Today I feel great, I woke up and I’m healthy but I feel like there’s something missing. Last night, I sat at home wanting to talk to someone but no one was there and of all of my friends, only two appeared to be available for chat. Chatting doesn’t seem to be enough anymore, I want interaction with a human, someone who knows all of my secrets, my desires, and can relate to my situation. Someone to give me hug and say it’s going to be okay.
I guess I should offer a little background in my situation so you all can understand why I feel so alone. I work on a military base in an isolated location. Such that we aren’t allowed to leave the base unless we are on an airplane to the US. So I’m here, I’m gay, I’m HIV+ and a Civilian plopped into this military environment. The military isn’t that open to the GLBT community especially under my current circumstances but the climate is changing rapidly.
It appears that there’s a secret cult of GLB military that somehow find each other. I’ve never been much of an outgoing person and since I found out about my status, I’ve grown a little more introverted. I feel like I’ve lost my ability to communicate and get to know others and I’m not sure how to get that back. Each time I see someone that I’d want to get to know (boyfriend potential) I forget who I am and how to talk. I look at the military guys, assume they are all straight, and won’t want to deal with someone like myself. Fortunately, that really hasn’t been the case but when I find a guy getting too close I pull away because I have this secret I carry. I’m trying to figure out how to stop devaluing myself because of HIV.
It doesn’t help to know that I’m the only person in this population of about 10,000 that knowingly carries this in them. Many will say they understand and can relate but how can they? How can anyone know what it feels like to be here and truly be the minority? I see the one or two gay couples here and so badly want that for myself but don’t see a future that includes that with any of the guys here. I’m going to be here two more years; I’ve almost completed two already but my desire to be loved keeps growing stronger.
Sadly, I’ve been on this base since I found out I was HIV+. I found out when I was in the process of moving, it was a big shock and many of my friends and my boyfriend at the time thought I wouldn’t go because I found about this but I decided not to let this ruin an opportunity like this. It has proven to be a very good experience in that I’ve learned so much about myself and thought I’d made peace with being positive but I don’t think I have. The isolation has given me acceptance but has not helped me cope with the stigma.