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Author Topic: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .  (Read 2714 times)

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Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,430
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« on: October 13, 2006, 02:53:41 AM »
After reading Tim's "Raw emotion" thread, something has troubled me. I didn't want to hijack Tim's thread, so I decided to post it here.

In a word, it is guilt. Hence, the name of this thread. Catholics are notorious for guilt, and as a recovering Catholic, I have found it still haunts me.

I didn't know quite how to respond to Tim's thread. I understand where he is coming from and I appreciate his thoughts greatly.

But how can I respond when, after all these years, I haven't traveled the path he describes?

Instead, I find guilt haunts me like some dark spectre.

Why have I been so lucky when so many others have not?

Many work far harder at staying healthy than I do and still face situations that have, as yet, not come my way.

I feel that way about living to this ripe old age of 49 too. Why are so many of my generation gone while I remain?

I feel guilty. It isn't logical, but I do. It is what a psychologist I know calls "survivor's guilt."

This is another side of living with HIV I must learn to face.

There are times I halfheartedly wish for something to happen. Some side effect, OI or spike in my viral load that somehow would allow me to rid myself of the guilt that sometimes wells up within me.

Maybe this is an anomaly resulting from my age, from what I have seen of this disease and what it can do. Maybe others, infected more recently, will be spared this because they didn't have to see and live through what I have.

I don't have any answers. But, I have reached a point in my life where I do feel it is unhealthy to try to suppress these feelings.

So, here they are.

HUGS,

Mark


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

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 03:05:56 AM »
I have often wondered that myself about being here when others have died. I have not read Tim's post but I can tell you how I feel about the subject. I think I have mention this in other posts, but I am Pagan, was once Catholic but had issues with some of their beliefs. I also believe in fate and karma, not to sound cold hearted but when it is a person's time to go it is their time. And when we find out about someone passing, we always say it was before their time, when in actually it was their time according to God/dess.

I have often questioned why I am still here and has chalked it up to that I am still needed. I watched a Prime Time show on AIDS in Black America, and it startled me to find that the average black woman with HIV/AIDS  only lives until she is 44-45. Not sure where the show got it's info but it kinda made me aware of my own mortality. I am 37 now, soon to be 38 in January, and I would hate to think all I have left is 7 years. But anything past that I wll consider a blessing. Am I wrong in my thinking?
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Eldon

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 03:31:12 AM »
Hello Mark,

By all means you want to express your feelings of guilt which has been pent up inside of you. It is called Self-Expression. You can approach it in whatever manner you choose to do so. The most important thing is for you to let it all out and get it into the open. Afterwards, you will feel so much better.

Accept it and deal with it head on.

I have not responded to Moffie's post, but I plan to do so.

Make the BEST of each Day!
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 03:37:28 AM by Eldon »

Offline bobik

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 06:03:27 AM »
Dear Mark,

I know the feeling. Why did I survive? I had the guilt feelings too. My best friend Paul died in 1992, and when I celebrated my 40th birthday his sister (we're still friends) was there. And I felt guilty towards her. Like "Here I am celebrating my survival and Paul is dead, you have to miss your brother".

I am going to get married with my love soon. I still find it hard to tell this to one of my best friends who is dealing with the emotional stress of his disastrous marriage and who is hurt still after 2 years.

It is as if, sometimes, in the light of other's grief or unhappiness, it is wrong to be lucky.

I try to deal with this, telling myself that if I am well, I can give people love and good things and support. I try to change guilt into responsibility. I am here so I have a job here on earth, I need to give inspiration, I need to give love. Maybe it is paying off guilt, but at least it is a handle to deal with it.

Hope this helps. I feel you inspire me, so you're doing your job well, I think.

Hug

Coen
Coen Honig at Facebook

Offline Alain

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  • Posts: 680
  • I am.
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 08:48:58 AM »
.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 08:46:20 PM by cowandalehouse »

Offline Iggy

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 09:17:10 AM »
.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 08:16:49 PM by Iggy »

Offline ademas

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  • Posts: 1,151
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006, 10:04:41 AM »
I don't know that it's "guilt" that I feel.

Sometimes I don't know what it is that I feel.  Profound sorrow?  Shell-shocked?  Guilt?  I don't know how to express it, and sometimes I feel that I am destined to spend the rest of my life just trying to process the events of those years that were my 20's and 30's.

So many friends and faces--Michael, Warren, Wesley, Kevin & Don, Marty, Pat & David, Richard, Chuck, my dear Steve, Ronnie, Russ--just to name my closest of friends--and so many others that I knew socially, and more from the community.  I have a list somewhere of all the names...I can't remember how many.  I'm not sure that I want to "go there" at the moment.

It was overwhelming then, while it was happening, and it overwhelms me still (when I allow myself to think on it.)

For many years I felt I had to live my life in a way that would somehow honor my friends who are no longer, but you know, that's a helluva weight in itself.  I stopped doing that.  There's just no way I can do that.

