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Author Topic: Disclosing to Close Parents...  (Read 2182 times)

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Offline 1228GUY

  • Member
  • Posts: 64
Disclosing to Close Parents...
« on: February 08, 2010, 01:49:05 PM »
Hello Everyone!

I would be really grateful if some of you would care to share your experience of Disclosing HIV/AIDS status to a parent that you are real close with.  I intend on telling my mother tonight or tomorrow.  Again, the plans for today get a bit sidetracked because of a Sore Throat and need to go to urgent care to make absolutely positive that it's nothing serious, being that my T-Cell count was 172 and not on any ARV's yet.

Can someone just let me know some of the fears surrounding the disclosure prior to it, whether some of those fears were granted or not once coming out and disclosing diagnosis?  I keep having dreams in which she is ok when she hears the news, sad but ok and then other dreams where she is so angry at me and doesnt want to talk to me again.  While some people do say it's my business and I really dont have to tell her if I dont want to but if my mother were dealing with a chronic illness, I would not want her to bear that cross all on her own.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!!!
12.28.09 - Rcvd call I should test
12.29.09 - Confirmed
01.19.10 - VL 30015  CD4 172
03.18.10 - VL 1627    CD4 193
04.15.10 - VL 965      CD4 248
07.09.10 - VL 227      CD4 233 (19%)
08.12.10 - VL 99        CD4 280 (18%)
12.03.19 - VL 79        CD4 262 (21%)
02.09.11 - VL 90        CD4 376 (19%)
05.20.11 - VL 106      CD4 196 (25%)
06.23.11 - VL 82        CD4 289
08.05.11 - VL UD       CD4 286
11.04.11 - VL 54        CD4 305
03.02.12 - VL UD       CD4 523
04.30.12 - VL 74
08.12.12 - VL 153      CD4 353
11.15.12 - VL 43        CD4 443
01.11.13 - VL 39       
03.29.12 - VL UD        CD4 640
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
Truvada.Norvir.Prezista - Serostim HGH

Offline Hellraiser

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,136
  • Semi-misanthropic
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 02:07:40 PM »
My mother had just lost her mother, but I had just found out when I told her.  She cried a lot.  Didn't want me to hug her because she was afraid I could infect her.  My advice would be to grab some literature to inform her, and then tell her, answer any questions, and then let her read on her own.  DO NOT let her read about all the aids related illnesses at first because she will think you're about to die.  I haven't told my father yet but we're not particularly close so I don't know if I'll tell him anytime soon.

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 02:14:12 PM »
Hi 1228,

I was diagnosed in March '06 (along with my partner / now husband).  I disclosed to a very few really close friends.  I wanted to disclose to my family - mainly my mom and my sister - but didn't know how to do it.  We don't generally keep those kinds of secrets in the family.  I felt pretty stupid about becoming infected in the first place, which made it even more difficult to talk about.  I had decided that I'd wait until I went on meds, had become undetectable, and was doing well.  I'm not sure if it was a legitimate reason or another way of procrastinating.  Wanting to disclose but not being able to caused caused me a great deal of anxiety and stress.  In fact, I had anxiety attacks on a pretty regular basis.

Months later (Oct - Nov '06) I started feeling pretty crappy.  By late Nov, I was barely able to do much of anything physical due to shortness of breath.  At Thanksgiving, at my mom's house, I could barely eat and had to go lay down.  A few days later, I was admitted to the hospital with a nasty case of PCP pneumonia.  I was told that I'd be there for 'at least a few days to a week' and knew that I'd have to tell my mom.  I had a pretty high level of oxygen and was felling good from the buzz!  This made the decision much easier.  She came to visit that first day, and I told her about it.  She didn't seem all that surprised.  I asked her about that a few months ago, and she said that she really wasn't that shocked; she knew something was wrong with me.  She could tell I didn't feel good, but I didn't seem too upset about it.  The fact that I didn't seem concerned about or talk about not feeling good told her that something was wrong with me, and that I just hadn't disclosed.  My mom told my sister and, I told my dad, who's an MD. 

