I see, I was offered a place to stay to get things going in a favorable direction.
After some time of living under the same roof and eating out often together, Sex came into play. At that moment I was confronted with the real life struggle of Stigma as I know and fear of others’ beliefs of what living with HIV is really like day to day for of us; doing it.
Every day is just the same as one would expect. I get the work done that needs to be done. I enjoy family, laugh, live. Enjoy being yourself. It is that perfect order within; no judging from inside (self) or outer sources (life/human interaction).
I was no longer on the couches of friends or common life partners in crime. I had what I lost: Stability. "I overlooked the importance and squandered my time."
Today as I move from the safe place I once had and turned into a game. I took advantage of my weakness and I was back out there before I could even know I had lost yet again to the consequences of sporadic moves.
I keep those I truly love away from me. I cannot explain - I just hurt the ones I care about the most. I do it saying I am protecting them from knowing me. I push so hard I believe I am doing good. I light the places on fire I go when I leave. I tear up hearts and dreams. I build, I encourage. I accept, I comfort... I detach from the value of allowing the vulnerability I use to fuel my resources to fuel my dreams.
I put so much effort, love and passion into everything I do whether it’s good bad right wrong or just plain stupid, lol. Truth is I’m a 100 percent'r; never in between or half way. That my friend is a blessing and a curse. A double edge sword is what I say.
Moving forward, I am no longer in a relationship and I definitely have not used any time like I even cared.
I can move yet I don’t want to have to tell anyone else I am living with HIV. How the hell does that make sense? Oh, 35 years later I still have Stigma breathing down my every move.
He was the first man I was involved with sexually. I had to tell and wait for the reaction. He said, "Yeah, so that’s the big news?" We have be en open throughout our relations it was not that elephant in the room... until... yes, company comes and goes, families get together, people talk and now I have AIDS and I gave it to him. WTF is that for?
Hey, can we talk about you and Auntie and how often you have sex and also, Have you ever had an STD? unprotected SEX? shared NEEDLES? Just wondering you ever been tested?
Well then I guess we know who has their Health under control and who does not. I am very familiar with HIV and its symptoms and transmission.
I guess I give too much credit to others thinking when my first sex partner died I was 19 years old. He died of AIDS in 1993 when we knew nothing about what the heck was going on. I started testing then and always continued. I care about my health and yours more than you do if you’re not open to knowing your status. Getting tested and knowing if you are positive takes it to a new level. I can control the virus. I have been undetectable for over 10 years.
I hate moving on to ask, "Will you still love me with my HIV?"
I met someone. I brought the conversation up about my status. It was taken well like I almost didn't say it loud enough. Conversation changed. Days later I get a "So HIV scares the shit out of me. Can you educate me on this?"
Well lookie here I am still the same girl. Each day I see a person become willing to understand HIV and how they (positive or negative) can help change the Stigma and fears; thus reducing the unnecessary burden of Judgement that comes with living with HIV.