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Author Topic: an AHA moment !  (Read 9811 times)

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Offline AlanBama

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an AHA moment !
« on: March 12, 2008, 10:56:43 PM »
As Oprah says, I think I just had an AHA moment.....

While dishing out advice (that really wasn't asked for) to a newbie, it struck me that I never ever had any issues with accepting my own responsibility in becoming HIV+.   I never tried to blame anyone else, never tried to figure out or calculate who or why or when....

Perhaps THAT is one of the keys to being a long-term survivor.  I've never really thought about it in that light.

I was just curious about how many other LTSers accepted the "blame" for their infection right from the start, and went on with the business of living? Sure, we've all asked "why me" before, I am certainly guilty of that....but I always knew that no one was responsible for me having AIDS but me.

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 Dachshund

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 11:00:19 PM »
Never gave it another thought, never thought there was another way. My first reaction was just feeling relieved that I didn't give it to my lover.

It just is.

Offline aztecan

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 12:07:54 AM »
I never worried about blaming anyone else. I'm infected because I had unprotected sex.

No, let me amend that. I had A LOT of unprotected sex during the years before we knew what was happening and even a few years after people started dying.

I don't blame anyone. I take responsibility for my being infected, That is just the way it is.

HUGS,

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

Offline BT65

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 08:02:10 AM »
I've always taken responsibility for what happened.  Even though I was infected by my first husband, hey, I knew how things were transmitted.  I chose not to ever use protection.  Who else can I blame? 

I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 08:10:21 AM »


I was just curious about how many other LTSers accepted the "blame" for their infection right from the start, and went on with the business of living? Sure, we've all asked "why me" before, I am certainly guilty of that....but I always knew that no one was responsible for me having AIDS but me.

Alan


I never had a problem accepting the blame for my infection. I knew exactly what I should have done, but choose differently. I was at one point angry and upset with the person, that I choose to have unprotected sex with. I also attended his funeral in 1986. I am also very thankful, that I never passed this on to Ed.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
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http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

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Offline Ann

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 09:55:59 AM »
Hi Alan,

I've never had any problem accepting my responsibility for my infection either. That's why I normally say "the person I acquired my infection from" instead of "the person who infected me".

I've also wondered if this wasn't a factor in living long/well with this bug. Harbouring a grudge/blame/anger is very harmful to us physically, I really do believe that.

xxx
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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 aztecan

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 10:28:14 AM »
I've also wondered if this wasn't a factor in living long/well with this bug. Harbouring a grudge/blame/anger is very harmful to us physically, I really do believe that.

xxx

I agree. I think having a positive mental attitude, pardon the expression, really does have an effect.

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

Offline RapidRod

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 10:50:42 AM »
Alan, like the rest I never put the blame on anyone but when I contracted it they didn't know for sure what the cause was. It was a gay disease then and I've never blamed anyone for me being gay.

Offline bear60

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 10:59:10 AM »
I can add my name to this list, since I have never felt angry or hostile toward anyone about my HIV infection. I did try to figure out when it was that I became infected but it was an impossible task because  my partner and I at the time were not in a monogamous relationship.  I could have given it to him or he could have given it to me or I could have been infected while partying in New York City. Who knows who cares. Like sands through the hourglass of time, these are the days of our lives.
In addition, my support group encouraged "foregiveness".  We practiced that a lot.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline ademas

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 11:23:26 AM »
My first lover infected me.  It was before anyone knew what was happening.
It wasn't anyones fault.
He passed in 1993.
I've never felt any blame or guilt.
Maybe this is a little twisted, but I've always felt a degree of comfort in knowing it was Steve--this beautiful man that I was head-over-heels in love with for the first time in my life, and who loved me.
I know...I know...so Romeo and Juliet...

Online Jeff G

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 11:39:37 AM »
  I was having a conversation with a coworker who didn't know my HIV status , and she said something about a friend of mine that had just past away. She said ... Oh that guy died of Aids and he probally gave it to allot of people... I useally assume when some one says something so stupid they need information more than they need my anger , but this day I just lost it and among many other not so nice things I told her that I also have Aids and no one gave it too me , I went out and got it myself.

After this I was thinking about it and I realized it was true I never had thought anyone was responsible but myself. I knew the score and still had unsafe sex. 

Offline AlanBama

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 12:01:16 PM »
Sure looks like a trend here.    Accepting Responsibility = Living Long

I know it's certainly not the only factor, but I really do think it has a lot to do with overall well-being, and thus, long-term survival.

I had just never actually thought of it in those terms, until today.   Thus, the AHA moment.

thanks, all of you!

