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  • Writer's pictureRemi


Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Illustration @mehdi_ange_r (INSTAGRAM)

For a few days now, I've been asking myself: "You started your blog. You've told us about your milestones, about your traumas. What are you going to say now?".

Ideally, I would really like you to share your experiences with HIV with me. Unfortunately, at the moment I haven't received any testimonials. A few people have said to me, "I feel like writing, I will.".

I realise that the act of writing is not so simple to do.

As I said before, writing has always been part of my life. I have started countless novels, short stories, sometimes poems, but never finished them. I think that if I didn't finish, it was simply that the intention at the time was not altruistic enough. Writing at that time was therapeutic, it helped me to get out those words that I couldn't say, to make them real, to structure my thoughts and often to relieve my heartaches. I used to be a real artichoke heart so I had to vent my frustrations and disappointments somehow.

Before I started the blog, no one had ever read anything by me. Everything I write today comes out spontaneously without me thinking too much about it. I have a very emotional relationship with words, with life in general.

I reread my texts, those of the blog.

Sometimes I think that my words are not the right ones, that I don't really think things the way they are written. I've even considered reworking my stories. What would be the point of that? These words are a piece of me at a moment in time, and if there's one thing I don't care about, it's the judgement people may make on what I write. Today I think like that, but tomorrow maybe more. I am a Gemini after all.

I'm not going to lie to you, at the very beginning the blog was therapeutic. I can't really describe what it did for me. But now it's different. I also feel responsible for the things I write that you will read. The responsibility adds a pressure I hadn't considered. Everyone else's opinions also chip away at my spontaneity and intentions.

I do not refuse dialogue. I don't refuse that people may not like my texts and the way they are written, thought out and spelled... I do refuse that people judge me, however. Because if today I throw all my stories in your face, it's because we live in a society that makes us feel anxious. If being HIV positive in 2019 wasn't a social problem, my blog wouldn't exist.

I have recently realised how much I have come to terms with myself and the JOURNAL POSITIF project.

Maybe you don't know this, but I did an interview for TÊTU and the video was posted on the New Year weekend. On social networks, some people posted disgusting comments. Do you want me to tell you what effect that had on me?

Intellectually, it revolted me, but emotionally nothing. Not an ounce of hurt. I know why I do what I do today and I don't do it for myself. So yes, I speak on a video, I give my voice on a radio, I put my words on the web, but my story is only a pretext. It's not about whether I was hurt by these defamatory, serophobic, homophobic comments. It is all HIV-positive people who are attacked by attacking me. At least, that's how I felt and I said to myself: "Shit, this hatred is not at all what I wanted. Am I doing it wrong? What could I have said to generate these words?

I immediately felt guilty, thinking that I must have expressed myself badly.

But no, I have to accept that I can never convince everyone.

The comments have since been moderated by TÊTU.

Writing for yourself and writing for others are really not the same thing. The intention is fundamentally different. However, I feel like I'm talking to myself now, to convince and reassure myself that my wounds are not wounds, and the knowledge that you will be able to read me will make that feeling real. My blog is not so altruistic after all.

I take back what I said: when you write for yourself or for others, the intention can be the same: "to heal yourself". It's the means to get there that are different.

This is what I wish you for this new year: to find the way, your way to heal yourself.

On the evening of the 31st, my friend P and I met up over a bottle of champagne, homemade foie gras and spring rolls. I had asked my father to find me the recipe for a dessert my mother used to make when I was little: "crème à ma façon". I remembered that she replaced the rum with orange blossom. I tried to reproduce the recipe. The texture was not there but the taste was. A real Proust's madeleine. And P loved it.

We wanted to put behind us all our troubles of the past year and to do it in a symbolic way.

Do you know that episode of Friends where the girls get together on Valentine's Day and set fire to objects from old romances? That was kind of the idea: we wrote down on pieces of paper our anxieties, our pains, what we didn't want to reproduce anymore. We read them to each other as if to confront them and set fire to these pieces of paper. The symbolism may make you smile, but I can assure you that if the intention is there the benefits are immediate.

We then wrote on other sheets of paper what we wanted for ourselves, our goals, as a promise to ourselves that we wanted to make real through words.

The power of words, the power of writing them down, the power of putting meaning into our actions and promises are terribly intimate things after all.

Who can understand us but ourselves? Even when we try to communicate our emotions, our reasoning, it is ultimately impossible to be unanimous, and this is something we have to accept when we embark on an adventure like the JOURNAL POSITIF.

So to those who were worried about my reaction to the nasty comments on social networks, you have my answer.

Happy New Year to you.

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