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Author Topic: Here's a thought to consider  (Read 35793 times)

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Offline joemutt

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Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #100 on: September 03, 2006, 11:22:19 AM »
As another outsider it's a little hard to follow, but I can surely understand that everyone should be entitled to feel at ease at AMG
and that if there's some behaviour or activities that lead to discomfort (but again hard to get a picture of what was the case) than that certainly would need to be addressed. But maybe it should have been addressed then and there while the AMG was going on. But ok, it certainly has been addressed early enough for AMG 07 :-\
Just a very small 0.02 $.

Offline Trish

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Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #101 on: September 03, 2006, 02:56:09 PM »
Hi Tim,

I have read your post and you have made some good points, ones which I will hold onto and try my best to understand. 

I guess I fall in the category of the minority here.  And that's okay.  I suppose if the majority can be accommodated, than that is the way it should be.  I have no problem with that.

I probably should have started a new thread (I don't want to hijack,) but I guess posting it here is really the best place to put it.

Bailey said I could have walked in the other direction of the village and saw the rest of what Montreal had to offer and he is 100% correct.  But I didn't want to.  I wanted to be able to hang out with all of you, but I couldn't bring myself to.  Why?  Because I felt uncomfortable in the village.  I did enjoy myself at the Meet & Greet, the Wedding, at lunch & dinners and Quebec City.  I loved seeing those who I met in Toronto again and feeling the love from each of you and giving it back.  I loved hugging all of you and just being around you and I didn't want it to end.  I loved meeting new people and hugging them too, and although I didn't get the chance to speak to more of you in depth, I still care and love you just the same as anyone else.  But, I saw things (and not with any of the members here really -- and I certainly don't care what attire anyone is wearing -- in fact I love that you guys are free to do just that, but unfortunately you only feel comfortable in the right setting to do so -- this part I hate), things in the village that I really would rather not have seen.  I can walk down the streets and bar hop in Kansas City, or even in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, and see all the stuff I simply cannot deal with anymore these days.  I suppose I've grown-up in the past few years and I found myself drinking alot more than I cared to while in Montreal.  My problem, no one else's.  Yes, I do have a problem with drinking (don't know when to stop once I've started) & I don't go to bars for this simple reason.  I just felt uncomfortable which made me want to drink more.  I was able to curb it to a degree, but still the urges surfaced and it didn't feel right for me.  And so I guess the best thing for me to do is to stay away from places that bring on these feelings of wanting to drink myself into oblivion.  That's all I can do for myself, and I shouldn't try to place the blame on anyone here.  I certainly didn't mean to and I meant no harm.  I should have articulated this more clearly. 

Also, having grown up in a place where prejudice runs rampant I suppose some of that upbringing is still present within me.  Although I have done my utmost to work through this area of my life throughout my entire life, some of it still lingers.  I love each and everyone of you and care about you more than you will ever know, but I'm still working on overcoming this flaw of mine completely.  And my speaking out loud here on the forums is, for now, the best way I know how to do that.  And it is something that I will work on in therapy too.  Talking about it does help and talking to all of you is certainly the icing on the cake.  I learn more and more from each of you everyday and I do not take it with a grain of salt.  I listen to each of you carefully, I weigh what you have to say and I try to find a balance and understand.  I believe I'm doing a pretty good job of it.  I don't like feeling uncomfortable in any situation, just like you guys don't, and it breaks my heart that you all have had to endure years of discrimination and hatred.  I wish I could change the world's thinking, but I can't.  I can change my own thinking though.  I'm bending myself to accept all things, and working through all of the uncomfortability in my life and surroundings.  It's the only way to get to the end means.  The problem I have is within myself and I am working to change that.  I've been doing it my whole life and it seems to be a never ending task.  But it is one I am sure I can come to a close -- one that will allow me to be who I truly am -- a woman whose heart is big and cares for everyone including herself.

I am fully aware of the fact that you guys need to be in a familiar place when it comes to AMG.  I realize that society as a whole makes you uncomfortable and that makes me sad.  I wish I could change it.  I also wish that we as HIV-positive people could go anywhere and not be afraid of disclosure.  This I hate the most -- probably because the stigma of HIV is the major thing that makes me uncomfortable.  And yes, you are all right -- the only place we can truly not fear being HIV-positive is within the gay community.  This much I know for a fact.  I just don't want to have to hide anywhere anymore.  And I suppose many of you feel that too.  But I don't know how to change that either.  What I do know though, is that everytime I do disclose to whomever or wherever, I feel liberated and it gets easier to do everyday.  Having worked through that uncomfortable feeling of disclosing my status brings me closer to being free.  What bothered me most was feeling like I have to hide and I just don't think hiding myself within the gay community is doing me justice.  I don't like it one bit.  But that's just my take and another story for another time.

