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Author Topic: A question for others out there  (Read 6070 times)

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Offline otterboi

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A question for others out there
« on: January 02, 2007, 09:36:28 PM »
Hi all.
I'm an HIV- guy who has been in relationships with other guys, negative and positive.
I've also worked as an HIV/AIDS support care worker.
The current relationship I'm in is with a positive guy that I care very much for. He was diagnosed about a year ago. He lives about two hours away from me, in the U.S. I live in Canada. The long distance has certainly added to the challenges.
It's been about six months since we met, and there have been some ups and downs.
From the very beginning I knew he was a guy that lived somewhat on the fringes of conventionality. I am more conventional in my ways of living (regular 9 to 5 job), but not necessarily in my ways of thinking about life.
A couple of months into the relationship I started to notice that he was displaying some "different" personality traits. Not wanting to attach labels to people, let's just say that I was beginning to wonder if he had a personality disorder or some other such psychological "issue".
I know he is someone that can isolate himself from others at times, and he doesn't have a lot of supports.
He's also tried to begin HIV treatment, but found it difficult to tolerate so stopped.
I know that a recent diagnosis as positive can be difficult for a lot of people.
My question is, how do I know what's affecting him? His HIV? His recent diagnosis? His "unconventional" lifestyle? His potential psychologocial issues? Some intricate combination of all of this?
The reason I ask is that we spent the holidays together and after a bit of a "falling out" on New Year's Eve (in a bar - where else) he informed me that he didn't want anything to do with me. Once we were back at my place he left to go home in the middle of the night while I was still asleep. I woke up in the morning and he had gone.
I did reach him by phone at his home to make sure that he arrived safe and sound. Now he refuses to communicate with me.
I know this is not a "usual" situation. but was hoping for some comments from others out there.
In my experience it's not uncommon for people to push others away, or sabotage relationships with those who are supportive of them, when they are finding it challenging to cope and manage with there HIV status.
Any thoughts would be appreciated as I want to be able to reach out to him, and/or let him know that I am still there for him.

Offline Ann

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 07:09:45 AM »
Hi Otter,

I removed your post from the thread you placed it in and created your own thread, where you'll get more responses.

Welcome to the forums and please make sure you read the Welcome thread found at the top of this forum.

Maybe your friend needs some space. What do you think about giving it a few days and then sending him a "thinking of you" card - then leaving the ball in his court? Without knowing either of you, it's difficult to say much. This might not have anything to do with hiv at all.

Ann
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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 otterboi

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2007, 02:46:41 PM »
Thanks. I realized after I had posted that it may have been more appropriate to post elsewhere.

Thanks also for your suggestion.


Offline Alain

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2007, 03:40:02 PM »
Otterboi,

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I agree that giving him time is the best thing to do for now.

The Holiday Season alone is for many, such a trigger for emotional roller coasters.

Only one year into his diagnosis, I think it is fair to say that he need more time to adjust.

As for you, no matter how difficult it is, give him space and later send him a note.

Like Ann said, it might have nothing to do with HIV.

Best of luck. 

Offline bear60

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2007, 04:37:49 PM »
Hi and Welcome
If you want to hear another opinion, here it is:  he may need time to adjust to being HIV positive and the best thing you can do is leave him alone.  But this is not about him you know. You have to take care of yourself.  Do you know him well enough to make a judgement call on whether he is mentally unbalanced or not? My guess is you do not.  Hopefully he has a good doctor.  If anything I would encourage him to see his docror regularly.
I hope you continue to be a caring guy and one who helps people in need.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline scotttt

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2007, 06:46:49 PM »
Hi Otterboi,

I have been in a situation not so different from yours in the past.  My first boyfriend (I was with him from age 19 to 24) tested positive when he was 26.  He didn't tell me but his cousin did (dramatically I might add).  His cousin constantly tried to be there for him, although he was and is clearly not interested.  I tried on numerous occaisions to get in contact with him.  I am certain that he is aware that I know because his cousin has told the entire family about his health status along with several friends.  He clearly and repeatedly has demonstrated that he does not want to have contact with many of those he was in contact with before. As much as I would like to talk to him (of course, not mentioning anything related to my knowing his health status) I respect his right to shut off most of his friends from earlier days.

