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Author Topic: I feel petty compared to some here...  (Read 3351 times)

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Offline AuroraCOGuy

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  • Posts: 29
I feel petty compared to some here...
« on: October 21, 2010, 01:11:06 PM »
I almost didn't post this based on some of the stories/experiences I've read in this forum (the stories on being raped...words cannot begin to explain and those monsters deserve nothing less than death).

I admit that when I found out about my wife's betrayal and the end results, for the first time ever I understood why people think about suicide. When a few friends I came out to (about my HIV status) translated it into something else (i was on the DL or banging street walkers, etc), that wound just got deeper and had pure iodine poured into it. I'm glad to say that I'm past that, it was a fleeting moment and the violent rage I felt was also passing.

My fear, as a heterosexual male living with HIV, is that I'm going to be forever stigmatized. Even my female friends have pulled away. For the greater part of the past 3 months (granted, the length of my being positive) I've been overcome with the fear of being alone. If I had engaged in activity that had knowingly exposed me to this risk, I'd only have myself to blame. But I didn't and it's eating me up because most of society will see this as something I did to me. I don't know if I will ever forgive my soon to be ex-wife (despite the fact that she to is having to go through with this along with dealing with the collapse of our marriage and the similar betrayal of her affair partner-in-crime) but I know that I loved being married, that I loved having a companion, an equal and something to share my life with. And yeah, I'll continue to be selfish, I loathe the fact that I will never be able to have a carefree sex life again (within the confines of a monogamous relationship) assuming a sex life actually happens again. It's petty but its eating at me. There will always be this ritual before any intimacy and little to no more spur-of-the-moment "lets get freak nasty".

I want to stress, this is petty. It's small fries. But being alone and not having that freedom eats at me. Am I being irrational? I see others have formed relationships and I want another one once I get my baggage all packed and stored away but I'm curious about other heterosexual males and how some of the obstacles of being HIV+ have been overcome. I couldn't even dream of dating an HIV- female because I'd never want to risk "sharing" this with her.  


edit:

I guess I need to answer why I posted here. This is a major anxiety point for me. I hate the thought of being alone and not having someone live, warm and in front of me to talk about this stuff with just sucks. And it's not just the sex or alone thing, it's the anger and the fear of the unknown. Right now I'm very healthy and my body is doing a great job fighting without meds/therapy due to my genetics but what happens next week, next month, next year, etc?

I do have calls out to councilors. I've never needed a head shrink before so this is new for me. But in the interim I'm just driving myself batty and I'm not sure for what.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 01:16:56 PM by AuroraCOGuy »
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 01:25:55 PM »
My fear, as a heterosexual male living with HIV, is that I'm going to be forever stigmatized. Even my female friends have pulled away. For the greater part of the past 3 months (granted, the length of my being positive) I've been overcome with the fear of being alone. If I had engaged in activity that had knowingly exposed me to this risk, I'd only have myself to blame. But I didn't and it's eating me up because most of society will see this as something I did to me

This is actually a fairly common thought here especially among the newly infected.  You'll find as time marches on that a lot of the anxiety associated with your status will slowly fade away.

Something you may want to think about is the sentiment that "I did nothing wrong!".  You were in what was supposed to be a monogamous relationship but wasn't.  The main mode of transmission of HIV is unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.  You contracted HIV through unprotected intercourse (I presume) and while there is nothing morally wrong with this it does put you at risk of contracting HIV.  Unfortunately the person you trusted let you down and infected you with HIV in the process.

I can't comment on heterosexual culture but my eyes have been widened by the amount of gay men who are absolutely understanding of the disease or are willing to be educated about it if they are not.  There are also other HIV+ women and positive venues to find partners.  30 years into this epidemic it's still not something you want to be a part of, but it's not the end of your life merely a change in the way you live it.

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 01:31:31 PM »
Well put Hellraiser

Welcome to the forums Aurora.  You seem to have a pretty good head on your shoulders and it does get better with time.