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 Snowangel

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 12:16:25 PM »
I can't say that I have forgiven but I have accepted the fact that my sons father infected me.  I think because there were so many other issues going on in the relationship like verbal, mental,sexual and physical abuse, I would not have been able to get out of the relationship if I didn't keep in my head that he knowingly infected me.  I asked him straight out if he was infected and he said no.  I thought I was in a monogamous relationship, I was on the pill, my concern was for getting pregnant, not getting a disease.  I would rather not have sex at all than to wear a condom everytime when I am in a relationship.  I think for me harboring anger and blame has been healthy.
Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline bear60

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 12:23:46 PM »
" I think for me harboring anger and blame has been healthy.
Snow"
.............................................................
Not sure if you meant this the way it sounds Snow, but you cant possibly think harboring anger and blame is healthy.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Snowangel

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 12:39:46 PM »
Hi Bear,
In my situation, it was. If I hadn't I would probably dead right now or in jail for life.  My anger /blame was always only towards one person.   At home, I was in survival mode and at work I was myself.
Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline Winiroo

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2008, 12:53:01 PM »
Positive since 1992. My husband infected me. I stayed with him till his death.
It never occurred to me to be angry with him. I was infected already what good would being angry or blaming him do?

I didn't think my being infected was a malicious act. Just a stupid one...

Stupid for me not to consider it a possibility when I knew my husband slept with alot of men. Stupid of him not to think about it when he knew several people who where HIV positive.

Offline Texan38

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 02:18:31 PM »
What an interesting thread....I have to admit, I had a lot of anger and resentment for several years but then I started to ask myself 'why?'  What's done is done, being angry and resenting my ex lover wasn't making me feel better, there was no point to it.  When I first tested positive, I believed I was dying of AIDS and it was all because of him.  Now - I'm living with HIV and I'm happier because I have come to terms and finally let go of the past. If that makes any sense.
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

Offline Winiroo

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2008, 02:32:50 PM »
Makes perfect sense

Offline BT65

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2008, 06:51:48 PM »
Hi Bear,
In my situation, it was. If I hadn't I would probably dead right now or in jail for life.  My anger /blame was always only towards one person.   At home, I was in survival mode and at work I was myself.
Snow

Snow, I hope you've been able to let that go.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Snowangel

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2008, 07:15:25 PM »
Yup  ;D
For my sons sake, I act like nothing ever happened, which is really easy since he could careless about being involved as most fathers would.  He still makes me extremely nervous/uncomfortable and I worry somewhat when my son is with him(which is every other weekend) but I get through it.
Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2008, 01:46:40 AM »
I never gave it a second thought. I considered it waisted energy. Hell, I had to many other thing on my plate at the time like LIVING ONE MOR DAY!...It was just not important compared to other more important things going on at the time.

To this day I still don't give a rats ass.
Positive since 1985

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2008, 03:31:37 PM »
I was infected as a teenager back when there wasn't much information readily available. Who knows if I would have contracted it or not if I would have known. But then again, considering my low self esteem and self destructive behavior back then, truthfully, probably would have. Doesn't reallly matter,it was lifetimes ago. I'm still here and grateful to have survived.

 :)
Sharkie

Offline cayucosguy

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2008, 03:38:03 PM »
I'm not sure I ever harbored an ill feeling.  Hell, Michael and I were both big whore's ( though I was and am the man with the insatiable bottom  :D ), so I cannot say for sure who gave it to whom, or if we even infected each other.

All I know is that after almost 24 years, I am still here.  Michael, on the other hand, continued to blame "everyone else" for his diagnosis until the day he died (a very bitter and too-old too-soon man).

I also refuse to blame myself - it's just not worth it in the long run.  It happened, so I live with it.

Vince

Offline bearby

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2008, 10:34:27 AM »
I  accepted contracting hiv and then the move  on to an aids diagnosis as my own responsibility .
 But that I see as a good thing is that I went back to the hospital where I got the diagnosis and got my medical discharge records ( after waiting two weeks to get them because they had gone to microfish files and had to be located among the many thousands of files on record ) to ascertain ( figure out ) when I had become infected ( OK a better way to  state that was to figure out who my sexual contacts had been during a specific window of time ).
 NOW that I have realized who I was infected by I am taking joy in having the knowledge that that one certain person isn't among the living any longer therefore I have had the joy if not elation at the knowledge that " HEY I SURVIVEDD YOUR ASS & AM STILL LIVING AND HEALTHY SO THERE YA SO & SO TAKE THAT ! ".
I have been told more than once by my id Dr that i should have  been dead long ago but for some reason I have managed to survive this myriad amount of med side effects to go on living if not even thriving to make myself and other better people because I'm not one to hide in the shadows and Say I can't do that but insted chose to be vocal about things and get them changed so as in a way as to ensure that others know exactly what right to recourse they have( also to make myself feel better in the knowledge that I have survived the person that i was infected by ( who no did not tell me that he was himself infected ) and this is one time that I know in this point in my life that NO I should not have survived all the things I have done in my past but hey I'm alive and thriving !!!!!!!!!!!
Have you preformed your random act of kindness today ?

