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Author Topic: today, i told the world i am hiv+  (Read 1443 times)

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Offline zach

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today, i told the world i am hiv+
« on: July 20, 2014, 05:07:28 AM »
So this morning I came out poz to anyone that stalks me on Facebook. I've been thinking about it for awhile now. Sort of my way of heading off the gossip hens and stealing their thunder.

Once myelitis set in, the questions were pretty non-stop. I'm uncomfortable lying, it somehow implies shame. I'm not ashamed. I could bullshit, half truths, omission, etc.

I'm just sick of hiding it, deflecting prying questions. Sick of seeing the look in someone's eye; pity, superiority, judgement

So why today? Because

I have two friends walking the AIDS Walk in SF today. Both inspirational to me in their own way. Ross, truly one of my heros, thru hiked the Appalachian Trail a couple years ago. The first openly positive person to do so. Moriah, who showed me how to love again. Who struggled with disclosing to her family. It was so painful for her, and if she can do it, I'll be damned if I'm going to keep hiding.

I will walk again. I will hike, I will climb mountains. I'll love. Mostly, I'll live. On my terms.

A couple days ago I lost a little faith in some on this forum. I may have hurt some feelings over the last couple weeks in threads about stigma, disclosure, and blame. I can't really say I'm sorry. It's helped me to realize, that as long as I hide, I am part of feeding the stigma. I won't do that any longer.

So, lets see how long it takes for the phone to start ringing, or how many friends drop off my list, etc

Batter up, bring it on

Offline initforlife

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 05:19:59 AM »
Zach you are very brave. I thought about doing the same thing over and over again in my mind.  posting on fb to the world. but I know I'm not ready and can't face the shame and loss of friends just yet. Zach  I know if they are true friends then they will stick by you no matter what. maybe in time I can tell more with the help of others on here and I won't feel the need to hide it anymore! Thank You Zach!
I should have known he was bi

Offline vetton

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 06:46:28 AM »
Zach - You're Amazing!! Congratulations on your bravery. As initforlife has already said, I've often considered doing the same. Put it out there and get the monkey off my back….but just not there yet. Standing in your truth will make you a better person and hopefully, your bravery will help to brake down the stigma and discrimination. Congratulations! 

Offline wolfter

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2014, 08:48:06 AM »
there is a profound sense of freedom that comes along with disclosing.  half of my adult life was wrapped with falsehoods and I truly regret that I fabricated my existence for the benefit of others.

that was a very brave move and I think you'll continue to feel the liberation that accompanies it.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline tryingtostay

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 11:58:06 AM »
Good Luck, Zach! 

Labs:
March 2014: CD4 1730 @ 41%, VL 87 without meds
May 2014: CD4 1309 @ 42%, VL <20 without meds

Offline RobbyR

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2014, 12:07:38 PM »
Good for you that was very courageous. There's still so much ignorant stigma out there and people like you who can be free and open about it take the power awa from the idiots and the shadows by standing tall and proud. I'm nowhere near the point where I could disclose my status publicly like that for many reasons but maybe one day I'll feel able to tell one or two of my closest most trusted friends. Congrats for being so brave.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline Almost2late

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  • "My disease stops with me" - Jeff G
Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2014, 12:11:13 PM »
You have the heart of a lion.. Good for you  :)
I've discussed this same issue with my wife and I don't feel neither of us are ready just yet but who knows what tomorrow brings.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Congratulations Zach  ;D
Atripla, Bactrim, Azithromycin
Date         CD4's          VL
02/14     13  2.79%    228k+
03/14     52       7%       3k-
04/14     not done          2k-
05/14     184     9%       595
06/14     117     8%       235
End of June switched Meds
Tivicay, Truvada, Bactrim, Azithromycin

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug:
Heaven knows they need it.”

Princess Diana

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2014, 12:22:22 PM »
love the seuss quote! he and sendak were my first books. 


please don't anyone get to worked up and go doing the same. i've already gone through most of the fallout from people knowing. part of the reason i did it, just my way of a big F you to everyone that judged me or left me.

my personal advice is do not disclose, there is fallout, and some of it hurts. i think if i had it to do over again, i never would have told that first person. not even the closest loved family.

i really believe that everyone you tell, tells two people, and so on. its like exponential growth. no matter how much you trust them, they still tell. secrecy is a burden we shouldn't put on other people, even the best of people can't really carry it.

go slow, there is time for all that. don't tell others until you are rock solid and own it.

if and when you tell, be prepared for the reality of what comes next. its not a warm and fuzzy scene from Rent.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 12:30:56 PM by zach »

Offline Almost2late

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2014, 12:36:55 PM »
love the seuss quote! he and sendak were my first books. taught my kids how to read at the same ethan allen maple student desk i had a child, with my old books.