Pete

Offline AuroraCOGuy

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  • Posts: 29
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 02:53:27 PM »
Something you may want to think about is the sentiment that "I did nothing wrong!".  You were in what was supposed to be a monogamous relationship but wasn't.  The main mode of transmission of HIV is unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.  You contracted HIV through unprotected intercourse (I presume) and while there is nothing morally wrong with this it does put you at risk of contracting HIV.  Unfortunately the person you trusted let you down and infected you with HIV in the process.

Without inundating the forum with the details of my sex life, yes, as a married couple that I *thought* was monogamous, we practiced unprotected sex 100% of the time. And yes, as a couple and only together, we did acts that otherwise would be "high risk". Had I known before that she had strayed, obviously after things were on the mend, protection would have likely been used until we were sure things were all clear.

Be that as it may, again I feel petty because the man she had an affair with also infected his wife and from the sounds of things, two other women he had an affair with previously. And I genuinely feel for them. In my own way I feel really bad for my ex-wife but I cannot, at least at this time, bring myself to forgive her when one considers the additional ramifications of her actions. That and this all feels so damn personal to me but again, it seems like small fries compared to what some of the others on here have gone through. I try to put it into perspective but the self-centered/selfish part of me can't.

I appreciate the feedback though. I consider myself to be a fairly logical and level headed individual. I just got played by the game and it sucks. It doesn't help that I'm letting my own stereotypes amplify back on me. I know i'm at the anger/depression stage of grief having just gotten out of the denial and bargaining part.
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

Offline skeebo1969

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  • Posts: 5,699
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 02:58:01 PM »



    You need to tackle these issues seperately.  I would have lost my mind if my trust had been broken. 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline BT65

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 04:34:31 PM »
Aurora, you're not being "petty," you're being normal.  Would you expect someone else who had just experienced what you have to feel good?  You have to give yourself the same break you'd give someone else.  I'm glad you're pursuing the counseling, because it sounds like you could use the help of someone guiding you through the betrayal, and subsequent diagnosis, and all the ramifications of that. 

I'm sure you're experiencing things pretty intensely at the present, and I hope you continue to check in here with us, and let us know how you're doing.
  L-
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 06:12:07 PM »
I admit that when I found out about my wife's betrayal and the end results, for the first time ever I understood why people think about suicide. When a few friends I came out to (about my HIV status) translated it into something else (i was on the DL or banging street walkers, etc), that wound just got deeper and had pure iodine poured into it. I'm glad to say that I'm past that, it was a fleeting moment and the violent rage I felt was also passing.

Don't be surprised if the rage isn't really passing as quick as you may hope.  Its human to feel anger but eventually you'll see it all comes down to you and the future.
 
My fear, as a heterosexual male living with HIV, is that I'm going to be forever stigmatized.

No difference from gays and lesbians, actually.

I've been overcome with the fear of being alone.

This fear, which is really longing for companionship trust and love, again is perfectly human and you will see more justified than anger at your ex, and anger at the stigma people will direct at you, which is investing negative energy in other people's negative energy.
 
I loathe the fact that I will never be able to have a carefree sex life again (within the confines of a monogamous relationship) assuming a sex life actually happens again.

The situation isnt as black and white as you see it. For one, you never know, you might fall for an HIV+ woman and then you might very well have condomless sex again - if that is what you mean by carefree.  Another possibility is that you go on HAART, become undetectable, and your partner agrees to that small risk of transmission.  Another possibility is that you'll see that a condom isn't much of a hindrance to carefree sex.  Geez - i had "carefree" sex for 25 years with condoms - never thinking much about the rubber - that was the only choice gays have had since the epidemic began if we really wanted to be sure to stay negative.   Should sorta be that way with with heteros too, dont you think?  I had LONG TERM relationships with wild sex and it was always safesex. All this "negotiation" of unsafe sex really starting getting bigger in the gay world only since HAART proved so successful. 

