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Family and Friends >> My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS

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Carrie
Fanatic

Reged: 11/11/07
Posts: 58
HIV & STD's
      #235801 - 01/28/08 06:01 PM

My boyfriend who is poz was just at a dr appointment today because of a large growing lump they think is cancer in his lungs, and they suggested he also get tested for syphilis. He freaked and left the dr without having the tests for the lump or the blood tests for the STD done. He text me saying he was going to go look for a joint to smoke then veg out for the next few days, and talked about how all he wanted to do was die. I sent him numerous messages about how much I love him, and threw the power of God, prayer and love, we'd make it threw this all TOGETHER. I told him that this isn't going to make me leave him, and if anything it would make me get even closer to him. Turns out he ended up going to two recovery meetings, then met up with a friend for lunch. Fortunately since we're 2 hours away from each other, he's got great friends that he can turn to and talk to about anything.

I did some looking on the internet, and his symptoms that he has had over the past few months finally make sense, and looks like it puts him into stage 2 or 3 of syphilis.

Does anyone else have suggestions on how I can talk to him about all of this? We're very open with each other, use protection every time with sex, and keep open minds with each other. I keep reminding him that I'm always here for him, even though it's hard with our 2-hour time difference. Life is getting very stressful for me since I'm dealing with my own life issues plus his, but I refuse to give up on him. There's times I wanna scream out, "I HAVE MY OWN PROBLEMS TOO!!!", but I hold it back. I'm looking into seeing a therapist to talk to, but this site seems to help me the best.

Does anyone have any experience with HIV and STD's such as syphilis? Or have any recommendations on how I can stay unselfish during times like these?


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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #235804 - 01/28/08 06:34 PM

He's a grown man and can make his own medical decisions, even if that means refusing medical care.

From your posts, it's pretty clear you're bending over backwards in this relationship and doing all the work, worrying, stressing, etc. All this, and as you said, you have your own issues to deal with. Let him deal with his medical issues. He owns them. Not you.

It's normal to want the best for people we care about, but remember the term detachment. I know in AA and Alanon that's an important term and I suspect it is also in NA.

It's time you start loving and respecting yourself more than him.

EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF ENABLING

There are times in relationships when we cross that sometimes invisible line between truly being helpful and supportive~ and acting as enablers, or becoming co-dependent with another person. Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, in her work with families, suggests that 96% of the general population, and persons in helping professions especially, exhibit some forms of co-dependent behavior at one time or in fairly consistent patterns or both. What does that behavior "look like"?

1. Do you find yourself worrying about a person in ways that consume your time, or do you find yourself trying to come up with solutions to his/ her problems rather than letting that person do the solving?

2. Do you find yourself afraid for this person, or convinced that he/she "cannot handle" a situation or relationship without "falling apart"?

3. Do you ever do something for a person which he/she could and even should be doing, in order to learn him/herself?

4. Do you ever excuse this personís behavior as being a result of "stress, misunderstanding, or difficulty coping," even when the behavior hurts or inconveniences you?

5. Have you ever considered - or have you - giving this person money, your car, or talked to someone for this person as a way of reducing this personís pain?

6. Do you feel angry if this person does not follow through with something you have suggested - or do you worry that you may not be doing enough for this person?

7. Do you ever feel you have a unique and special relationship with this person?

8. Do you feel protective of this person - even though he/she is an adult and is capable of taking care of his/her life?

9. Do you ever wish others in this personís life would change their behavior or attitudes to make things easier for this person?

10. Do you feel responsible for getting this person help?

11. Do you feel reluctant to refer an individual to a source of help or assistance, uncertain if another person can understand or appreciate this personís situation the way you do?

12. Do you ever feel manipulated by this person but ignore your feelings?

13. Do you ever feel that no one understands this person as you do?

14. Do you ever feel that you know best what another person needs to do or that you recognize his/her needs better than he/she does?

15. Do you sometimes feel alone in your attempts to help a person or do you feel you may be the only person to help this individual?

16. Do you ever want to make yourself more available to another person, at the expense of your own energy, time, commitments?

17. Do you find yourself realizing that an individual may have more problems than you initially sensed and that you will need to give him/her your support or help for a long time?

18. Do you ever feel, as a result of getting to know this person, that you feel energized and can see yourself helping people like him/her to solve their problems?