I have never experienced anything resembling negativity from my family or friends... hell, from anybody at all.  They ask how my numbers are, how I'm doing, etc.  If anything, we seem to be closer now.  If you feel that you should disclose, you probably have an idea of how your mom will handle it.  No matter what, being honest about something important (like my being HIV+) has ever caused me any problems.  I wish the same for you.  Good luck and take care.

David

Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,106
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 05:54:05 PM »
My mother is from the "old school" and I was terrified of disclosing to her. We are close and I knew she had to know. I also knew it would devastate her (I'm an only child).

She was the first person I told. I was a mess and sobbing so much I could barely get the words out. I was always the strong one in our relationship, so it was ten times worse for me because I was now a blubbering mess in her presence.

When she finally half-way understood what I was trying to tell her, she said "You have Aids? How long do you have left?? (she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I love her). Hearing her question I went from sobbing to busting out laughing, I told her I am not going to die anytime soon. She then said "well then why are you crying, get ahold of yourself" and gave me the best motherly hug complete with the "there, there..It's going to be fine".

She is now my biggest supporter, she still thinks I have AIDS, but we are working on that and she's making progress. :)

I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Overall, Moms are Moms no matter what we throw at them, and Thank God for that.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline karry

  • Member
  • Posts: 271
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 06:30:50 PM »
I called my mum from the clinic as soon as I got my results. So it was an unplanned disclosure. I blurted it out to her there and then....I never even stopped to think about what her reaction would be.

She said this: "So you have HIV, you are still my daughter and I love you even more"....then I started sobbing. She has never cried about it to the best of my Knowledge, and she is part of my support system. She has never asked me how? why? who....all she wants to know is if I am okay and if I am happy.

Mothers will always love us...through thick or thin.

I hope your disclosure goes well.
Goodluck.
K


Edited to add: there are moments we still have issues because I feel she has not completely accepted my status. However, the love and support is unending.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 06:53:18 PM by karry »
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline blondbeauty

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,784
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 07:08:04 PM »
I was diagnosed in 2005 and I have not disclosed to my family, but I have disclosed to almost all of my friends as well as to some friends of my parents, just in case something happens and I can not tell them personaly.
Now I donīt feel the need to tell them. I am healthy and I hope to be for a long time. I am sure my parents would understand it and I know what they think about HIV. But now I donīt see the reason for telling then. Even if they know I am not going to die, it would take away their peace of mind and I donīt want that.
Maybe if I am in the hospital due to HIV or for any other problem, I would have to tell them for the same reason I would have to tell the Drs.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,959
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 07:46:58 PM »
Hi 1228guy -
I told my parents as soon as I was diagnosed in 9/08 and they outwardly took the news pretty well.  We have a pretty good relationship, they know I'm gay and have met my partner, etc.  Since I have told them, they are pretty much in denial about it --- almost like "don't ask, don't tell."  They don't bring it up and if I do they quickly change the subject.  Friends have told me not to stress over it as this is probably their way of dealing with it --- not to deal with it.  I know overall they are supportive though and I feel better knowing that they are aware of it, so at least I can keep them informed and if something ever were to occur they would not be totally in the dark.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Rev. Moon

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,782
  • Smart ass faggot Đ
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 11:30:34 PM »
Guy,

If the two of you are close, and you present this information without taking a fatalistic approach, she will understand, accept, and support you.  Mothers know best.

When I first found out, my mum happened to be away in Spain.  The first family member that I disclosed it to was my [younger] sister, who was supportive but had really bad memories of what we went through with my ex who had AIDS.  I did it in a rather direct [almost pragmatic] and absolutely not dramatic way so that she wouldn't panic.  Nonetheless she felt that she needed support and thereby she was the one who told mother upon her return. 

Because one mum's best friends lives with HIV, because she worked in a field where she dealt with many people who were poz, and because she was there back in the aforementioned ordeal (she herself having lost a couple of friends to AIDS back in the early and mid-90s) she was not devastated or angry, showing instead incredible strength, love, and support.  She makes sure to ask about my numbers and my health in general.  To some extent I feel that our relationship is better after she became aware of my status.

