I don’t know how many times I’ve come to this space and just stared blankly at the clean open page that’s waiting for me to dirty it with my writing.
Sometimes it’s just too many thoughts that stop me from writing and other times it’s just intimidation because for a while now I’ve been feeling like this is no longer my space but other people’s.
I suppose it didn’t help matters to have WordPress send me messages of followers, although I do appreciate the gesture of writing something interesting enough to have subscribers, I must admit it does come with its own pressures…probably more self inflicted than anything else but it is what it is.
So because of that, I took some time off because I wanted my thoughts to be my own and not something a subscriber would be scrutinizing and judging as worthy, wrong or right.
In that time alone, I found myself yet I assure you it wasn’t the easiest journey to undertake but it had to be done at some point and I’m glad I did.
I learned a lot of very painful lessons about myself, the kind of person I am as well as the one I have been. It’s not always easy being me but I had to swallow a few bitter pills to get to where I am today.
My past has been intimidating me for the longest while to the point that I would get palpitations when I would think about some of the things I’ve been through and all the messed up situations I willingly put myself in.
Hindsight is perfect 20/20 vision I swear and it’s kinda freaky how we always learn the lessons after the effect. I am not complaining though, this is Life and we must live it as best as we feel we can at any given moment.
Without realizing it I’ve been playing the victim hoping for empathy not because I wanted people feeling sorry for me but because I was so empty inside. I did it mainly because I was hoping for a deep sense of Love that I haven’t felt in a long while.
I did mention that at times it is difficult being me.
In 2006, five months into my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with HIV and even though I never fully realized or took cognizance of its impact and effects in my life, it has been one of the most painful things to ever have to deal with.
When the Doctor told me, my immediate response was shock though I put on an “I don’t care either way” face. My first priority was protecting my then unborn child and finding ways of giving him enough love for the little time I thought I had left.
Never at any point did I think about the misconceptions and the judgements that come from people and most importantly how they would affect me.
For the longest time I convinced myself that I’m fine and I’m tough and I’m strong…which is all true but how much of it was really real to me? Not a lot of it.
I convinced myself of all those things to keep my head above the water, so to speak, to keep myself alive.
One of the most hurtful things that could ever happen to any of us is to be judged for something we have absolutely no control over. It’s similar to being judged for the color of your skin, the texture of your hair of the circumstances with which you were born in.
The death of my parents taught me from an to toughen up and be strong, I didn’t want to be that helpless little orphan who was lost and afraid yet I so was.
I had relied on my mother’s presence and love for so long that I never fully prepared myself for her absence. How does one ever prepare themselves for the permanent absence of a parent?
I have carried this burden with me for the longest time and sometimes when I think of her, I still cry while at other times I will smile lovingly in the memory of her and our relationship.
I blamed myself for her death, I felt like I didn’t do enough and that had I done more I would’ve been able to save her and for years I thought God was punishing me for not doing enough to help her get better.
My father’s death a few months earlier to hers didn’t help matters either. Yes, of course he was the typical deadbeat dad who was never around so I felt he didn’t love me but I was angry to say the very least.
How could he die? How dare he dies before I have had the opportunity to show him that I grew up just fine without him and that I didn’t need him? How dare he die without me showing of my material gains and success? How dare he dies before he begs for my mercy and forgiveness?
I remember looking at his dead body lying still in the coffin and me wanting to beat him back to life for cheating me out of my many moments of glory and gloating. Yet, there he was, dead and there was not a thing I could do about it but be mad and hate him even more.
This anger brewing silently took me to the worst places in my life and made me a stranger and a monster to myself. I was my own worst enemy. All because I just could not forgive, let go and move on.
Ten years after his death, I went to his grave and actually made peace with him. It was the only thing left that I could do to save myself from myself.
The absence of a father has a significant impact on a child’s life. I believe more so on the girl child than the boy. My opinion could be subjective.
Because I truly believed with everything in my heart and soul that my father didn’t love me, I failed to love myself and I went looking for love in all the wrong places.
I searched for it in older men who were cruel and abusive and I mistook the abuse for love because I didn’t know any better.
I felt I was unworthy of love and I mostly convinced myself that I didn’t need love though everything inside of me was craving for it badly.
Most of my teenage and early adult life was spent crying silently because I just could not fill this empty void inside of me.
My young life has been filled with too much pain and misery that the only thing I want to do now is spend the rest of my days smiling.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but at least now I know more of who I am and am more open to exploring some of the challenges I face in my life head on as opposed to hiding from them or pretending that they don’t exist.
Needless to say, I’ve lost friends along the way and I’ve been happy with some of the losses while some of them have left me feeling broken and sad.
