Saturday, July 30, 2016

I Meet A Fellow PTSD-er

This past Thursday morning, crews were flying a little blimp right outside my office window. The blimp carries a camera that captures top floor views of future condominium projects. From the looks of things, a 30-storey tower is going up right outside my office window.
Steve (my ex) is visiting from LA. He’s seriously into gay sex hook-up phone apps. Using them last year he met a person in my building with whom he enjoyed a couple of dates. Yesterday he got a message from another person in this building—my next-door neighbour. I have met my neighbour and he seems very nice. Now, thanks to Steve flashing his phone at me, I have seen my neighbour naked.
Something that thrills me is this: I have learned how to put sentences into the memory of the (very expensive) app I bought for speech assistance. I now have sentences programmed into it that allow me to engage with people without fear—and to address the concern my actions and speech can provoke in strangers.
And finally…I went to a party last night and met a man (Cameron) whom I am keen to see again. We met because he was seated beside me at the dinner table. We started chatting and he was not at all off put by my speech. In fact, as we got comfortable talking, he asked my why my speech was bad and when I told him, he revealed that he, too, is a psychiatric patient and has PTSD.  Like me, he was beaten and neglected as a child and, I think, for both of us our meeting was meaningful.
I am HIV positive, almost sixty-nine, asthmatic and speech impaired due to PTSD. And all my life I failed miserably at relationships.
I had only one relationship, really: Steve. It lasted fourteen years. He spent the last several wanting out of it but he was afraid to make the move. That was twenty-two years ago. A year after Steve left me I had the rebound romance that exposed me to HIV.
Still, I searched for love.
“D&D UB2.” It means, “Drug and disease free; you be too.”  You see it in virtually every gay personals ad. It is so pervasive it exists exclusively as its acronym. It hurts to be so shunned. It makes a mockery of the concept of safe sex but I understand the fear.
So I gave up. It seemed so symmetrical to end up unwanted given that the woman who bore me gave me away. Even though I find it, at times, challenging and exhausting to go through everything alone, my background has me well equipped for undertaking the rest of my journey alone. But ... what I could do well is a platonic, but affectionate, partnership. That’s what I had for a couple of hours last night with Cameron and I’d very much like more.

The PTSD diary continues….

No comments: