Hurt inside

By Mary

I am struggling with my feelings.  After apparently being one of the strongest people in the community I realized that I am just a human being. I hurt inside.

It hurts, it’s painful, it’s lonely, it’s hard, it’s sad, it’s shame, its embarrassing and it’s a pity. I have told you that I live with HIV.  It does not make people dangerous, you know, so you can shake my hands and give me a big hug.

But why can’t I tell my friends, neighbors, co-workers that I have HIV? Why can’t I tell? Am I not the same person? So, why is it so difficult for me to tell, and why can’t people accept me for who I am? Sometimes I want shout out and say, “Hey, I have HIV!” I would hope that my world could be open and peaceful, but the society I live in does not make it easy for me.

HIV is no longer a death sentence for people like me who take medication. Then why is so difficult still to talk about it?  And why it is so difficult for people to believe me? I long to be accepted, heard, appreciated, loved, cared for,  respected and. supported in the same way I was respected, loved, supported, appreciated when people did not know that I have HIV.

Although my viral load is undetectable, I still find myself with fear. Why fear? I know I can not infect my partner but still it’s just as hard as before to tell my partner that I am HIV positive. I feel like a balloon which is being pumped up and almost bursting. I am scared that, when that day comes I simply do not know how to react and I dread how people will react.

I am afraid to be rejected because of HIV, so I do not even try to date. Now I am alone and that’s killing me from the inside. Another thing is that I do not see myself as pretty anymore. I hate the way I look and how my body changed due to the medication I have been taking for years. I observe other women and sometimes I have tears in my eyes and I ask myself, why did this happen to me? Is there any man who will love me with this shapeless body? Insurance companies do not recognize my problem and deny my request for plastic surgery. According to them it is not a serious problem as it is not in the face. Well, to me it is right in the face!

At times I do not feel like taking my medication because I think that when I stop maybe my body will go back the way it used to be. But then I remember that the medication keeps me alive. I wish the insurance companies will hear me, understand me, see my pain, and see beyond my face. I wish I could lend them my body, just for them to feel what I am going through every single day.

HIV, where did this big disease with small name come from, and how did it come to me? Did I sleep around with lot of men? What happened is a question I ask myself all the time. How come that some people I know sleep around are healthy and bad luck struck me? Questions and questions and I will never get the answer.

I am convinced that when my body shape is better I will feel more confident about myself. But will I ever be able to get to that point? Whereas my own insurance company refused to help me, my neighbor gets operated because her boyfriend didn’t like her belly and the insurance paid for it. Is that not annoying? I certainly made me feel inferior: was my request rejected because I have HIV or come from another part of the world? Questions and questions but I get no answer or help, so what can I do? Do I have to live like this for the rest of my life, please can someone tell me? I feel quite desperate.

HIV, why did you choose me? How come that this invisible thing with small name hurts people. It has made so many people to become isolated and angry with themselves? I feel what it is like and I am hurt. How come it’s not easy to tell? What do we need to do to make people love us the same way as before? I did not choose this – it just happened to me and it was bad luck. It could have happened to them just as well. I am no different from them.

Do we need to raise more awareness? How come that we can’t even tell to our own children? Maybe we should try to promote youth participation, using schools. But even then it’s still a problem, because the adults are the ones whom I think need more awareness. They are the ones who are judgmental. Not the youth.

I just want to thank God because he has blessed me with group of sisters who are now like a family to me. They make me feel loved, cared for, respected and supported. Thank you all my lovely sisters, for listening and caring.

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03 2017

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  1. Reina #

    My dear Mary.
    Thank you for sharing. Nobody can see the inside of us, unless we are wiling to be vulnerable and show this. You did, and I am greatful for it. Generally people judge us on the outside and so do we when we stand in the mirror. You are confronted with your sufferering every day, whereas your sisters and the rest of the outside world see a ravishing and strong African lady, who keeps this pain locked up, hidden from the outside world.
    I understand how you must be feeling, lonely and hurt. Only by going through this pain and facing it you will get on the other side of this turbulent river of feelings. I know you will get there. Take your time to do research on this pain bit by bit and remember that you may feel lonely, but you are defenitely not alone. Your sisters are with you. For better and for worse, please remember that. Always. And I tell you from experience: our fear of the darkness of our deamons is much bigger than the deamons deserve.

  2. Eliane Becks #

    My dear sister Mary.
    You are not alone who is faceing those problems. We are living in World where stigma rules as a King! But one day things will change. We need to keep Faith.I can imagine how you feel with the changes with your body, and Insurance Companies they make it hard for most of us. One thing I can tell you: you are beautiful inside and outside. You should love your body as it is just like someone who accidentally loses his leg and he needs to live the rest of his life with a proteses. Yes, hiv the small name has brought you this. changes,you just have to accept them and live positively!Remwmber one you are positive please don’t behave negative?.
    We all know that focusing in positive mind and energy can help us to get better.
    I love you and I will always be proud of who you are,my Sister. Mambo sawa sawa!Usijari Mungu anakupenda!❤❤❤

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