The good thing is, I know what to do.
The doctor who came to see me almost at once did not assail me with any new doctrines; he made sure that I had a need and that I wanted that need filled, and little by little I learned how my need could be met…
All of my needs are met …
It is also a good thing, that I have the support system I do, the people in my life that I have, a sponsor who I am connected to, that I have friends who really care, and family that does love me. Not to mention rooms to go to.
Many of my friends are afraid that soon, I will suffer an emotional breakdown. That the emotional overload cliff is looming … As long as I have you in my life, that isn’t going to happen.
I learned a long time ago, not to dwell too long on emotions that were toxic. Like any good alcoholic, bottling up, ignoring and denying emotions was what we did when we drank and used. We just doused/drugged the pain, but that pain eventually returned and usually with a vengence.
If I stopped too long to actually think about what was going on with me and how I was feeling, I am sure, I would have imploded by the impact of such pain.
You call me surivor. You tell me that I am amazing. You remind me what I have survived and just how strong I am. You also tell me of my faith in God. And I am told that one day, I will give myself permission to feel some kind of emotional feeling.
I know what happened to me as a child, as a young adult, and now as a man. And to tell me that I am delusional is just plain wrong. To tell me that my life does not matter and that nobody cares, and that I am unforgiveable, is utterly sick.
And reprehensible… repugnant …
You don’t know how broken hearted I feel. My heart aches …
You don’t know that pain and agony I feel in my soul, having had watched all of my friends get sick and die. You have no idea what it felt like to watch families, husbands, wives, friends, churches, employers, toss their sick significant others into the streets and leave them there to die alone.
In speaking to my cousin last night, she related a story to me that I had never heard before about my parents. Shortly after I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994, my Aunt and Cousin were in Florida for an event, my parents were there as well.
My mother told them that I was sick and going to die, without my permission, not that she even thought about that really, but she took it upon herself to Out me to family before I had the opportunity to do that myself in my own way and in my own time.
My Cousin Sandy turns to my mother and says, “Jeremy is sick and is going to die, what are we going to do for him?” My mother turns to her and says …
“What do you mean, What are we going to do for him?”
What she really meant to say was that she wasn’t going to do anything for me.
And she never did.
As a child my mother never stopped my father from beating me up. She never defended me, because if she did, he would go after her. My brother never came to my side either. When I got sick and was going to die, and I went to them for support and love, they turned their backs on me like everyone else had to the hundreds of friends I lost in that war.
My mother is a failure of a woman, a mother, and as a friend. My parents were never my friend. My father had his good points, and so did she. They gave us everything we ever wanted and more, so I must give them that.
Can we all say together … This is ABJECT FAILURE !
Todd was wise, when I got sick, to give me the tools he had given me. He knew very well, where I would go, If I remained in my head for any amount of time.
So his advice to me, every day was the same:
When you come to work, whatever problems you have and whatever emotions you are feeling are to be left outside the door, no questions asked. When you cross the threshold of that door, all I want you to do is your job, and nothing more.
Can you even understand what this little piece of advice did for me?
For however long I was at the bar, inside those walls, I did not have to worry about being sick, or even dying. I’m not saying that I did not feel anything, because there were nights when I was an emotional basket case, certifiably !!
In our relationship dynamic, I turned my will and my life over to Todd, (read: God) on a daily basis.
While my friends were drugging and drinking, and killing themselves quicker, I was skating just above the water, on a cushion of love that was complete. It was the best and the worst times of my life, in equal measure.
I survived. And that is no small feat. I fucking lived.
In the end, I really do not think about the horror of what I saw, and I don’t sit here and ponder my own mortality. Because if I do that, I will get lost in my head, and in recovery we learn that to be inside our heads for any period of time alone, is not suggested.
I’m alive and that is all that matters.
- How I got here, was one day at a time.
- It began with one day, tacked on to one day,
- tacked on to a week,
- then another, until I could tack together a month.
