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Accept and Acclimate

By B. Osten

March 5, 2013

At our last couple counseling session, "Accept and Acclimate" was the phase my partner used in reference to living with HIV/AIDS. He went on to say that as a society we are defined by our status. To him, it was just another form of oppression. Our way of life. Our fact of life.

Keeping with this premise in mind, I became curious of how many other things in our life we felt we had to "Accept and Acclimate" to. I began searching for other parallels in relation to my partner and myself based on this assumption.

There is no disputing that my partner and myself are literally "polar" opposites. Against the laws of physics we were magnetically draw together the moment we met. Because of this strange phenomenon our worlds were turned upside down. In order for our relationship to survive this new dawn, we had to learn to coexist, so to speak. In other words, "Accept and Acclimate".

In an even stranger twist of fate, on Valentine's Day, I was having one of those heartfelt moments with my partner's eighty-six year old mother. When suddenly, I was overcome by a desperate need for affirmation on her thoughts of my five year journey with her son and our alternative lifestyle before her thoughts were lost to dementia. So, I confidently posed the question to her. Well, lo and behold! Instilled throughout the ages, her answer held the test of time. "Accept and Acclimate", she simply responded.

For all the wrong reasons, it left me with a sense of misgivings and false expectations. A feeling of forlorn hope. As I played those words over and over in my head, I became more confused and more distraught. Not until I heard myself repeatedly say them out loud did I finally understand the true voice behind those words. "Accept and Acclimate". Our way of life? Our fact of life?

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