My name is Lynn, I am 41 years old and I live in Minnesota. I have one young son who is the light of my life. I hold a Master’s degree in the mental health field and work two jobs. I have been HIV positive for 2 years. Breathe. I learned of my HIV status on October 6, 2008, just a few weeks after I learned that I was finally pregnant with my beloved child. Breathe. I will never forget that day. It was a Tuesday. I was at the same desk from where I am writing this personal introduction. My doctor called me and asked if I could come to her office that day. I realized immediately it would not be a good visit. I begged her to tell me over the phone what was wrong with me which she did as long as I promised to still come to her office that day so she could support me with this devastating news. Breathe. It’s been a very difficult process to move forward through this and to become a new mom. I feel as though the universe has granted me with light and dark at the same time. Life and death. Breathe. The joy and light of a child and the darkness of a chronic illness for which there is no cure. An illness that is grossly stigmatized and isolates those inflicted with it. I often wonder what is worse, the physical aspects of HIV, or the mental anguish that it brings. Breathe. I am now ready to reach out to give and receive support to and from other women who are going through this similar battle. Why Lynn wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I want to share my joy and my pain so that I may feel supported and hopefully provide a light to others. I am profoundly aware of how alone I am in my current support community. I have a wonderful family, a few supportive friends who are aware of my status and a great medical provider. What I don’t have, are other women who are HIV positive with whom I can connect. I am writing this blog as a radical means of self care. I cannot live alone in this battle any longer.
All i can say is you go girl it is indeed a black cloud in the beginning but one makes peace with it with time and you begin to understand that you are not alone in all dis.
Lynn, you are not alone. You never have to feel alone again. I was infected in 1985; I am a 45 year old woman who understands your frustration and desire for support.
Although HIV can be a heavy burden to carry, you can still acheive every dream you ever thought was possible. HIV is not who you are. HIV is a managable disease; solutions can be found for every situation we find ourselves in.
You are blessed to have a beautiful child. A child you will raise and watch grow up. A child you will love and nurture.
I am glad you found your way here with all these other women who know and understand. Welcome!
Thanks for your supportive words. Indeed, I must make the healthiest choices now to be well and live long for my son. At the same time, I know he can't be my only reason for living. I have to do it for myself. That is the piece I am working on...to come to peace with what I've been given and find a new way to do "me" Thanks again for your comment.
Lynn, I wish you were here so I could hug you and help you carry some of the load that has been dropped on you. I am 53 yrs. old, I've had HIV, now AIDS for 27 years. My husband died of AIDS over 20 yrs. ago and I raised my 3 children to adulthood as a single-parent. I taught high school for 20 years. Like yourself, I didn't share my diagnosis with many people until quite recently actually.
You are wise to recognize that you can't carry this load alone. It is so sad to realize that HIV is still a social stigma and isolates women as though as though they were the source of evil itself. It is also sad that you probably can't celebrate this wonderful new life that is growing within you the way you want and should be able to.
It's for young women like yourself that I no longer have a secret life because now, under the portection of a Palliative Care programme, and adult children I am released from needing to protect them and a job, and you know the rest that is required to feel secure. I keep a blog, share my status with whomever I please and I am working on a poetry/prose compilation of my life with HIV. I.ve been a teacher all my life, but I certainly side-stepped a lot of issues that pertained to AIDS. I sometimes think the gods keep me alive because I still have a lot of work to do, so that younger women can openly enjoy or commiserate the ups and downs of this disease. Don't think you are alone, there are multitudes of women in our situation, unfortunately silence keeps us apart. But right now, for you, you must have the courage to rest and a place to set aside your load so that your body can nurture your new baby and rest to help you find peace. I'll be thinking of you . Gisele
Gisele, virtual hug received. Thanks so much. I look forward to further connections.
I am almost 41 myself... I have 3 Children. I knew of my status before I got pregnant with my youngest, he is a Healthy 15 yr old. I wish you all of the Best. Thank You for finding us here.
Thanks Jae...I look forward to being a part of this community, I need you all so much.
Lynn, take courage.
Please read my blog; http://blacksilver.blog.com/, and see that you are not alone.
Jacque-Thank you dear. I read your blog last night...it overwhelmed me. You have my care and support. Thank you for sharing yourself.
I hope it gave you courage. Please subscribe to and follow my blog.
Thecla, Thank you for your comment, best to you as well in 2011.
here we all are women of courage and great power in our minds and words . i can relate to each and everyone of you. Lynn i have a little boy jus like you who means the world to me.
You are right in sayin that your life is not jus for him. The thing is we have HIV but most importantly we have a choice in how we live our lives. i have made mine , to be happy beyond measure and take each moment for what it is. precious.
i wish you all the happy moments your heart can contain
lolo-thanks. my heart desires millions of happy moments. I am working so hard to open myself to happiness and joy and turn away from all the mental anguish I have been feeling for the past 2 years since my Dx.
Lynn i want you to be strong, you know i've found out that women living with HIV are healthier than women who are not. so pick up strength and take the leap for you have only just began to live. i wish you the best of 2011. best regards to your son.