So my life got a little crazy for a bit and I stopped blogging. If truth be told, my computer died and it has literally taken me two years to buy a new one. I am a sick combination of cheap and lazy when it comes to myself and some of my personal choices in life.....which is probably why it is more than two years later and I am about to turn 27 tomorrow and I am still as single as when I first started this blog, oh so many years ago.
Prior to starting this blog I had worked for many years at honing my commitment phobe skills. I practiced diligently at being able to dodge almost every sign that a relationship would become serious. Recently a rather formative relationship came back to really confuse the hell out of me if truth be told.
One of the first guys that I dated while I was in college I actually met at a club that was 18+ with one of my friends. We dated for several months and I really liked him and he seemed to really like me. I am going to call him Diego for the purposes of this blog. Well Diego and I were going along swimmingly and then there was an incident. We were out walking his dog and these two little girls came over to pet it and their Mom yelled at them to "Leave they're dog alone"
In that moment something inside me woke up and just started screaming. I felt awful about it and that was when I think I first realized that I was a commitment phobe. I mean who gets upset that a stranger thought that two gay guys walking a dog would be a couple who owned the dog....I'm insane, or so I thought.
The other day at work I was going about my day as usual and went into the waiting room and called, "Paul" and who stood up but Diego. This has to be at least 6 years later, but I was sure that it was him. So sure in fact that I said, "Diego, sorry I called Paul." and in that moment he said, "yea its me" and followed me to have his vital signs taken. While I was taking his vital signs I tried to ask him if he remembered who I was and he simply looked at me and smiled the same stupid smile he had given me a million times before and said, "A lot of people think they know me, maybe we've met before" and with that kind of a response I simply put him in his room and notified his doctor of his arrival.
Then the freak out began. I just couldn't believe that there was Diego in my clinic. That there was Diego in my clinic and that he was seeing one of the more established HIV doctors. Then I had to enter the vitals in his chart and I saw that he has been HIV positive and tenuously in care since 2008.
For years I thought that there was something wrong with me in that relationship and the truth was, I had been lied to for months. There wasn't anything true about the relationship at all, even the name I use to call him was different than the name in the hospital computer.
The other layer that I had to unpack is just how close I had come to being infected with HIV. I have since been tested many times and recently tested negative again (I went 1-2 days after Diego came to the clinic, I know that is crazy, but I needed to do it). I am on PrEP now which is a change since the last time I was writing on here. I have still never had sex without a condom something that I am forever more and more grateful for now.
I talk all the time in my lectures and in my job about how really anyone could become infected, but I think that deep down in some recesses of my brain I thought, 'Yea but probably not me' and this one person totally destroyed that thought in my brain.
The only good thing that came of Diego coming in to clinic to see his MD for the first time in over 1.5 years, I realize now that maybe I'm not a commitment phobe at all...maybe it isn't my own undoing. I think viscerally I knew that Diego had been lying to me. I think that some part of me always knew that there was something very wrong with our relationship, and in hindsight my gut was right. Truthfully, the whole thing was rather comforting to know that I wasn't wrong about him. In my mind if I was right about this, then I will most certainly be right about when I have found the perfect match.
So here's to hoping that 2017 shapes up to be an amazing year and that I don't join the 27 club...
Until next time...