HIV Anxiety Support Community
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Avatar universal

Paris in springtime

Thank you so much to those who created the "sticky" threads in this group; I feel so much better after reading them. All of my "symptoms" are easily explained as a combination of jet lag, anxiety and guilt.

Before I go into my scary and dumb story (wow, there are so many of us!), I'll say that I told my wife the truth as soon as I got home from Paris, and I haven't picked up a drink since my nightmare last Sunday. At least now I feel like I'm starting a "new life" on the right foot. I really do have a great wife.

I wish I had known about the strip clubs in Pigalle (north side of Paris). I'll spare most of the details, but they are a dangerous place to go alone, especially if you're already drunk. To keep the story short, I'll leave out the scams and get right to the point. I was in the place alone and lost consciousness after about an hour of drinking (possibly drugged with something else). In everything I can remember, the dancer kept her Daisy Duke shorts on (she said it was important to her). After what seemed like a few hours (I don't know why) she suddenly gave me a very vicious and painful hickey on my arm, saying "This is for your wife to see!". But what happened next is what terrifies me. I was totally blacked-out, and I screamed hard enough to break the blood vessel in my eye. But I don't know made me scream. I just remember what the bouncer said right after that scream: "You came here to get f---ed, now you're f---ed!" (laughter).  

The most obvious explanation is that I screamed because the hickey really hurt, and the bouncer was talking about my marriage when he said "...you're f---ed". But my paranoia made me think that I somehow insulted the dancer, was deliberately infected with HIV by the bouncer, and I just can't remember the infected needle because it's too awful to think of. Fortunately I know I'm prone to paranoia, so I discount these crazy scenarios my mind comes up with.

I was incredibly lucky to walk all the way home to my hotel, south of the Eiffel Tower, without being mugged. I am incredibly lucky to have a wife that understands and has forgiven me (as long as I stop drinking, which is what made me do such a stupid thing in the first place). Now I'm going to set aside my obviously paranoid and anxious thoughts, and just set a Google calendar reminder to get tested in 6 weeks. I think being a binge-drinker would have killed me sooner than HIV. I'm glad I got this wake-up call, even if my worst fears do come true and the test is positive.

Sweating + fatigue + weight loss = jet lag and anxiety. This is my new mantra.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I remember why I screamed now. I'm 90% sure I was assaulted anally, I think with an object. I can't believe I'm being so calm about it, but I'm glad at least that I remember now. I've been trying to get an appointment with a psychologist. There's nobody else I can discuss this with now.

I had diarrhea this morning, but with my history of anxiety I know it's an anxiety symptom. Right now self-knowledge is my best friend.
Avatar universal
You never had a risk. Anxiety is making you change your story. I agree that professional mental help is your best bet.
Avatar universal
Thanks joggen. Clearly my biggest problem is alcoholism; I'm glad to be back in AA again. I'll report back in 3-4 weeks with the results of my first HIV test, which I'm fairly confident will be negative.

Again, thank you all so much for the information here.
Avatar universal
I was taken aback by your comment "Anxiety is making you change your story", but I just realized something. If I had really been attacked anally, I would have had some kind of soreness the next day. Right?

The mind has the power to heal, and the power to create demons where none existed.
Avatar universal
If you were raped you would definitely know. You never had an exposure.
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