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Author Topic: anger!  (Read 7087 times)

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Offline bloodtype

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  • Posts: 12
anger!
« on: August 10, 2012, 02:30:24 PM »
hi forum,

I tested positive a little more than 2 months ago. I got it from my last boyfriend... we broke up a few months before, he broke my heart, then a few months after that I learn he had cheated (not sure if it was once or ongoing), contracted HIV, gave it to me, now here we are.

In terms of health, I'm doing great. I have an awesome doctor and all my numbers are good. I'm starting meds soon with the prediction that I'll have an undetectable viral load (hopefully) in a matter of months. I know it could be worse, so I'm grateful it's not.

But I'm just so angry. Angry at my ex, of course, for having lied and cheated and betrayed my trust. Angry at myself for having trusted him and put myself in a position where I contracted HIV when I knew better than to behave so riskily. I've exploded at a few friends (who I'm thankful are understanding and patient with me), but sometimes it just simmers and burns inside me. I know that's not good either.

So I put this out to other recently-tested-positive people and the longtermers as well: what do you do with the anger? does it go away? am I way ahead of myself in thinking about how to forgive and move past this? I feel heartbroken and hurt and a little scared. I feel like saying hateful, hurtful things, but that's not who I am and not who I want to be.

advice? anyone else feel similarly? anyone got a punching bag I could borrow?

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,326
  • His name is Carl.
Re: anger!
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 03:16:17 PM »
So I put this out to other recently-tested-positive people and the longtermers as well: what do you do with the anger? does it go away? am I way ahead of myself in thinking about how to forgive and move past this? I feel heartbroken and hurt and a little scared. I feel like saying hateful, hurtful things, but that's not who I am and not who I want to be.

advice? anyone else feel similarly? anyone got a punching bag I could borrow?

It only goes away if you allow it.  And no, you are not way ahead of yourself in trying to figure out how to forgive and get past it.  I daresay this post ought to be stickied for all eternity in these forums for the oceans of people that roll through here who seem adamant about never letting go of ill will for something that they absolutely cannot change.

Just seeing here that you are confronting it in such a constructive manner all but assures me you're gonna be OK - and a lot quicker than you'd even imagine.  Meantime, as long as its toward the...er...."positive" end of letting go and getting on, I'm sure this is a quite appropriate place to vent and act as a substitute punching bag.

If and when it extends beyond a transition and into a crutch - which I doubt it will for you - rest assured we'll let you know.

We're real dependable like that.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 03:20:56 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline wolfter

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  • Posts: 4,745
Re: anger!
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 03:28:01 PM »
First, welcome to the forums.  A lot of that forgiveness needs directed at yourself.  That's a tough but obtainable process.  That process took me many years but I think there are better tools available now to help you progress. 

I eventually realized that anger was almost as bad as the virus and was destroying me.  And I suspect those who are sticking by you recognize that you're angry and they are on the receiving end of it.  I look back in horror at the way I treated some of those who supported me most.  I try to atone for that behavior regularly.

When it comes to feelings, you're absolutely entitled to whatever you feel.  I hated hearing people tell me I shouldn't feel a certain way.  I'd have rather them help me figure out how to change my reaction to my feelings. 

Take care and best wishes. 

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 12,169
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: anger!
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 03:56:47 PM »
You don't have to forgive the ex.  Luckily he's out of your life and eventually all the sadness and anger just fades as ex's move farther into history. 

You have to forgive yourself.  You wont want to be angry at yourself forever that's for sure.

What you feel seems pretty normal.  Bonus, you are very articulate about the issues.  The problem is that it takes time for the anger to fade.  I don't know any magic. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bloodtype

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: anger!
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 10:31:45 PM »
Thanks all for the quick and quality responses! It's heartening to know there is a future living with HIV without seething anger.

I'm still overwhelmed about how to get there. Intellectually, I know I need to forgive myself - and my ex - but how does that even start?

What are the things you all have done or others are doing in the forgiveness/healing process? Is there a book I should read? A type of yoga I should do? A project I should distract myself with? A cult I should join?

Kidding about that last one (kinda), but seriously, so much of this being-poz stuff seems like a mountain to climb. The people on these forums are proof that it's climb-able, but I don't know how to get started. (Without yelling and throwing sharp objects at people.)

Offline WillyWump

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  • Posts: 7,281
Re: anger!
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 10:37:21 PM »
Clearly you have a good solid head on your shoulders, thus you are going to be ok in time. Anger is normal under the circumstances you describe. Just try not to let it consume you. Kick some dirt, throw a few things, then move towards letting it go. Yeah, it might take some time, but each day will get better.  You will have a normal life again, promise.


oh , and Welcome aboard.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,169
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: anger!
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 08:31:44 AM »
People are combinations of really fucked up nastiness, and wonderful kindness sensitivity and generosity.  See the whole and it puts the parts in perspective.


