Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lavishing Love

My own family has long struggled with accepting my husband's HIV status. When we first announced we were getting married, there was a huge blow-up...nasty words were spoken, bitter tears were shed, and many years without contact were spent. None of my family members attended our wedding.  I came to understand very quickly, as I've said in this blog before, that you have to allow people room to react. And you have to let go of your own expectations of how people should react or behave when you make the decision to disclose something personal. This realization saved me from staying bitter and resentful toward my family.  I understood they were reacting from a place of fear and lack of knowledge.

I spent many years pursuing them...rebuilding our relationships.  We could not engage in healthy discussions, so for 5 years, we stopped speaking.  It was a good decision on all our each other room.  (We lived 2,000 miles apart so that helped us give each other room too) I mailed cards on holidays and mailed gifts on birthdays.  And after a couple years, I'd leave voicemails on holidays and birthdays...they never picked up when I called.  Once we hit our 5 year anniversary, they suddenly understood that my relationship with my husband was not- negotiable. They realized they could not control my choices and decisions.  My sister came for a short visit from out of town.  Then we flew to them for Christmas...and slowly but surely, we began rebuilding our family dynamics.  We would never be the same, none of us.  We spent the 5 years apart, and now - suddenly - we were back to being a family, but we were all different people.

Through all those years, everyone would tell me, "Wait until you have children.  They will come around." And they certainly have come around. Big Time.

It is amazing what this new child has done for our family.  With her chubby cheeks, and wispy hair, she has rebuilt us all.  She has brought us to a place far better than any of us could have dreamed of or imagined...our family unit has been made whole.  They lavish their love upon her, and upon us too. And it feels like we never missed out on those 5 years.  Don't know which is the greater miracle, her birth or our family's healing.


Anonymous said...

you may not know it, but you've touched mine and so many other peoples getting married in a few months time, family doesnt want to be part of my day and i've been battling to accept it.what you are saying is true, i should allow them breathing space as well. but wat i am battling with is forgiving after the bitter words that have been said. time heals and hopefully one day they will come around. i wish you and your family all the best.

Anonymous said...

you post made me so emotional, maybe because it hit close to home. im currently going through the same situation, planning our wedding has become so hard, i feel my life has turned into something i never imagined. i dont know my family, they are not the same people i grew up with, my mother has sad such bitter words im struggling to move past them. no one talks about my wedding, no one is asking if i need help, everyone stands up to leave when i mention my husband's name. i feel alone. i hope one day things will be much better for me as well, but i must also accept that they may not.

hopefulinlove said...

I can't imagine having to deal with the pain of my family's rejection amd fear. I am so new in my relationship that only three of my closest friends know about my boyfriend's status. I admire all of you for your courage! Poprock - you have pioneered a group a beautifully courageous and loyal women to come together and gain strength!!! Reading what everyone is going through really encourages me to believe that one day, our tenacity will pay off! Have lovely evenings, sister women!!

Anonymous said...

Hai,it so good to have unity in a family and am happy the baby has brought so much happiness in the uncles have stopped communicating with us from the day my husband announced his status two yrs after the wedding.we r now trying to concieve and considerd uo advice of taking the drugs but most of all am beliving God for my miracle baby and thank u for uo story.