I think you'll enjoy and grow with a shrink.  You seem pretty willing to discuss things openly and also to adapt to the shit life can throw in your path.  Good luck to you!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,939
  • AM member since 2003
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 06:26:06 PM »
Aurora

There will always be someone worse of than you, but that doesn't make your problems any less important, never apologise because you think you are being petty, trust me you are not, the way you are feeling is a big deal, and as skeebo said you have to tackle each one seperatly..and forget how the others are feeling (the soon to be ex wife, and the guy she had an affair with) you are the important one here, the one thing you have to remember is there is life after HIV, trust me, you have a great bunch of guys here to help and support you whenever you fell the need to talk...hope you stick around.

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

Offline leese43

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  • Posts: 257
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 06:05:41 PM »
Something you may want to think about is the sentiment that "I did nothing wrong!".  You were in what was supposed to be a monogamous relationship but wasn't.  The main mode of transmission of HIV is unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.  You contracted HIV through unprotected intercourse (I presume) and while there is nothing morally wrong with this it does put you at risk of contracting HIV.  Unfortunately the person you trusted let you down and infected you with HIV in the process.


This is taking the whole "you're responsible" thing just a little too far don't you think? This guy was married for 12 years, think about your parents..if your dad brought HIV home to your mum would you be saying the same thing to her? I doubt it...

Edited to add - sorry Aurora that you're having to go through this, it does get easier with time. Like Betty said the counselling will help you work through everything. Stick around here too for lots of great advice.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 06:16:31 PM by leese43 »
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 09:32:18 PM »
Be that as it may, again I feel petty because the man she had an affair with also infected his wife and from the sounds of things, two other women he had an affair with previously. And I genuinely feel for them. In my own way I feel really bad for my ex-wife but I cannot, at least at this time, bring myself to forgive her when one considers the additional ramifications of her actions.

Wow sounds like a real Typhoid Mary that guy.

You know, you dont have to forgive your exwife, not now for sure.  You can put that issue to the side.  Maybe time will lead you to forgiveness but its not the priority now, and youre divorcing.  I heard that it takes 1-2 months per year together. My experience after a rotten betraying lying breakup, after a 13 year relationship, was that works out about right.  In the beginning everything is too mixed up, sadness, anger, loneliness, fear. You're dealing with a double whammy so be kind with yourself and dont worry at all about your ex for the moment.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2010, 08:20:13 AM »
This is taking the whole "you're responsible" thing just a little too far don't you think? This guy was married for 12 years, think about your parents..if your dad brought HIV home to your mum would you be saying the same thing to her? I doubt it...

Edited to add - sorry Aurora that you're having to go through this, it does get easier with time. Like Betty said the counselling will help you work through everything. Stick around here too for lots of great advice.

I totally agree. Aurora had every right to think he could have condomless sex with his wife and I don't blame him for feeling betrayed. And yes, this is coming from someone who is firm in her stance that each person in a relationship has responsibility for their own health.

However, when one is in a committed, allegedly non-open relationship, there comes with that a perfectly reasonable expectation of safety.

Aurora, it does get better in time. There are many people who are in the same position as you find yourself - namely that of a betrayed partner who ended up hiv positive because of that betrayal.

But you cannot let that betrayal rule your life. What happened, happened and it can't be undone now. That doesn't mean you don't have choices, we always have choices. In this case, it is your choice how you deal with the hand you've been dealt.

You'll find that life will go much easier for you if you do your best to forgive her and move on with your life. Don't forget that she's already paying a high price for her actions as she is also living not only with hiv, but also with the guilt that will surely come with knowing she also infected you. That can't be easy.

I also agree that seeking out counselling will help you make sense of it all and help you get to a better place and move on with your life.

Good luck. Keep us posted and please, come here any time you need to vent. We're here for you.