Also, don't invest HIV with moralities, psychology, meanings, blah de be blah blah blah. Just a crappy virus that landed in your system, just like MILLIONS of other people's systems. Many people in the world may have HUGE issues fears and hatred of HIV and HIV+ people but you don't have to see things their way. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Raf

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  • Posts: 259
  • Bald by choice
Re: anger!
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 03:40:23 PM »
Welcome to the forums, it's always sad when someone join our ranks, and it's quite a difficult trip.

I don't know how I would feel if I were in a long time relationship, and my partner cheated on me AND gave me this fucking virus (what's the use of a LTR if you are betrayed -and infected- by your other half?). I would totally understand the rage and frustration of anyone (regardless sex. In fact, it happens on hetero couples) contracting the virus this way.

But try to see things like this: even if you manage to kick your ex's ass, sueing him to oblivion, at the end of the day, you still have this virus, and nothing will change that. I still haven't forgiven myself for getting this damn virus, but helps to know that you are not alone on this. Be strong man.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline britchick

  • Member
  • Posts: 445
Re: anger!
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 04:27:42 AM »
Hi bloodtype!

Welcome to the forum.Im kind of new here too....but one thing that  i have learned is that its ok to vent how you feel.Most people reading this have had the same feelings....and im definetly including myself here!!!!!

 Fear, betrayal...angry with my ex LTR , angry with myself......then I joined here and believe you me ...things get a whole lot better!!!!!

It is  like "climbing a mountain"...and you dont have to do it alone!!!!!!

How do I feel about the person who knowingly gave me AIDS?Nada.....nothing now!!!!!!!!I ignore his calls!
He is still continuing his behaviour as he disregards other people's health.

I realised that last week!Im the lucky one, not in denial, taking meds....not passing this on....no longer in a violent, abusive relationship.

We all have up and down days, but I promise you that you will get stronger.....you can vent away here....someone will always understand.......dont count the bad days....count the good ones as you will begin to have many of them.

 You start your meds soon..then its onwards and upwards!

Cheers

Britchickx

Offline spacebarsux

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  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: anger!
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 01:48:43 AM »
It only goes away if you allow it.  And no, you are not way ahead of yourself in trying to figure out how to forgive and get past it.  I daresay this post ought to be stickied for all eternity in these forums for the oceans of people that roll through here who seem adamant about never letting go of ill will for something that they absolutely cannot change.


++

Some methods I adopted to minimize anger:

1. Distraction- with happy things- friends, family, movies, sport, long walks, travelling- anything.

2. Writing my thoughts in a journal/ on these forums. Venting your emotions can be the biggest balm on raw wounds, I think.

3. Befriending and getting to know other poz people whether online or in the real world. Talking about shared experiences helps.

4. Trying to adjust your life, and in that I mean aspirations out of life and expectations from others, to reflect your new reality. (This may sound dramatic but it has helped me all the same.)

5. May sound cliche- but yoga or meditation can't do any harm.

6. And last but not least, give it time!

Hugs and welcome to the forums.  :)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline britchick

  • Member
  • Posts: 445
Re: anger!
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 07:49:25 AM »
Hi spacebarsux!

Great advice.I started a journal the day that  I was diagnosed......its a good coping mechanism......and it helps!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

Britchickx


Offline bloodtype

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: anger!
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 11:05:07 PM »

Some methods I adopted to minimize anger:


thank you for the tips! and thanks to all for the welcomes. it's not something I've expected with this diagnosis - to be welcomed to anything - but I'm glad it's happening.

spacebarsux, I'm going to take on some of your list. I'll keep this post updated with my anger management progress and any tools I come across to help me work through it. and I hope other people chime in too.  number 1, distractions, has been a pretty effective tool so far.

and britchick, you may have inspired me to journal (we'll see... I've never kept one before).

I'm certainly not going to allow myself to ruin my life by being hateful and obsessive over something I can't change. I see the way you all move forward in your lives and while I know we all have our unique circumstances and sets of challenges, it's good to know that this is a community of people who can relate to each other on this level.

glad to be here. thanks again for the welcome wagon.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 11:07:34 PM by bloodtype »

Offline britchick

  • Member
  • Posts: 445
Re: anger!
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 03:12:08 AM »
Hi bloodtype!

