I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me. I admit, I am not easy to process. I have a bit of a troubled history. Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid. I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction. That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life. When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it. I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years. I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.
I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now. I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now. That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now. I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.
It’s really hard to meet women as you get older. Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me. But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult. I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions. That is just the way that it is. When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why? Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them. what are my 3 things? 1. I am Butch and that will never change. 2. I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.
Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people. Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay. I get it. Those are 3 major pieces of who I am. I can’t hide them very well. And I don’t want to pretend that I can. Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me. It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general. But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree. I bring a whole different scene to the table.
I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years. One lead to the other obviously. Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus. I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times. So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether. I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.
It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV. I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction. No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path. I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path. I guess they either have to believe me, or not. There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.
I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry. I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine. There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.
I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications. I’ve sincerely appreciated them. I’ve been lucky.
Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life. I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason. But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis. I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself. I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it. I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once. I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair. But it’s not a happy place all the time. I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.
I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring. I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past. Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be. But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history? I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most. (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.) I long for a good strong relationship that will endure. Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood. Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.
Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes. I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on. But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard. I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems. Sometimes the truth just hurts. There’s no way around it.