This post was inspired by Jarrad’s post “When to Tell” & Ineffable’s “Owning Up” post … both men have shown great courage dealing with their HIV status and inspire me on many levels every day …
Not sure if this belongs in the HIV/AIDS forum … I am sure someone will move it if it’s deemed to be in the wrong place …
I am not HIV+ but my partner AV was.
We met as 8 year olds at primary school, we had been together for 25 odd years when he died of an AIDS related illness in 1996. I still miss him terribly. My relationship with AV really started when I was 13 and we started having sex … he stayed with me thru all the shit that happened to me during those horror years with my brother, thru my 3 disastrous marriages and my descent to the bottom of the black pit, when other people in my life looked the other way or left me all together, he was there for me …
Granted our relationship was volatile, even boarded on abusive, but he always tried to protect me from myself, he never wanted anything or anyone to hurt or harm me, to the point that when he discovered he was HIV+ he wouldn’t tell me anything about his health other than he was HIV+ and that he would handle it his way.
In all that time, all those years of loving him, nothing he did hurt me more than him keeping me in the dark about his illness. Sure in the later years I knew when he was sick, those were usually the times when we would argue about silly shit and he would leave me. He would come back to me once he was well enough again, but what I really resented and hated was not being trusted enough to be told the truth.
Sure I was mad, I wasn’t given the opportunity to look after him or to show him how much I truly loved him, but his lack of trust in my ability to handle this hurt the most. AV died alone, in a hospital bed with no one who loved him around him, not being there at the end to comfort him as he had done for me for all those years still hurts me today.
I realize that living with HIV has an adverse affect on the way people think, I think AV knew he was dying before our last break-up, and in his way he felt being out of my life would actually lessen the pain I felt when he finally died. Well he was wrong, along with the sadness, sorrow and pain I felt for his passing, there also was resentment and anger.
Being a gay man in a straight world I was not allowed the time to grieve his passing, nor did I allow myself to feel the resentment or anger I felt for him leaving me to go away and die.
I did not find out that AV had died until 6 months after the fact. I was shattered and shut myself off from the world for the next 12 years, the one constant in my life was gone and I was not prepared to face the world without him. After all these years the thing that still hurts me the most was being lied to by AV.
Edited by arronb (10/24/08 12:24 AM)
Edit Reason: Cleaning up my post ;)