Sounds like you have a plan.Please just take it one day at a time.This board has been invaluable for me...tips advice, encouragement.....I was not in a good place before joining here....now im coasting along and getting there!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

Britchickx

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: anger!
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 11:11:20 AM »
bloodtype, britchick. My pleasure.  8)

I was also going to add another tip: Do NOT isolate yourself unnecessarily for long periods. We all need solo time, which is fine. But try not to teeter on the edge of reclusion.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline britchick

  • Member
  • Posts: 445
Re: anger!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 01:50:46 PM »
 Hi spacebarsux!

 I totally agree!

Cheers Britchickx

Offline NY2011

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: anger!
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 12:31:55 AM »
Spacebarsux gives excellent advice, and writes really well.  I've read some of his earlier posts, and it's helped me put a lot of this into perspective, and work on my own feelings of anger.

It's hard to cope with something that changes your identity, and it takes time for the adjustment.  Like me, you probably never gave much thought to your health and well-being beyond things like diet and exercise.  Now, you are responsible for managing a disease.  Like me, it's probably been difficult enough for you to come across people who you've really clicked with, romantically. Now, it feels as if the stress of having to disclose is going to be off the charts.

Dealing with the consequences of our actions is life, and contracting HIV is just such a harsh and irreversible consequence, that feeling guilt, anger and disappointment is natural and inevitable. We will probably fantasize often about the concept of the "other" life we would have lived if it wasn't for this, and the relationship possibilities that could have been, the things we would have been doing instead of thinking about this disease, and if this will change our personality, our relationships and our professional goals. 

What I find helpful is to draw from the experience, and realize how fragile and special life is, and how improtant it is to make good decisions.  You're here, you're healthy, you can still see your family, call friends, go outside, ride your bike, do whatever.  You have options.  Lots of them, and all of them weren't  taken from you just because of the diagnosis. Some were, yes. Important ones, too. But medical advancements give us a lot of options that people years ago who contracted HIV would have loved to have had.

I dunno, this is what helps me.

I don't think it's necessary to stress about having a game plan just yet,  or finding a distraction.  Let the thoughts flow in and out of your mind.  Just try not to judge them, or yourself.  Let them pass through.  Eventually, you will get back to doing what is important to you. 

I also don't think everyone in life deserves forgiveness. I feel like anger is a raw emotion and a natural instinct that is there to keep us away from what is bad for us.  Your health and well-being is critically important now, and even if you were to get back with your ex, the unsettled feeling of being suspicious of more cheating would do your body harm.  And, if he picked up another STD, it would be a double blow to your immune system.  I say cut your losses and work on your self for a while.
 

You're a good person, and you will encounter other good and helpful and engaging people here.  Good people of the world get HIV too.

I often think that there is a slight parallel, emotionally, to what soldiers deal with when they return home from war with a permanent injury. They joined with good intentions, and now they have to piece together their new reality, and the consequences of their decisions, too. 

You will overcome this.


« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 11:37:26 AM by NY2011 »
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud
11/25/2014 - CD4=1,335 VL= ud

Offline sydneyboi

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: anger!
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 04:15:43 AM »
Hey bloodtype!

Oh em Gee! I feel your pain and I am right there with you with the anger thing. A very similar situation happened to me, with my ex. I was so in love with him, still am to be honest.

Our relationship was new, and sadly one of us bought HIV with us into our relationship. I was diagnosed on July 26, a week later he was too. The diagnosis was "the straw that broke the camels back", and our short but sweet love, ended.

It ended because of my anger, I lashed out at him, blaming him for this HIV diagnosis. It was a sad and tragic time in my life. I had to deal with my relationship breaking down and being diagnosed with HIV. Talk about not coping! OMG, I was a mess.

It is important to feel the anger. It is just an emotion after all. I think it's about how and where we channel that anger. For me, it's been the gym, it's been lots of late night ice-cream, it's been talking to doctors, therapists and my supportive friends.

I think I am finally at the "acceptance" stage of this rocky roller coaster ride. I know you will get there too. Just remember, it's normal to feel anger, just like it is to feel joy and happiness. They're just feelings, and they pass!

I really hope life starts to treat you kind. Don't let this define who you are, I'm certainly not!

Good luck! -xx-

Offline bloodtype

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: anger!
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 05:26:46 PM »
I also don't think everyone in life deserves forgiveness. I feel like anger is a raw emotion and a natural instinct that is there to keep us away from what is bad for us.  Your health and well-being is critically important now, and even if you were to get back with your ex, the unsettled feeling of being suspicious of more cheating would do your body harm.  And, if he picked up another STD, it would be a double blow to your immune system.  I say cut your losses and work on your self for a while.
 

Fear not, I am in no danger of reuniting with the ex. I am highly skilled at the 'cut and run,' in normal circumstances. In this case, disconnecting from him has been a no-brainer (though still painful). If anyone needs advice on how to break up and get away, talk to me.

