hi ya Sam,,

Just one white 30 something bloke saying hello to ya,,I know where your comimng from mate,,
Take care and stay safe,,

Andy
still thinking about this one !!!

 


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