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Stigma Rejection
Jan 30, 2003

I had a close friend of 20 years. We've known a close friendship and working relationship for that time. Two years ago, knowing I was HIV positive,he just decided to burn the bridge of our friendship and has not attempted to contact me in any way since that time. My question is, "How can I get over this as it has been deeply troubling to my soul?"

Response from Mr. Shernoff

There is no magic bullet for helping you get over such a painful rejection. I do not know if one ever actually gets over something like this. I believe that the best any of us can hope for is to learn how to make a reasonable emotional accomodation to this kind of a significant loss. So perhaps your expectation that you need to get over this is a large part of the problem. How could you not hurt from this kind of experience? My only advice is to accept the pain and know that ultimately time will help this hurt to lessen. You also just have to let go of who this person used to be for you. I know that this sounds very lame and inadequate for the intensity of pain you are living with at this time, but in reality it is all anyone can offer.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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