I know it has been forever since I’ve written a blog. In my defense, it has been CRAZY around here in the almost two months since I last blogged…
Most importantly, our sweet baby girl was born! Lillian joined us on June 14th at 11:38PM. She is perfect and we are all so in love with her! She came a little earlier than her estimated July 1st arrival but we were mostly prepared.
On to HIV related news:
A little over a month ago I had to out my status. I wasn’t ready AT ALL, I didn’t want to do it (especially not via a Facebook post), but I wasn’t given much choice.
A former ‘friend’ got angry with me. I deleted her off of my Facebook because she had some friends on her page that I did not want any sort of link to. I did not get angry with her, I didn’t say anything, I wasn’t giving her any sort of ultimatum as far as ‘it’s me or them’, and I wasn’t even ending our ‘friendship’. I just deleted her off of Facebook. She LOST it! She completely went off on me, not in person, not in a phone call or text; she blasted it all over her Facebook. Since I had deleted her I wouldn’t have known except my husband doesn’t get on Facebook often and hadn’t deleted her yet but when he did log on there she was…
A little background on this friendship before I go any further. The only reason I know this girl is because she dated and then married my husband’s best friend (J from my first blog ‘Introducing’). She is not the type of person I normally befriend. She is high-drama, seriously uncouth, and just not the kind of friend I seek out. Since we loved J so much we gave her a chance. I made myself see the good in her, to focus on the positive. I overlooked a lot that I disliked. Their relationship has always been back and forth and my husband and I decided that, because our children get so attached to people, until she and J quit bouncing back and forth we just didn’t want him to bring her around. Start the first round of drama!
She didn’t start anything with us, but J decided to tell her that I was positive. I guess maybe this was his way of FORCING us to accept her into our lives. If she knew my secret we’d have to be nice to her. It worked.
They bounced back and forth, breaking up and making up. We stayed as uninvolved as we could while still playing nice. Eventually, in April of last year, they got married. They were married MAYBE a month before they split up again. During that month they learned that she was pregnant with her ex’s baby (they hadn't been back together long enough for it to be J’s). We felt sorry for her. No one deserves to be pregnant and alone. We accepted her into our lives, truly became her friends. A lot of good that did us…
Flash forward to mid-May 2012 and my deleting her from my Facebook and her subsequent rants against me. When she started posting her veiled posts (never calling me out directly by name but always referring to things that applied to me) I ignored them, kept my mouth shut. To make a long story shorter, ignoring the problem did not make it go away. I responded to one thing and she REALLY went off, this time on my HIV status. She copied facts about mother-to-child HIV transmission. Then she started talking about how the ‘whore with AIDS’ was intentionally trying to infect her innocent husband. Then she posted that pregnant women with AIDS needed to fall down a flight of stairs to spare their child…
She texted me, she posted about me, I didn’t respond. Then she started posting my name. I spoke to a police detective who told me that there was little that I could realistically do with what had taken place so far but he advised me to send her a single text to tell her that I did not wish to receive any further communication from her. If she continued once asked to stop then we could go to the D.A. He also advised that I take the opportunity to tell everyone myself that I was positive, that it would be better if it came from me, rather than someone like her. That got her going on Facebook again, omitting my name of course.
After talking to my husband and lots of consideration I decided to go ahead and tell people I was positive. There were too many people and at the rate that she was going I didn’t have time to sit down and tailor a conversation to each person. Mass Facebook posting it would have to be!
This is what I posted:
"This is not something I wanted to do but I have been forced into it by someone who is hateful and vindictive so here goes...
Almost 5 years ago, on November 26, 2007 I was diagnosed as being HIV+. I didn't contract the virus from being a whore (as has been insinuated by certain people) or from doing drugs. I was in a 4-year relationship. I don't hate him for giving it to me and I am not going to put his name and business out there.
I am healthy. I am probably healthier than a lot of people who are negative. I see a specialist every three months. I take medication that keeps the virus under control. I am not a danger to anyone, including my husband or my unborn child. Before Eric and I made the decision to get pregnant we saw four different doctors, our family doctor, my gynecologist, and two different specialists. We completely educated ourselves on the dangers to him, the baby, and also to me. As of my last OB appointment last Thursday the doctor assured me that there is virtually no risk of Lilly being infected.
I'd prefer to not be anyone's source of gossip but I have no control over what anyone who reads this decides to do with this information. The reason I am having to say anything at all is because someone my husband trusted told his extremely unstable girlfriend (now wife) and since she has decided she doesn't like me she is spreading it to anyone who will listen to her. I will not be threatened and I will not be persecuted by people that are mentally, economically, socially, and spiritually below me. I will no longer live in fear of this secret coming out. I am deciding to put it out there so that when her version continues to spread hopefully the truth will overcome it.
I am still the same person I was before you knew I was positive. I am still the friend, family member, former classmate, co-worker, whatever. I am no danger to you, I am no danger to your children. I would really appreciate being treated as such. If my status is not something that you can handle or deal with, I ask that you delete me and leave it at that. I am 7-1/2 months pregnant and cannot take much more than what I have been dealing with already. If you feel the need to confront me or be rude or hateful, please save it until after my child is born. My primary concern is her health and safety.
Most importantly, if you have ANY questions, feel free to ask. Having to live with this for so many years now I am pretty well educated,and if I don't know the answer I can find it or point you in the right direction. HIV can happen to anyone, I just drew the short straw.”
And wow! I have to say I have some amazing people in my life… The love and support that was posted in response was overwhelming. I cried so much that night. Not one person said anything hateful and everyone has been so supportive since!
I guess my point is that maybe those of us who are not open with our status should give more credit to those people in our lives. Whether they know we’re positive or not, they have made the choice to be our friend. Even if they are scared, that is an opportunity for us to educate them and ease their fears. I’m not saying to go scream ‘I have HIV’ from the rooftops, I realize that those of us who live in the closet with our status do so for a reason, all I am saying is give your friends and your family a chance to know the real you. To fully love you and support you. Afterall, if they can’t handle your status then they don’t really love you, right? Whether we like it or not, HIV is a part of us.