I’ve also learnt to accept people’s decisions and not so much see them as a reflection on me but them.
Most of my relationships have been lopsided and unkind. I have been deceived and rejected more times than I care to count especially because of my HIV status.
It’s hard sometimes to meet a guy who likes you and you like back and only to be rejected after disclosing.
I disclosed mainly because I felt it was the right thing to do because I always thought that were the roles reversed and I being the negative one, I would love it for the other person to let me know so that I could make an informed decision.
Sadly, most guys did not see it this way. They mainly saw me as a deadly virus whose pure intension was to spread and to kill. I hated myself.
I cried till at times it felt like I had no tears left in me to cry…till it felt like my heart was no longer in pieces but in ashes.
I cried to a point where it felt like I would stop breathing and start dying. I wanted to die.
Death would’ve been easy except I had a new life to take care of and I’d be damned if I wasn’t around for as long as I possibly could to make sure that this baby had a mother. HIV positive or not, I was determined to be around for as long as I possibly could.
So, in essence, my child gave me life. He saved me from my own demise. He gave me hope for a new day and filled my days with so much light and love. I never knew I could even love someone the way that I love him.
He gave me a sense of purpose, guidance and direction and helped me realize that there is more to life than HIV and that if anything I needed to work harder in the pursuit of my dreams if only to give him a better life.
After my diagnosis, I thought I would give birth and die. After my parents deaths I thought I could just take away my life from myself, be irresponsible or get killed…anything that would stop me from living. I had no purpose and felt I deserved to be just as dead as my parents were.
Growing up has its own perks I swear. Now, my beauty is something I feel and not something I see. Losing my parents was one of the most painful things to ever happen to me but it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to.
Living with HIV has given me a new sense of purpose and has come with the promise of a new and brighter day. It has “forced” me to chase my goals with courage and conviction.
I no longer care for empathy and I do not feel any pity for myself anymore. I take full responsibility for my actions that led me to getting infected.
I take full responsibility for my actions in every single thing I have down. I own up to who and what I am.
It took some time for me to get here but I’m glad I did it. I had to look deeply within me and drop the victimization as well as the glorified self assumption of the angelic me and really get to know and fall in love with the monster and demon I found myself to be.
Once I did this, I made peace with everything. Life is not perfect and neither am I and I’m happy with my imperfections. I’m happy with knowing that I’m a combination of all that is good and bad.
I’m happy with knowing that even as I strive for it, I will never be completely perfect or have everything I want the way I want to in Life.
I’m happy with the decisions I’m making now. I find peace and contentment within them.
I’m happy with looking inside me without fear or anxiety of what I might just find there.
I’m happy with not being perfect.
I do wrong sometimes and I hurt people and I say things I really shouldn’t but I’m glad that at the end of the day I have a conscience that lets me know where I have done wrong even if I don’t openly admit it at first.
I no longer think of myself as a naive little angel who needs rescuing from herself.
Now, I am a mother, sister, friend and daughter to many and I actually like this. It’s a good feeling to be someone’s someone.
When the time is right…what is meant to be will be and I need not panic to rush things or stress about them either.
Some pieces are broken and there are cracks on the walls of my heart especially when I think about certain people whom I used to love or those I thought loved me yet only to realize I was just a pawn in their game.
Yet I refuse to dwell in sorrow…what I can do is make the best of the precious moments God has given me on Earth.
I can’t be anything else other than myself.
If you truly must love or hate me, I’d rather you do because I am me. Hate me because I am me than love me for what I am not.
Besides, I never could do ‘pretend’ quite well…that is why fake offends me.
Why bother? It’s all pointless.
Anyway, this super long script is just to let you know that not only am I back in the blog community but this time I have a bigger purpose to fulfill.
I am here to inspire, motivate and empower those who are possibly not as brave, bold and courageous as I am to talk about living with HIV but those who possibly have had it worse than me as well to realize that they too deserve a chance at happiness, love and all things great.
Living with HIV is not easy but somehow…in a strange twist of fate…it has been one of the best things to happen to me.
Through it I discovered myself and my purpose in Life.
So if you’re out there and reading this and you relate…hang in there…I promise you it does get better…you may not see it manifesting now in your life but trust me, a positive change is already happening.
You have a certain magic and fire within you than no amount of hate and negativity can put out and all you need to do is believe in yourself and know that what ever you put your mind to, you certainly can achieve.
Be patient enough to let Life be Life and don’t beat yourself up about all the things you cannot change.
Oh…and yes…you can and will rise again.
Remember, all the Love you are searching for is right inside of you.