Those Around Me

IMG_3279A follower of my blog suggested that I talk about how those around me regard my virus. It seems good to write of this rather than my talking myself into an ad finitum weeping and wailing loop repetively circling my potential recovery- as if I have some form of Stockholm syndrome with my dis-ease.
The thing with long term illness, is the people around you get used to it. My mother had COPD and when she died we were taken unawares, had no plans for a funeral, and didn’t even know whether she wanted any particular religious or spiritual observances, despite her being near death for many years.
As with those afflicted, friends and loved ones also go through times of denial, over dramatic reaction, and getting on with life to the point you near forget about the shadows.
When I was attending NA it was a great dumping ground as so many other members had HCV and we could all whinge to our hearts content as a means of necessary release.
In the ‘real world’ especially the English one, such expressions are considered self indulgent and perhaps even a means to blackmail reactions from people.
I have incredibly solid and supportive people around me, but I realise if I say too much it can create feelings of anxiety and worry.
Other people don’t want to know, perceive me as a drama queen or at the other end of the scale ‘brave’, and I won’t deny I fluctuate between those extremes with long periods of just living life sandwiched in between.
Over the years various partners have accepted my viral status, but when the relationship has finished and a new partner insists on them being tested for HCV before they have sex, however sensible this is, it still makes me shrivel a little inside.
A few days ago my practice nurse called me to say that the virus is now not detectable, for the first time in 27 years! I was going to dinner and a film with a very old friend so of course I announced the news and at the end of the evening he made a pass at me.I don’t want to analyse this and prefer to think his actions were just clumsy and ill timed.
Then of course there are the opinions and the advice giving, often adamant and sometimes slightly aggressive.
There are those who are anti conventional treatment and those that think I should rest. Some believe that my lifestyle means my illness and its manifestations are ‘my fault’.
Anyway. Whether I’ve written enough or not enough, I’m done on this subject (hopefully). Nine days and counting…

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About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
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