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Circle


Ever noticed how round our lives and behaviors are?
We travel amongst circles in society; we have circles of friends; we go to circuit parties; get caught in a down-wards spiral and run circles around others. Even the saying "What goes around, comes around" is indicative of circular behavior. Soul-mates circle around each-other for years before finally meeting, ensuring that each person has become a well-rounded individual. And as we mourn the loss of a loved one, we are comforted by the fact that life, once again, has come full circle.
One would think that with that many circles going on more people would start to sway back and forth from dizziness.
I was online earlier this week when I received an email from the last person I ever expected to hear from. And while my first reaction was that of annoyance and anger, it did not take more than one second before I actually had to smile because of the appropriateness in its timing.


I received an email from the person who infected me with HIV.
All he asked me was how I was doing. Nothing more and nothing less than that.
3 years after he told me that it was to be understood that he was HIV+, and had been so for 4 years. 3 years after realizing that along with that "understanding" he also had exposed me to syphilis and Hepatitis. 3 years after his "understanding" became responsible for changing not only every aspect in my life but every aspect of me as a human being.
3 years later, he wants to know how I am doing.


His email could not have been timed better if I had asked for it myself. It came within hours of my attorney starting settlement negotiations with my former employer. Barely one week after my birthday and at a time where I am starting to prepare myself for the day when the last of the big events of these last three years will be wrapped up.
I remember writing not all that long ago about this feeling of appropriateness that I have about loose ends getting tied up and saying my goodbyes. Now that feeling has grown into a reality with a clear and set end date. I have started to make decisions about my future and know that there are many more I still have to make. I have started to set boundaries of what I will and will not accept in my life. I have finished most of my goodbyes and tried to make right what I did wrong whenever I could.


I have circled the date on my calendar. Not as the End Date but as the Start Date.
Right now I cannot even remember what I had envisioned my life to be like while growing up. Somehow I am pretty sure it was a far cry removed from what it ended up being today: an amazingly interesting, intense and pretty damn good life. And a life that I never would have had if it hadn’t been for me becoming HIV+.
To quote a friend of mine, I don’t think I will ever be doing cartwheels over having become HIV+; but I will do a cartwheel every day as gratitude over the life it has given me. Luckily I don’t know how to do cart wheels, so I will just go about my daily routine without breaking a sweat.
When I first tested HIV+ my attitude was that if nobody else seemed to give a shit about me, why should I give a shit about myself?
Nobody else seems to care about my life, so why should I?
Why? Because nobody else HAS to care about my life except me.
It is my life to care for and my life to be responsible for. The same as it is mine to enjoy and mine to live. Nobody else can do that for me, so I better start doing it myself (after all: if you want things done right: you have to do them yourself!)
3 years ago somebody told me it was to be "understood" and I was scared, angry and confused.
3 years later I can tell that same person that now I understand:
I have come full circle.
Life
No corners to cut,
Beginning and End entwine
Like a circle, bend



"My Name is Sven"
Circle, written October 1, 2004

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