- Then it was a string of months.
Finally, I reached the day I was supposed to die, and I was still alive.
The rest they say is history.
What do I feel right now? I feel Red Hot Poker Anger. If it were my decision and I had the opportunity, I would fucking loose my marbles on my parents.
The one thing is, and I have to remember this, is, that I will never get my day in court. I will never get to say all those things I want to say to certain people. I would give my ass to be able to one day have the ability to say …
You have no idea the life I lived, and the things I witnessed, and the pain and grief I went through burying all of my friends. You have no idea how hurt I am that you fucked off on me and you turned your back on me when I needed love, compassion and care. You have no idea what true abandonment did to me. What it did to my friends, and how they went to their deaths alone.
My mother then reminded me yesterday that getting sick was my fault and that I did this to myself and that I am getting God’s revenge for being gay. She mentioned twice, that according to her, my actions are unforgiveable. She kept repeating to me, “your actions…”
What kind of God, puts humans like this in our lives, only to say to us that we must pray for them, and forgive them, and to love them anyways? Why? Because God, Jesus, asks us to forgive seventy times seven. He tells us to turn the other cheek.
Pope Francis tells us that God always forgives. He never tires of forgiving, it is us that err, in failing to ask to be forgiven.
Rafa, tells me that one day there will be a reckoning. That one day they will reap what they sowed. Forgiveness is not earned just because.
Penitence is required to recieve forgiveness.
My parents and my brother, are resolute in the ways they think. It was all on me, it is all my fault, and they owe no debt nor compassion towards me.
I got what I deserved.
Yes. I know what I did. I can still see it to this very day. What happened happened. What we did not know, we did not know. And before I got tossed into the deep end of the pool, AIDS was not a topic of conversation, not that I remember.
I am not blaming anyone else, nor am I asking for pity. I am only human.
I did not have time to be angry, or point fingers, I was terribly sick, and Todd did everything he could do to keep me alive. And it worked.
All of my decisions, all of my actions, were made, because that’s where I was at that specific time on the continuum. All things considered, for a long time, I lived to drink, and I drank to live, because I was taught, TAUGHT that alcohol was my way in. Nobody else offered me any other thoughts.
It was good that I had Todd for the time I had him. Because now, I am sober a long time. I grew up a great deal. I feel every day. Every day I look in the mirror and I thank God for Todd. I can’t begin to tell you what my heart feels when I think about this at length. I just want to sob and be in his arms again.
He gave me love. He made me feel important and he made me feel like I could do anything with the training I was given. And I have that today.
I don’t have time to be angry.
I don’t have time to pine about shit I don’t need to think about, (at any great length).
Revenge ? One day ! God will avenge me. I hope that I see that day come.
My mother has to live with herself. She has to live with what she said to me, not that that is going to matter to her, because she is the delusional one, not me. AND she hung up on me a second time.
I wonder how she lives with herself.
That is one fucked up self imposed prison she has there. That is a place, I would not wish on anyone. Nor a place I would ever visit.
Resentments and anger are wasted energy. People who feed on that and live in that space are pitiable.
Yes, I am angry and heartbroken.
I was reminded last night at a meeting about humility.
It is not beneath me to say I need help, nor is it beneath me to ask for help, and to say, that in certain moments I am weak, and to admit that I need my friends sometimes more than they need me. But they don’t know that.
Rafa does …
I get what I gave. God returns to me the love I have given in spades.
How do I conquer my anger? By loving my friends and my family.
I’ve learned that negative energy and negative feelings are extremely powerful agents. And that if you retain negativity, and you internalize it, it will destroy and kill you.
I’ve learned how to turn that energy into useful positive energy, and that is how I remain alive to this day. Every ounce of power I can put behind the pills I take, equals supercharged positivity.
There is no time to be sad, mad or angry. Why, What good is it ?
I spend my days doing good for those people I love. That is a much better place to live than waiting for revenge.
Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord …