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Author Topic: How to move forward?  (Read 3927 times)

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Offline Coffeechick88

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  • Posts: 431
How to move forward?
« on: July 29, 2006, 02:52:46 PM »
Hello, all I am new to this forum.  I am 25 and have been infected for 6 years.  I have had a hard time with this.  I was infected when I was raped by my boyfriend at the time.  That also was my first sexual experience.  I have come across lots of negativity because I am HIV+.  My own family was afraid of me--I couldn't eat the same dishes, they made me wash my clothes separately, etc.  It's better now because they were willing to get educated.  One of my jobs I was fired from because a friend of mine was afraid I could infect the populous.  I am in the health care profession now and even there is a huge stigma and much ignorance about it.  I think much of it has to do in the area of the US I live in.

I am rather outgoing on the outside, I have lots of friends, I date, but since then I've never been able to get close to anyone because of that fear of what they will do if they find out about my status.  I've only had sex with those I know to be HIV+ but there isn't any closeness--I end up breaking with them.  It's rather exhausting to be the one responsible for their reactions.  Even the HIV organizations I volunteer with I still have that fear of letting them see my vulnerability.  I have handled this mainly by not dealing with it.

I would love to move forward.  I would love to be able to not care what people think, to do my part to help end stigma, and to be close to people without fear.  The question is, how does one do that?
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline manchesteruk

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  • Posts: 631
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 03:09:14 PM »
Hi Coffee,

Welcome to the forums I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to come to terms with the way you were infected.  I had the same fear as you at the start of people finding out.  The only way I could deal with that was to tackle it head on instead of putting it to the back of my mind and not dealing with it.  I told the people I wanted to know as soon as I could.  There were obviously some people I knew wouldnt take it well so didnt tell but on the whole the reactions of everyone were much better than I expected.  I would imagine the negativity you've have experience from other people will have made it very diffficult for you to be open about it and thats understandable.  There is still a shocking lack of understanding about HIV I was most definately guilty of that myself the only way that and the stigma are going to go away is with education.

I think most people here would agree that one of the largest parts of dealing with hiv is the stigma that comes attached to it.  I remember someone on here saying the truth sets you free that of course doesnt mean you should go round telling everyone.  Diclosure to the people I wanted to know for me was what helped me move on with this just not feeling like there was a ten ton weight on my shoulders all the time I was having to deal with it on my own.  Have you tried out support groups things like that?

Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,389
  • Member 2005
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 03:11:08 PM »
Coffee Welcome to the forums...  I think you can find alot of support to all your questions here... Alot of sage wisdom oozes here..  I 2 am dealing with "what people think".  Sometimes I do not care what people think..  Other times like today, I will be talking to a co-worker who found out my status without me realizing it... So I plan on meeting this head on.  I think the worst thing we can do is tuck tail and run..  If we are not aggressive in our lives, I think I will be mowed down.   If we are always moving forward and not back on our agenda's whatever they may be related to living with hiv, we at least said we tried.   I wish I did not care so much what others think of me.  But thats only natural for us...  Just as you educated your family, I will educate a Co-worker and pray that it goes well.  I hope you can come to a place to approach it and not just avoid it..   Good Luck!!!  

Again, welcome to the family...  

« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 03:12:45 PM by Eric »

Offline Joe K

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  • Posts: 5,820
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 03:21:18 PM »
Hello Coffee,

Welcome to the forum and we can all understand the frustrations with disclosure and adjusting to our status.  You ask how one moves on with life and all I can offer is that you will change when it becomes too difficult NOT to change.  You have many issues and I think you need some help to sort this all out.  I had a abusive relationship and even after six years, the damage done to me lingers.  But I have a choice and so do you.  I can decide to wallow in my own pity or decide that I will be the one to control my life and then work to make that happen.

Same for you my friend.  I suspect that because of how you became poz, you have a lot of unresolved issues and I would submit that you will never be truly free, until you face these issues directly.  Yes easier said than done, but you must start somewhere so maybe you could find a support group or a professional who you could discuss your issues with.

