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What does family mean?
Mar 26, 2012

I am a 46 year old HIV positive gay man. I am healthy and have had good results from HAART.

But last year I told my two brothers that I am positive. They went through the motions of support but when it came down to it they wouldn't visit me or call me even when I was sick. They said many phoney things and seemed entirely lacking in empathy. In the end I got tired of pretending their reaction was ok and so I told them in emails how I felt about their response. At the time this was a great relief. But they never responded to the emails. (6 months ago now.) I had hoped that telling them how I was feeling about their response might open the door to communication. I now, sort of, accept that that was a forlorn hope.

But hardly a day goes by when I don't think of them and ask myself how they can not respond.

My mother died of cancer last year and the three of us nursed her for 8 months as she slowly fell apart. It was terrible.

Now I have no family at all it seems and don't understand why it has to be this way.

I really think my brothers saw the opportunity to completely separate from me when I told them how their response had affected me. But I am in shock that they could do so.

How do I resolve this situation in my mind. I've had lots of counselling but it hasn't helped.

With thanks for any thoughts you may have.

S

Response from Rev. Brown

My Friend: I am saddened to hear about your family situtation as family is one of the greatest blessings we have. Sometimes with family we get distant because we struggle at accepting decisions that family members make, also we don't know how to support certain things and this creates a rift in the family relationship. I will say that when it comes to commuicating with family especially siblings the best way is to have a face to face as opposed to an email or text conversation. Because sometimes emails and texts can be misinterpreted and misunderstood. Though things are difficult right now, I would encourage you to reach out to your siblings to have a time to meet. If that does not work don't get upset, but allow yourself to see who is with you during this time, as sometimes the closet family we have is the family that is found in a good friend, or friends.



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