After several days I realized that I had overlooked several red flags The abuse in my childhood and adulthood had an effect on my HIV risk-taking behaviors. Even though I didn't trust my relationship with my husband, I felt. Any new relationship is full of challenges. You're getting to know someone, and there's no telling when something might happen to burst the. Sometimes it can tell you what sort of person your date is attracted to, whether blames past partners for relationship failures, that should be a red flag. According to a source at the AARP, HIV and AIDS are increasing in people over age
I was shaking beyond belief. I was in such shock that tears were not even possible. I walked over to him in our bed, woke him up, and asked him for a divorce. He asked me why and I showed him his phone. He had no words, nothing. He walked out of our bedroom and went outside, smoked a cigarette and then came back. I felt alone trying to pick up the pieces and to figure out what just happened. After several days of thinking, piecing things together, and looking back to our past, I realized that I had overlooked several red flags prior to and during our marriage.
This is where my past affected my diagnosis. You see, before I started to date my husband I was his boss in the military. I remember in our Commanding Officer asking me to bring him in to talk, and then he disappeared for two weeks. When he returned, he simply explained to everyone that he had had a family emergency, but all was well. Later that year we started dating, and in he moved in with me and my two daughters from a previous marriage.
We were happy and in love, but looking back opened my eyes to things I saw and failed to respond or react to.
Finding True Love With HIV
I noticed that initially he never went to sleep with me, and he stayed up late on the computer. One night I snuck downstairs and saw what he was looking at.
He was on Craigslist looking at pictures of transgender individuals. After that incident I Googled his name and found several websites with his profile seeking men, transgender, transvestite, and transsexual individuals. Then in I was diagnosed with HIV. Even after the diagnosis I failed to do anything about any of it. I lived like this for 10 years, seeing things and knowing things that should have raised some red flag in my mind.
My husband even admitted that he knew he was HIV positive and knowingly gave it to me, along with several other things from his past that I did not know, but now I knew the truth about everything.
How did I not see all of the signs and red flags? What kept me from making a sound decision? Why would I continue to let these things go on and turn a blind eye?
Was it my past? This is when I made the actual connection. The abuse in my childhood and adulthood had an effect on my HIV risk-taking behaviors. I was unable to see the signs because my complex traumatic experiences affected my ability to develop healthy relationships. My physical health, emotional response, behavior, cognition, and self-concept and future orientation were also greatly affected.
I shut down entirely when I was faced with stressful situations, and became unresponsive and detached. I had difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing my emotions, and was unable to voice my feelings. I internalized stress reactions and became depressed because I remained emotionally numbed to threats in my environment. This caused me to be vulnerable and victimized over and over again.
Rohypnol, a sleeping aid not legally available in the United States, and gamma hydroxybutyrate GHBa sedative that's prescribed to treat narcolepsy a rare sleep disorderare often used in date rape.
Slipped into a date's drink while her attention is diverted, these drugs can cause sedation or even unconsciousness. Once she's awake, a woman is unable to remember what happened while she was passed out. Dating dangers Dating should be a pleasurable period of getting to know one another -- not a time to fear getting emotionally or physically abused.
But particularly among young people, dating violence is an unfortunate reality. According to a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDCabout one in 10 teens were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the year preceding the survey.
At this age, kids are still learning about interpersonal relationships, and if they accept that violence is part of the package, it can influence their adult relationships as well.
Finding True Love With HIV - POZ
Additionally, teen victims of dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, engage in binge drinking, get into fights, and even attempt suicide. The danger of dating violence doesn't stop with teens. According to the CDC, more than half of the female university students surveyed at a large urban university had experienced some degree of sexual assault, and 12 percent of those assaults occurred on casual dates. Older people are not immune, either.
- The Red Flags of My Past (and Future): Real Links Between Trauma and HIV
- First Date Danger Signs
People who begin dating again in midlife often find that the dating landscape has changed considerably since they were younger. There's more reason to be cautious, no matter what your age.
Practicing safe sex is critical for all ages. Staying safe With all this to keep in mind, how can you relax and enjoy a first date? It's not so hard if you just follow a few basic guidelines. Choose a safe, public place for a first date, such as a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a museum. Drive yourself there so you can leave when you want. Don't let your date rush you into having sex. This holds true regardless of whether you're dating someone of the opposite sex or the same sex -- don't be lulled by a false sense of security into thinking that a same-sex partner will have the same strength as you do and so wouldn't be able to overpower you.
Accept drinks only from the waiter or bartender. Think about your exit strategy ahead of time. Let your friends know where you are, and ask one of them to be available to take a call from you while you're on the date. Carry cab fare, or make sure you can get to your car or public transportation easily. If you're an older person returning to the dating world, watch out for anyone who asks about your finances or wants to involve you in investment strategies.
Widows whose husbands handled the finances are particularly vulnerable.
First Date Danger Signs
Consult a financial services professional for advice, never give someone you are dating information about your bank account or investments. Ina year-old man was sentenced for the third time for cheating women out of their money. He had been married 11 times and had posed as a fireman, a race car driver, a contractor, and a pilot. Con artists like these can often be extremely charming.
Always trust your instincts. If something feels a little off to you, steer clear, or even do a background check on the person.
Often you can do this yourself for a small fee online. Or hire a private investigator -- it could be money well spent. Practicing a little caution won't guarantee that your first date won't be a dud -- but it can help prevent it from being dangerous.
References Midlife Dating Dangers: Four Things to Protect. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Warning Signs of Dangerous Relationships. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Date Rape Drug Rohypnol. National Women's Health Information Center. Talking About Dating Violence.