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Feeling a bit flat (DISCLOSURE) (REJECTION)
Apr 21, 2008

Dear Dr Bob It's been a while since I have written to you. Things have been going well - drugs still work and I feel fine. However recently I met a man with whom I wanted to get to know better... I told him my status and I now feel a bit crap. He was so shocked and lacking in information that I felt as though I'd just let an elephant in to the room! I'm not sure I am disappointed that he didn't want to take things further, or the fact that even after all these years (16 of diagnosis) that I can't deal with the feeling of rejection and pain of the stigma attached to HIV. I know I did the right thing and I should be proud that I was strong enough to tell him before we got too intimate. I think I am also in shock because he didn't know how he could contract HIV!! I reassured him that kissing was ok (where has he been hiding for the last 20 odd years!). He thought I was leading him on - I explained it wasn't something you share needlessly and I needed to be sure I wanted to be with him. But I feel so low, depressed and ashamed of my status. Dr Bob - please give me some words of inspiration and help me through these dark days.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'm willing to bet that ultimately it will be the other guy, not you, who will be singing "The One that Got Away Blues!" If he's so clueless that he knows next to nothing about HIV, it should be a major red flag that either: 1) he's an alien who has just landed here on earth from the former planet Pluto or 2) he's another victim of Dubya's abstinence-only-until marriage sex education curriculum or 3) he's such a mental dunce that he probably voted for Dubya in 2000 and 2004! Consequently, maybe he was doing you the favor of breaking things off before they even got started. Clearly he was not your Mr. Right. (He's certainly not Mr. Bright either!) The important thing to remember is that if someone dumps you because of your HIV status, he's rejecting the virus, not you!

Buddha was once asked how to brave his critic's insults and anger. Buddha replied, "If someone offers you a gift and you decline it, to whom does the gift belong?" I think this is very wise advice. Put in a less contemplative way, if someone blows a load of rejection your way because of your HIV status, I say, "Spit, don't swallow!"

Your happily-ever-after is out there waiting for you just as you are, "virally enhanced" or not! Don't settle for anything less than true happiness, OK?

Dr. Bob



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