I feel horrible for this.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    Ok, so I don't know whether I should be ok with this or not so I just want some opinions and a different view possibly other than my own.

    About 2-3 years ago I was dating this guy that really had an interest in me, but I didn't reciprocate that feeling. He said that he had already fallen in love with me and that made me feel very horrible for being the one that broke his heart. I have a conscience so I couldn't just be like "har har deal with it on your own." It was effortless for me to be nice and polite and try any way I could to help him through it, right?

    Well, eventually I realized that being around him was causing him to hurt more and more so I stopped talking to him completely. I don't know if that was the right decision at the time, but I know that he has gotten over me (however much you can get over someone who breaks your heart)

    Here's the problem. He recently told me while catching up for the last couple of years on the phone that after the break up, in his state of mind he made some bad decisions. He is now HIV positive because of reckless actions.


    I literally had to tell him that I'll call him back because I just started crying. I hold such a heavy burden on my heart because I feel like I caused him to enter that state of mind that caused him to do that. I really don't like hurting anyone especially breaking someone's heart, but I for some reason I try to take everyone's feelings onto myself and trying to figure out solutions to help them out.

    I am looking back on the past (which I normally don't think that it's a good thing to dwell there) and I see so many potential problems on my behalf.

    I could've just stayed around him to help him.
    I could have been there to tell him don't do that.
    I could have been there to guide him away from that.

    I sorta feel like a parent, I guess. I mean... I know that it's not my responsibility but I just have this urge to take on his responsibility. Is that overbearing? Anyways, I feel like a completely horrible person because I didn't help him through his break up. I feel like i'm the reason he came in contact with HIV and is now living with it.

    What would you think? I'm just curious. please don't bash me i don't think i could take it very well X_X

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    Feb 21, 2010 6:08 PM GMT
    I completely understand how you feel, about wanting to take on the responsibility, cause I'm the same way. Although, when he told you he was HIV+, do you think he told you so you could feel guilty about it?
    Well what's done is done, he is HIV+ and you can't do anything to make it go away. So what options do you have? You're obviously feeling like shit, so think about things you could do to make yourself feel better.
    For example, you could ask him if there's anything you can do to help him out. You could give him more information about HIV and research it for him. I mean, now that he has it, all you could do is be his support.
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    Feb 21, 2010 6:14 PM GMT
    In a relationship, one of the best ways to cause it to become dysfunctional is to have one partner have the role of child and the other as a parental figure. It becomes unbalanced, so your feeling that you could have helped him in this way would have ended up hurting you.

    You should not feel bad about this because in the end, he made those choices. It's not your fault that you did not want to be with him, and it makes no sense to feel guilt over this. It is horrible, and it would make me cry too if a former boyfriend contracted HIV for a bad decision, but ultimately it is because of actions he choose to make, and you shouldn't feel guilty. It's not your fault.

    Yes, you hurt him by choosing not to be with him. But everyone goes through this eventually in life, and what he chose to do with his emotions doesn't reflect on you in any way.
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    Feb 21, 2010 6:16 PM GMT
    Being human permits us to have personal freedom, but with that comes personal responsiblity. You are responsible for your own actions. Those actions were to be honest and to create emotional and physical space for yourself when you saw that the relationship was not in both of your best interests. He is responsible for his actions. There is no reasonable basis for your guilt unless you forced him to have unprotected sex or to use HIV-tainted needles.

    You can be kind and be a friend if you desire. Be compassionate, keep your emotions in check, and be strong.

    Steven
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    Feb 21, 2010 6:17 PM GMT
    TheIStrat saidIn a relationship, one of the best ways to cause it to become dysfunctional is to have one partner have the role of child and the other as a parental figure. It becomes unbalanced, so your feeling that you could have helped him in this way would have ended up hurting you.

    You should not feel bad about this because in the end, he made those choices. It's not your fault that you did not want to be with him, and it makes no sense to feel guilt over this. It is horrible, and it would make me cry too if a former boyfriend contracted HIV for a bad decision, but ultimately it is because of actions he choose to make, and you shouldn't feel guilty. It's not your fault.

    Yes, you hurt him by choosing not to be with him. But everyone goes through this eventually in life, and what he chose to do with his emotions doesn't reflect on you in any way.
    This is why we're mutual buddies. You make me feel a lot better, thank you, Thel.

    @wreckd, Thank you so much. I mean, I really want to support him but I don't really know if I will allow myself to get too involved meaning like trying to act like some parent or whatever. And the guy is like 33 and I'm 21 and it's a little odd to me to begin wit. *sigh* I don't know... I'll eventually figure it out anyways. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 21, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    Soulasphyx said
    This is why we're mutual buddies. You make me feel a lot better, thank you, Thel.
    f" />

    [url]smiley-hug005.gif[/url]
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    Feb 21, 2010 7:30 PM GMT
    And on another note, think, for just a moment, how arrogant it sounds that you could be responsible for someone's behaviour to such a degree that they would knowingly contract a disease.

