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Author Topic: losing friends  (Read 4286 times)

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Offline Dragonette

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losing friends
« on: July 11, 2007, 07:40:52 AM »
since being diagnosed I have lost quite a few friends. It is hard to judge if HIV as anything to do with it, but I am starting to think so... I think these days, most people are actually conscious of how un-PC it is to outright reject on HIV, and yet, over time, they alienate from you. This is not so much over fear of exposure (although some irrational fear my linger). It's something else, maybe they percieve me as a threat to their balance and peace. I don't know. Anyway, it is isolating, and it fucking hurts. Just now on a home visit, two friends (women) whom I thought were good friends, chose to avoid me, stand me up, cancel meeting, not return calls and messsages, etc. This has happend before, but I didn't think it would happen with them. I don't want to become completely dependent on my BF, need some friends too in my life. Also the loss of trust hurts more than the loneliness per se.
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline David_CA

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 08:23:11 AM »
I've had that happen with a couple of friends.  Surprisingly (or not so), one has been an HIV prevention counselor and should know better.  On the other hand, I've met a LOT of people due to my diagnosis.  Many I've only met online, but I still consider friends.  Others I have met in person.  Either way, they still mean a lot to me.  That doesn't take away the bother of those who've dropped me as a friend, but it's still been a net gain!   :)

Black Friday 03-03-2006
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  Atripla started 12-01-2006
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You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline woodshere

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 08:37:37 AM »
I think these days, most people are actually conscious of how un-PC it is to outright reject on HIV, and yet, over time, they alienate from you.

I think it is very subtle, but in some way I have had a few friends call less and we get together less.  I like to think it is because everyone is so busy, but it does cause one to wonder.  Perhaps they aren't sure what to do or say and think best to avoid.  HIV changed my life and I had to adjust, maybe they are doing the same.  One thing is for sure it does bring a new dimension to relationships.

"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline emeraldize

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 08:56:29 AM »
Good Morning Dragonette,

Your post struck a chord with me. I hope you'll find upon closer examination that the losses you write about are due to a mix of reasons. I've looked closely and come up with some surprisingly good information which helps when a sliver of sadness comes in over any losses.

For example, one of my friends is now terrifically in love with a person I enabled her to meet! Consequence? I hardly see her anymore and she's fabulously entrenched in the relationship. But, I know she's a lifelong pal. Others live out of town, or have moved, or have sick parents, or kids with issues, or cancer, or mental health problems. So, I find I have to be realistic and not take the sum total personally. On a certain day, it just might feel as if I'm more alone.

One of the things I was told when I quit smoking was to watch how my friendships would change over time to non-smokers and, without any effort on my part, they did. I think to a great degree that can occur with HIV, too. And, I think there are some reasons for that.

With HIV, if you are out about it, you weed out the so-called friends, the fearful, the lightweights. And, those who remain are the long-termers, the ones who know you, not your virus. They want to hug you, give you a smooch, discuss all the same topics you did before and rarely find HIV a topic for talk unless you happen to bring it up. It's simply not a big deal.

Along the way, and with HIV's urging, I now desire a certain type of person in my life---I make harder faster turns away from negative attitudes. And, I try to make sure I'm doing those things that keep my spirit up and not become too sarcastic, cynical, or dark.

Perhaps, as with the example of quitting smoking, you will find with HIV's help you will have near you mostly human gems. Another way to look at the losses is they make room for the gems whom you have yet to meet.


Offline ndrew

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 01:42:04 PM »
Hello Dragonette,

I think that is a sorry indicator, however perhaps this will just help you sort out the dummies.  Some of this has happened with me.  Some friends are closer, others distant and some I have distanced myself from.  It hurts, but I guess it's an opportunity to meet new people and to think about the qualities in others that make for the healthy kinds of friends you want.


Offline ubotts

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 01:48:08 PM »
So Sorry for your loss Mark..
Hope you get though this ok..
Live Love Laugh and dance like no ones watching.
Laughter is the best medicine, so try to have a laugh everyday..Even if your not feeling your best, think about something that was funny at one time in your life and work with it..   :o)

Offline RapidRod

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 02:01:36 PM »
I consider myself fortunate, that I didn't lose any friends and I've gain to many to count. Let me state that I have lost a lot of friends due to death, from this disease.