Ann
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 smiteler

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  • Posts: 56
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2010, 11:52:28 PM »
my story is a little different, but i can probably give you a small window of what
you are up against being a single male in the hetro world..
i have alot of the same feelings you do,it is not a easy road to travel
my ex gf gave it to me after we were together for a year
we lasted for 7 more.. in the end it was very ugly and very hard on me, i will spare the details.
5 years later i'm still single and i will probably be that way for a long while as i got laid off
my job 3 months ago
and i have not put myself out since the moment i knew my job was going to be ending which was about 6 months before that.
i will have to reinvent myself as i cannot do the work i was doing anymore.
i have had job offers,one was just too far away
and the other was such a cut in pay i couldn't survive on it.
i even have been looking into going back to school just not sure for what..
who would want to go near a mess like i am right now? lol

i can comment on the hiv stigma in the hetro culture.. it still sucks!

anyway be prepared for alot of rejection
 and questions about your sexual orientation,wide eyes,open mouths,
shaking heads,stepping back,pushing away and some hugs
and pity and wishes of luck..

 the only good thing i have found is it will give you
the perfect out when you get unwanted advances from someone
and you don't want to hurt thier feelings..



 

Offline Theyer

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 12:25:13 PM »
Welcome,

I do not detect any pettiness in your post, regular human feeling at the shit randon nature off life but no pettiness.

Your dealing with it , I hope you live somewhere convenient for support groups and continue to use this forum . RE

the stages off grief they can pop up in any order in my experience.

Take care

t
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline AuroraCOGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 09:11:17 PM »
Thanks for all the positive vibes and feedback. Met with a psychologist today who echoed what many of you had already said. She recommended some Lexipro to "get me over the hump" and also wants to have a few sessions with me and my wife (still legally not my ex) to understand some history and events leading up to where we are today. She thinks that I acted to brashly to cut her out after one infraction regardless of how severe that infraction because 12 years of marriage and 14 years of relationship is pretty significant and to just "cut that part of my life off" is a bit drastic.

Anyways, have 3 meetings set up over the next 3 weeks to chat about this stuff and talk about my upcoming additional tests (which also have me on edge, seeing a 3rd specialist to try and understand my immune response).
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 04:53:45 AM »
Wow I'm surprised that a psychologist would say so much about what she/he thinks is appropriate. 

But it you want to meet with your wife, in the context of therapy, Im sure that might help you two communicate what you have to say to each other in a safe way.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Snowangel

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Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2010, 07:22:51 AM »
the only good thing i have found is it will give you
the perfect out when you get unwanted advances from someone
and you don't want to hurt thier feelings..

LOL, so true!

AuroraGuy- I am suprised about what your psychologist said too, to me that part of your life has changed drastically because of her actions. I also agree with Mecch about being able to communicate in a safe way BUT that depends on how open your wife is about her responsiblity , if she is accepting responsiblity for it and if she feels any remorse about it. How did you like the psychologist?
Take care and Be strong!
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 AuroraCOGuy

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  • Posts: 29
Re: I feel petty compared to some here...
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2010, 03:21:39 PM »
Well, since the whole context of the conversation wasn't here (for the sake of being brief) yes, it comes across that way. Short version was that for the time and emotional investment together along w/ the shared experiences and obvious connection/relationship we had, it's unusual for one to just completely sever ties and that's it. We talked about how my wife and I met, dating, marriage, etc leading up to me finding out about the affair, confession and subsequent separation.

Sent me to a psychiatrist to get 10mg of Lexipro for 1 month which I'm not amused about, not really comfortable taking head drugs that have the possibility of making you a zombie but I guess since Lexipro is a 3rd gen SSRI, it's not nearly as bad as Zoloft or Prozac. Just never been a pill guy.

Next up is meeting with another specialist at UC Health Science Center who wants a few vials of blood for additional genetic/nuclear testing to understand my "unusual" response to the infection. Talk about already being on edge...ugh. That's tomorrow.
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

 


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