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Author Topic: Being supportive & understanding  (Read 6906 times)

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Offline med forum

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  • Posts: 76
Being supportive & understanding
« on: January 31, 2007, 07:41:16 AM »
I just came across this forum and I would like to encourage those who are positive as well as those who have been affected in some way by HIV and or AIDS to voice their opinions, struggles, comments and support for others who may be seeking emotional comfort and suuport.
My boyfriend was diagnosed in 2006  and I've been trying to learn as much as I can ( in moderation) about HIV and AIDS and what I can do to be more pro active in this fight. Has it been a struggle.....yes it has. I feel like I'm alone many days with noone to turn to. I have had so many feelings in the last several months that I can't begin to explain but the one dominant feeling above all others is the enormous care and love that I have for him. When I'm struggling on certain days, I just try to remember that when he told me that he was positive, that I never once had the thought of leaving the relationship. He assumed that I would because I wouldn't want to "deal" with him anymore. That couldn't be further from the truth. Over the course of the last two years, I have really experienced true love and can say with all honesty that love is an unbelievable power that can supercede all things.
Would anyone have advice to give me in terms of how to continue being supportive and understanding in a positive/negative relationship? Everyone's experiences are their own...I understand that.....but not being able to truly understand what he's going through is kind of difficult for me at times because I know that I can't put myself in his shoes.
I try to go through each day doing the best that I know how...... Thanks for reading!
Peace & health

Offline Boo Radley

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  • Not a "real man" and damn proud, mithter... FAB
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Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2007, 02:15:06 PM »
You may not be able to put yourself in your boyfriend's shoes but with time you will get a better feeling for how HIV affects him.  We're all different in how we deal emotionally, intellectually, physically, etc. with being HIV+ so there's no standard set of guidelines to help you, but you're doing a good job so far.  If he seems to be worried you will leave him try to reassure him on that front.  When he has bad days dealing with the physical or emotional aspects of being poz just be there for him.  Above all be honest with him and ask him to be totally honest with you.  Educate yourself as much as you can about HIV.  There may be support groups in your area for loved ones of HIV+ people.   

Come back to AIDSmeds and ask more questions.  This forum (i.e., Someone I care about...) is new and there are not yet a lot of other people like you using it but in time it will grow and you can share your experiences with others in similar situations. 

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Teresa

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Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2007, 09:17:42 PM »


We just found out in May 2006 that hubby was positive. So I'm about as new as you are in all this. It sounds like you are doing a great job of loving, supporting, and trying to learn as much as you can about HIV. That's really all we can do...is be there for them when they need us. I know more about hubbys disease than he does. I told hubby that no matter what we were in this together and he knows no matter what I am there for him.

I'm glad you found this forum. The people here have helped me so much and I know they will be a big help to you also!

Hugs
Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline med forum

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 08:33:35 AM »
Thank you for the encouraging words...it seems as though there aren't too many resources for people
who have loved ones who are positive.

Peace & health
Peace & health

Offline dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2007, 08:12:10 PM »
The fact that you realize that you cannot put yourself in his shoes is a really good start.  The fact that you are trying to do it anyway is phenomenal.

Your partner is a very lucky man.  I hope he realizes that.

Here's some advice.  Listen to his concerns.  Tell him yours.  Always look him straight in the eye.  And, remember, this disease has a way of making those of us with it feel a bit like sexual pariahs.  We suddenly feel poisonous, toxic, dangerous.  He may love you so much that he fears infecting you.

My hat is off to you.  And, my ears are open if you have any specific questions.

puck
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline med forum

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007, 06:05:53 AM »
DTWPUCK,

Thanks for the positive and encouraging words! I really appreciate it. Everyone has their good days and bad days and I try to remind myself that it's ok.
How does that saying go?........"Life is 10% experience and 90% how you deal with those experiences"......or something like that. That couldn't be more true.
I'm happy to say that my boyfriend has been involved in a support group for the last few months. At first he was very reluctant to even give the idea a second thought because he is the type of person that feels and believes that he can manage things on his own and take care of whatever it is by himself. I knew from the beginning that becoming involved in a support group could only be a beneficial thing. But like with most things that we all go through, taking that first step and getting your feet wet is one of the hardest things to do. I'm still in the process of trying to find a group that I could attach myself to.....see I am a 20 something year old negative female and my boyfriend is positive so there are times when I feel like there is more "pressure" on him because of the fact that we may very well never have children . I am ok with that but in the back of his mind I know that that is something that he feels he cannot give me.

Thanks again for your concern and encouragement....
Peace & health

Offline dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 11:49:14 AM »
Adding the concern about having children is a really tough one.  My advice to you is to do your homework on this one.  While I don't know the specifics here, I am not convinced that it is impossible.  There are others on this forum who know quite a bit about this and I encourage you to seek them out.

Again, your boyfriend is a lucky man.  Be patient with his process.  It will take a while for him to come to terms with his fear of giving it to you.

Peace.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline liquidpaper

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 09:06:41 PM »
Well, our situation is similar... 20'something' yrs old girl here too, engaged with a (great, hot, grrrrr) man who happens to be hiv+... actually, i registered after seeing your message (though i'm still laughing about the name i chose... it's late over here, i'm really sleepy and out of ideas... never thought the name would be definite... well, i'm liquidpaper now, just have to deal with that)

We've been in this relationship with the +/- aspect for some time (i wasn't even near 20 by then) and he told me about his 'status' before we started 'seriously' dating. Every situation, as every person and relationship is different... but there are many things we can share, if you want to.

I agree on that there are not plenty spaces specifically for the people in 'our' situation... i'm most probably in the other side of the world (as my not-very-well-used english may evidence) but i find the same over here... but spaces can be made... one is starting here, I think.

The feeling of 'there's something i can't give you' is something we've been working on for a long time, too... with those exact same words. We've gone through his feeling of being 'poisonous' (as dtwpuck said, with those exact same words too)... there are many things that you may have to take your time to talk about, share and take easy... and work on together. 'Being supportive and understanding' does not only apply to your position towards him... we live in a world in which people like you and me sometimes cannot be seen as something not-heroical or not-'pathologic' (the greatest and most i was said was 'neurotic with suicidal ideas') or not-kamikaze... and that position of ours or way of approaching this particular situation is not easily understood (at least, i've felt it and suffered from it... many times)... support and understanding is something you can do together towards each other and the situation you're living... different from others (as i said before, to me hiv is just one aspect of our relationship... one that makes it particular... one of many)... the world's general vision on hiv (and more important: people... you, everybody here, many others, me...) and the way it influences us is something to work on, too.

Actually, having children (if you both want to) does not have to be impossible (well, it depends as at least here -3rd world country- depends mostly on economical issues)... There's time to think about that. Most of the info i got is in spanish so i'm not sure whether it would be of any help.

Well, i'm almost falling asleep over the keyboard and i'm having a hard day tomorrow... just wanted to say hello and well, leave you my mail address (the one i use for chatting too... though i'm not sure of our time differences, but anyway) --> librecuandoxesoselucha@hotmail.com


Hugs for you and everybody here!

LIB (aka liquidpaper...  ;D)

Offline med forum

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 11:07:49 AM »
Liquidpaper!

Thank you for your encouraging words!
How have you and your fiance been dealing with his positive status? How long have you been engaged?
Also, if I may ask, do both of your families know of his status and if so, are they supportive?
My boyfriend has only told a few people that he knows he can trust and I've told one close friend.
Because of our work environments, we kinda have to be careful as to who we think should know.
That may change with time, but right now, we're just trying to get through the basics.
My boyfriend found out within the last year and he told me within a month of finding out.
As I had said on the forum, he debated about whether or not to tell me because he really didn't
want to hurt me. He really did expect me to walk away from the relationship becuase
of that as well as his feelings that he wouldn't be able to give me a lot of things.
I really feel like he came into my life for a reason and being positive doesn't change the way that
I look at him in the least bit. Are there days that are difficult, sure. But I have to remember that that is ok.
We all experience good days and bad and we learn from them.

How have you, yourself, been dealing with this new reality? Do you attend a group?
I would really like to hear your story and any suggestions and advice that you may have!

Would you like to have children? And how have you and your fiance been dealing with that?

Look forward to hearing from you soon!

When you get a chance, please email me...I tried to email you at your hotmail account but for some
reason it did not want to go through.
renodsgnr@yahoo.com

Peace & health!

