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Author Topic: When Your Supporters Fail You  (Read 1165 times)

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Offline Plus30

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
When Your Supporters Fail You
« on: May 12, 2012, 06:17:49 PM »
I found by going to therapy that my support system (friends, family, partner) are all lacking in that major role, and became my biggest source of stress. I'd really like to hear from anyone who understands, because it's a major problem for me right now.

My boss knows me very well. I have worked with her for years, even before I was positive. She is the main one to see the big changes I went through. We are very close and she's helped me so much. With the bad economy, and my lacking abilities, (and her overspending I've found out), I barely make anything to survive. We took on another worker to help out in the office. Still, I feel like she's in denial of how bad it was. Even though she expressed much concern, it's like it's not real - or I'm just stressing out, to her. I'd tell her I had an appointment, and the next day she'd ask why I was not in. I would tell her I was sick, she'd say take care of yourself - then when something in the office was not she'd get mad at me. Now, just as I'm trying to improve things by switching meds - because I was too weak and my T cells keep going down - my boss tells me it's time to start doing more for myself and knows I've been there too long and am not happy - talking about me going to college and sh-t. I'm like - are you serious ?!

My dad died when I was young so I'm close with my mom. She lost her job a while back, before then was working a lot. She knew early on I was poz and I've told her everything every step of the way. Now, our calls and communication are so minimal. It was less when she was not working. I haven't mentioned it to her cuz I'm so emotional about it I'll be a mess and won't be able to talk. But, I don't get it, it shouldn't be like this. When we do see each other on holidays, I'm at my family's whim, going on trips and dragged around with what they want to do, and it's too much on me. Other than that, I don't talk to any family which is very sad. They never kept in touch with me so what is there to say?

My Partner is a whole other story. We've been "together" two and a half years now. I moved into his place after over a year in the relationship and we were good together. At that point I was getting vomiting spells once a week, had no energy, and my T's were declining. Four months into living there he came home and told me it was not working and he was moving back home out of state. I was devastated. He was going to leave me alone in HIS empty apartment with one extra months rent and a futon for my services! I stood my ground, we went to therapy and a lot of this was his fears and issues. He was worried about my health, unhappy with his job, and basically running home. He did move because he quit his job here. We kept a long distance relationship, which was hard. He left most of his furniture and he'd visit - but it was costing money. He was supposed to visit for Christmas and look for a job here because HE said he wanted to move back as he was not happy back home - but the night before the flight he said he couldn't do it because he didn't want to live here and because of my funding programs and all I can't move (he moved somewhere not GLBT friendly so no way I was moving there). We talked on Christmas Eve and he said he made a big mistake about not visiting me. He did the traveling because I was afraid of getting sick, so maybe that was unfair - but he broke up with me and ditched me on Christmas, that's no ok. Cut to now, he did visit after holidays and made a heartfelt apology about everything he's put me through and joked about not getting back on the plane and wanted to stay here. He needed a second job because he was not making it back home and its exactly they way he didn't want it to go. The plan is he'd move back here in July. I've stayed in the apartment, barely affording it, for when he comes back. It's almost time and I just don't feel it happening of course. I feel he's going to sabotage it again. He's not looked for a job and does not seem happy about moving - though he isn't happy with life where he is At All! So I don't know what to do.

Friends - I don't really have. My best friend of almost 20 years has stopped calling. She never visited when I found out I was poz, she didn't visit me when my former partner died, she's not visited me in all the years I've lived here. I don't meet other new people because I'm afraid they will have their expectations of me just like everyone else does. So, basically it's just me here.

I feel like I'm being pulled in all these different directions. My partner wants a partnership, my boss wants the employee I used to be, my mom wants the son I was, Friends just Want in general - all not seeing I have changed and need to adjust. They are all in denial, and have kept the same expectations of me - which I cannot meet right now. When I don't meet them, they get bothered. They say I need to take care of myself - how can I like this? I feel so totally alone right now. I feel their selfishness - they totally don't though. I don't even know where to go from here.  :-[
...............CD4   %    VL
05/04/07   Tested Positive
10/24/07   343   18   141,000
03/12/08   327   17   120,000
05/08/08   286   13   16,529  Started Atripla
07/16/08   325   14   282 
10/14/08   317   19   72
06/10/09   392   21   <48
04/15/10   385   23   <48 New Dr
09/10/10   430   33   <48
11/29/10   540   28   <20
04/11/11   580   29   <20
06/24/11   465   31   70
01/06/12   427   26   <20
04/12/12   378   23   <20 Change to Truvada/Viramune
05/15/12   461   30   <20
10/02/12   678   28   <20
02/22/13   720   27   <20

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,733
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 08:45:27 PM »
Wow so many stresses.  I am sorry that life is so heavy for you in these times.

