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#501172 - 08/31/16 11:19 AM Now what? Managing my health and learning to love
earthmam70 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
After years of putting off getting tested, I finally did earlier this year. And, the tests came back positive. My initial thought was to get on treatment immediately, but that was halted promptly when the VA immediately dropped my medical coverage (I was forced out at 20 months service from the Air Force for being gay, honorable discharge, but since I hadn't served 24 months, I was ineligible for health benefits). It took a month to get coverage, Medicaid, and a doctor. I started meds in May with a VL >200000 and a CD4 count just barely over 200. Now, I am undetectable and my CD4 count is 600. I take my meds religiously. I want to be healthy and not infect anyone else. Now, I can focus on living.

BUT, I am still broken from the 9 years of abuse from my older brother (when I was between the ages of 2-11), and now I have a -- very manageable but deadly -- virus in my blood. I love myself. But who is going to love me?

I tell myself to be content with the fact that I may be alone for the rest of my life. It seems now that I can live a very long life. But, what is all of that if I cannot share it with a significant other?

I think I deserve love. The abused child in me is still in pain and will probably always be. The adult in me desires love. What's next?


Edited by earthmam70 (09/01/16 09:38 PM)
Edit Reason: Correction

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#501175 - 08/31/16 12:42 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
manipulated Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/14
Posts: 359
Loc: Great Lakes Wine Country
Earthmam

I have no words of advice but I want you to know you are valued here. You are accepted here. Please know you have value and there have to be ways that will allow you to love and be loved. Glad you were able to finally start treatment.
_________________________
Feeling, Healing, Recovering.

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#501176 - 08/31/16 12:52 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
KMCINVA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3221
Earthman70

I am happy you are focusing on your health. Survivors have a tendency to ignore their mental and physical health--why--probably because we do not see ourselves as valuable. Next you will be able to focus on the mental aspects of your health. What your brother did to you is not your fault, guilt or shame.

You are valued and you will find love. There are all different forms of love--whatever makes it way to you, grab and hold it tightly. I wish you years and years of health and happiness.

Kevin

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#501245 - 09/02/16 09:32 AM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
earthmam70 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
Thank you

I tell myself that I have value, at least now I do. It took me a while to get to this point. That's probably why I took so long to get tested. I moved to a new city, NYC, at the beginning of this year hoping to get a new start in life only to get diagnosed a month later. Now, I'm homeless, in a shelter for HIV+ people, and out of work. The only thing keeping me going is that my viral load is low and my immune system is improving. Keeping the virus at undetectable levels is my constant goal. But honestly, I don't know what else to live for. I try to do things that can remind me that I am human and try to make myself happy. But it is difficult especially when I can't find an apartment to get myself out of this very depressing shelter (I am registered with an agency called HASA and they gave me a rent voucher for $1100/month for a one-bedroom but no broker will work with it). I see other people here at the shelter who are just lost. I don't want to end up like them. I am slowly losing my direction. I've gone out and to local bars to meet people but am terrified of rejection once I disclose my status. Even though the community "seems" very accepting, the stigma is still here. I am surrounded by depression and despair. I try VERY HARD to find silver linings in each day but it is getting increasingly difficult. I never in a million years thought that I would be in this situation. The workers at the shelter tell me that I do not belong here because I do not seem as destitute as the others who live here. But, the longer I am exposed to this environment, the quicker I will become lost. It is easy for me to keep saying that I was a victim and that it wasn't my fault, but my reckless actions a long time ago led me here. I am surprised that I still have the sanity to comment on this site. I don't know how much longer this can continue.

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#501293 - 09/04/16 06:53 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
woodenshoes Offline


Registered: 06/04/14
Posts: 446
Earthman

You so deserve happiness. We all do. Stay strong hold your head high. You will find someone. Look after yourself.

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#501384 - 09/06/16 09:05 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
earthmam70 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
Thank you for all of your replies and your words. I am tired. I just don't see the point anymore. I am really just tired


Edited by earthmam70 (09/06/16 09:42 PM)

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#501385 - 09/06/16 10:18 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
dew Offline


Registered: 11/07/14
Posts: 14
Loc: Ontario
Hey Earthmam, I'm not poz, but I'm pretty familiar with HIV (my last two boyfriends were poz and I work in the sector), and I'm definitely a survivor of CSA. I can imagine how a recent HIV diagnosis could make relationships and intimacy seem daunting.

You're right that you weren't responsible for the abuse your brother inflicted on you. You shouldn't blame yourself for the HIV either. It's a virus. It did what viruses do--it found a host. It didn't choose you to punish you or blame you. Society added all that crap. We came of age during the worst part of the epidemic and were bombarded with homophobia and moralizing masquerading as prevention messaging. Fear worked for a while as a prevention tool, but it also created stigma and self-loathing. Stigma still exists, and it sucks, but there are many guys who don't care about HIV status. We do exist. smile

In the mean time, you are on top of your meds. Your CD4 count has bounced back and it sounds as though you're in good physical health. And the latest research shows that for guys like you, poz guys who are undetectable, the chance of passing HIV during sex is negligible--like the scientists don't want to say zero, so they say negligible, but it's pretty close to zero. That's great news.

I encourage you not to give up. Life sounds tough, and you're tired. Maybe it's enough to just keep moving at this point, not worrying too much about having a clear direction. The fog lifts eventually.
_________________________
My story

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#501401 - 09/07/16 09:52 AM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
earthmam70 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
Keep on moving, like the song. That is what I am doing. THANK YOU

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#502303 - 10/04/16 11:07 AM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
earthmam70 Offline


Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
I have been taking my meds every day since 18MAY16. It is the only thing keeping me going -- literally. I don't have anything else in my life. I am homeless. I am living in a shelter. I am lost in the system. I do not see an end in sight. I am fighting depression every day. I am lonely. I am trapped.

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#502323 - 10/04/16 10:04 PM Re: Now what? Managing my health and learning to love [Re: earthmam70]
30something Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/15
Posts: 132
Loc: Southeast
Earthman, your story isn't done yet. Many ppl who have their lives "together" now were once living in their cars, on the streets, anywhere. Focus on small changes, like, where might you be able to work?

This is just one stop on your journey. You're loving yourself and connecting with us. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You're doing the right thing.

Asa

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