Sheree recalls how long it took before she stopped feeling like a victim after her HIV diagnosis and recalls when she decided to leave her husband, the man who had given her HIV.
When I was diagnosed with HIV, me being the victim took a while to overcome; years of therapy. It didn’t happen overnight but it happens. I cried all the time. I had to learn how to get angry because I didn’t know how to get angry. Then learn how to control that anger. It took at least, I want to say over five years for me. Each person is different of how long it will take, but I was in denial for a while. So it takes time – just give it time.
When I was in denial of my situation I didn’t believe my husband put me there. He told me this and he told me that like trying to make me feel better. Then he tried to make me feel like it was my fault that I did all these things and I just couldn’t accept that he did anything wrong, and it took one year into therapy realize, the light bulb came on, “What was I doing? Why was I staying with him. He is not going to change,” and I left him.
Light bulb went on and it was time to go. That was the hardest step I ever had to make to leave him for my children’s safety, for my safety, it wasn’t easy, and it hurt, but we made it.
I was able to get some education, start schooling, teach my children that that is not a way to live, how to protect themselves, teach my daughter not to go in the same cycle that I went down, and she has become a beautiful, strong woman and that will never happen to her because we took the precautions to make sure that she would be okay.