Friday, 22 February 2008

Thank you Barry for Valentines Day

This is a very personal post – But everything important to us about our journey through HIV will be going into this blog – so if you do not want to read personal stuff, just don’t ............................

Thank you Barry for Valentines day – or rather Valentines early hours of the morning.

It started out badly – but turned into our best Valentines Day ever

At 8.30pm on the 13th February 2008 you took your first HIV antiretorvirals. I wanted you to start on them as I so want you to get better enough to be with us for a year or two.

But you took them and went to bed – and then suddenly, for me , everything finally crumbled.
It hit like a hammer, that you, and I, are HIV and you have AIDs and medication and hospital visits and fear about each others health will be our lives from now on - and our lives may well be short.

I tried so hard to cope with my emotions without you, but got increasingly distressed. I tried everything to cope with my feelings alone. I put on my music and tried to drown my feelings in loud music, cigs and wine. .... I phoned a friend or two - Thank you so much Mel and Amalia, for letting me dribble on that night - you will not know how much this meant to me I just needed to talk to those who were from years ago - who I knew before I met Barry - thank you.

I tried to go for a walk outside with the dogs. I went down the lane, looked at the night sky - the stars were wonderful, it was a clear night, The sort of night I love about living here, but I still felt just so alone and just so upset.

You were upstairs battling with your own demons – i.e fears of how you would react to the medication and that you could not keep it down, fear that you may not respond and die - and I was battling with mine…............. scared because my turn with theses drugs and the illness you have had is yet to come –
and that you may not then be alive when it does to support me through it.

In the end I came in side and raved, threw things, screamed, raved. I did not want to wake you up and in fact I did not, you slept right through it, you could always sleep through most things.

You did not wake until I went up the stairs because I really was not able to calm myself down and needed you even though you were asleep and I should have left you that way.

But you were so wonderful.

In the past you have always reacted to my getting distressed by cutting off from me and trying to dismiss it and me and when that does not work you get angry. What you have never done is given me what you give me every day otherwise - when I am not ‘off on one’,

i.e acceptance that even if I am upset about is not your issue, I just need acceptance that is is an issue for me and even if you do not understand it, that you accept and understand that it is upsetting me and give me understanding love, comfort, time and space to talk about what is bothering me and friendship. a bit idealistic - but why not strive for what you would like?

I always knew that this was all you ever had to do and whatever the issue, if you gave me this I would quickly calm down.

But at about 12.30 am on Valentines Day I was so desperate I woke you up and you were wonderful.

For the first time ever when I was upset you gave me what I need. You were prepared to stay up all night if needed and talk the night away. You have NEVER done this before.

You did not cut off, you did not dismiss my distress or my fears and we talked and talked. I know that this will sound morbid and not at all romantic but we talked about our deaths. We decided it was best if I went first – and this is right as I need Barry’s support to live with HIV and I also need his support to die with it.

He on the other hand is very emotionally self sufficient, so even death he will just get on with it in his own way.

The trouble is it is unlikely I will die first.

We did talk about my just not trying - i.e drinking what I want when I want, smoking if I want to, my not taking any HIV medication – in a way to catch up with him.

We have not decided against this, as I really do not know if I can stop drinking anyway, nor do I know if I could ever take the HIV medication – but we decided to see how he is first. See if he can get back to health and have a few years with us. And also we have Caja to think of so I just can not selfishly try to die – as if Barry does – and he will not live that long - she will be on her own.

Then at about 3am in the morning we made love

We have not since September as he went away to sea in September and when he came home in November he was too ill since then. We did have a fumble, mutual masturbation, sometime before Christmas, as he was not up to anything more. I have missed it sooooo much.

But Valentines day at 3am we had some good sex
It was better than it has ever been –there is nothing like impending death of at least one of you to heighten your senses.

But also it was good because we have lost all inhibitions, nothing else to pretend or hide.

We thought we were like this anyway, but apparently not. Those of you who are well and have partners, please for us, let it all hang out, enjoy your sex life and intimacy, do not hold back from each other at all, as one day it may be too late.

This feels like it is too late for us right now – as Barry is back at the hospital today and he is too ill to even think about sex –

And it might be that this may have been the last time we ever make love. So this is why I have written it here as it was so very important to me.

It probaly will be, Barry is too ill, and I refuse to risk passing this horrible virus on to anyone after he dies, even safer sex does not seem safe enough to me right now!!! And anyway who would want sex with a women of over 55 with HIV??

So it may have been the last time I make love to another person for the rest of my life - this is a bloody awlful thought!!!

This is so hard for me as sex/intimacy is very important to me and while I have HIV and my immune system is very compromised, I do not as yet feel ill in any way that has hit my libido at all. And I want at this time to be close to Barry – more than ever I need the comfort of sex.

But this may not be now

So thank you Barry for valentines day. It was wonderful; as long as I live I will remember it.

Despite being awake until three in the morning and him being unwell, the next morning Barry went out and bought me a big heart balloon. It is still here next to my desk, but is deflated now – As we both are
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