My initial reaction to your post is that you have quite succinctly described dissatisfaction in the four principal areas of your life:  job, family, lover, friends.  That's pretty wise of you!

So I thought, well this must be overwhelming. I would be overwhelmed. 

Maybe you need to prioritize the four domains and work on 1 or 2, since you have limited energy and need some changes quickly. 

 I personally have a feeling it might be best for your working life if you disconnect from your boss and try not to expect any support from her above and beyond the normal professional courtesies.  (Can you work with your doctor to find out how to improve your energy level?  So that you have enough for work and some leftover?) 

Decide if there is a future for you in that job, and if not, start making a game plan about how to make money in the future - another job.... Etc. 

As an aside, it's not awful that she spoke about your going to college.  If she knows you are unhappy in your work, she is probably quite kind, in wondering, what next, for you...  But, at the end of the day, we don't get our life support at work. At least its rare.  We get our money!  If things are tough, we can be out the door, one day to the next.  Its really not a good place for support, despite what colleagues might say.  Do your job well, efficiently, shrewdly, and save some energy to fix and enjoy other domains.

The other domain which might give the most bang for the effort to invest in, I think, is your friends.  After all, they are your friends, and don't have the complex and ambivalent relationship that your family and boyfriend have with you, at the moment. 

Can you start to talk to them about what you want from the friendships?  They might be more easily able to accommodate your needs, and support you, and faster than your mom or your bf.  You only mention one close friend and having none active right now.  For reel?  Maybe you need more friends. How could that happen? 

« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 08:49:55 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Plus30

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 11:00:10 PM »
Thanks very much. Yes I've been trying to work on some things - work is one and my relationship is the other.

With work, it's not so easy, I've been there almost ten years - so my boss and I don't have the usual work relationship, we are like a family and know each other so well. There are a lot of problems there that I feel are my bosses fault, and to some degree she's finally been admitting it. For a while it seemed to be falling on me and I was plain not having it and held my own.

Because of the weakness and tiredness, and all the appointments I keep - it would be SO hard to get a different job. My current job allows the flexibility I desperately need.

While I know she was coming from a good place talking to me about college, there is no way, shape, or form that could happen now. She might have well said maybe I'll win the lottery. THIS is where my support system of people fail because their denials get in the way. She knows how terribly weak I have been to not perform properly, yet she says to think about college - it's like nothing has even happened to me in her mind, and I'm just being lazy.

As for friends, I only have a few but I can talk to them I suppose. Talking with my best friend about her lack of support has been a long time coming so it's probably something I need to address with her, if anything to say my part in it.
...............CD4   %    VL
05/04/07   Tested Positive
10/24/07   343   18   141,000
03/12/08   327   17   120,000
05/08/08   286   13   16,529  Started Atripla
07/16/08   325   14   282 
10/14/08   317   19   72
06/10/09   392   21   <48
04/15/10   385   23   <48 New Dr
09/10/10   430   33   <48
11/29/10   540   28   <20
04/11/11   580   29   <20
06/24/11   465   31   70
01/06/12   427   26   <20
04/12/12   378   23   <20 Change to Truvada/Viramune
05/15/12   461   30   <20
10/02/12   678   28   <20
02/22/13   720   27   <20

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,733
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 06:52:53 AM »
Is the lack of energy related to depression? Have any doctors sought to diagnose and or treat the lack of energy?
By all means talk to your old close friend.
By all means draw some lines about what you can and cant do with family.
I don't have much of a feeling what to say about your bf. Clearly hes ambivalent and not a great source of support or constancy.
What can you do where you live to start meeting new people. I get the impression you are disappointed in many people but Im not sure its true all people wont accept you for who you are now, particularly any new people you meet, who meet you and like you as you are now.... You seem kind of isolated.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,666
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 01:48:31 PM »


   It sounds like you're depressed and those around you are somewhat trying to help you out of a slump.  They're not the ones in denial.  Remember they have their own lives to live as well.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline weasel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,588
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 11:39:55 PM »

   It sounds like you're depressed and those around you are somewhat trying to help you out of a slump.  They're not the ones in denial.  Remember they have their own lives to live as well.