I haven't grappled with the textbook OI's, but I have no shortage of other health issues that are related, and perhaps that has helped me feel less "guilt" (or whatever it is I feel)...who knows?  I sure as shit don't have a clue.

HIV has affected my life profoundly, and even if there were a cure tomorrow, and my health were entirely restored, there's no changing the history. 

I'm grateful to be here, yes, but I miss my dear friends, and I mourn for the life that could have been.

OK...enough.  I'm stopping right now. 

Craig
xox


 

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 10:11:45 AM »
if I am well, I can give people love and good things and support. I try to change guilt into responsibility. I am here so I have a job here on earth, I need to give inspiration, I need to give love.

love how you worded that Coen!!! - my sentiments exactly. i believe if i still had my same earlier desires to self-destruct, then i would feel definite guilt about going from CD4:42 to CD4:321 with no OI's all in less than a year. i could also throw in the fact that i was an AIDS denialist, a promiscuous barebacker, etc..... but because i feel i'm far less self-destructive now, i would use the word purpose. i feel some sort of purpose now. a purpose to help i guess.

Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2006, 10:35:55 AM »
Hi Mark

You are definintely not alone in feeling 'survivor's guilt' honey, I have struggled with that one for a long time now.    That was one of the reasons that doing the memorial service in Montreal was so hard for me.   How am I special, or what have I done to deserve to be here, when so many wonderful people are not?   It makes you very humble, and the only way I know how to deal with it is in expressing gratitude.   I am thankful for the life I have been given.

Mark, you are such a wonderful guy with such a bright spirit!  I have never been one to see 'auras', but I imagine if I did, yours would be VERY BIG AND VERY BRIGHT.

love,
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 kcmetroman

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  • Posts: 567
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2006, 12:12:28 PM »
you are a good person Mark.  There is a reason you are still around.

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,288
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2006, 01:42:59 PM »
Mark, I've learned a long time ago not to question the "Why," but to live life to the best I know how.

Offline blondbeauty

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Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2006, 03:40:44 PM »
I am a Catholic and never felt guilty. I never leave home being angry with anyone on my family (in case I vÁnever see them again) and always say goodbye leaving everything as I was never going to return.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 03:42:19 PM by blondbeauty »
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Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline fearless

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  • Posts: 2,191
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2006, 05:05:40 PM »
Hi Mark,

When you feel guilty, try and turn it into gratitude. I'm not suggesting for 1 minute that you are ungrateful, from what I know nothing could be further from the truth. But when you feel guilty, stare it down, laugh at and see it for what it is.
You play the cards you are dealt in life. Be grateful for the hand you've been dealt, and use that gratitude to help others (as I know you already do). You can't solve all the worlds problems, but you can and do effect the lives of those you touch.
You, my friend have nothing to be guilty for. There is a reason you have an ace or two in your hand and that is because you are a warm and caring man. The world needs people like you.

Stephen
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Eldon

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  • Posts: 2,664
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2006, 05:53:27 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I'd like to interject and share with you all. There is a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. If you have not read this book already, I would strongly suggest it.

You can go to:http://www.amazon.com/Purpose-driven-Life-What-Earth-Here/dp/0310205719/sr=8-1/qid=1160776122/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-4702553-3048963?ie=UTF8&s=books



Make the BEST of each Day!

Offline otherplaces

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  • Posts: 398
  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2006, 01:07:07 AM »

Mark,

I can only imagine how it must feel to face the question of, "why?".  But I have to submit that without people like you I don't know where I would be.  I can think of one reason why you're here.  It is to send the message of hope and love that you do so well.  Unfortunately there will always be newcomers to this virus, but you help us stand up again and lead us out of the darkness.  I'm forever grateful for this.  I can only imagine that your lost friends and lovers would be nothing but proud that you carry on in such a beautiful way.

I'm so grateful to have you around.

love,
brian

Offline livingpositively

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  • Posts: 369
Re: You can take the boy out of the catholic church, but . . .
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2006, 02:11:39 AM »

Mark,

I will not even pretend to understand the level of emotion you have going on with this.  On a much lower level, though, I have some guilty feelings with how HIV is affecting my life and health.  I feel bad/guilty that I'm not on meds yet and don't endure all of the crap (I suppose literally) that goes along with that.  I am also very thankful that I don't.  I feel bad/guilty that I have a good job and have good insurance and that, at least for the time being, I don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay for the next Dr appt or meds or flu shots, etc etc etc.

So this is not about me, I just wanted to put it out there.  As others have also said, you are not alone in your feelings.

I am in complete awe and have the utmost respect and admiration for you and the others that have been dealing with this for so long.  I can't imagine some of the horrors that have crossed your path and the fear that you have faced.  So for that, I say THANK YOU!!!

You ae a fantastic guy with a great heart and spirit.

Hugs,

Shane
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

 


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