"Where the wild things are" was my sons first book.. And mine was "See spot run" something like that but Dr. Seuss was my favorite  :)
Atripla, Bactrim, Azithromycin
Date         CD4's          VL
02/14     13  2.79%    228k+
03/14     52       7%       3k-
04/14     not done          2k-
05/14     184     9%       595
06/14     117     8%       235
End of June switched Meds
Tivicay, Truvada, Bactrim, Azithromycin

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug:
Heaven knows they need it.”

Princess Diana

Offline Almost2late

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  • "My disease stops with me" - Jeff G
Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2014, 12:49:52 PM »

my personal advice is do not disclose, there is fallout, and some of it hurts. i think if i had it to do over again, i never would have told that first person. not even the closest loved family.

i really believe that everyone you tell, tells two people, and so on. its like exponential growth. no matter how much you trust them, they still tell. secrecy is a burden we shouldn't put on other people, even the best of people can't really carry it.

go slow, there is time for all that. don't tell others until you are rock solid and own it.

if and when you tell, be prepared for the reality of what comes next. its not a warm and fuzzy scene from Rent.

Thanks for that advise but one day I will disclose.. Just waiting for the right time..
I wish you the best with your disclosure and that it all works in your favor
Atripla, Bactrim, Azithromycin
Date         CD4's          VL
02/14     13  2.79%    228k+
03/14     52       7%       3k-
04/14     not done          2k-
05/14     184     9%       595
06/14     117     8%       235
End of June switched Meds
Tivicay, Truvada, Bactrim, Azithromycin

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug:
Heaven knows they need it.”

Princess Diana

Offline mitch777

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2014, 02:35:00 PM »
Good for you Zach!

It's been compared to coming out of the closet for a second time. Personally, it felt great both times. I know everyones circumstances are different but I often wonder if we don't give enough credit to those who care about us in understanding that it's just a virus.

Some will never understand and I can't top Dr. Seuss.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online Jeff G

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2014, 03:26:09 PM »

Some will never understand and I can't top Dr. Seuss.

Giggles .

Offline Joe K

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2014, 03:38:47 PM »
Some will never understand and I can't top Dr. Seuss.

I would hope not, what with his being dead and all that...

Joe

Offline tednlou2

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2014, 03:48:32 PM »
Zach,

I hope this brings your peace and nothing that would cause you drama, stress, and anxiety.  Btw, you're straight?  :'( 

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2014, 04:46:16 PM »
straight, gay, bi... i don't really fit neatly into any of the above. party drugs can do funny things. long story short, i got this bug the old fashioned way. no regrets.

i didn't do this for inner peace and happiness, more thumbing my nose at some who know damn full well i was talking right at them

so ted, louisville, the home to a baseball bat manufacturing plant  8) don't make me come up there, get on with it. >:( i would love to turn my own slugger on their factory floor


Offline tryingtostay

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2014, 05:34:22 PM »
part of the reason i did it, just my way of a big F you to everyone that judged me or left me.

I'm not judging you or anything but  that same reason & decision I made over 20yrs ago snowballed to where I am at today and how I got here.  Whether it goes full circle and I tell the world or not IS the continual poetic part.  The full circle would end that chapter in my life but we'll see how it goes. 
Labs:
March 2014: CD4 1730 @ 41%, VL 87 without meds
May 2014: CD4 1309 @ 42%, VL <20 without meds

Offline tednlou2

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2014, 05:51:47 PM »
Come to Louisville and we will take a tour of the Slugger Museum and pick out a bat.   

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2014, 05:55:37 PM »
take you up on that one day, have some hippy friends in berea i need to see again

Offline Joe K

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2014, 06:37:35 PM »
Zach,

I am always split on publicly sharing your status, because it's such a personal decision.  While I understand the strength of character it requires, I fear that those who choose to not disclose, will somehow feel inferior to those of us who do.

No matter your reasons, congratulations on doing something to help you feel better about yourself.  In the end, that's all that really matters.

