DH, I agree with you that much of the health care system is screwed up. It applies pressure unnecessarily, which is counter productive to wellness when someone is ill. You talk about
the 3 strikes against you, and I hear how angry you are at the world. But it sounds like your friends are suggesting accountability and ownership....I don't know that that is tough love BS. See the issue may be, that you want life the way it was before your actions led to the situation you are in. I am NOT judging you. I am just saying that the one sure thing I know about
life is that it changes. Your life changed, in a direction you are not happy with and you now can't get rid of. I DO understand being angry about
that. But there has to come a time when you reach acceptance of your situation where you put down the anger and devise a plan for the new life of yours that can work for you to. Plus, you sound angry at people for not knowing your situation and struggles, but you are sharing that you are doing a great job hiding it from them.
You see, I know much of what you are saying because when I met my husband, and we became engaged, his cousin (who became one of my dearest friends) came to me and shared with me that she was HIV Positive. That she was very selective about
who knew. It turned out, she was one of the first heterosexual women in this country to be dx. This was now 6 years later when she shared it with me. Keeping this thing private and quite was critical still as this was the late 80's, early 90's. People were still so freaked out about
it. But one day, it turned on her and became full blown AIDS. I remember sitting with her in the hospital as she had turned the corner and was on her way to recovery from the pneumonia, and we talked about
the fact that maybe it was time to come out of the closet and let people know what was going on with her. Perhaps it was time to let the chips land where they may and then she can pick up the pieces and make a new life for herself. She is today, still one of the braves women I've ever known. She did just that. She started working with advocate groups sharing her truth, and knowledge and experience with practically any one who would listen. She lectured in schools, she traveled to give lectures and be part of coalitions in front of state and national government groups. She helped with changing perspective about
the disease, so people could start to see the person who was suffering, and NOT just their own fear, and to
openly learn how to love the person, stay with the person, but be responsible about
safety as well. When our state started an AIDS awareness week, and key speakers were selected to speak on the steps of our state's capital about
AIDS, she was one of them. She now viewed her life as a tool for education, and she was determined to still LIVE as long as she could. We lost her Jan. 16, 1996. We didn't have a funeral, we had a celebration of her life, and more than 200 of her friends from all over the world (Australia, Europe...etc.) came. It was incredible. Our state senate had a minute of silence in her memory.
I have shared this with you for one reason only. Because that is what is possible for life, if you accept the one you have now and make a plan to move forward. Was it easy for her? NO...she HATED the ignorance she ran up against, time and time again. But over time, it got easier to handle, she practiced her responses that pointed out their ignorance, educated them and accepted their fear. It didn't change everyone, but many relaxed and learned and passed that on the next time they met someone like her. She surrounded herself with people who GOT IT, and loved her, and she ALLOWED herself to reach out...A KEY COMPONENT! You talked about
wanting to meet women, and how they will reject you when they find out about
your Hep C status. But perhaps your goal should not be meeting women for an intimate sexual relationship at this point, but because you like the company of women, to build sincere abiding friendships. Eventually, one might be able to grow beyond the fear. Or, you might meet a woman with similar struggles who you balance each other out? And if it doesn't happen, your expectations can't get disappointed, because you weren't reaching for physical intimacy. I understand compounding this all is the BP too. But isn't it all a one step at a time process? Be honest with yourself, be gentle with yourself, find out what you want and go get it. On the days it is good, go for it, on the days it is bad...have a contingency plan to love yourself through it. Accept that when people know better they do better, and if they don't know what is REALLY going on, if you don't help teach them, then they don't have the opportunity to do better. Does that make sense?
Anger is not going to remain your friend, unless it is giving you what you want. At some point, you are going to have to embrace all you are going through...your 3 strikes as you put it...and find a way to create joy for yourself with and in spite of it. This is your new world...you are brave to face it. Surround yourself with support, take care of yourself to the greatest level of wellness you can reach, and set your goals (a step at a time) to attainable realistic levels....with an opportunity for growth. I've seen it done. It all starts with what you choose. So choose well....Well wishes, and warm caring thoughts are with you. LFW
Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 1/19/2008 12:21:56 PM (GMT-7)