Disclosure can bring you some peace of mind, especially if it is someone that you really care about.  There is no need to hide or endure things all by yourself.  Whether it was to my sis, bro, mum, spouse, ex, my closest friends, or anyone that I felt like I wanted to share this info with it has only made things better for me.

I hope that it all goes well for you.

Best wishes, M.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Okealyshire

  • Member
  • Posts: 139
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 03:02:06 AM »
Happy to read about the successful, if stressful, disclosure experiences here. Alas, I'm not sure I could ever replicate that.

I'm the older of two male children (me 44, brother 41). He got involved in several shady gambling problems, disappeared for a few weeks, jailed for identity theft, divorced from first wife, abandoned by second wife...generally a disappointment for my parents. [Aside: I had a college writing assignment to use an event of a family member to describe their personality. While sitting in the living room trying to come up with something, he pulls his car into the driveway, walks in the house, brandishes a speeding ticket, and slams the door with his fist -- thus pounding a 1/2" five-finger dent into the 8-gauge steel door. Instant topic for story!]

Eventually my brother got his act together, released from prison early on good behavior, landed a job he's kept for several years, got back together with wife #1, and is working to adopt a child she had during their time apart. We're all very proud of him.

Yet...despite my living 3,000 miles from the rest of my family...I sense in my parents this strong "good son/bad son" attitude. Or more like "proud son/not-so-proud son" resignation. They're both in their 70s now, happily retired, and generally feeling quite good about their station in life (especially after my mother's successful battle with breast cancer). I can't help but think that if I revealed my status (not to mention my orientation) to them that it would just completely shatter whatever's left of their notion of family dignity. Keep in mind everyone in my entire family, except myself, lives smack in the middle of the American midwest, complete with exquisitely manicured lawns and lives that revolve around their churches. I live in that godless northwest corner of the devil's playground.

I've resigned to keeping my status to myself, and honestly don't agonize over the choice. Telling the family now, at this point in time, would be good for no one, and would quite possibly cause irreparable damage. Not sure how all this might affect your decision, 1228; hope that at least it gives you another example of the varied experiences you'll find from of all of us here on the boards. I wish you the best of outcomes no matter what decision you make.

Offline 1228GUY

  • Member
  • Posts: 64
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 03:04:24 AM »
I want to thank everyone who took the time to read and especially those who took the time to share their experience, show support and offer advice.  So I had the dreaded conversation with my mother and all of you were right.  I could have not hoped for anything better.  Looking back to December 2008 she said that back when I 0-converted she figured it was HIV but was in denial. but that she knew those symptoms I had back then were most likely because of an HIV infection.  She did cry a bit and I do know that she will have a few tough days ahead dealing with this.  She completely remember our conversation from '99 when I disclosed I was gay.  She remembered telling me that she could not believe her most handsome son was gay, that I would have no children and she was afraid I would end up with AIDS.  I KNEW she would remember that conversation and we both kind of smiled at each other when I said.... I KNEW SHE WOULD REMEMBER  She said we will both get through this together.  That it may be tough at times but I'm not alone.  She did say she was afraid of the unknown but I reassured her that I am taking care of my health and I'm making all the right choices.  We talked for about bit over an hour and I have felt GREAT relief by letting her know what is going on.  She wasn't as shocked as I thought she would be, obviously, it's been a fear of hers because I am gay and let me state it has nothing to do with ignorance, while it is not a gay thing, male to male anal intercourse w/out protection is the highest risk, and she is aware of that so I believe that's where the not being so shocked part came in but nonetheless she was heartbroken but very very supportive!!!!!!