Joe

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2014, 07:25:53 PM »
joe, superior is the last thing i feel. there was a time when i was pretty cocky, that all came crashing down in many ways, all at the same time. since then, i've fishtailed for too long.

i'll say it again, let be crystal clear here for everyone reading. i do not advise disclosure unless to a potential sexual partner. i know there is disagreement on that here. i stand firmly where i'm at on that.

most of my disclosure happened to me outside of my control, and in a way i never would have chosen to do it. it hurt, and has continued to hurt. there has been blowback towards my children, and it affected my career in a way i was unable to cope with at the time. overall, i regret telling the first person.

i have lost all but the closest family and a few friends. i have lost lifelong friends. i am fundamentally a different person than was.

i do not feel superior to anyone, and that was not part of the calculus of what/why/or when i did this.

for the past four years, i haven't felt like anything in my life was in my control. that is an uncomfortable place for me to be. i have felt like i've been reading a script for a role i do not want.

i hurt a few people very close to me. i abandoned some loved ones, and they found out in ways that hurt them. and they have stood by me at great personal cost. i needed that to be worth something, mean something.

i needed to do this to take back a small bit of control over myself, a little dignity. it has, as a last resort, become one small way i can make right, what went wrong.

most of all, i have three sons, whom i've raised to never be ashamed of themselves. i cannot let them see me submissively lay down.

i have shared alot of my life here in the past year, the good and the bad. i decided going in, before i came back, that i would be open about my experience. if it helps anyone, all the better. there is a time coming soon when i will stop doing that, and whatever lesson gleaned from my experience, will have to stand alone on its merits. i'll let time be my judge.

i hope that no one feels less than because of my action, we're in this together. most of us can't/shouldn't disclose. but i truly feel the only way to fight stigma, is to openly challenge it. i'm willing to take those hits, because i am able to be an in your face sort of person, damn the personal cost.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 07:34:58 PM by zach »

Offline mitch777

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2014, 07:57:51 PM »
Beautifully said. I think time will be on your side.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2014, 09:15:07 PM »
Good for you Zach. I admire your courage, especially with your sons. I have 2 boys and they do not know... I'm not sure exactly how/when to tell them. But I guess when the time comes I will know it.

-Will

POZ since '08

Last Labs-
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 GSOgymrat

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2014, 12:24:28 AM »
That took a lot of courage, Zach. Very admirable.

Offline Raf

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2014, 12:47:43 AM »
Congrats zach! If I remember correctly, One person very close to you disclosed you without your consent by the time you were in the hospital right? that is a very hard hit...and seeing you now, makes me admire you more.

By the time of my Dx, I was getting ready to get out of my closet of being gay...but soon afterwards, aids hit me hard, and now I remain in two frigging closets at the same time, with some periodic depression phases scattered along. I wish I had the courage you guys have...maybe someday, who knows.

By this time, only the family who lives with me knows my HIV status (my father, mother, sister and one aunt). But other than that...I don't have the guts to tell anybody. And no, I haven't had sex since my Dx, so no disclosing to partners yet, unless we count my right hand  ;D

I really admire people who is open about their status, or their sexuality.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

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

Offline Jmarksto

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2014, 12:58:35 AM »
Zack - your disclosure is very admirable.  I have generally agreed with your position on disclosure through the discussions here.  It is also something that I think about quite a bit particularly for my daughter.


I hope you are received with acceptance and support.
 




03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37%  VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD

Offline aaware72

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2014, 02:24:26 AM »
love the seuss quote! he and sendak were my first books. 


please don't anyone get to worked up and go doing the same. i've already gone through most of the fallout from people knowing. part of the reason i did it, just my way of a big F you to everyone that judged me or left me.

my personal advice is do not disclose, there is fallout, and some of it hurts. i think if i had it to do over again, i never would have told that first person. not even the closest loved family.

i really believe that everyone you tell, tells two people, and so on. its like exponential growth. no matter how much you trust them, they still tell. secrecy is a burden we shouldn't put on other people, even the best of people can't really carry it.

go slow, there is time for all that. don't tell others until you are rock solid and own it.

if and when you tell, be prepared for the reality of what comes next. its not a warm and fuzzy scene from Rent.

I hope you don't regret it!  What is "fall out" Stigma?  I will say that there are many more people who know that  I am positive than I have told.   Yes people talk, but you know what.  F!@# them!  Who are they and why do I care?  I don't need them in my life.  I know that there are people there that don't care and will support me.  I'm not ready to announce my status on Facebook, but if asked I have no problem revealing my status.  I understand the fear.  However, it the end the right thing to too is always going to be harder to do.  then taken the easy way and not say anything...
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline Denver Toad

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2014, 01:11:47 AM »
Well done Zach. I too disclosed to the world in a very public way. An angry,vindicative, gossipy ex lorded the secret of my infection over me. If you don't ..... I'll disgrace and embarrass you.  Fuck you ex, it's in tomorrow's paper. That's no BS, my first public disclosure was in the Rocky Mountain News front and center. It ended up being a life changing, life defining moment for me. I've always had a love for over the top actions, disclosing to the city of Denver via the newspaper certainly is over the top if there ever was.

