The Downside to Being Open With Your Status

I've had this virus nearly 11 years now and not long after diagnosis, I made it public. I'm sure a lot of those reading can relate and understand my frustration. People can make the time to make ignorant based comments in regards to being HIV+ but won't utilize that time to educate themselves before making themselves look like morons online. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Since my diagnosis, I've mostly dated and had sexual relations with HIV-negative people, with them being informed beforehand about my status. Why am I still vilified for living my life? So I'm just supposed to be miserable til the day I die? Absolutely not.

The things that people say can be super harsh. I've had people tell me my diseased body killed my 2nd oldest child. She died from trisomy 18, something that completely blindsided us all, considering I was only 28 when she was born. While most of the time I'm unphased by what people say, certain things do hurt and make me question why I still fight and advocate for people living with HIV.

At the end of the day, I'm still human. But then I remember that my fight isn't mine alone to fight and I keep moving forward.

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Thank you!

Red40something's picture

Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share and I am sorry for the loss of your child. People can be incredibly cruel and selfish. However I know the people who live with HIV and are confident enough to speak out appreciate you using your voice and being brave. Blessings!

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Relate

Babygirl44's picture

I'm sorry for your loss.I truly can relate to the struggle of being honest always about being HIV +.I have been positive for 20 1/2 yrs.I still have my days I struggle with being strong minded.People can be so cruel.Pray for me as I will do the same for you.God has been my reason and strength..

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Thank you for your post. I

Newtothis21's picture

Thank you for your post. I wish I was super strong like you guys are but I'm just getting use to this and I do date and tell the guys it is really hard to be judged like that and put it all in their hands. At the end of the day though I do what's right.

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Strength is not measured by words!

Red40something's picture

In my humble opinion it's measured by grace-how we do under pressure, the grace to deal with life's curveballs, how we treat ourselves and others. Don't underestimate yourself!

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Boy, Oh Boy, Can I Relate!

Bethany M. Brown M.Ed.'s picture

I, too, have largely dated HIV negative men. My husband (now ex) was not positive. Two things were inevitable given that I was an open book (sometimes engaging in too much oversharing). One, since I was indeed open to discussing all things HIV (because it would allow for healthier decisions), people would speak with a candor that was often seering. I told myself that it was okay because one must have these ugly conversations to dispell ignorance, become educated, and stop being (un)knowingly hurtful. Two, it, at times, would backfire because, since I was so "capable and normal" while living with HIV, people would forget and let toads jump from their mouths (as if I was "other" than "other" folks with HIV). 

There are much warranted and much needed discussions about nondisclosure and remaining private. In my opinion, there has not been enough discussions talking about what it means to disclosing and being open...with purpose and without shame and guilt. I would love it, if you would write more about this (if you are still involved with this site). Selfishly, it would help me not feel so alone and provide me with support and ideas moving forward. Part of "normalizing" living with HIV is to actually treat it like everything else. For me, it is kind of like we know when a woman has arrived in the workplace when she know longer has the moniker being a woman before being the boss; she simply becomes the boss because she is qualified (even if many of her female attributes make her a compentent, if not better, boss). Does this make sense?

Hugs, Bethany

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Thank you

Newtothis21's picture

Thank you for your comment. I am still here just trying to keep up with all the things I still have going on in my life. I still am dating hiv negative guys. I just try to keep letting them get to know me and hopefully at the time it's time to disclose my status they see more tha that. So far it's been ok. There are times I feel I'm more educating the people on something I'm still new to and trying to figure out. You are not alone in this sad world I'm here along with the other ladies.

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Figuring it out

Red40something's picture

HIV and all the physical and emotional stuff that comes with it can be tough to "figure out". Whew! Is there anything in particular you feel like you want or need to know? Also , have you been able to check out any of the FB lives of the AGLM series? We have some really good conversations there!

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You are Lovely

Bethany M. Brown M.Ed.'s picture

It feels awkward to be so direct; but, after reading your words again and looking at your picture, I could not resist saying it.  And, I will say it again: you are lovely. I am so very glad that we get to hold one another in our brainbox and heart space. 

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