19. Have you ever begun to "see yourself" in this person and his/her problems?

20. Has anyone ever suggested to you that you are "too close" to this person or this situation?

If you have answered ~~yes" to two or more of these questions, it is likely that, at one time or another - or on a regular basis - you have crossed the line from being supportive to being an enabler or co-dependent.


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oldwoman
Guardian

Reged: 05/12/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #235811 - 01/28/08 08:05 PM

Carie,you have been going through so much lately,there is no reason you can't tell him you have your own problems too.Part of being a couple is helping and supporting each other,not just you helping and supporting him.OK that's my lecture for the night,one other thing...this could be the reason that his numbers are dropping so fast.

I'm glad that we are all able to help you so much

Terry

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Carrie
Fanatic

Reged: 11/11/07
Posts: 58
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #235837 - 01/28/08 11:05 PM

You're right. I guess alot of the reason I don't want to tell him that I have my own issues to deal with too, is that since I have a very passive personality and he has a very aggressive personality, I want to do everything to avoid conflict. I actually told him the other night that sometimes when I think he's wrong and I'm right, or vice versa, I'll just say OK and have the conversation end so a disagreement doesn't take place. He told me that he was glad I shared that with him, and keeps urging me to be more and more open with him. He also agreed to watch his temper. He's 6'2" with a deep voice, and I told him that whether he realizes it or not, when he gets upset, his voice gets very loud and because of past relationships it scares me. He agreed to work on his tone and attitude.

I dodn't think you were lecturing at all though. I appriciate what you have to say very much. Thank you!

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Carrie
Fanatic

Reged: 11/11/07
Posts: 58
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #235840 - 01/28/08 11:34 PM

Thank you Esmerelda. Looking at that list, almost ALL of them fit me! I've been involved in recovery for the past 13 years, but I think after reading that I need to look into a group that deals with co-dependancy/enabling.

Thank you again. I really appriciate everyones feedback that they have to give. Like I said before, I have found this site to be incredably helpfull and supportive. Don't know what I'd do without you all!

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Monchhichi
Guru

Reged: 02/07/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Florida
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #235930 - 01/30/08 01:30 AM

Carrie, girl.....I will tell you about me and my husbands 1st relationship (what we refer to it as). I still have tire marks on my back from then. I WAS that wonderful list that Esmerelda posted (I think they made it for me back then). JUST as you are. Yes it is ok to feel like screaming! Yes you are going to feel overwhelmed! It will only stop when you take a stand to him and tell him enough is enough. My husband actually says this is the reason our relationship lasted. When I finally took a stand with him we stopped most of the fighting (I'm sorry but you're relationship isn't normal if you have NO fighting) and that is when we got married. My hubby likes the "stronger" me. H etells me it keeps him in line and on his toes. He doesn't respect anyone he could trample over. I don't care how big that man of yours is. PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN!!!!! I don't want to come across as harsh, I am just telling you from experience what will happen. Me and my hubby broke up for a couple of years partly because I damn near had a nervous breakdown from constant worrying. The other reason was because I was too easy for him to run over. There is a big difference between supporting and holding up. I went through detoxing with him and helped him then. BECAUSE he showed the effort to change. His counselor taught me a lot.

Please though Carrie..do yourself a favor and ask yourself if it is worth it. Don't kill yourself for something that will reap no benefits. I know you love him. I loved my husband too. I still love him. He is a different man now though. The biggest thing is look within and make sure that you are loving yourself enough!

--------------------
Never forget: Life is too precious to take for granted.


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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: HIV & STD's new
      #236027 - 01/31/08 12:51 AM

Hi Carrie..listen to the other ladies here. You are important too and you need to look after yourself. Your boyfriend is an adult and he needs to start making adult decisions. If he decides not to get medical care then he must be able to live with whatever repercussions that come down the line. Usually when someone is diagnosed with HIV a good ID doctor does a battery of blood tests that include an RPR..(for syphylis)..I would have hoped your boyfriend had one of these. 'Lumps" could be any number of things...he needs to make the decision to pursue it or live with it. He is lucky to have you love him so much..but enabling at the expense of yourself is not really "healthy", mentally or physically for you.
Take care and good luck my friend.
bernie

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