So just a few words before I rush off to the gym... I have been trying to fit in the virtual poz world, but it's not really working out. You can spend hours a day reading posts, keeping up with others' lives, learning their whims, but when you try to correspond with them, at least in my case, there is a serious breakdown in communication. I don't know if it because my English is not as good as it can be when I am interacting, or whether like in any group, in an online community there are only few people that can really get me, and I them. I do feel that I have a soft spot for pretty much everyone I meet online (with the exception of cheaters). I don't care what people do and did, I don't judge anyone because I know how close I have been to even the most extreme behaviors myself, and I also know or rather kind of sense what makes people move in these directions. More than anything, I know what I don't know, I don't know what it is like to be black and poor, or live in a trailer park, or live in America for that matter, I have but the vaguest idea what it is like to be gay and no idea what is it like to be gay and male (although I have learned some from watching Stuart and his friends on Channel 4's Queer as Folk, but TV will only get you that far), I certainly don't know what it's like to live in a 3rd world country with this disease, or be a refugee in Europe, or be a European... I don't know what it feels like to be married, or bear a child, or overcome heroin or crystal meth addiction (although I know something about addiction, including the fact that it never lets go completely).
I don't know, and if I can sum up a year or so if interacting with poz people online, this is the one thing I learned. I haven't a clue, and I have no call for judgement or opinion because I haven't a clue (but regardless of my "right" for it, my opinion just went out the window).
I learned that I was oblivious. B. used to call me inoccent, and I never beleived it, I thought it was foolish romaticizing, but now I know that it's true. I am still gossipy, mean and grumpy, and can still speak harshly and regret it, and what I learned was that we all are. But some are trying hard not to be, and these are the ones that will lash out if you're not careful. And I learned that compared to the intensity of virtual life, real life can be soothing. With all it's ups and downs, I prefer it. As if that wasn't obvious. And yet how many hours, weeks, months, have I hidden from the world behind the computer. Like any addictive substance it is hard to seperate its necessity from compulsion. Of course we need to eat, but not 24/7. Of course I need to use it for work and communication, but where is the line drawn between using it for benifit and using it for escape? I thought that I wouldn't be judged harshly online and by my peers, I thought the rules were different, and they are and they are not. So I am backing off, I am tired of fighting to join in and be accepted, and if it were the real world I would have done so a long time ago. I will still post practical questions and the like when they arise, and reply to any personal contacts I made, but I will not take it further than that. For one thing I must save my wrist for other activities, but even more so (and my wrist is in pretty bad shape) I have to shield myself.