    I agree with everyone else's comments, but also: You're just not that powerful. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 21, 2010 7:51 PM GMT
    I was in a similar situation .. I loved him .. the BF .. but his negative mental state was more than I could bear at the time. We broke up .. he got involved with some party drugs, spiraled into depression, and he eventually got HIV (unknowingly) from his new boyfriend .. and then he eventually killed himself.

    I tell myself I could have done some things differently .. but I did reach out to him, but it was not enough. I still love him and think that he was the sweetest BF I had in many ways.

    I will probably always ask myself what I can do better for the people I love, but the bottom line is that we are limited, and everyone should bear PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their own actions. Even so, I understand that some people have rough upbringings and genetic predispositions to mental illness .. so that is where compassion comes in.

    Do your best going forwards, but realize your limits and don't carry around guilt .. you can't be responsible for everyone else's bad decisions.
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    Feb 21, 2010 7:53 PM GMT
    Matey you could of done many things. I who used to work with children, and children with disabilities, many a time would get home look back on a situation, and think I could of done it that way. I had to stop doing that, because what I did at that moment in time, was right.

    We also have free agency and are as adults responsible for our own actions; he may well of been an accident waiting too happen. Don't you carry his guilt. If you made him become involved in orgies, or unsafe threesomes, then you maybe able to take a wee responsibility, but even then he would of had the right to say no and walk away.
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:02 PM GMT
    He's a grown up and therefore responsible for all HIS decisions: good and bad. His problem, not yours...it's quite codependent to think that you could somehow "save" him from himself. Bluntly: ya gotta leave him where Jesus flung him.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Feb 21, 2010 8:04 PM GMT
    I think it's admirable that you feel responsibility. It doesn't seem to me at the time of the breakup that you were abusive or vindictive. Could you have handled it differently, perhaps. But no one can blame you for giving him the silent treatment when you didn't know how else to react.

    He alone is responsible for his actions. You have nothing to feel guilty for.

    But, if you want to be a friend and support him, then I think that's very good of you.

  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Feb 21, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    Your big heart is showing dude.

    Careful, some ppl might take advantage of that if you aren't careful!
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    I've been in this exact situation, only I was the one that fell in love, had my heart broken and made some pretty bad decisions. I didn't get HIV or any sort of disease for that matter, but I was responsible for the decisions I made. Its hard to deal with rejection when all you want is to wanted by this one person, but you're responsible for the decisions you make in this life. So don't feel too bad, don't blame yourself, and just be there for your friend when he needs you. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:17 PM GMT
    BigDude6ft6 saidBeing human permits us to have personal freedom, but with that comes personal responsiblity. You are responsible for your own actions. Those actions were to be honest and to create emotional and physical space for yourself when you saw that the relationship was not in both of your best interests. He is responsible for his actions. There is no reasonable basis for your guilt unless you forced him to have unprotected sex or to use HIV-tainted needles.

    You can be kind and be a friend if you desire. Be compassionate, keep your emotions in check, and be strong.

    Steven


    I agree. Also just wanted to say that I hope everything goes well and that you feel better.
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:32 PM GMT
    Soulapshyxi, you can be so like us two it verges on spooky.

    One of the big things we had and have in common ( Bill and I) is our way of dealing with that situation (when we were single) . It was very cool to find out that we each used to hang with the smitten guy until he got bored to the point of him drifting away.

    I broke up with a fellow and continued to see him every day for the next 6 weeks or so. (No texting or email back then). Finally the day came when he said, "Oh man, (laughing), give it up!" I thought it was better to give him the chance to blow me off.

    You can't hold yourself responsible because you WERE kind and considerate.

    You let him down gently. Thel is right on ( and I Iove that stroking emoticon).


    -xo -Dog



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    Feb 21, 2010 8:32 PM GMT
    While its sad and unfortunate that he's HIV positive, you had nothing to do with that. You didn't infect him. You didn't tell him to go get infected. You simply didn't love him back. That's not a crime. If anything, you were honest and considerate by telling him you didn't feel the same way and then by no longer hanging out with him after you saw it was too hard for him to handle. As bad as it sounds, you have nothing to do with him getting infected and I think him telling you might be a manipulative tactic to guilt you into something or to simply make you feel guilty. Maybe I'm wrong, I hope I am, but you don't owe him anything. If you're willing to listen to him and help him through this rough period of coming to terms with it, then awesome, tell him that. But you did nothing wrong, so don't feel bad about what you did. Mourn for the fact that someone you know is now positive, but not for the fact that he made bad decisions because you didn't love him back.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Feb 21, 2010 8:33 PM GMT
    Everyone goes through tough times. How we deal with the problems is more important than the problems themselves.


    He could have made those same bad decisions later had you tried to help him. It's not your fault, you're just an empathetic person.



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    Feb 21, 2010 8:39 PM GMT
    iHavok saidYour big heart is showing dude.

    Careful, some ppl might take advantage of that if you aren't careful!



    I agree. And i feel like if you dont take some charge, hes going to try to take advantage of that.