    I agree .

    But I also know you have to make your own happiness .
 
    My family   pretty much  ignores  my HIV .

    Friends that I have made , don't really care that I have HIV .

    The support group I go to is not into listening to anyone complain about HIV  :o

   Most people are much more centered on their lives , And we " Just take a PILL "

    All will be well .............................

   My Husband of 32 plus years does not really relate to HIV .
   I have total LOVE , But not the support I crave about HIV .

    My Boss was the best guy on earth !  He did not want me to leave  Las Vegas ,
    But i can not work like a dog 50 a week anymore !

    I know I was told I could work at my pace , That would never really do in
   a construction job  :-[

   Also  we now live in a tiny town of 57 people !   
   In the middle of nowhere . It is a fairly gay friendly Town . 
 But Do you want to live 50 miles from a store ? 
   Or 130 Miles from a real city ?   
 I saw you mentioned your boy friend wanted to live in one such place .
  It took me over two years to adjust to it !
   I won't be dragged out here alive  ............. :)

    Well I babble ................

    Try to be well , Find people you can relate to . They are out there .

                                                 Carl   

   P.s. The chickens went to bed before me tonight  ;)
" Live and let Live "

Offline Plus30

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 03:17:10 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies. I certainly won't deny that I am depressed at times, but I don't think it is a deep depression. I guess it is hard when you are the one who is positive, and you know that others can't fully relate.

My Support System certainly IS trying to help - but in a way that sort of "ignores" the fact I AM positive. It is like they don't Want me to be any different - but I am.

I am in the middle of the switch of meds and things have changed a lot - it's all up and down now, rather than just down lol And from coming off Atripla I can Now see just how much it messed me up - which I talk about in the Side Effects board.
...............CD4   %    VL
05/04/07   Tested Positive
10/24/07   343   18   141,000
03/12/08   327   17   120,000
05/08/08   286   13   16,529  Started Atripla
07/16/08   325   14   282 
10/14/08   317   19   72
06/10/09   392   21   <48
04/15/10   385   23   <48 New Dr
09/10/10   430   33   <48
11/29/10   540   28   <20
04/11/11   580   29   <20
06/24/11   465   31   70
01/06/12   427   26   <20
04/12/12   378   23   <20 Change to Truvada/Viramune
05/15/12   461   30   <20
10/02/12   678   28   <20
02/22/13   720   27   <20

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,181
  • 30 Years Poz
Re: When Your Supporters Fail You
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 05:20:54 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies. I certainly won't deny that I am depressed at times, but I don't think it is a deep depression. I guess it is hard when you are the one who is positive, and you know that others can't fully relate.

My Support System certainly IS trying to help - but in a way that sort of "ignores" the fact I AM positive. It is like they don't Want me to be any different - but I am.

I am in the middle of the switch of meds and things have changed a lot - it's all up and down now, rather than just down lol And from coming off Atripla I can Now see just how much it messed me up - which I talk about in the Side Effects board.

It's not that your friends don't want you to be any different, it's that they don't know what to do to help you, because you are too busy judging them for their non-support.  You know how hard it is for you right now, adjusting to being poz, do you think they feel any different?  Nobody can prepare us for testing poz, because you don't know what it feels like until after it happens.  Your friends are reacting to the fact, that someone they care about, has contracted a serious disease.  They don't know what to say or do, because nobody could have prepared them either.

If your goal is to get support, then you need to ask for it.  Most people are hesitant to approach folks, even good friends, when something like this happens, because they don't want to make it worse.  Healing begins for all of you, when you start communicating with them and you all work through your feelings together.  I also hope you don't believe that asking for support somehow diminishes you.  It doesn't, in fact, it's a sign of great internal strength, when we can admit that something is too big to face alone.

You are all on the journey to adjusting to the fact that you are poz.  There are no game plans, nor operating manuals for adjusting.  It comes from surrounding yourself with people who truly care about you and those are the very people who are waiting to hear from you.

Welcome to the forums.

Joe
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 06:44:10 PM by killfoile »
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

 


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