I often speculate as to the reasons why he feels this way, but these are his feelings and he owes no one justification.  At first I felt rejected and hurt but then came to understand that this wasn't and isn't about me.  I wish the best for him and know that he has new friends and I hope they provide the support he needs.

I am hopeful that your friend will let you in eventually. 

Giving people space and room is one of the most difficult yet generous gifts a person can offer.  Also, don't blame yourself or feel that you did anything wrong.  Humans are complex beings and our motivations are often multi-facited.

Know that you have many gifts to offer him.  The gift of absense is sometimes as important as the gift of presence.  Time will sort things out.

Offline otterboi

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2007, 08:43:24 PM »
Thanks to those who have written such supportive words. I've let him know that I am still around, yet will leave the ball in his court for now.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 12:49:09 PM »
Just to add my measly 2 cents, none of us can really make another person change or behave differently regardless of circumstances.  We can help people change if they are willing to but that's about it.

It seems you have a good understanding of the many issues which might play into your friend's actions.  Give him the time and space he apparently needs but let him know you're here for him if he wants to reach out.  That's all you can do. 

I hope everything works out satisfactorily.

Boo
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Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 10:05:41 AM »
Otter, I agree with the suggestions about giving your friend as much space as he may need.

At the same time, if it feels ok to you, how about just sending him a note, (and personally I prefer a handwritten note as contrasted with e mail), nothing elaborate or lengthy-- just saying you're thinking about him, hoping things are going ok and to be in touch with you if he feels like it. I don't think it ever hurts to let someone know they're thought of in a kindly way.

I can't promise what his response will be but contacting him this way allows you to express some interest while still respecting the boundary he seems to have set for the timebeing.

This is just a suggestion and one you should follow only if it feels right to you in the context of how you know him.

Cheers, 
Andy Velez

Offline Nico

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 07:57:08 PM »
Ottor,
We all deal with realtionships in different ways.  I don't need to tell you that.  You have a good heart and a smart brain. 

That being said, you will get a different opinion from everyone on here.  My advice is to keep in touch as you feel comfortable and let him come to you.  If he does, you may tell over time see who he is and what he is seeking.  Maybe you can help, maybe not.  You have reached out and that is the best any person can offer. 

I hope I am not coming across as lecturing, since that is the last thing I would want someone to do to me.  You care about him so let your heart, mind and gut be your guide.  The most important person in your life is you.

You have a good heart - Cheers and good luck!
Roger
Poz since 1990.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 03:51:33 AM »
Actually there is nothing I can add, everyone has said it all. You also made the effort to let him know you are there for him, there is really nothing left to do but to play the waiting game, which sucks, and say some prayers for him. Hopefully after some brief space, he will come around again and maybe feel like sharing what is going on with him.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline otterboi

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 01:41:47 PM »
Thanks to all who have provided me with their kind and supportive words.
My friend and I have been in touch and have had an opportunity to express our honest feelings, wants, needs and desires.

We have also had an opportunity to see the roles we each played in the "falling out" on New Year's Eve.

I've let him know that I am sincere about being there for him and I believe he is comfortable in knowing that.

Only the future can tell what is in store for each of us. I am hopeful that whatever direction things go will be the right one.

Thanks again to all. This a a great, and valuable forum.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 06:05:15 PM »
That is great news, Otter. That lil bit of space helped, eh? I'm glad that you both have gotten the lines of communication open again and was able to express how each of you feel.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: A question for others out there
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 01:49:11 PM »
There are plenty of examples of serodischordant relationships working well, and plenty of the opposite.  The fact is that this relationship, like all others, has two people involved.  Just because person X is poz and person Y is not, has less bearing on its dissolution than the nature of the personalities involved.  While it is tempting to issue platitudes like "the poz person just needs more time" or "sometimes people push others away who are being supportive", these things are, in fact, empty words.

Relationship sometimes succeed.  Sometimes they fail.  You may have been supportive in your mind, but this might not have been what he wanted or needed.  In fact, based on the paragraphs you wrote here, one can pretty much only surmise one thing:  we have one side of the story.  Yours.   In fact, I would venture to say that since you describe his as "unconventional" that an off-the-cuff determination was that you two might be fundamentally incompatible.

I am sorry this relationship did not go your way.  It is painful to lose someone you care about, especially when you think you are doing everything right.  However, just remember... it's not about you.  Some people like avocados.  Some people don't.  This has nothing to do with the intrinsic nature of the avocado. 

Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

 


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