Posted by: aidshike | March 13, 2013

Loneliness of being alone – day twelve

Dear Shelly

If you would have stayed around longer I am not sure what your social life would have looked life… if you would have a significant other? If you would be dating? If you would be content to be single? All I know is that recently I have been having trouble not feeling sorry for myself. I have been feeling  lonely and struggling while I have started dating again

I have not been in a relationship in over 3 years. I did not date for over two years after the last relationship ended for conscious reasons. (I was not happy with myself after the last relationship ended, not proud about how I ended it and even when I could look at myself in the mirror I did not like who I saw) So I took a long hiatus. I tried to work on myself and began to love myself more and get just a little confidence. Over time I had also learned to turn isolation into solitude.

And then 7 months ago I finally chose to start dating again. It has been a painful process. I have let myself move into a place where I knew that the chance of rejection would be high. I have made myself vulnerable and let the reality of dating as someone who is  HIV+ try to sort itself out. I have had a profile on an HIV+ dating site and met a really nice, kind, smart and beautiful woman, but after only two dates she just disappeared and left me wondering why

I also put up a profile on a regular dating site and was openly HIV positive, sharing my reality up front and not hiding away. My past experience is that there is no one right way to tell someone that you are starting to date that you are HIV+. I have tried numerous approaches that have all led me to pain and rejection. I have dated a few women over the years but have learned that usually women who accept that I am HIV+ right away may not be healthy. Like myself they might be desperate or have bad boundaries

So I tried telling people on a first date, early or at the end and found myself getting rejected so many times that I began to expect it. I tried dating someone for 4 dates and then telling them as things were drifting towards our making out for the first time, and it didn’t go well at all…after the night I shared, we went to lunch and then she walked around a lake with me… spending the whole time telling me what a bad partner I would be, what a bad husband I would be and what an awful father I would be. It was only after hiking a few miles around the lake did I hear what I was expecting the whole time. Almost as an afterthought she told me that the HIV “thing” was a problem too

So my current add on the dating site has my profile being very openly HIV+ right up front. I tell my story so that there will be no surprises along the way. And boy does that limit the number or responses I get. Hundreds and hundreds of people have viewed my profile, some rating me as 4 or 5 stars (out of 5). Many, many women have contacted me to say how brave I am, how courageous I am to be so honest upfront… that they were moved by my story. Many thanked me for inspiring them. I received these comments so much that I waited for someone to ask me to come speak at their children’s school… but these women rarely added that they were interested in dating me.

So I can feel sorry for myself. I can look ahead and project how hard if not impossible it will be for me to find someone that can love me for who I am… I have had partners before that have done so, but these have not been healthy relationships. Sadly one of the main reasons that relationships don’t work for me is that I sabotage my chances of sustaining them by not believing that I am worthy and even feeling ashamed that someone finds me so.

It is not just the physical pains that I have had to deal with. It is not just the sadness of watching others die. It is not just the fear of my own demise. It can be the vast opening, the chasm of emptiness, the hot Sahara of space that could be filled with love. I know, I know, I know…If I love myself first then I will open up the door to be really loved myself. But I have done the work over the years and I mostly do love myself… I just don’t love the part of me that is alone

I hate the loneliness. It can be cold and frigid. It can leave me weakened at the knees. It can leave me speechless. It can make me angry beyond words. It can make me very jealous. It can leave me feeling hopeless. I hate loneliness. I don’t want to be alone any longer but I am not sure if I am up for all the rejections I may have to go through to actually find someone who accepts me that I can actually build a healthy relationship with.

Whoa is me.

It is just reality.

So many others suffer from the same affliction, whether they are HIV+ or not. I am not nearly the only one. Loneliness doesn’t discriminate or judge, doesn’t pick sides or make differentiations. Loneliness just is. It is lonely being alone. So I try to deal with it. I think about it a lot… and I try not to feel sorry for myself. But it is sad. I own my sadness.


Responses

  1. Just received this response to my personal ad… just another similar (lack of) connection:

    “I just wanted to write you for being so honest about your HIV status.
    I have found in this online world of dating, not many men who are as open as you are. I have found it refreshing.
    I hope you can find that one person you can love and start a family with. I have two wonderful, grown children who are the lights of my life and am so grateful that they chose to come thru me and have me as their Mom.
    Best wishes to you”

  2. Moshe, I know the loneliness… if coming from a different place. You know the isolation my own chronic illness brings to my life, the endless days with no communication with anyone but Rhia & Ben. Recently, our new next door neighbor expressed interest, and I had to explain to him, I could be a friend, but with my level of chronic illness, I couldn’t imagine I could even handle being in a relationship – or that anyone else would want to be in one with me, once they knew the limitations of my life.

    It was hard to say, but I think is the truth, and I’ve come to accept it over the years. The neighbor took it well, and has turned into a good friend, conveniently close & very generous & good-hearted.

    Solitude can be a good thing. It can give you time to focus on bringing your dream into fruition, as you are doing now. You will meet many people through this, your passion, and they will see the kind of amazing, loving, generous and good-hearted person you are, in person – something people can’t do through an online dating site. I have no doubt that you will find someone to walk the path with you. Be patient, as hard as that is.

    With great Love,
    Ash


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