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Want to be there for him...but...
Dec 5, 1997

My lover of 15+ years just went into the hospital two weeks ago with

PCP and we have the confirming HIV+ tests and a CD4 count of < 10 along with

some brain atrophy.

I have turned up negative and will be tested again in a few months.

My issue: I want to be there for him, but I feel guilty that I'm not sick

and I am angry that he is. I want to be there for him, whatever happens, but

I'm having a hard time with all of this. I feel betrayed by him, saddened that

we'll not make it to our 80's together (we're 40), and burdened by all the

responsibility that I must take on. I will stay by his side to the end, but

I'm really pissed off that he was unsafe somewhere along the line and that this

will take him out of my life sooner (even tho' I know that the new drugs

are remarkable). I also resent the emotional upset that this is causing me,

but then I feel guilty. Yikes! Is is OK to love him, be there for him, yet

still resent the situation and be pissed?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

It is perfectly understandable that you would be angry that you life partner is ill with a life threatening illness. Try not to judge yourself for having these feelings. How could you not be conflicted about this situation? Yet you are committed to staying in it and caring for him. That is something to feel proud of, even when there will be times that you will resent the situation you find yourself in. If you are in a large city, there must be support groups for care-partners of people with AIDS. I would urge you to locate and begin attending one. There you will find alot of support and validation for all the things you are now experiencing and the things yet to come. You need and deserve this kind of support--both for yourself as well as for the strength it will give you to be there for your partner.

Take care of yourself

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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