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Author Topic: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline Polaris

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Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« on: October 21, 2017, 11:57:12 pm »
Hi all, I’ll try to be brief and not use the thread as therapy ... the subject question is essentially the entire point but there’s a mountain of context as always.

I met someone online, across the country, on a forum site for gay topics. His first post was about being suicidal as he considered coming out. I had just that spring lost my stepfather of 20 years to suicide and the post’s author and I became friends quickly.

Due to estate and family issues (I had moved home to help my mom) we were forced to leave the house she and my stepdad owned, and my new friend and I lost touch for some time until I heard he’d lost his mother to cancer. We reconnected and he seemed to be handling it well, and had even met someone - his first proper boyfriend since coming out to a loving accepting family and his friends.

The next several years, his relationship with his bf seemed constantly strained. There was an inexplicable amount of anger over the smallest fights, and we bonded during those times as he said I was the only person he had left he could really talk to. And I promptly fell for him, and a couple years later he said he loved me too. We were both in relationships but on opposite sides of the country. It was sweet, wrong sure, but it was ours. His bf had addiction problems and had cheated, but he said he felt that was the best he could do.

Then, roughly this time last year, he started speaking as if their relationship was all but over, detailed some terrible things the bf had done during relapses, and mentioned the need for money. I needed a car, and bought his. This part isn’t anything I need clarification on - it was a bad idea, always is to buy anything from a friend, and the car turned into a nightmare mistake that led to arguments and, coupled with the fact he suddenly withdrew having ever felt anything, it felt like a simple shakedown and he went back to his bf.

Then they broke up, it was ugly, and I tried all summer to mend things and figure out why he’d pulled away so drastically and with what I can only call cruelty at times. I certainly wasn’t a total sweetheart by any means, but we’d worked through conflict before. Certainly worse than a few grand would have ever caused. He and I haven’t spoken in a couple months at this point.

Then a mutual friend of ours told me about his bf having tested positive, soon after they’d become intimate, without protection. All the conversations we’d had over the years about their up and down sex life flooded back, the ones about them never using protection since they got together especially.

I can only assume he contracted it in the early days of their relationship, and while I hope he genuinely did care for me, I realize now that it must’ve been more painful than I can imagine when it looked like he’d be single soon and would have to finally tell me if there was to be a relationship, and also I assume the issue with the car was due to medical/medication costs, and staying healthy and alive did mean more than what we had.

I guess if he did care, that was likely torture for him, and since I had no idea, I was admittedly a complete jerk.

So, now that we aren’t speaking and things didn’t end well, should I try to contact him? And of course not to rekindle anything or ask wtf why he didn’t tell me or whatever - I know that’s not ok to do - but just to say I understand, and it breaks my heart to think he went through that - finally coming out, and then meeting a boy who immediately passed on one of the most terrifying diseases in the world to him the first time he fell in love.

I just need the advice of someone who’s possibly been in a similar situation.

Thanks and take care.

Offline zach

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 04:00:28 pm »
No,

A third party told you something... then you assumed your estranged friend must therefore also be positive.

That doesn't necessarily follow.

To clarify, you don't know your estranged friends status, and it's none of your business, it's his choice alone whether to disclose. Not yours to go sleuthing based on a rumor.

Let sleeping dogs lie, you cut those ties.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 04:05:26 pm by zach »

Offline harleymc

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 04:16:32 am »
I'm with Zach on that, it's pure supposition that your friend is positive.

If anyone knows who you bought your car from, you've managed to drag your friend's name as well as his partner's, through the mire of HIV stigma.

Offline Polaris

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 07:06:00 am »
No,

A third party told you something... then you assumed your estranged friend must therefore also be positive.

That doesn't necessarily follow.

To clarify, you don't know your estranged friends status, and it's none of your business, it's his choice alone whether to disclose. Not yours to go sleuthing based on a rumor.

Let sleeping dogs lie, you cut those ties.

Hey Zach and Harley, thank you both very much for your response, and extra thanks for your candor as well.

I can readily admit a lack of clarity due to my emotional rambling, and apologies for that. I should have specified that being “told” by a mutual friend involved more than casual conversation, since my immediate response was to call BS. I asked how they supposedly knew; they provided it. Hence my post. I’m not here throwing sour grapes into the ethers ‘cause it’s unfair and I’d like the attention.

I am well aware this is not an issue to be taken lightly - discussing the status of others - no matter for what reason or from any perspective outside the individual’s in question. The only reason it was made known to me was the fact he and I fooled around while I visited to purchase the car. Nothing penetrative happened, but I was informed of the potential as a precaution, in the event I’d tried to downplay anything we’d done. I would imagine, while admittedly ignorant in this instance, comparatively, there was a lack of disclosure there which made it my business.

As Harley said about a chance for outing someone - while a remote one as I’ve never used this handle anywhere before, listed any contact info, mentioned it to anyone specifically for the sake of anonymity for all involved and been deliberately vague to the point of a misunderstanding- which I’ll address - I’m aware there’s a risk and had hoped the subject could be discussed under the umbrella of members posting only “information true or correct to their knowledge” - borrowed that from the guidelines. It honestly dealt with medical claims but someone’s status is rather a medical claim itself, so I anticipated being trusted - it’s the internet though, and you’ve done the right thing forcing some clarity - but you surely understand that to have gone into further detail probably would’ve made me look even more of a prat for that very same reason. Again, apologies and I appreciate your candor.

If it were simply a rumor, I wouldn’t have posted at all. I won’t link you to it, as you’re entirely right - that’s their business. As mentioned, we discussed the fact that he and his bf didn’t use protection for years. Given that, to my knowledge, and a myriad other aspects I don’t want to get into any more than anyone here wants to have recited at them, is it not at least more likely after years of frequent unprotected intercourse that one could lean toward the heart-wrenching conclusion when requesting assistance? Is there a cooling off period between learning the high likelihood of a loved one’s struggle and being safe to post here that I’ve missed somewhere?

I understand it’s no guarantee of anyone’s status, but it’s compelling enough evidence to risk the hopefully well-meaning bluntness of strangers here by asking for assistance in a difficult situation. We were at odds over what is now paltry nonsense compared to what I realize was a painful time for him - whether or not he’s pos or it’s just his ex, I would just like to tell him I don’t care about what went wrong anymore, only that I understand I made it no easier for him either way. If it made any sense to apologize for not knowing, I’d be willing to. But I can’t apologize for honesty and openness here any more than I could demand an apology for, well...for example:

As far as “sleuthing,” if you mean contacting him to explain what I explained in the original post (in which confronting him or questioning his status was actually addressed as a not-ok thing to do) or by posting a request here for advice, I feel those two issues were made clear in context as to why I posted to begin with.

I’d go one further to wonder if publicly asking those who, as acknowledged, know better than I whether or not it would be wise to contact him, that seems antithetical to sleuthing as a general idea. And again, my lack of clarity, to say we haven’t spoken in a while and it didn’t end well does not unequivocally equate to cutting ties. The reason behind writing such a detailed history for the sake of context is that “our dogs” don’t sleep or even lie, and while “former” friend is how he’s referred to in the subject line, that doesn’t diminish any respect or (by asking for advice first) any level of regard for what’s best for him. So in the same spirit I guess...

If it’s honestly worthy of that level of concern and distaste expressed I’m happy to ask it be taken down by the next mod that passes by. I’m no expert in this regard, as I’ve said, and I’ll defer to your judgment. And say thanks for the extra tact you maintained, harleymc. One only has to read my first post to see emotions got the best of 2/3 of us. Misunderstandings are regrettable as they are common I guess. Something tells me the riot act was inevitable regardless how much I decided to share at first.

Regardless, thanks and apologies and hope you all have a great week.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 07:52:32 am »
I have not replied to this thread for a reason until now.

OP

I simply don't get what HIV has to do with anything from your story or supporting someone living with HIV.
You heard a rumor and are now acting or thinking about acting on it. Well let me tell you that until the person has chosen to tell you face to face it's nothing more than a story and none of your business.

If you want to mend the relationship with your friend, go do it nothing stopping you. The story is just that you cut ties with someone, that about it in a nutshell nothing more to it.

Unless I've missed something you should not be posting in this forum.

Jim

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Offline zach

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 09:54:08 pm »
Op needs a risk assessment, wrote a book to justify not posting in "am i?"

Offline mecch

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Re: Do I Reach Out to a Poz Former Friend?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 07:25:51 pm »
What don't you get OP? 
You can't assume your friend is HIV+.
If you want to reach out to him, go ahead.
If you want to ask if he is HIV+, fine.
What has this got to do with us?
Anyone on this planet can ask anyone any question, and will see what answer is possible or not.

Sounds like drama and you worked in an HIV angle for extra drama because you find it such a dramatic topic.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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