    Also it definitely feels like... ok i know THIS is going to sound horrible, but a guilt trip. its not your fault he made bad decisions. I told my dad this when he was trying to stop drinking, that only YOU are responsible for your actions and noone else.
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:44 PM GMT
    I officially love you (but not in that I'm going to do something reckless because I can't be with you way).
    You are so wonderful for being so sensitive to others and trying to do the right thing.
    I've been in the same situation, played both parts as we all have at some point and the thing is this; you can never be responsible for someone else's actions or decisions any more than they are responsible for yours.
    My choices are mine.
    Your choices are yours.
    His choices are his.

    He isn't the only person life has handed a bag of shit to. We all get it at some time but when that happens you don't try to make someone else carry it.

    I broke up with my ex of 6 years almost three years ago and just this morning after spin and boxing I was sitting in my car having a cry over the hurt I caused him. It's ok to feel deeply, it means your living and participating. But you can't carry the burden of someone else's decisions and life path.
    Forgive yourself for inadvertently hurting him but you can't take responsibility for what happened after that.
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:52 PM GMT
    Soulasphyx said the guy is like 33 and I'm 21 and it's a little odd to me to begin wit.

    By 33 he should be mature enough to be able to cope with being dumped. It's not like every one of us hasn't been dumped several times over.
    And at 21 you should have been able to assume that an older guy would know how to deal with the breakup like a responsible adult. You can't hold yourself to blame for the fact that he's somehow failed to acquire the most basic life skills.
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    Feb 21, 2010 8:53 PM GMT
    It wasn't your responsibility to rescue him, that leads to co-dependency, if you had stayed with him it would've made your relationship even more unhealthy, it was up to him to man up and have some balls to get over you, his mistakes are his and only his, sounds like he was very immature and still is if he is hinting that it was your fault he contracted HIV.

    Be brave Soulasphyx, you are a good person, and don't let anybody make you think different.

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    Feb 21, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    EasilyDistracted saidMy choices are mine.
    Your choices are yours.
    His choices are his.

    He isn't the only person life has handed a bag of shit to. We all get it at some time but when that happens you don't try to make someone else carry it.

    This sad story deals with HIV, due to allegedly reckless actions following the breakup. The OP doesn't say if this guy specifically made that connection between the two, but it's certainly implied.

    But the story just might as well have been about his becoming an alcoholic (the classic for straight guys who can't win a girl, or then lose her), or he took up drugs, or resumed smoking after quitting. All kinds of self-destructive behavior, you name it.

    If a guy can't handle disappointment & rejection well, that's his problem, quite frankly. Putting a guilt trip on others just reinforces why the OP's original decision to reject his overtures was a good one.

    And has he told the OP the whole story? Was their failed relationship the only reason he made some bad decisions? Maybe others rejected him, too, for their own good reasons, maybe he had other disappointments and let-downs in his life, as well.

    I wouldn't automatically shoulder the whole burden for him. The OP may have been only one small cog in the machinery that broke down on him.
  • BarettaB80

    Posts: 141

    Feb 21, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    No, you should be guilt-free - as unfortunate as it is, all those actions were his. In my opinion, you did everything right. You were nice about it, and most importantly, you were open and honest about it. So many guys seem to be afraid of that, and they continue to lead others on. Then there are the great disappearing folks....which leave you thinking, "What did I do? Am I really so meaningless so as not to even warrant an explanation, or at least a simple 'goodbye'?" By telling him where you stand and looking out for his best interests, you did all you could have done. Everyone will be disappointed and/or heartbroken, but if dealt with honestly, any reasonable/rational person will be able to move on. I wish more guys were as thoughtful as you.
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    Feb 21, 2010 9:08 PM GMT
    Dtimshell saidBe brave Soulasphyx, you are a good person, and don't let anybody make you think different.
    *What he said* ^
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    Feb 21, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    EasilyDistracted saidMy choices are mine.
    Your choices are yours.
    His choices are his.

    He isn't the only person life has handed a bag of shit to. We all get it at some time but when that happens you don't try to make someone else carry it.

    This sad story deals with HIV, because of allegedly reckless actions following the breakup. The OP doesn't say if this guy specifically made that connection between the two, but it's certainly implied.

    But the story just might as well have been about his becoming an alcoholic (the classic for straight guys who can't win a girl, or then lose her), or he took up drugs, or resumed smoking after quitting. All kinds of self-destructive behavior, you name it.

    If a guy can't handle disappointment & rejection well, that's his problem, quite frankly. Putting a guilt trip on others just reinforces why the OP's original decision to reject his overtures was a good one.

    And has he told the OP the whole story? Was their failed relationship the only reason he made some bad decisions? Maybe others rejected him, too, for their own good reasons, maybe he had other disappointments and let-downs in his life, as well.

    I wouldn't automatically shoulder the whole burden for him. The OP may have been only one small cog in the machinery that broke down on him.
    Maybe I was unclear but I totally agree. Regardless of whether it is about HIV or just going on a bender, whatever choices he made are not Souls responsibility.