I did manage to contact a lady who has been on the journey for 12 years... couldn't believe this. I followed a contact link in the daily papers here whose one of the columnist is an HIV mother to a teenge boy. It wasn't easy... well, not at first.
I had a feeling her secretary must have known why I was there, hence the constant wide smile. Not many people smile that much here... the hot equitorial climate has given most of us a constant frown.
I started off by fidgeting around on the seat, then telling her about 'this friend of mine' who is sick with 'the virus' and I would like to know how to approach and advice her as concerning life, medication, natural well-being.... I went on and on. I don't think she was listening, but she was smiling all through. (What is it with people in this office always smiling?).
When I was finished, she looked at me for a while then said, "Now, forget about your friend for a minute and tell me about you. What has been your biggest fear with AIDS?"
That's when I let it all out. I burst out crying, told her how much I fear for my boy... told her how much I fear telling my family and friends, told her how much I fear being alive coz I don't know how much being sick will make me suffer, then told her how much I fear death right now, for I have never been this close to it (or so I think)... I told her. I went on and on. I let it all out. I had no idea how good it was going to make me feel. Writing on this blog for the few days has made my head feel a little lighter, now even my heart felt much lighter. I finished talking then looked at her and said, "I am sorry." She smiled even wider, came around her desk and gave me one tight hug.
We discussed a number of issues, she referred me to a certain doctor, and she assured me that I could visit him in confidence, she gave me some notes to go through and even invited me to their next AA (AIDS Anonymous) meeting, which is in about an hour from now.
If there is anything about AIDS I have looked forward to in my short journey, it is this. I can't wait to meet the people in this group. I don't think I will be able to share much... even though that might be expected of me, but I do hope to listen and learn from the others. I want to see if they look normal, if they are normal... if they are like me. (I must say that, for a while I have felt alone. I have felt like an alien, like I don't belong in this world, like no one will want to be associated with me anymore. I have felt like dying. I felt like hiding, and I did hide for a while. But now, I think there might be so many things I want to see, and hear, and learn. Because I want to. And because I have the chance. Yeah, I feel encouraged... don't know how long this feeling is going to last, but I might just as well make use of it now.