I too became infected in a drug induced stupor. An important part of my recovery from drugs is learning to accept my actions and forgive myself. Hiding my HIV status meant continuing to deny my condition and left unhealed and unresolved a very large part of me. As I look back today I now see how tearing away the veneer of shame has left me a better man. Joe speaks wisely when he advises caution in disclosure. I lost friends, I lost some peoples respect and I lost the ex. I gained some self respect, I regained control over my life, and I began the process of being comfortable with who I am. You could say I'm a Stuart Smalley... 



Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.

Offline phoenix

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2014, 02:09:39 AM »
Zach  admire what you did. took more guts than I got.   agree with your advise on disclosure. stay strong   
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile.                              The point of the journey is not to arrive.

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2014, 06:40:19 AM »
I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.
-Stuart Smalley
Thanks guys

So far only two emails I didn't care for. Ex, sons mom, first I've heard from her in almost three years.

There was a time when I hoped to die in peace without ever speaking to her again. Now that the boys aren't kids, a middle man isn't required in our relationship.

I should really work on that forgiveness. Like Joe says about that, the forgiveness is for me, allows me to move on. Not really ready for that wisdom yet. Tested his patience plenty yesterday  :-[

And my oldest friend. He was gone anyway. Nothing to do with my dx. That boy got very angry on powder, hurt a lot of people, not just me. Sincerely hope he's clean now, but highly doubt it. Heard through the grapevine he's been one of the loudest hens clucking in the yard

Those two hurt a long time ago, I got over that. I'm a little amused they reached back out at all. Both said things along the lines of "we thought you were open about it" I guess to justify and absolve their role in gossip. Irony is, I know things about each of them I'll take to grave no matter what. And I know neither would ever want those things made public.

Sons all reached out in support. Meant a lot to me. Rest of the world could rot and die, I'd probably be ok with that. So no regrets on my actions so far. I knew what to expect, I wasn't expecting a parade or anything.

No regrets.

Toad, our apple honey is almost in, I'm gonna get you some of that. I have to say, grapefruit honey is some of the most interesting honey I've ever tasted. Tart and tangy.

AAware, fallout is what comes after the bomb. Is a gentle toxic cloud of poison that settles down over quietly over everything. It happens.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 06:43:27 AM by zach »

Offline Kardean

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2014, 12:04:25 PM »
Disclosure as discussed here many times is and always will be a matter of personal choice with there being both right and wrong regardless.

As aaware pointed out,  more people probably know than any of us have told.  With federal/state reporting mandates along with medical staffs..... well you never know who knows, knows who.  Confidentiality is more of a moral obligation than law and can get lost very quickly and spread like fire.

But what interest me most about disclosure, and a topic I've not seen regarding it, is for those whose status confidentiality is paramount, have they considered that once they die that their death certificate will most likely reveal their status.  Regardless whether the death was directly due to HIV, it usually will at least be listed as a contributing factor due to the many of the health issues that arise from viral inflammation and or meds.

I know some will say, "who cares... I'm dead",  however I find that interesting in that it is common human nature to want to leave a legacy of our existence.  That is why we have memorials, monuments and such.  We want to be remembered.  Imagine the disallusion some of our loved ones may have and just how it could taint our legacy.
 
I've always found it interesting how we have so-callled "rights of privacy", but after life we have none.  Death certificates are public records and anyone can access them.  In no way am I advocating disclosing.  I believe it is a personal matter and to its own extent varies individually as well as it should.  I'm just curious for those who choose not to disclose till death do they part have given thought to their status being disclosed once they have passed.

Offline Dan0

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2014, 12:34:33 PM »
I know some will say, "who cares... I'm dead",  however I find that interesting in that it is common human nature to want to leave a legacy of our existence.  That is why we have memorials, monuments and such.  We want to be remembered.  Imagine the disallusion some of our loved ones may have and just how it could taint our legacy.

I think that this 'surprise' would be the exact type of legacy some (not all - but some) would want.  Frankly, if I'm dead, I'm really, really dead and I really, really don't care what happens or where I'm put.  However, the point you bring up is a good one.  I would hope that the response which would be made would be one of "Wow, I never knew!" instead of, "Wow, how he must have suffered!"

