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Messages By: pozitivegramma

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March 31, 2007, 7:27 am CDT

A message from an HIV + Grandmother

Hello. I am a Grandmother who has AIDS  as a result of a rape on me in 1990.
My health has fluctuated: I have good days and  I have "necessary" days - those days  when I am not doing so well. I refer to them as such because they are necessary so that I can  remember how good I feel when I am having good days.
Anyone who has not yet been tested SHOULD do yourself a favour and get tested. Trust me! The NOT KNOWING is worse than knowing is.
You owe it to yourself and any sexual partners you may have to know if you are infected with HIV.
It terrifies me to hear how so many people are of the false assumption that there are so many drugs available now that  it doesnt really matter if one becomes infected or not.
I just attended the funeral of a young woman  last week. She and her eldest and youngest child all tested positive - her middle child tested negative. She was too young to die and her children were too young to be left without their mother.
My suggestion is not to go for test results alone. Bring a friend with you. And just because one might test negative, does not  necessarily mean they do not have HIV. It could be that the test was taken too soon after infection and it hasn't yet shown up on blood work . 
It amazes me how many people think if they test negative once they will always test negative regardless of risks taken.
I am open to questions if anyone has any.
Take care and play safe!
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March 31, 2007, 7:42 am CDT

Black Sheep of my family

 Hello. I too am the black sheep of my family. Actually of my 8 sisters most of us have held this role  from time to time over the years.
To say I came from a dysfunctional family  would be putting it mildly.
Most of my sisters have different fathers. Mom struggled with alcoholism leading to abuse ( physical and emotional) towards most of us. She brought men into our home who sexually abused some of us. We all dealt with addictions in life, of one form or another.
I left the family at a young age and was put in foster care homes, some of which were sexually and physically abusive to me. I managed to get out, got married to (of course!) an abusive man, got out barely with my life, but not until he had prostituted me and introduced me to drugs.
When my mom saw the evidence of this abuse she told me I should be greatful that he had a job!
Eventually I dropped all contact with my family.
Years later, after I tested positive I had this mistaken belief that my illness would somehow bring our sick family together.  That only happens on tv LOL.
Around this same time, my second eldest sister was in hospital, telling the family that she had cancer and was booked for surgery. I spoke with her on the phone and she was reminiscing of how when she was a child and incontinent our mother would beat her for this force her to go to school smelling of urine where the other kids would tease her.  I knew I had to be there for her.
I returned to Canada and met our mother at a motel the night before this surgery. Another younger sister joined us.
The next day we were at the hospital early but not before she was taken to surgery ( They took her to OR early). Mom told the nurse she wanted to speak with the doctor after the surgery.
When my sister was returned to her room from Recovery, still unconscious, Mom went to find the doctor. I heard her yelling in the hallway and went out to discover that this sister had lied . THere was never any question of cancer. It was just "routine surgery" -  a D & C.
I literally had to tear my mother off my still unconscious sister in her room.
At that time, that sister was the black sheep, had been and continued to be for many years.
Over the years, one or more of my sisters  would contact me, I even helped one out on one occasion by allowing her to live with me until she once again got on her feet. She stole from me.
Over time I realized that this unhealthy family was keeping me sick. I had done too much therapy as an adult to continue to be involved in these kinds of dynamics and so I wished them all well and went about living my life. I was an embarrassment to my family that I speak openly about having AIDS, even though I do not have their surname.
My breaking point, or waking up point in my opinion, was when I was doing an  AIDS Awareness workshop and a grandmother of about 90 years of age approached  me, asked if she could hug me and told me that my mother must be so proud of me!
I let go that day. I had to in order to survive. I had no further contact with my family.
I am very open, have been in the news many times, have two websites etc so I am easily found.
In June as I was going through the obituaries online as I often do, to see if anyone in the AIDS Community has passed away, I found my  mothers obituary. She was to be buried out of town an hour and a half later! No one bothered to contact me.
I am happy I made the decision a year before this to write my mother a letter, addressing things that needed to be discussed. It was not an unkind letter.  She read this letter and for this I am greatful.
Sadly I felt no grief when she passed away. My therapist tells me this is because I grieved her loss my entire life.
No, I am not a cold heartless person. I am a deeply caring, loving, nurturing, honest and loyal person.
I knew for me that leaving this dysfunctional family was best for all. I have no regrets.

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