Hi Duncan,
I haven't been on the site in months for some health reasons (recovering from back surgery)which was a long process and I was in a funk and not thinking about much more than healing. I also was not thinking about sex or past abuse.

I am also positive for 23 years and not sexually active. I have been realizing my own fear about sexual involvement. I am definitely affected by fear of intimacy because of abuse and being positive. I have also been abstinent for many many months.

My point is to share understanding and to remind you that you are not alone. There is hope and I logged in today because I recognize my own issues of insecurity that I am contaminated and damaged. I am starting to think about sex and intimacy but I am afraid. While that may be true, I counter those notions with knowing I must change my outlook and continue healing, and accepting myself. That is a big awareness Duncan. Change your outlook or the view is pretty Grey.

Your post reminds me to be gentle with ourselves. I am sorry any of us are affected by past abuse or some of us have HIV/AIDS. However, I am happy your wife has stayed with you and hope you find comfort in that and feel support from here and many of the members here.

Isolation starts in the mind from our own thoughts. Often our thoughts are so negative and fear based, that we build our own prisons. Perhaps when we try opening our hearts and minds to allow ourselves to be loved, accept help and embrace our support more than we embrace our pain, we can move toward a better life and a better place...even if just briefly.

I hope all of us and especially you can find some comfort and see better days, because we deserve that as much as anyone. For whatever reasons you became positive they likely were connected to a way of coping. Sexual acting out is often a coping mechanism and how we felt valued. That is not the only reason in some cases but it was how we acted and and survived.

You have taken some big steps coming here and I applaud you for your courage. I think we all understand your pain and uncertainty. This is work! But you are worth the effort involved, and certainly not alone. I am not sure I am helping you but please try to know you can get through this and it will be a journey full of highs and lows. But in time and with effort, you can get to a better place more than being stuck in a lousy place. Hang in there and know you will get through one day at a time.

Peace to you always,

When you stumble, make it part of the dance.