Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Yesterday was "same same but different", as they say in Thailand. I stayed at home all day long again, wearing old clothes and eating irregularly, and watched a lot of TV and spent hours on the computer. But for the first time I felt a breakthrough, and that maybe what I had wanted this vacation to be about is starting to get fulfilled.
Some things that happened was that the Israeli ngeative guy who sees me writing on the Ynet HIV forum contacted me again. He has made many attempts. I mention this guy already in my correspondence with D. Basically this guy made several attempts to hook up with poz women whenever they got online. One time I accused him, annonymously (meaning not in my usual nickname) of being obssessive and "shouted" at him to live positive women alone. I thought this guy was a complete wierdo.
Yesterday he emailed me again, because I had been participating on the forum a lot. And finally I understood that he was like that because he has such a deep anxiety that he has HIV. It's amazing how many people walk around with this anxiety, as part of general anxiety disorder. I know that I had it too and that's why I didn't get tested all these years - not because I seriously thought I was positive, but because of the same reason I am still afraid to test for breast cancer, for example. At the same time I was full of guilt and remorse over my anxiety and denail of my fears.
This anxiety accompanies me wherevere I go. It underlies my relationships with P., with my parents, with my bosses, and with anyone that I love really. I am either afraid people will turn their back on me, that I repulse them somehow, or that they will die. Now that I become more confident of P.'s (dare I say it?) love for me, I notice that I have more fears for him like getting involved in an accident, getting some kind of disease [I'd like him to quit smoking and eat better]. I now realized that my sister in law annoyed the crap out of me with her obssessive eating because it "played" on my anxiety, as it stems from her deep anxiety. In fact, all these steps taken to soothe anxiety, these compulsive behaviours, just generate more (as in the case of my sister in law, where the behaviour moves from the realm of the prevetative measure or even the odd into the addictive behaviour which I recognize all too well from myself).
I realize that I will always be anxious about something, just like that guy admitted, and that anxiety is present in my life and always has been, even when I tried to ignore it (and got depresive), erase it (and got addicted). Finding out that I am HIV+ "released me" from AIDS-anxiety (which wasn't a large part of my overall anxiety anyway), but did nothing to diminish any other type of anxiety, and worsened quite a few of them.
My anxiety definately correlated with PMS, and there is a reason that I woke up collected and understanding today. Probably I will flip out later and get my period at some point. But it is not just cycle-related. The hormonal changes help it manifest, but the anxiety is ever present - social, personal (can I be loved? Will I do alone, ridiculed?), health-related (will I get cancer, will the HIV erupt at some point), body-related (I wouldn't have switched meds so soon if it weren't for my horrible fear of lipo, and I am still not convinced that I do everything to prevent it. My working out which dwindled to a halt in this visit was anxiety-related - not all of it but the extent to which I did it, and that's why I flipped out when I broke my arm and couldn't work out for a few weeks - I wonder if it's the same for my mum), face-related (is my skin aging?). I fear loss of loved ones, loss of my esteem and my job (which I might bring on myself), loss of friends, loss of "face". A lot of things I do for people stem out of fearing losing them, and not out of other reasons. My love is anxiety-driven. Probabaly my love for P. is also to an extent like that - I am getting to love him more and more as himself, but like he said once, "we are getting to know each other". It scares me to even think that he is right, because it plays again on my anxiety that he doesn't love me, will never love me. I lashed out at my parents yesterday when they suggested again that he join us for Italy next month. It wasn't because he has already refused when I asked him straight-out [one thing is: asking for things like that released anxiety, because it allows me to see that I can fend for myself], but because underneath this played the larger anxiety, and the reason that I haven't met any relatives and avoided almost leaving the house in this visit - the notion, that isn't even HIV-related (as "stuff I wrote 6 months ago proves), although HIV seals it of course - that I will be the aging bachelorette, and that I will die alone, unwanted, while the people around me manage to pair up.
This probabaly related to my seeing my grandparents when I was a child and their dependency on each other, and how miserable my grandfather was when he was left, unexpectedly, alone. Although he had is kids in their families, and he had me every single day when we came back. And him and I related.
I now wonder why on my walks, when I sometimes go to their old house, and pass by my childhood apartment (feeling a strange detachment which is almost victorious, because I only walk there in a certain defensive "empowered" mood), I never go to the street where he spent his last years before he died.
I relaize how much of my life and my actions are anxiety-driven, including my move overseas.
It's hard not to think about P. and his life and deduct from them to my own, and speculate on our chances of staying together. But I will have to leave that be because I can't control the other person, and because I realize how everyone works from anxiety, and that is becomes a problem only when obssessive or when destructive or self-restricting behaviours and thoughts are used to regulate it. Instead of - I haven't used that word in a while and that word is key - accepting.

Of course, having a nice skype chat which was completely light and offbeat with P., and in which I could see him via webcam and he couldn't see me allowed me to momentarily lose that pressing anxiety, pain even (for I continue to participate in the "love and pain" forum like a preventative measure, something to sustain me and "get my used to the idea" - as the negative guy put it - of losing the love that I have and remaining alone and in excruciating pain. But the truth is, that just as it is ridiculous that he has been living his life as though he was positive, when in fact it highly unlikely that he isn't, as a kind of prevention mechanism of his anxiety (now that he has stopped doing illegal drugs - which only worsen anxiety - is on psych meds and is no longer in denial od a battle with his fears), it's just as ridiculous that I "prepare" for the bad times by re-living the bad times and not going happiness' way (I get increasingly unomfortable and fearful just typing that, admitting that I am happy, right now, and so so so afraid of losing it).
I did not want to see friends and relatives not because I have something to be ashamed of, this time, but because I had already been inoccently, naivly happy in the past and landed flat on my face, and so I'd rather just keep away and avoid admitting it, or "keep a blank", so that when people come across me they don't know what's up with me at all, because I presnet a detached, sterilized version of myself to them and not a glowing happy version. When P. was around, I allowed myself to be happy, on occasion, even glowing, because I knew seeing him later (although I still had fears) will release me of the anxiety of rejection. But now that he is away and not as persistent at keeping in touch - for it is to relase my anxiety that I need him to drop me frequent lines, nothing else - I don't dare approach people, unless I really trust them, and even then I am reluctant, and admit that I am happy and everything is going well for me. That's why I make up problems, that's why my eating disorder re-emerged.
I am getting a headache typing this. The core in me resists. The core says (while I feel the residue from the cigarette I smoked with my parents after we watched a great Almodovar movie on TV), then you will get your cancer, even if you don't remain alone.
I'm scared. So how can I be free when I am scared?

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