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Loss of my "Soul"
Mar 17, 2006

Dear Dr. Horwath,

I have just been referred to this website and wanted to thank you for devoting yourself to answering so many difficult questions.

I recently was diagnosed with HIV, even though I have only been intimate with one person, whom I fell deeply in love with.

Even though when coming to America from Italy, I never attended school past the 6th grade, as we were very poor and my momma needed my siblings and I to work to help, in my 20s I went to night school, then earned a full art award. I earned my BFA in illustration, and even went on to earn a Masters in Psychology. My dream was always to become a Psychologist, focusing on Art Therapy.

I have never drank or smoked and tried to lead a life where I could look back with respect, as we came from such poverty, yet now after being diagnosed with HIV...I have lost everything.

My Brother and sisters have dis-owned me and told me that I would never see them or my beloved nieces and nephews again...who were like my own children.

Doctor, please forgive me for rambling, it is just I am so frightened and have lost all faith in myself and the world. My siblings have made it clear that time will not change their views...and I do not know how to live what is left of my life, knowing I will never see my family again...it is unbearable. I love them more than words can ever express.

I understand enough about psychology to realize that I have suffered a severe loss of my loved ones and my "self"...but each day becomes more and more difficult to endure. I fear death so terribly, but what good is life if you have lost not only all those you love...but yourself and all hope?

Please forgive me Dr. Horwath, for I know these questions are almost impossible to verbalize. I am just very lonely and admire your dedication.

Thank you for allowing me to pose my fears and concerns.

Response from Dr. Horwath

I would urge you to not give up hope on having a relationship with your family. Their reaction comes from fear and a lack of knowledge, I'm sure. Perhaps with time, they will understand that they have nothing to fear from you and will allow you back into their lives. Meanwhile, stay hopeful. You can still create a rewarding life for yourself.



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