The only point that I would want them to come away with is that (a) I was not suffering. I was living! and that (b) it was my private life and that's why they call it private!

It's just really not that big of a "thing" to me.  Perhaps other people get caught up in their demand to be nosy and involved in every nuance of my private life, but it's for me to choose who actually gets the good stuff with disclosure and who doesn't because it's none of their damn business.  The same people who I suspect would be miffed at 'not knowing' are the very same people who would be royally offended if I asked to see their latest colonoscopy results or asked how their latest testicular exam went. Much like Zach said, it's not for everyone!
 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 12:36:39 PM by Dan0 »
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2014, 12:38:04 PM »
kardean, there is a negative member here who lost close family to aids complications under that same scenario.

in so far as i started this thread, whatever "ownership" i have my feeling is that if they wish to comment in this thread, to share that experience, its fine with me as long as no powers that be object. i think they could offer some insight into how a death certificate disclosure can affect the ones we leave.

i think it could help us to better appreciate how our choices in life, echo with our loved ones after we're gone.

not trying to rock the boat

the pebble tossed and the butterflies wings sort of thing, small actions can have ripple effects. something for us to think about.

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2014, 12:46:33 PM »

Offline Joe K

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2014, 02:08:45 PM »
Zach,

I want to comment on two areas, with the first being my comments about folks who do not disclose, possibly feeling inferior to those of us who choose to disclose.  My comment was not to imply that you were superior somehow by disclosing, but to draw attention to pozzies who are unable to disclose for very valid reasons.  I want to be clear that disclosure is a very personal decision and what other people do, regarding disclosure has no bearing on their worth, because disclosing is a personal decision that must be viewed separately for each person.

Also, you did not test my patience yesterday, you simply crossed a line, that you know you crossed and I simply reminded you of the rules.  No harm done.

Joe

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2014, 02:18:27 PM »
nothing but love joe, and you're right, i knew i was stepping out of line

your wisdom is invaluable here, i'm never gonna challenge you, but i may act out from time to time

we are what we are  8)

disclosure is a hard row to hoe... i guess my only regret, is not doing before it was done for me. on my own ground

part of the reason i did, was to draw fire away from others that can't. i can take it, hell, i even enjoy the fight

Offline Theyer

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2014, 07:03:17 AM »
Oh good for you in so many ways, including the advice not to do it, the physio has just turned up ,so this has to finish ,I have been out in bay e ina non HIV ward oh what fun
Love you Zach
M
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 07:13:39 AM by Theyer »
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline intaglio

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2014, 08:10:58 PM »
I'm only speaking here of disclosure in a social setting.

If you would look at the small number of people of whom I'm aware know I'm HIV+, you'd think I was in the closet over it. These are people who care about me.

I've never felt the need to make a public announcement. All the same, when I was hospitalized twice, a lot of the staff who made my stay quite bearable were people my family and I socialize with. So, within the local medical community, I'm pretty sure many are aware.

One of the most surreal parts was that one of the nurses in ICU who helped me use the portable potty chair was an ex-gf of one of my sons. There's a memory I'm sure she's going to cherish forever.  :P

I was raised in a very toxic environment. So I've never felt the need to disclose to relatives. I ignore the drama of their daily lives and refuse to be fodder for more.

My personal litmus test on disclosure has always been "what is the good that will come from this?" Most times, there answer is "none, really."
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Offline zach

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Re: today, i told the world i am hiv+
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2014, 10:49:48 PM »
this is just a rambling vent, i need to blow steam. no i'm not under the influence. stream of consciousness and probably won't be very coherent. most of what is bothering me in the immediate isn't here, but its got me so pissed off i can't look at a bottle of truvada without feeling violent. i feel like a fucking prisoner shackled to gilead. even their name offends me. its from the bible, book of jeremiah. the healing balm of gilead. like a mocking reminder of everything i rejected. yet i swallow it down, because the alternative is to lay down and die.

so heres a little bit more of me

look guys, there a million good reasons to never disclose. given the option, i never would have. i didn't get that option. so i did what i did, i stand by that. i took the power away from those that hold it over me like the sword of damocles. i shared it here, not to judge, not to be better than. i shared it to cope with the whirlwind of my own emotion and doubt about my actions.

i rarely speak in person, certainly never on the level i have here in the past year. usually, i regret speaking. words hurt, they come back, they have unintended consequence. they are taken the wrong way. i spend more time backpedaling to save hurt feelings, that most of the time i simply don't give a shit that i've hurt.