My thoughts are still all over the place... I'm doing my best to understand it all and get all the demons out.

As far as next years AMG -- I was only thinking that we could go somewhere with an ocean view or lake view, perhaps some sandy beaches with lots to do, like fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving (not that I do that), some horseback riding, antiquing, nice quiet dinners and the like.  I just don't want to be in a city scene and walk the streets, hopping from bar to bar, which I know I wasn't forced to do -- I could have done something else.  I can do the bar thing at home and walk the streets, and I don't even go there because I know what it will bring me -- alcohol and behavior I don't care to go near.  I try not to tempt myself, so I don't go to such places.  I would just like us to be able to go somewhere pretty, and ALL OF US be together and not have to divide ourselves at any given moment.  Probably impossible to do.  I guess that's not going to happen.  I was feeling that I might not attend next year, but I will wait and see what the consensus is on where AMG will be.  Until then, I will be working on my flaws and teaching myself to be comfortable no matter where I go or who I am with, and learn to be more accepting of my surroundings and people.  It's all I can do at this time -- for myself and nobody else.  I will wait and see what happens.

I'm sorry if I have caused any drama or unsettling feelings.  It was not my intention.  I was just putting my honest thoughts out there from my heart.  And however mixed up my feelings may be, they are my feelings -- they are not wrong or right -- they simply exist.  I'm not perfect for sure.  We're all human -- we all have feelings, and I was just expressing mine with people I care about and love more than you can know.

Also, sorry for the long-winded post.  It's in my nature to ramble on & on.  I'll stop now.

In peace & love,

"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Joe K

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Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2006, 04:49:55 PM »
For Trish, (a minor hijack I promise)

It takes a big person to admit their foibles and I thank you for sharing some of yours, because now your concerns about Montreal are much clearer.  We all share the frustration with how parts of the world work and all you can ever really do is be responsible for yourself.  I commend you on taking constructive action to address some of your issues.  They aren't flaws, as that indicates a weakness of character.  No, they are learned behaviors and fortunately many can be unlearned.

I know you will be at AMG next year, because all of this will sort itself out... it always does.

Offline Trish

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Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2006, 05:40:44 PM »
Thanks Joe... it really means alot.

I guess in the grand scheme of it all, Montreal gave me one expectation that I never even imagined could be.  Which is: I learned a very valuable lesson about myself and my "learned behaviors."  Sure, its been there all along, but Montreal brought it into full view and it's a lesson that I fully welcome because now I will be able to work it out for sure.  I suppose it's a blessing in disguise. 

And you're right Joe, I will be at the next AMG.  How the hell can I stay away from all of you?  It's impossible.  I care about you all and love you all so much so that I just have to be there.  Again, thanks.


Trish :-*
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2006, 06:14:25 PM »
Dear All,

This has turned into a very long thread. It's also veered off a few times into some back and forth stuff that personally I don't think is useful to post-mortem.

I suggest rather that the focus be turned now on to discussing matters such as when and where members would like the next meeting to be. And what if anything they would like to have included in the way of some semi-formal session(s) regarding issues of interest. Everyone would be welcome to suggest what they might like to hear discussed or presentations about and/or perhaps activities such as yoga/meditation, etc.

It's your gathering so develop into what you want to have it be.

Please don't spend time and energy in complaining about what you didn't like. Overall my sense is that people who went to Montreal are glad they did so. Some seem to have had a better time than others. That is always going to happen. The shared experience of HIV doesn't change the reality that you're all invidividuals with different histories, backgrounds, tastes, etc.

The miracle is that given those differences there has been as much happy comraderie.

So I am going to lock this thread and open a new one. People will still be able to reference this one for ideas if need be, but when it gets past 100 entries it's really tiresome to have scroll through the whole epic.

Andy Velez

Offline allopathicholistic

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  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Here's a thought to consider
« Reply #105 on: September 25, 2006, 07:22:05 PM »
The conference meets at a retreat somewhere, with, I dunno, horses and nature and stuff. Nothing prudish, just not so much neon, not so much booze and boinking. Yooga classes, meditation,

oh bless you for this idea!!!!! that's truly music to my ears!!!! "i'm so there"   :D  :D


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