Offline Dragonette

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 02:13:20 PM »
well the thing is these were my 2 oldest friends, who are also not that old, like 10 years or less.

one of them is kind of flaky so she is hard to keep in touch with, but she didn't do it intentionally, it's just a question of not caring enough.

the other one, i don't know what her story is. but she was just a nasty b****. i think it has something to do with her new BF. it is kind of funny really, there relationship is like something out of desperate housewives, but i don't have the time to describe it here. except, that leaves me with hardly any friends.

some of it is my fault, I am crap at maintaining friendships, and I am always moving, or other people are moving. i also should be more proactive in seeking out new friends (and more proactive in general). i know people from the net, even back home, that i should meet already. but there is something easier in meeting the people you already know well, or so i thought. these new people are not poz,but they know i am and we met online through that context.

but what happened with these 2 women was not my fault.

it sounds kind of childish this "their fault/my fault" business. but if you guys heard how that second one spoke to me, I think there would be a consensus, the worst thing I actually crawled after her and left a tearchoked message on her voicemail in which i invited her over anytime. Gosh i feel like an idiot...

anyway nice to know that i can always reach out here, even though i should not, just should not, be writing. thanks for your suppports

ps Ubotts you had better post for Mark again, it's one floor down or up i think ;)
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline LatinAlexander

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 02:41:29 PM »
Well, I haven't been a person of too many friends. But those that know about my HIV, have stood strongly by my side.

I just happen to love them

Poz since Jul 19 2006
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Offline Dragonette

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 03:11:19 PM »
well my flaky friend called, i was in the shower. and then the other one called and apologized, and said she is sorry and that we will always be friends and gave her excuses, so i guess i haven't lost all friends after all.

thanks so much for listening, and helping out
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Bucko

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 03:31:50 PM »
I've recently discovered the limitations of what I think is better referred to as "intimate acquaintanceship". People have myriad motivations for wishing both a connection and a disconnect.

There used to be a saying that "AIDS is not for sissies". Being a true friend to someone living with the virus proved very difficult recently for two women with whom I'd worked and whom I admired. They "got it", but chose to limit their loyalty and compassion (and therefore their exposure to my troubles).

I'm not bitter but am disappointed. They seemed to be made of higher moral fiber, but then I can tend to overestimate some people. In the end their discomfort in supporting me emotionally came from some deep part of their self-preservation instinct where they looked and saw no benefit to themselves.

People are like that, sweetie.

(Who compartmentalizes differently than most people)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

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Offline jack

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 03:58:16 PM »
had an old timer tell me back when I was in my mid 20s that I should look around at all the people I really thought were my friends,cause when you get over 40 you wont be able to count your best friends on one hand. And like most optimistic fuzzy headed fucking never gonna die 27 year old,I thought I had hundreds of friends,but of course they weren't really my friends , they just wanted to do business with me. Dude was a drunk,but he was right. What you are going through with your friends is not because you are HIV,people move on,and you move on,and the fucking world keeps going around. Time to make new friends.

Offline atxpozguy

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 08:00:28 PM »
Well, I for one have lost many friends, especially in the late 80's and 3 partners who never quit fighting until their last breath at AIDS Hospice. I consider myself quite open about living with AIDS and although some people are so worried about something that is so out of this world, many others embrace, hug and always concerned about my health when they see me in public.

You don't have many true friends in life, I can count mine on one hand. Sure I have been taken advantage of by some, but that is okay, I don't forget.

I don't go out to the clubs anymore, like did when before prior to turning 45, I might cruise the clubs, but prefer to stay away from most.

Being 51 this next month, although I maybe living alone with my pooch, I still have my familiy and many friends younger than me that respect me for the person I am, a gay man living AIDS. Some don't even have a clue I am gay living with AIDS, but if they asked, I wouldn't deny it.

32 years poz LTS with no expiration date

Diagnosed HIV 1982
Diagnosed AIDS 2001

As of June 2015, VL <20 CD 435 26%

Currently taking a daily total of 17 meds while only two meds for AIDS, the rest for other body organs effected by years of retrovirals. Diagnosed with Lung Cancer 2012, COPD Stage 4 2015, IBS 2013, Chronic Cystitis, Chronic Renal Failure, Hearing Loss, Depression and everyday comes with different health episodes which has sent me to the Er via EMS on a regular basis.  My quality of life has been impacted dramatically.

Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 08:11:40 PM »
If they disappear over HIV, they weren't friends to begin with:  look at it that way.  My best friend of 22 years and I have been through dating other, long relationships with other men, and the deaths of too many people to count;  and we call each other readily on the BS and drama in our lives.
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
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02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
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One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

Offline rkeat25

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 09:53:23 PM »
HIV is the ultimate test in friendships/relationships.  When I was diagnosed I disclosed to all of my close friends at the time.  Most of them are still by my side today - the ones that weren't really loyal to begin with have gone their separate ways.  While it is disappointing to lose a friendship to someone's intolerance or ignorance about HIV, one has to remind himself that it wasn't a quality relationship to begin and therefore there isn't much loss.

I've since returned home to Cleveland and have as a result moved away from many of my friends.  Others have moved on to different cities as they begin their careers.  So, I'm making new friends here and that's great.  But, I haven't really been able to disclose to any of them because most of them are work friends and I'm not sure if I want to bring that into the job.  But, nothing beats having an immediate network of support that is local.


Offline Life

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007, 10:01:49 PM »
I disclosed like a race horse to begin with... Did I loose some?  If I did, I can't tell yet.   But if I did and it was because of my status, well then,  I fucked that relationship up with me changing the relationship from a comfy cozy one to one of potential doom and dispair.  But there is a shit pile of people out there.  Make some new friendships, make some new friends.   There are alot of lonely people who would happily enjoy our company.  This road is full of people you meet and grow fond of.  Do not limit it to just a select few....

Just sayin,


Offline 2reckless

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2007, 12:09:32 AM »
:D This is my first day on this site. I've learned a lot from reading the details with different problems related to HIV. I have been HIV for 25 yrs. I have lost many friends and I have made many friends. If someone isn't your friend because your HIV then they were not your friend anyway....I found that people who really like me got closer once they found out....

Laugh Live Love

Offline Ann

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2007, 07:48:20 AM »

But there is a shit pile of people out there.  Make some new friendships, make some new friends. 

Hmm... Personally, I do my best these days to not choose my friends from the "shit pile" of people. There's lots of different "piles" out there and I'd rather have just a few trustworthy, close friends than a "shit-load" of fair-weather friends.

I know you were just using a figure of speech, Eric, but sometimes what we say carries more of an impact - on ourselves as well as others - than we may realise.

I haven't lost any real friends. Many acquaintances have dropped off the radar, but that was probably on the cards anyway due to a lack of common interests. By that I mean genuine interests, not illnesses in common.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Iggy

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2007, 10:37:33 AM »

I always question the idea that unless people stand by you forever than  they werenít your friends to begin with.  Sometimes friends drift apart and sometimes people turn into jerks but it doesnít mean that they were not your friends at some point Ė which is why it hurts to lose a friendship no matter what the cause. 

I commiserate with what you are feeling and hope you know that you will continue to find others in your life that will be grateful for your friendship.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2007, 11:31:52 AM »
Out of the five close friends I disclosed to when initially diagnosed one drifted away.  He was semi-closeted and an HIV paranoia type so in hindsight it was not surprising really, though I was offended greatly at the time.  About 7 years later we hung out again briefly, though I doubt he ever realized what he had done.  HIV disclosure has a way of reinforcing which friends are really "friends."
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Life

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2007, 11:44:51 AM »
Ann...  You assumed correctly...  I just met that there are alot of folks out there that would love to be befriended...   Are we the only ones who have misplaced a friendship?  Naw,  people change, we change, life changes, and some friendships just were not met to last a lifetime... 


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Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: losing friends
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2007, 09:32:12 PM »
Looking back, I remember at least 1 memorial service each month (sometimes more) for the 10 years I lived in L.A..  Some were HIV/AIDS, some were suicide and at this late date, I can not remember all of their names.

I have lived in three communiyies over the past 7 years and have only 2 local friends left.  I wrote about one of my current friends in a thread called "Collect Call from Inmate" and the other in "Rudder Rock Syndrome."  They (health care community) told me when I tested positive in 1994 that stress was our greatest enemy when we are immune suppressed.  When friends cause stress, they do not need to be part of our lives.  I am giving my last two "real time" friends back to the agency which issues them   ;D  Have the best day


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