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Author Topic: My silent activism / self-healing  (Read 7014 times)

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Offline sharkdiver

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My silent activism / self-healing
« on: September 05, 2007, 10:15:34 AM »
Hey there, I just wanted to share something. Something small, but something powerful for me that happened this Labor Day Weekend.

        To give a little background: My partner died in my arms almost 2 1/2 years ago. It had a been a difficult, horrific experience leading up to that (i really don't need to go into that, but for those of you who have been a witness to someone you love, or anyone,  dying of AIDS, you probably understand) Meanwhile here in Sacramento, there had been a huge surge in ant-gay, pro-"hetero marriage only " protests from the Slavic and evangelical "churches".  You can only imagine the hateful messages against gay and lesbians that were being displayed in public events and even more sickening; having their young 3-5 year old children holding signs and yelling.

      I used to get so angry when I saw even a  bumper sticker from one of these groups.  Every time I pulled back into the hospital  parking lot the  last 2 months of my partner's life I would see a van with one of these bumper stickers. I used to just rage!! I even wanted to track down the owner of this vehicle and scream at them, embarrass them, hurt them.  How dare they proclaim that  it was a sin, when I was sacrificing everything I had in me (my energy, my soul, my heart, my existence) to care for , to love, and to comfort my partner while he was lying in a bed suffering unimaginably! How dare they proclaim my relationship was evil.

   So this past weekend I drove by the street fair and noticed a group of protesters standing in front of the entrance;  holding signs, taking pictures of people.
Suddenly, I got this urge to do something. I didn't know what.  Maybe go stand next to one of the men and make lewd comments . No, that's not it(although some of those Russian boys were kinda cute  lol! )  Then I just walked up to the group and stood next to one of them holding one end of a banner. ... He moved over... I moved over
this went on for a few minutes. The whole group moved over. I moved over... not saying anything. Trying to be aware of what I was feeling, standing next to people that were preaching such hate.    They moved over.. I moved over.    one of the un-Christian men yelled to the man I was standing next to "if he is making you feel uncomfortable tell him "no" 3x and you can get him arrested." "You are feeling uncomfortable aren't you?"     Was I feeling threatened or did I feel fear about  getting arrested? no, I didn't care about that. But , what was I feeling?...... The groups organizer looked a little nervous, he suggested they move across the street, they did.... I did.  Other people, going to the street fair were yelling obscenities at the protesters, which seemed to egg the anti-sodomy club on, fueling the fire.  How did I feel about that?... I continued in my silence, just noticing how people were reacting to each other and what I was feeling.     One man kept asking me if I wanted to be interviewed. that I could be on U-tube.     The others began saying that my behavior was vile to their god. That what I was doing was forbidden in their bible.  hmm
What behavior? standing here in silence? not reacting? I didn't understand.... I moved to stand in front of another person... he pushed me away with his sign, but I stood firm.   What did I notice? what did I feel?  I then stood in front of him and looked into his eyes. He couldn't look at me.  I felt something.  I stood in front of another and looked into his eyes, he briefly looked into mine and then looked down.  I felt the same thing.   Then  I  GOT IT.

I felt their fear, I felt their hate  but it didn't infect me. It couldn't infect me. I didn't allow it to infect me. For some reason I closed my eyes started praying (Buddah, Jesus, Ganesha, Shiva, oh and a whole host of deities) , silently, for support for their healing (What? you say) yeah  i was praying for the enemy!  For some reason that appeared to make them feel very uncomfortable. I noticed they were reading some obscure bible passages and shouting terrible things to me, but I stayed fast in my meditation until they disbanded.   

What a relief for me, how freeing it was. All this anger that had been stored for all these years (from the time I was infected until now 24ish years later) had been changed, transmuted. It is incredible how much fear and anger takes up your energy.   

Would I do this again?  Maybe
Would I invite more people to do this? Maybe

everyone is on their own journey but hopefully we end up in the same place.

well I need to feed the doggies.

sharkdiver

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2007, 10:30:41 AM »
Shark,

That's fantastic, it really is. Gandhi would be proud - and I am too. Way to go! Thanks so much for sharing this cathartic moment in your life.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 emeraldize

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 09:02:30 AM »
SD
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Em

Offline xyahka

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  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 10:16:49 AM »
Great post!!

To promote hate is a sin, i hope these people learnt a bit that what they are doing is not right.
I am really proud of you and believe me this was a great lesson for me and for them.

send you strong hugs, you are great!!

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 10:31:28 AM »
Its great to read of so much power coming from you without you even saying a word.  Yes, I love the shock factor, and you definitely had that going on, by not speaking a word.  You looked into their eyes and they looked away?  Awesome.  Who is the guilty one here?  Certainly not you.

It was great to read of this experience you had!

~Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline Dragonette

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 11:01:02 AM »
Amazing. Thanks for sharing
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Atripla_User

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 01:02:39 PM »
you are so brave, hopfully they will rethink their hate

Offline Jerry71

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 01:10:17 PM »
Shark thanks for writing this and taking a stand. :'(

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 01:15:42 PM »
Shark,

Welcome to these forums, I trust you will feel free to share this journey you are on more often.

Gee, Sacratomato has changed since the days of Jerry Brown I see. 

Your incredible experience this last weekend, was a gift that you have shared with us and I am so very grateful.  Thank You.  What you share here can so easily be focused at the incredible prejudice that is also applied to men and women who have HIV, and I trust some will gain strength from your so very moving account of this gift you were given. 

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

Dan J.

  • Guest
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 01:37:44 PM »
Thank your for sharing this.

Dan

Offline milker

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2007, 01:57:09 PM »
Thank you for your actions. Your post will be an inspiration to me when the situation arises where I live.

Milker.
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2007, 02:00:55 PM »
huh?

Offline DanielMark

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2007, 02:21:26 PM »
Bravo, SD!

You silently shamed each of those guys with their own hate. That took a lot of guts.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2007, 03:00:42 PM »
Well, WELL done, Shark.

It does take courage when your heart and body can't help trembling sometimes. Like Ann, Gandhi was proof to me of the power each of us has to cause change non-violently.

Be well and keep on going where your heart and your spirit lead you. When I handed out flyers this past Friday at a reggae concert I said "love the music, stop the hate," there were a lot of hard faces on both men and women. I thanked every person who was willing to take a flyer and even some who weren't. It only took an hour out of my evening and it was so satisfying. 

Big cheers, friend.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 03:03:32 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline cjc

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2007, 03:27:45 PM »
Moving story, thank you for sharing it with us.  Cristy

Offline AlanBama

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2007, 03:28:20 PM »
Great story, sharkdiver!   Thanks for telling it to us.

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 anniebc

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2007, 05:49:38 PM »
Hi Shark

What a wonderful moment that must have been for you, to actually set yourself free from all the anger you had stored up over the years..thank you so much for sharing your story


Hugs
Jan :-*

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Iggy

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2007, 10:33:02 PM »
I'm not that strong

Offline mikeyleerocks

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2007, 10:39:58 PM »
Thank you for your courage!

Non-violent activism is the absolute best response in most every single situation.  The ability to make people stop and think about why they hate is always more powerful than reacting.  BRAVO!

Nobody ever asked to be happy later

Offline allanq

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2007, 10:51:47 PM »
sharkdiver,

Thank you for telling your story. I admire you very much for your courage.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline aztecan

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2007, 01:29:01 AM »
Ann was right, Ghandi would be proud.

Thank you for sharing that with us. Your courage and thoughtful attitude are much appreciated.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2007, 04:59:27 AM »
Shark,

Matty the Damned applauds you for your courageous stand. As you've learned and shown there is much to be said for masterly inaction.

With fondest regards,

MtD

Offline btobaby

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2007, 09:39:27 AM »
Wow! A powerful post! I feel stronger because of you. Thank-you.

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2007, 10:08:13 AM »
 Thank you, all of you, for your comments even the "huh?" one  ;)

  I have lived so long with this disease and much of my life in isolation. I tried to live my life below the radar and avoid conflict and confrontation. I remember watching Ryan White on the news and realizing that he was only a few years younger than me and we both had this disease. I chose to hide in fear, he chose a path of courage and truth that I couldn't even comprehend at the time. But no longer.

   My actions weren't to shame or hurt anyone, although it was apparent that their (the protester's) arsenal of "hate rhetoric" wasn't working me and they were confused and moved quickly to disband. I am certainly not in anyway comparing myself to Ryan (or Gandhi, lol) but I realized a few weeks ago I took a teeny, tiny step in changing this world. The change happened in me and there is no turning back now.

Thank you all for allowing me to reach out and share,

sharkdiver

Offline Ann

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2007, 10:28:19 AM »
Hi again Shark!

A "teeny-tiny" step? It looked like a big stride to me! Another of my favourite Gandhi quotes is "be the change you wish to see" and that is exactly the type of step you took. Thank you for being an inspiration, thank you for making a difference.

And isn't it a great feeling when you have a personal breakthrough like this? Kinda scary, kinda exhilarating, and very empowering.

Another saying, but I don't know who to attribute it to:

A journey of one thousand miles starts with a single step.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 sharkdiver

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Re: My silent activism / self-healing
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2007, 10:50:12 AM »
Well I guess my journey has started  :D

Does anyone have any suggestions or guidance as to what to do/ where to go next with this newly found strength?


Sharkdiver
(who is really in need of a scuba fix right now)

 


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