Peace & health

Offline onemoretime

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2007, 10:48:47 PM »
i can relate to your story.execpt i am the poz one, i came home and told my bf and the love of my life,  I had been having some weird infections around my body the past few months, so i was worried.  we always had an open relatonship, but we were safe,  well when i got home and told him it was poz... the first words out if his mouth were i love you, i love you so much, i will always be with you,  that was 3 years ago.   he meant it.   I consider him the most amzing love, i would climb mountians for him.  reading your post makes me realize how lucky i am to have him.  as your husband is to have u.

thanks sweetie
08/04 diag 490 cd4 vl 50,000
10/25/05 436 50,513 hvb 1.1 billion
12/13/05 truvada sustiva
02/16/06 742 und, hpb 63,000
04/27/06 740 und hpb 60,000
01/05/07 458 und hvb und
03/08   470 undetectable still on atripla. Non smoking (chantex)
08/08 cd4 550 undetectable hiv, Hep B UND. Atripla
06/09  cd4 444, vl undetectable testo 130
09/09/09 CD4 687 46% UND  Testo 213 started androgel
10/12/09 cd4 682 46% und testo 597
01/12/10 cd4 842 48% und testo 434
041010 cd4 693  53% testo 492
100410 cd4 568 48% testo 523
012711 cd4 523 hcv 56 testo 596
083011 cd4 280 Hcv/HIV und
042912 cd4 158 hcv /hiv und, was on hep c for 11 months. do have ssdi filed and getting LTD
061912 cd4 151, bactrum, hep c and hiv und
071712 cd4 287 52% HIV HCV und
112012 cd4 520

Offline JustRhonda

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2007, 12:11:16 AM »
Hi Med Forum,

I've just started reading this forum, and became a member tonight to reply to you. Your post really struck a cord with me.  My situation is something like yours and maybe input from an older if not wiser woman will be of help.

I'm in love with a great man, one to loves me and who has been a big part of my life for many years.  He and I were together many years ago but parted company due to a lot of misunderstandings and even more pig headed pride (on my part) He and I got back in touch last summer and in a heart beat, it was like we had never been apart.  In that first face to face conversation, he told me that he was HIV+.  As odd as it sounds, I was so relieved when he finally told me, because I knew he was leading up to something bad, and I was horribly afraid it was something that couldn't be dealt with like some inoperable and untreatable cancer that hearing the words 'I've got HIV' was a relief. He is doing great with it, and his counts are down below detectable levels and he feels good again.

One thing I have become very sure of is that no matter what, we can work through this.  I was a medical professional for 10 years and I am very aware of the medical aspect of this disease, but I'm also aware of the great strides being made to combat it as well.  You can deal with anything as long as you lead with your heart and use your brain.

He worries a great deal about infecting me, and I've seen the concern in his eyes when he thinks what might happen if our methods of protection fail.  We aren't able to use latex condoms because I have a skin allergy to them (think red, itchy, swollen rash in 30 seconds or less) so we've been using the female condom which is made of polyurethane (sp?) with good results but nothing is perfect and I've accepted that some day I might become infected as well.

I know from talking to him that he feels like having HIV causes a stigma. That only people who do drugs or are prostitutes or who use prostitutes get it.  I think this is one of the hardest things to deal with, next to the whole 'toxic sperm' thing.  We live in the Midwest were understanding can be hard to come by and judgement by the folks down on the amen pew can be very harsh.

One thing in our favor is we're both just a bit older than you are, I'm 41 and he's 47 and we already have a child together... a great boy who turns 11 tomorrow.

Some days are hard, some days are good, but all days that this man is in my life are much better than the days when he wasn't. All I can say is no matter what the future brings us, it will be worth it to have had this time with him.

Hang in there... it really is worth it.

JustRhonda

Offline med forum

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2007, 09:03:12 AM »
JustRhonda

Thank you for your encouraging words.....I too have good days and bad because I sometimes wonder if I'm being supportive enough or if this or if that and so on......it's difficult but I know that I have very strong feelings for him and that pushing forward is the only thing to do.

Have you been involved in any support groups? I have had a frustrating time trying to find a group that I could get myself involved in....you know a group for people who have loved ones who are positive. I live in Chicago and there are many resources but not much in terms of someone like me. I felt like the minority while I was looking over the course of several months. I am glad to say that I finally found a group that will only meet for 4 weeks but I figure that's better than nothing.

Look foward to sharing with you in the future!

Thanks again!
Peace & health
Peace & health

Offline megasept

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  • Steven here...
Re: Being supportive & understanding
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2007, 05:29:23 PM »
Hello:

You give yourself too little credit. With an open heart like yours, you can "understand" most anything your man (and most of humanity) might be feeling. Your partner is lucky. You are most welcome on this site! Feel free to PM (Private Message) me anytime you wish.

 8)  -megasept

 


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