I really didn’t want to believe what my mom said, but I one thing’s for sure. I had to know the truth.
On the same day I discovered that my boyfriend did tell my team manager about my situation (which already happened a few months ago), I immediately sent him a message asking him about what he did a few months ago. To make the story short, he did tell me the truth. “Yes, I did tell our team manager about your situation. I just can’t carry the burden anymore.” Even though he didn’t have the wrong intention of doing such a thing, what he forgot to do was to ask me personally if he can tell my status to other people (which obviously, is a big no-no!).
I’m just lucky (somehow) that our team manager is close friend of mine, however, she told me that the other people from the HR Department (who are also my friends) have to know about my status. I was really nervous, but it was an SOP. I was really blessed, because those two people from our HR Department really helped me with what I’ve been going through.
When I asked my boyfriend again about the other people who knew about my status, his response made me petrified. My HIV status was also told to the president of our company. I really didn’t know how to react. I didn’t talk to him for several days, because I felt really betrayed. The “trust” I gave him started to fade away. Until this day, I still think of what he did. It really changed my feelings towards him. I still love him, but it wasn’t as strong as before.
As much as I wanted to come back and work for that company again, what happened to me always made me feel that I shouldn’t really go back. Although the people who are close to me expressed their hopes for me to return there, I’m just really scared.
I decided to finally file a resignation after several months of indefinite leave. I didn’t want the company to wait for me anymore, since I wasn’t really sure if I should come back due to my health concerns and due to what my boyfriend did. I was still wearing my blue mask since I was really vulnerable to anything outside the house (pollution, dirt, people with colds, etc.). When I entered the building, I started to reminisce how happy I was every day when I go to work. The lady security guard noticed me right away because of my mask and asked her where I should be going. When I removed my mask to answer her, she was in shock. She asked me, “Sir, it’s you! What happened? You became so thin. How are you? I wasn’t able to see you for a very long time. Did you resign already?” She sure had a lot of questions to ask, but I just simple replied with “Well, I got sick. I wasn’t able to go to work for a very long time. I’m filing a resignation now.” I saw sadness in her face. She is a very kind person who I always saw in our building. She said her final regards, and I went straight to the 9th floor where my office was located.
Since I still can’t really go upstairs due to my very weak condition, I had to take the lift. I was also worried of the amount of people inside it, but I had no choice. My mom joined me as I went to the office. As I entered the lift, I heard two people behind me talking. One of them said, “Hey, friend! Let’s just take another elevator. Look at that person. He’s wearing a mask. We might get infected as well.” When I turned back to look at them I saw them smirking and giving me a weird look. My mom also noticed the same thing, and she didn’t hesitate to approach the two people. Let’s just say that my mom gave them a lesson they won’t ever forget. I also gave them a very sharp look as the lift door closed. It’s just sad that some people weren’t really that considerate about other people’s feelings or condition. If only they knew the feeling of it.
I reached the office and saw familiar faces. They kept asking me about my condition. Some were shocked when they knew it was me. I was expecting the reaction, since I had a lot of change physically (not in a good way).
To make the story short, they approved my resignation. I just waited to several days to get my last pay and my things. I really want to see all of the people who I worked with, especially my team members. I wasn’t able to say goodbye to them personally. It hurt me a lot. I guess, I’m not that ready yet to face them with how I looked. I just waited for the right time.
Working as an English instructor, I wasn’t expecting to be friends with my clients. I was simply doing my job as an online teacher. Things changed when I met my student’s mother. At first, I can only talk to her through e-mail. She always sent me her deepest thanks for teaching her son. She started sending gifts like tea, CDs, clothes, and some Korean snacks. She always surprised with boxes arriving at our office. She even went to the Philippines to visit me together with the other teacher who also taught her son. She soon started her classes with us as well. The simple beginning we had turned into this friendship I was really happy to have.
She’s been always thoughtful. When she knew about me being sick last year, she consistently asked my friends about my condition. She also sent me some health supplements. She also knew about my resignation from my former company. She offered me a teaching job at home which made my life really easy. I’m still working at home until this day, and it was because of her. I really can’t thank her enough!
Life consists of ups and downs. We meet nice and not-so-nice people all the time. Just like a rainbow, it needs rain for its bright colors to show!
“Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living.”
This article first appeared on the blog Optimistic Ryu (Everything about my POZitive life and more) here.
About the author: “A newbie blogger, an online teacher, and an HIV(+) from the Philippines. I was diagnosed last April 2014 with a baseline count of 18. I'm here to share my experiences to inspire both HIV(+)s and HIV(-)s. Life is indeed beautiful, even after my HIV diagnosis. God bless everyone.”
You can follow Optimistic RYU on twitter @RyuMPLUS.