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Question
Posted by: A friend | 2007/03/28

torn

My friend came over to visit me with her two beautiful daughters for these school holidays. I must say since they've been here I look forward to going home because I get to play with her babies and talk endlessly with her about everything.

Whats wrong with this picture then, she's HIV positive and whats good(pardon me for saying this) about this is that she's so intouch with life, God, herself, her babies... And for the first time since childhood, I am learning from her! Her positive look on life and confidence in living life, considering the condition she's in, is so inspirational! I have never experienced her like this! She just does not look at herself as sick(which I am proud of her for, because it gives her the sense to fight for her health, but nothing like "you have lost a little weight" or "did you remember to take your medication today" must be said. she gets upset! What could this mean though?

Her daughters(God keep her for them) are 9 months and 12 years old and they adore her so much and considering she's a single parent without a job, she did/is doing a great job. Last night she made me promise to take at least one of them when she's passed on. I could not promise because I felt overwhelmed, but have been thinking about as well before she asked me yesterday.

CS this drains me so much, the thought of seeing her critically ill one day and ultimately losing her, I cry secretly at her absence because I don't wnat her to see how sad this is making me. When I am here at work, I continuosly write about her in my diary and write poems about her. Her lack of admission/refusal to see that her condition will change(she refuses to face some realities about this) and her positive outlook, makes me refuse to show/tell her how I feel.

CS, as much as I do not want to make this about me, as all attention should be on/about her, how can I deal with this better or accept it better or even tell her how I feel(thats as if I am suppose to tell) I want to tell I love her, I am proud of her, I am happy she's been my friend, thats she's been more than a friend but a second sister, that yes I will look after her little ones if their father's family does not fight me ... many many things but fear it will disturb her somehow, shift her from her positivbe outlook, depress her somehow and make her think I am now sort of saying goodbye... I don't know this is just so hard for me. My stomach simple ties into knots when I think about this and I become a teary freak.

Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like, by becoming more involved in appreciating life, she has made good use of the otherwise most unfortunate situation of having become HIV positive. But of course, ideally, one would seek to achieve the same benefits without the same disadvantages. And if she resents honest, accurate and kindly comments on her weight or reminders about taking her meds, this sounds much less healthy, and more like frank Denial of the realities of the illness. She sounds ambivalent, as you mention her refusing to see that her condition will change --- yet she spoke to you about taking one or both of her children when she passes on. So the Denial isn't complete.
I don't see why you can't tell her the pleasant thoughts and feelings you have about her --- surely anyone would be pleased to hear that ? It doesn't have to come across as about saying good bye. Its about really saying "hello" --- and something friends should do more often, whether ill or not.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2007/03/28

I think that she must love and admire you very much to entrust one of her daughters to you! Share your thoughts with her as when she is gone you may regret that you didn't - with this awful death sentance hanging over her just go with what she wants and don't sweat about things that you may not agree on. - you sound really important to her. Take care.

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