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Francis1211
New User

Reged: 06/04/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Europe
when and how to tell my teen kids
      #256038 - 06/04/11 11:02 AM

Hi, I am a white str8 male, married but in a major crisis since diagnosed in 2007, and am currently working on scenario on when and how to tell my kids. Wife (negative) has known -of course- since beginning but what are the considerations and possible reactions of a 19 yo daughter (at college (med school)), 17 yo son (first year college) and 15 yo son at highschool. All three still living at home. Wife and I no longer share bedroom because of marriage crisis, HIV was an additional burden on the cheating on my part and the disappointments and hurting on my wife's side. Feeling very sorry, have done a lot to reconquer her but an action plan for HIV disclosure to kids is needed to finalize the crisis. Any hints ? I have seen a few shrinks to get over this and am fully in control of my HIV - I consider it almost as a non issue (what else can I do, life goes on). I have a good position at work and no one else but wife and med staff know about this HIV. Would wanna keep it that way as a protection against stigma, discrimination, etc. Would like to hear your experiences (we live a liong way from our parents and brothers and sisters). Francis

--------------------
healthy undetectable str8 married male

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Pos_in_Thailand
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Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256050 - 06/05/11 01:00 PM

Maybe I am asking a stupid question, but why do you feel you need to tell them?

The question I ask myself when considering telling anyone is, "Is there anything positive this will bring to the relationship?" The only relationship that has had a positive resounding answer to that question is with my girlfriend, who is the only one who knows (and she was with me at the time I was diagnosed).

I do not plan to tell my children - not out of shame, but because I don't want to worry them. I just don't see anything beneficial from them knowing. My girlfriend (my life partner) and I have grown so close from me being diagnosed and her being there with me when the doctor gave me the news, but I do not see any reason to disclose to anyone else.

It's a very personal choice, that is different for everyone and each relationship. But, you must consider this: once it is out, it is out, period. For me, unless I see something really beneficial to the relationship by the other person knowing, I keep it to myself, but that is just me. You have to do what you feel is best.

I do have a question for you, would your children knowing help mend the rift between you and your wife? Have you asked her how she would feel if they knew? I would take her feelings into consideration since you are still married, and I would guess, are hoping to be happy together again one day.

These are just some thoughts I have, but I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide to do, and do understand your struggles, as a parent, as whether to disclose to your children or not.

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Francis1211
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Reged: 06/04/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Europe
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256053 - 06/05/11 04:44 PM

Dear Pos in Thailand,
Very good point you made. Why tell them at all ! The issue is that in order to save my relationship-marriage, my wife wants a scenario in terms of "what to say if one day they find out". I am kinda thorne between telling them myself directly and actively, just to be honest with them, or waiting until one day they find out through a lapsus, find my meds, or I am in an emergency situation where one of them has to go and get my meds, for example. But the main issue is that I want to be ready since my wife has this as a major obstacle to move on. She is not at all asking me to disclose and leaves it up to me but just does not wants to be prepared. She also has an issue with not being open and honest to them herself since she knows but no one else. This is probably different than when your girl friend knows (but she is not the mother of your children and has thus no parental link to them - or maybe I got it wrong since I do not know what her links with your kids are). And I am not so sure that younger people would really woory, they can get education about it, and already do at school. My older parents are a different story and them, I would not want to disclose to because of the worries they would have, especially since we love far away from each other and I am not around to reassure and educate them.
Take care.

--------------------
healthy undetectable str8 married male

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crabmanModerator
Veteran

Reged: 03/10/11
Posts: 1272
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256061 - 06/06/11 08:51 AM

My kids have known since they were in their early teens. It's was brought up in a matter of fact manner and was always handled as such. Any questions they had over the years were answered honestly.

I did this for several reasons.

1) Secrets cause their own problems.
2) For their own protection in case they ever found me bleeding and unconscious.
3) Along with this knowledge and frank conversations about sex and safer sex. They understood the importance of condoms.

The benefit is they grew up with an understanding of HIV that helps to dissipate some of the stigma one family at a time.

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alive2
Regular

Reged: 03/08/07
Posts: 342
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256069 - 06/06/11 12:00 PM

let me help you here, if i can. i too am a straight male, married for going on 20 years. as you, i was horrified on how to tell my kids, i kicked the notion around alot before i came out and told them to sit down for a conversation about sex and protection of std s .
before you know it the conversation turned into a full out sex talk, and for me, being my daughter was only 15, son 14, they actually listened to the full weight of what i was saying.
althought my daughter really didnt take it to heart as well as i wanted at least i felt i did what i felt i needed to do.
they need to know when you are ready to talk, there is no real age of when its right. waiting could be the wrong thing, especially at their ages, they are at the sexual age of life.
all in all, it all depends on when your ready to talk about it.
and also you having a child in med school, you are in a unique place, that they may know more than you think, but untill you deceide to open up on this issue, them knowing what you are coping with is all in the dark. they may also give you more support than you think they are able to, be it if only moral support thats enough for me. good luck, take care

