I may not be gay but that doesnt mean I dont hide in the closet. I conceal my secret in a lonely dark place that has no windows and a door that is tightly closed and locked that only a few are allowed to see into. Like the fearful closeted homosexual I hide in a world that I fear will not understand me. A world full of people who are just like I once was …..HIV negative ….HIV apprehensive …HIV ignorant….HIV hateful. I remember the attitudes and feelings I once had towards people with HIV/aids, and the normal stereotypes associated with HIV. I see my former self reflected in so many faces and hear the me of days gone by echoed in so many of the offbeat comments made to me by those who are unaware of my HIV status. I live in constant fear that the wrong person finds out and I am outed like a dirty politician who has just been the focus of an expose on the 6 o'clock news. a fear that is less centered around how I might be affected but for the onesI love. How would the world treat my children? Would they suddenly be kept at arms length? Would other parents tell their kids not to play with my kids? Would they maybe not allow their children to attend my childrens birthday parties? I mentally trace all the possible routes that information of my status could possibly link back to my children and be spread from one person to another . So scared that I might rob my children of a sense of normalcy, I decide to remain in my secret hiding place . Afraid my children might be exposed to someone ignorant and hateful, someone apprehensive and petrified of HIV …………someone like the me that used to be.
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Totally get ya on this!!
I can relate to how you feel. I felt the same way when I was first diagnosed in 2006. However, I learned that the avoidance and fear of rejection and hate made me unhealthy and it was harder to cope with the HIV virus. I have since written my memoir, Living Beyond Rainbows, where I am finally "naked to the world." It took a lot of courage and I still get rejection, but I can finally use my energies to learn to co-exist with HIV. I now live with no sign of the disease and rather than just undetectable, too low to count, I have achieved the best possible result= HIV NOT detected. No one can find any virus in my blood. I am proud of my achievement but I know that it all happened after I let go of my fears of other's reactions and let go of fear of the virus itself. Now I am trying to educate others that HIV is not a sinister plague but a manageable chronic condition. Good luck, there will be rejections, but you don't have to please everyone, just yourself.
I understand. I share some of the same fears for my kids. I think everyone here can understand this to some degree.