You have made a very courageous move in that you admit that you must change, because you do not like your present life.  We all understand that, but only you know what will make you happy.  Please don't let the demons from your past poison your present and future.  Yes our past shapes who and what we are, but it will never define us, unless we surrender our own free will.  Find some support, in whatever fashion works for you and you are always free to post here to discuss your feelings, express your anger or just bitch to feel better.

I encourage you to stick around and read some of the posts to see how others deal with similar challenges.

Offline Alain

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  • Posts: 680
  • I am.
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 03:45:53 PM »
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 08:15:55 PM by cowandalehouse »

Offline Rightbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 09:33:51 PM »
Hello Coffee,

The part of the country you live in makes a HUGE difference.  I have lived in Sacramento for six years (diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago).  Here, the people I have disclosed to have remained very tight lipped and have not been shocked or afraid.  In Southern Indiana, where we're from all it took was one person to find out.  I should have just called the newspaper myself.  We won't live there again.  My wife and I make a joke out of seeing who can count the most people in camoflauge when we visit there.  These are not hunters mind you, these are women in the grocery store.

You really find out who your friends are don't you.  Maybe one of the questions is "are you a friend to yourself?"  It's quite a road trying to live apart from what others think, but hiv can sure move us pretty far down that road.  I truly hope that you can understand that there is nothing wrong with you.

brother joe
If there's a cure I hope I can have all the leftover Sustiva.

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 09:12:34 AM »
I would love to move forward.  I would love to be able to not care what people think, to do my part to help end stigma, and to be close to people without fear.  The question is, how does one do that?

Hi CC,

I find the best way for me to move forward is to understand the limitations we all have as human beings - myself included if not especially.

As for getting past roadblocks, I think making your mind up to let go of the past helps enormously. It has for me anyway.

When I think of my own biological family, they have such limitations due to unwarranted fears. My mother is a trained RNA for cripes sakes, and yet she couldn't cope with me staying at their house last time I visited there (in another city).

Anyone who is close to me or involved in my health care are the only ones who need to know my status. I'm not looking to be a poster boy for HIV. The reason? HIV is only a part of who I am. I don't define my existence through that lens.

Accept what is done is done. You deserve to live happily, free of baggage. We all do.




Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 10:37:54 PM »
Hello Coffeechick88, it is Eldon. First of all I want to Welcome you to the Forums. You will find that this is a place where you can come and talk about the things you are dealing with in your life, you will have people listening (reading) and answering back to you,

It is sometimes difficult to move on. But how you move on is when you decide to put everything behind you and don't look back, and you work towards your goals. It is inside of you and you have to find it. Talking it out does very well and when you do talk, gain an understanding to the person whom you are talking to, and start relating to one another.

It wasn't easy at first, but I told the ones I needed to tell in my life and moved on. Don't sit there spinning your wheels in the mud. You have to gain "acceptance" and once you acheive that, then and only then is when you can move on.

Again, we urge you to come and visit the forums often and read what others are going through just as yourself. 

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 10:49:00 AM »
Hey Coffee,

First, welcome to our family here. Glad you found us.

Lordy, honey, you have had a rough time of it. As others have said, it can be hard to move on, especially if you're in an area of the country where ignorance is definitely not bliss.

Having HIV doens't lessen your worth as a person, nor should it stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Start by setting some goals. Choose a career, go back to school, start thinking about what you want to do with your life, where you want to live, what you want to be.

You are still quite young and have the world at your feet. Find a path that is right for you and follow it.

That is the best way I know to move on. It doesn't mean necessarily moving away from where you live if you that isn't your wish. But it does mean not letting the past shackle you.

My grandmother used to say, "Enjoy the good things in your life, learn from the bad things, then move on."

That is advice I have always kept close to my heart.



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

Offline kcmetroman

  • Member
  • Posts: 567
Re: How to move forward?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 11:09:56 AM »
Hi Coffee, and welcome.

I think that what many positive people go through is a self demeaning stage.  A time when you feel like an island out there.  What we so often forget is that HIV is a protein that affects the immune system.  It only attacks our character if we allow it to. 

It seems as though your character shines, judging from the friends that you have.  There will come a day that you will look people straight in the eyes and feel comfortable about yourself. It sounds like you are giving it your best shot also.  Perhaps a place like these forums is perfect for you to vent, share, and get to a better place.

Good luck to you



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