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alive2
Regular

Reged: 03/08/07
Posts: 342
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256070 - 06/06/11 12:04 PM

good points on this crabman

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lincolnsense
New User

Reged: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256129 - 06/10/11 08:19 AM

Hi - I am in a similar situation - married (wife neg), diagnosed in 2008, son age 20. We have not disclosed to our son yet. I received a very helpful "disclosure worksheet" from the HIV support group I attend at a local hospital. It has many good things to think about regarding disclosure. If you are interested, I'll try to figure out how to post it! This is my first post ever. New to the forum. Thanks

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BigSis
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Reged: 06/09/11
Posts: 6
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256163 - 06/13/11 12:37 AM

This is a tough situation, here is my story and I donít know if it is the right or wrong way to deal with the situation, it is what it is. My little brother told me a few years ago and asked me not to say anything to anyone else in the family. It was hard, because I worried about him and couldn't share that concern. His behavior started getting very erratic, he was being a total ass and began to alienate those who were closest to him. I ended up confiding in my sister, so she could understand what was going on with him. It was extremely hard on her; she wanted to talk to him but didnít want to pry into his life. We kept it between us, until he ended up in the hospital so sick we had to call the rest of the family in, all anyone cared about was getting him healthy. We all felt so relieved to be able to discuss it openly and he is able to talk to us now. That is my experience, I donít know if there is a right way? People make mistakes, no one is perfect. If you choose to tell your kids they are old enough to understand, it will not be easy, they will be hurt and scared but, they will always love you.

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alive2
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Reged: 03/08/07
Posts: 342
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256167 - 06/13/11 12:52 AM

well said bigsis

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LostNconfused
Member

Reged: 12/29/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Indiana
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256235 - 06/18/11 11:43 PM

I was diagnosed Dec. 22, 2010 and I worried A LOT about how and when to tell my children, they were 20 & 23 at the time. I did not take my diagnosis very easily and with being 3 days before Christmas, I would break down and cry very often. My kids and I are really close and share a lot of things so after just 2 wks I just said "I just need to do this". So I sat them down and told them and then explained to them that it is controllable nowadays and I gave them the name of this site if they felt they needed to talk to anyone or ask questions that I could not answer. My daughter did run out of the room screaming and my son was angry. But it didn't take long (later that evening) for them to know I was going to be ok and now I keep them informed on my health. But to my amazement, they were more educated on HIV then I was!

It did lighten my burden but I think it all has to do with what kind of relationship you and your children have. My kids are also still at home and I knew I could not hide my tears around corners for much longer cause they know when something is wrong.

I wish you the best of luck

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trustGod
New User

Reged: 06/21/11
Posts: 1
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256268 - 06/21/11 05:38 PM

You have a lot to deal with, I can speak from experience with what you are dealing with. I too was diagnosed in 2007 and have a young child.

The good news is that the issue of HIV is not the end of the world nor is it your problem. Its the lingering effect of prior sins. Sins which most all of us deal with (so your not alone). Its what you choose to do now that will change things in the future.

The best advice to give you would to turn the burden of this disease including your past infidelities over to God, ask for forgiveness and get right with your relationship with Him first.

Once this occurs the changes in your life habits and frankly who you are will be a testimony to your family about the great person you can be.

With regards to your wife, remember that sexual infidelity takes time to heal, trust has been broken and consistant God like behavior will change her perspective. I know I had to do it myself.

With regards to your children. Why do you feel that you have to tell them? Ask yourself is it to make yourself feel better or them. The burden of HIV has many negative consequeses for exhisitng family members that frankly dont need to be burdened with that problem.

I have made the choice to insulate my daughter from my consequenses. i do this by taking care of myself, exercising eating right and seeking the best medical care that i can afford. For all practical purposes I am healthly and she has no need to know about a few poor choices I made a long time ago.

I hope this helps and I will be praying for you and your family.

God bless.







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Francis1211
New User

Reged: 06/04/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Europe
Re: when and how to tell my teen kids new
      #256730 - 07/26/11 04:45 AM

Hi,
Now several weeks after my question on this Board, my wife, our marriage counselor and myself have gone over the various issues related with disclosing or not. At the stage where we are at now in our relation (or what is left of it), it was felt best not to disclose (yet). I somehow feel like a coward but also relieved not having to face this as we are currently both very vulnerable because of what has happened and we may need to get more strength before doing so. For various other reasons too, our three teens have in the mean time also taking some distance from us and we are not in a stable enough situation to handle it well altogether. But following my posting here, someone had shared a disclosure sheet with me which was very helpful in reflecting on the pros and cons of disclosing. In the mean time I also went back for my half yearly lab results are they were just GREAT (T4-cells are 500+, VL undetectable, all others indicate a perfectly healthy (!) man - Woof). Thanks again to all of you who shared their views and I will keep an eye on this Board. You have been GREAT too.

--------------------
healthy undetectable str8 married male

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