Offline rondrond

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2008, 08:50:05 AM »
Who knows?
 I was a bartender and was ..popular. I never thought about who did what and when. I was a hot pistol and ready for anything..anytime, anywhere. I'm not that hard to control, as long as I am handled right. Some vague brain cell somewhere does remember someone saying "uhoh..the condom broke"...but it was me saying "well, don't stop now, I'm almost there"....AHA..
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
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Offline MarcoPoz

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2008, 10:58:54 AM »
I know from whom I got HIV.  I know when.  I know how...and she's dead now.  I lost track of her soon after she found out--then heard that she couldn't deal with things and was falling apart.

I've often thought that how we accept our diagnosis DOES say something about how we then live with it.

I've noticed some people say "someone infected ME" and tend toward victim-ness.  Like everyone living with HIV just wants to infect others.

I've noticed some people say "I got infected" and tend toward guilt and shame. Like they somehow deserved it.

Others--me included say "I have HIV".  I don't blame--don't act like a victim and don't wallow in shame ( a FEW dips of the toe now and then though ;) )

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2008, 03:34:32 PM »
Nope, couldn't get angry because I had no idea which person gave it to me over a span of 5 or so years before I was diagnosed. 

I also have never had any "guilt" issues about my infection.  That, in my mind, is just as bad as the topic of this thread though I guess they often go hand in hand.  I'm not big on guilt anyway.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline OneMoreGuy

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2008, 04:29:30 PM »
As a psychologist I can say that living with any form of anger or bitterness, whether one is HIV negative or positive, will lead to a shorter life. Such feelings eat away at the things that are good in us. The things which allow our bodies the strength to stay healthy.

As most of you have stated, at the end of the day, we all made a choice which brought us to this point.

Who gave it to me? I don't know. But as the saying goes, 'it takes two to Tango.'
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline netta

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2008, 06:03:11 PM »
I don't know if they even had a test for Aids back in 1984, I beleve it was called Sids not Aids at that time. I feel I was very ignorant because I had never heard of Aids .I don't know if my boyfriend knew he had it or not. No one told me, not him, nor the doctors who treated him in the hospital, and they were well aware we were living together and were engaged to get married. I don't blame my boyfriend,I blame the doctors who never told me the truth, and believe me I asked many times, I was told it was his pancreas,  I just wish someone would  have told me before he died.
"to thine own self be true"

Offline hartiepie

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2008, 06:15:17 PM »
Netta--
When my brother was sick 1979-1986, we didn't know what it was until 1985. Up to then it was one illness after another. This is accurate and what the doctors knew at the time : he had a bunch of illnesses. Of course, ultimately we found out the underlying cause was that he had HIV that caused AIDS. AIDS was largely in NYC and SF and LA so I am not surprised that he eventually was correctly diagnosed by a specialist from the coasts. I believe his doctors were ignorant of AIDS (or as it was originally call GRID) and so they wouldn't have been able to say any different than they did.

Offline edfu

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2008, 09:10:29 PM »
Being a longtime non-progressor who finally progressed big time after 20 years, and not having had sex since September of 1982, I have no idea from whom I contracted HIV.  It could have happened anytime during the 1970s for all I know.  I contracted it before anyone really knew much of anything or how or what.  I have no guilt, therefore, but I do sometimes wonder if I unknowingly transmitted it to someone else pre-1982.  Surely I must have.  Since almost all of my friends and acquaintances from that time are no longer with us, I am just grateful to be one of the few to still be alive. 
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline heartforyou

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Re: an AHA moment !
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2008, 02:43:49 PM »
Hey,

I was a flight attendant, young, goodlooking, social and horny... and all these American guys made my head spin...

Well, I had sex, unprotected sex, lots and lots of it. At least I had fun back then.

I rally never thought about who, where or what. I knew it could have been a needle in a haystack... lord, I was young back then.

Fully agree on that Alan. After the initial "why me" I continued flying and living... the most probable reason for me still being alive now.



Love to all the LTS.... it can be f******ng hard some days.

Hermie




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