in my life i've beat back a couple drug addictions. thought i'd left that in the history books. those transgressions were revisited threefold. i am the stereotype. i never tested for hiv until the day i got sick with aids. i had unprotected sex in that time with nameless faceless and endless partners. i am the aids monster. so call it what you want; aids, hiv, call it fucking peaches for all i care. it doesn't change where i'm at every night at medcall.

as a child my parents were drug addicts. my mother beat me until i bled. it took me 30 years to understand she was a victim too. that didn't take away the memories. i still remember the time she asked if i was bleeding. and then said good, i deserved it. my father, fuck i don't know, the story i was raised on is that he molested me as a toddler. i don't remember. i don't know who to believe. i know i've never hugged him. i know i've never had a healthy relationship with him.

i don't judge any plwa, we're all in the same damn boat. at your worst i can still accept you. even on the best of days, i don't think any of us wanted to be here. if you did, i think there is something seriously wrong with you.

and i don't expect or pin hopes on a cure; functional, cleared, whatever term you want to call it. but that doesn't mean i don't want to see medical progress. i hope my kids never have to deal with it, beyond the burning pain of sitting in a classroom listening to other kids crack jokes about aids. knowing their dad has it. maybe somewhere in the depths of my soul the catholic guilt i'll never let go of really believes this is punishment. god knows i deserve. i've always thought we burn here.

someone that was supposed to have a fiduciary duty to zealously represent me, in so many words say they thought "aids is pretty much cured" and wouldn't file an appeal.

the day i was dx'd, i had aids. thats where i am. thats what i've had to accept. i live with that. i'm glad i've reached a point i can own it. the worst has been done to me. there is nothing else i'm afraid can happen, so that power is gone.

i have an exwife who didn't allow me to see my sons for the most of the past four years. she wouldn't even let them go to my youngests funeral. half brother, but still a brother. that was my bitter pill. i've never spoke to her since. i hope i die before i see her again.

i was outed at work. and humilated. i had a door slammed in my face. "we don't want aids in here." literally. someone cut their hand, bled on the shop floor. i had someone bring me the fucking mop, and tell me "thats how aids is spread, you need to clean the spill." it wasn't my fucking blood, and btw you ignorant ass, thats not how its spread. but who the fuck am i to tell anyone that. i'm the idiot with aids that never got tested.

i didn't handle that properly at the time. that was a huge fuckup on my part. now no airline will touch me with a ten foot pole. and i'm good at what i do. not every redneck monkeywrencher can do it.

i've tried to commit suicide twice in the past four years, one time i'm pretty sure i did permanent damage to my mind. even for a junkie, that was enough to kill a horse. my left arm is there for all to see, i was artistic with the burns and cuts, like some horrific crop circle of sacred geometry circles tracing metatrons cube. not even sure i can tattoo it to hide.

we've all had to cope in different ways. and we don't always know each others shit. and this isn't even all of mine.

tim, the day we met, was the day i ran. i walked downstairs from the shrink, broke down crying in the parking lot. and then left. dropped my keys at the bank, hopped a bus, and lived in the cypress swamps for a couple years trying to get my head back together. i ate fish and mussels i caught most nights. with beans out of the can.

i didn't cope well for a long time. i pretty well fucked my life up, anything i get back, i feel like i steal back. i don't fell like i deserve it. and maybe thats why i get a little too involved when i hear people at the edge of suicide, or harming themselves. or too mind fucked to take a pill to save their health while there's still time. maybe thats why i've tried to show newbs just how many pills they could have to take. i didn't do that to slight the lts'ers who used to take triple what i take. this isn't a god damn pissing contest. it sucked then, and it sucks now. it can always be so much worse.

i do not judge how low someone falls from this. i fell all the way, and dug in deeper.

i'm an asshole, no matter how you paint me. i know that. i rarely apologize for my actions. if i hurt you, hurt me back. no one has ever hurt me as much as i've hurt myself. most of my life i've learned to contain that, to hide it. but its always right there.

i fight back. hurt me, i hurt you back. hurt the people i care for, i hurt you back. hurt an innocent that can't defend themselves, i hurt you back. of course i knew better than to go at that idiot the other day. he was outing people. posting pictures. names, locations. and the fool was an open book. i know his name, i have his picture, i know where he plays video games. i've got his debate profile, he says some terrible things about us. so yeah, i gave back exactly what he does to us. no apologies joe. i am not a nonviolent pacifist. i returned fire.

 


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