I don't agree about forgiveness, though. For me, it's not for him, but for me. Holding on to the anger, resentment, and regret will only impact my well-being. So if/when I get to the point of forgiving him for this, I'll be letting go of something that makes me feel bad. And while the anger at myself isn't as pronounced, it's there. I have to work on that too.

But I'm not there yet. Every time I deal with a new facet of this process - whether it's waiting in line at the pharmacy or trying to calm the anxiety after reading about the side effects of our many lovely drugs it's like a little twist of the knife in my heart. I'm working on it.

It is important to feel the anger. It is just an emotion after all. I think it's about how and where we channel that anger. For me, it's been the gym, it's been lots of late night ice-cream, it's been talking to doctors, therapists and my supportive friends.

yes, all of the above! I used to go the gym for health, fitness, boring stuff like that. Now, if I miss a few days, I'm practically boiling with rage. Even if I don't notice the impact right away, working out is how I calm down. I did the late night ice cream thing too... but, uh, don't tell my gym!


Offline NY2011

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: anger!
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 12:47:19 AM »
good to hear that reuniting with him is not an option.  And, I agree that forgiveness should come at some point.  It's not healthy to harbor anger for too long. If anything, you may feel sorry for him one day for fucking up a great thing and losing you.   

« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 11:26:28 AM by NY2011 »
10/26/2011 - SEROCONVERSION (hi fever+rash)
10/31/2011 - CD4= 154  VL>500,000 
10/31/2011 - started on Truvada+Prezista+Norvir
12/14/2011 - CD4= 750 VL=6412 (45%)
01/27/2012 - switched to Atripla
04/23/2012 - CD4=1,221 VL= 140  (47%)
06/22/2012 - CD4=1,224 VL= ud    (49%)
12/18/2012 - CD4=1,031 VL= ud    (51%)
09/16/2013 - CD4=1,151 VL= ud   ( 49%)
03/26/2014 - CD4=1,050 VL= ud
11/25/2014 - CD4=1,335 VL= ud

Offline foxes

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: anger!
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2012, 01:31:50 AM »
Regarding forgivness, you have it exactly. Forgiving your ex isn't something you do for your ex, it's something you do for yourself. It also doesn't mean that what he did isn't wrong. It just means that you let go of holding on to it in any way that continues to hurt you.

Intellectually, I know I need to forgive myself - and my ex - but how does that even start?

What are the things you all have done or others are doing in the forgiveness/healing process? Is there a book I should read? A type of yoga I should do? A project I should distract myself with? A cult I should join?


So many options...

For starters, breathe. Mindful breathing is first line stuff for anger. So, yes, meditation... or in terms of yoga, pranayama practices (talk to a yoga teacher about what would be appropriate for you, although googling for pranayama anger returned this among other interesting results: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index.php/pranayama-for-anger-one-minute-breath-to-the-rescue/).

Breathe and feel your feelings, but don't get caught up in stories (as mentioned in some of the other replies).

Books... I think anything and everything by Hugh Prather is relevant here. Probably The Little Book of Letting Go mostly, and How to Live in the World and Still Be Happy... but any of his books would have some gems that apply. They are written from a spiritual perspective, so hopefully that's not something that would trip you up. The full text of his Quiet Answer seems to be up at http://www.intertrader.net/hp.htm and has some stuff on anger and other related issues.

Acupuncture & chinese herbs - with the right practitioner, excellent to help you process/move/settle the emotions, support your liver (the organ associated with anger), and also support your general health as you move forward.

Hypnotherapy - if you want, I have a recommendation for an excellent practitioner. He's poz, specializes in queer men's issues, and is available by skype or phone.

Hakomi - a form of body-centered therapy, it's pretty amazing at cutting through the BS and getting right to the issues and helping shift or transform them (because it's not so focused on talktalktalk and instead accesses things via the body).

Rosen Method - a form of bodywork that is focused on the emotions. Light touch, deep impacts.

Psychotherapy - don't want to leave this one out... it can be very valuable, especially if you've never undergone a period of therapy.

Offline niecy_nurse

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Too blessed to be stressed.
Re: anger!
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2012, 04:48:30 AM »
At first I was angry, but I am not now. I was more angry at myself for having unprotected sex. I knew better, but it happened.

Anger is such a wasted emotion. I have learned that being angry is not going to change the fact of my diagnosis. I engage myself in reading, shopping, hanging out with friends, and traveling. It has really helped me.
Diagnosed July 6, 2012 by mouth swab
Confirmed July 25, 2012: VL=821
August 7, 2012: VL=1054, CD4:578
Sept. 12, 2012: CD4=701
Sept. 13, 2012: Started Complera
Oct. 5, 2012: VL=UD; CD4=809

 


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