Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carlton's Story living with HIV; A Kind soul, and with an empowering message tells his story for the first time

My life the last two years
I am writing this note to enlighten and open your mind to what you know and what you think you know and how not knowing the entire story can cause hurt and resentment when you judge and make accusations not knowing the entire story of one's life nor taking the time to ask, rather going on bits and pieces.  Some of you I have confided in greatly, some of you I love more then you can imagine and hold you securely in my heart, but it's been my thought that I am to lead in some way for many years now, be it the gay Martin Luther (nah position taken) be it the open minded non judgemental friend (living by example doesn't work) or the up and coming openly awesome gay actor (yea no dice there either, lol) and today I realized that Carlton's stronger then he gives himself credit, and if Carlton can live and cope with such life crippling issues, well....come up with your own conclusion you’re going to anyway.
I only ask one thing of you if you read this note, and that's you respect me. I've gotten too old to tolerate hate and disrespect, if you want to live with hate and disrespect that's fine, but you won't treat me in such a manor when I don't treat others with disrespect.
 Personally I feel it necessary for me to explain the last two years to you all so that you may possibly be able to understand the why and then when of how my mind ticks?  In April of 2009 (Also my birthday month) I was diagnosed with HIV, that same week because of the mental weight and stress of such a life altering diagnosis I went out to the bars with my friend thinking my life was over.  Wanting one last hooray, one last night with the guys, to flirt and smile and bat my blue eyes and toss my curls, to feel human and wanted just one more time.
 That night while on the side of the highway with my flashers on I was arrested for drinking and driving, sadly the officer lied in the black and white affidavit to forge my conviction, after speaking with an attorney I couldn’t afford but made payments too, he told me that if I have enough money my chances of over turning this DUI are great.  However two wrongs don’t make a right where I come from, for I should not have been behind the wheel but I also couldn’t afford to fight this crime.  My wrong and the officers wrong didn't make a right, but it's life and sadly it changed my mind of law enforcement forever especially when I was raised not to lie, yet I have done my level best to right this wrong.

The past summer didn’t help me either, being off the roads when I needed my friends and family the most brought about a great depression, and hardship upon me, being positive and then being alone was worse than death; having no one to talk to or the ability to move about freely for support was awful, a hardship I’d wish on no one.   My step father lost his leg that summer and my mother whom is overweight, with diabetes, and loss of left breast due to cancer had a heart attack from lifting and lugging my step father around.

All of the house hold duties fell upon me, and the care of my parents fell on me, while I tried to maintain employment in Maryland and suffer in silence along with trying to find a ride, hitch hiking, bumming rides and rooms to stay in to make a go of my (then) steady employment, until….

Labor day weekend I snapped, I was driving illegally to procure my income and sanity, when my mother called me from home stating she was sick and in a very bad way.  I left work early to come home and find my mother sick and covered in her own mess.  I cleaned her up and called 911 for I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to lift her in and out of the car, the shower was difficult enough.  Once the ambulance took her to the hospital I stayed behind to wash the sheets and so forth so that my step father would have a place to rest and sleep, and I then went up to the emergency room, where not one but two doctors told me without my fast actions my mother would be dead, as the tooth infection spread so fast and took her body septic within hours.
 It wasn’t a choice to break the law or not it was a choice of my mother’s life is at risk, and sadly I would take that chance again, I’m sure any human with a hint of heart would do the same.
That Sunday night after leaving the hospital I went to a friend for dinner which put me on the road home rather later then I had wanted.  At 1am in the morning two state police were waiting for me no more than 500 feet from my driveway, they pulled up behind me so fast I thought they were to hit me, and then pulled me over.  I asked the 1st trooper why I was being pulled over and he was very rude and curt asking for my information a second time, as I handed him my information through my entire body’s shaking I told the officer that my license had been suspended and he replied with; “I know”.  Entrapment?  But again even if it is entrapment it takes money to prove innocence or guilt, and if you can’t pay your guilty.
After the officers left, I locked my car and ran down my drive way in fear, depression, anger, defeat and loss, closed my door behind me and tried to commit suicide for I just couldn’t take one more hard ship.  Not to mention I was three weeks shy of getting my driving privileges restored.
In the next days to follow, I mentally broke down and physically bolted with an offer to move west, leaving my job, my home, my little possessions left to try and start over, sadly I was unsuccessful.  Since I am an only child when my mother does pass this life, these troubles would only be waiting for me upon return. 
So now I am without a car, without a job, without a income and without proper health insurance to take care of my medical condition, which I know is not the law’s issue nor those that misrepresent it, and because I had to choose against the right thing over the life of my mother I am now sentenced to 600 dollars in fines and 30 days in the York County Prison starting this December 27th.
Please take care of each other with patience and compassion, for you may not know what your friend neighbor or lover is going through, so in a favor to me, slow down, breath and let them come to you and open up without fear of being judged accused or dismissed from your life, life's precious and short, take care of you and yours.

You may contact Carlton at carltonfogle81@gmail.com, and please leave comments below.

2 comments:

  1. Carlton, wow! What can I say. I didn't know you were telling your story for the first time. Telling your story can be very liberating and empowering. I can tell you have a WHOLE lot of support on your facebook page, and that nobody has been judgemental. Your a kind soul, your story/message is empowering, and many people across the globe will no doubt find support and inspiration in your story. You did a great job telling your story. Thank you - YOU have empowered me to keep doing what I am doing.

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  2. Carlton, my best friend and one of the loves of my life- it has been said that it's not the mistakes you make, but what you do to rectify those mistakes that tests and tells your true character. You are an individual with such love, compassion and integrity in your heart and I know, from knowing you, that the things you do for yourself and others in your life is a pure intent, but sometimes with unfortunate consequences. I feel for the hardships you have endured but I am convinced it is making you stronger, it is showing you glimpses of things you might not have otherwise seen- good and bad. It's giving you experience, and perspective.....and I'm very proud of you for maintaining your strength of character throughout it all. Everyday I count myself blessed to call you my friend, and to have you call me yours.

    The heroes in life, in our lives...they are heroes because they are infallible; they are heroes because they are human, because they rise from the ashes, rise above the hardships, trials and tribulations, they stand in the face of disaster, death, denial, and disrespect and they don't let it beat them down, they weather that storm the best they can and show the rest of us what it's like to really be someone. And you are most definitely someone. You are not just my Carlton, you are my hero, too.

    love you always!
    Jenny

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