Thanks again for the great support!!!
12.28.09 - Rcvd call I should test
12.29.09 - Confirmed
01.19.10 - VL 30015  CD4 172
03.18.10 - VL 1627    CD4 193
04.15.10 - VL 965      CD4 248
07.09.10 - VL 227      CD4 233 (19%)
08.12.10 - VL 99        CD4 280 (18%)
12.03.19 - VL 79        CD4 262 (21%)
02.09.11 - VL 90        CD4 376 (19%)
05.20.11 - VL 106      CD4 196 (25%)
06.23.11 - VL 82        CD4 289
08.05.11 - VL UD       CD4 286
11.04.11 - VL 54        CD4 305
03.02.12 - VL UD       CD4 523
04.30.12 - VL 74
08.12.12 - VL 153      CD4 353
11.15.12 - VL 43        CD4 443
01.11.13 - VL 39       
03.29.12 - VL UD        CD4 640
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
Truvada.Norvir.Prezista - Serostim HGH

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,767
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 03:27:57 AM »
I'm glad things went well with your mom.  It is good for some family member to know your status.  My biggest thing about going totally public is giving the so-called religious members of my family the ability to say, "See, if you're gay, you get AIDS."  I know I should not care what they think.  I just don't want to give them that.  Those are the crazy aunt and uncle.  My parents are totally cool with me being gay and I'm sure they would be supportive about my HIV.  I will probably tell them at some point.

Your experience has given me another reason to let them know.  I'm so glad it went well for you.  And, it shows how perceptive mothers are.  She knew something was wrong.


Offline Angel-Ronnie

  • Member
  • Posts: 434
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 05:08:47 AM »
it is never easy disclosing specially to parents and siblings, nor any of the family for what it is worth. I was totally estranged from my family. in 2006 was diagnosed and had to deal with hiv on my own for at least 18 months. no-one to talk to share or vent. and the few that i thought i can find comfort in....well they are now part of my past and i don't do bagage that well i'm no camel nor a mule to carry that crap. to much of my personality will be consumed by that...grrrrrr

so you wonder how does this come to a point well not in my pants, but when i disclosed i had to do it on e-mail hoping to bring my family together, well it didn't so back to the drawing board (no pun intended as i am a Mechanical Draughtsperson). so in october 2007 i just stopped at moms place and had a family meeting. all was there asked why us??.......and this was my attitude.... well it wasn't about them it is about me for the first time in my life. so after all the tears and educating all ,I suggested them do reading on the subject, ok only mother did the others are we know all of it, if not better....well not this time as i am the one living life with hiv not them. yet mom and dad cried with me help me a bit and held me some more....... dad and i took a drive and chatted so the beauty is he understood held my hand and assuring me that he will never turn his back on me as i am still his son, again the tears but this time he had to take the steering because i cried worse than a school girl that lost her virginity and had blurry vision. Mom and i had a talk and she started reading up and educating herself.. fabulous girlfriend to have....

well 4 years down the line i lost dad to cancer and have distanced myself from the siblings as they serve me nothing except jealousy as i am more successful in my career and on the social front as i say hiv is not me but in me.... i live life, not hiv.........

it is how your relationship is with your parents and that can make a difference. the way you approach in telling them don't come accross as aggresive but humble and with empathy. empathy but not sympathy as they don't do well with it neither do I... i don't do pitty parties..... neither do i do the sympathy concert on robin island.......
Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill
An' ye harm none, do what ye will.

What ye send forth comes back to thee,
so ever mind the Law of three,
follow this with mind and heart,
Merry ye meet, and merry ye part.

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Disclosing to Close Parents...
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 11:33:13 AM »
Looking back to December 2008 she said that back when I 0-converted she figured it was HIV but was in denial. but that she knew those symptoms I had back then were most likely because of an HIV infection.  

I'm really happy that it went so well!  The part above is kind of what my mom said; they know theses things somehow.  I guess it's just part of being a mother.  My mom and I had the 'I'm gay' conversation back in '98 when I was still married to my (now ex-)wife.  She was concerned that I'd be lonely and end up with AIDS.  One out of two isn't so bad; I'm definitely not lonely but do have AIDS!   ;)  I'm sure you'll be able to deal with HIV knowing that you don't have to keep secrets or do it alone.  Now, with 172 t-cells, it's might be time to consider meds! 
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

 


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