What do you know about the truth? Seriously, I'm asking. What's true for you? How do you define truth?
Merriam-Webster says it's "the quality or state of being true" and "that which is true in accordance with fact or reality". Whose facts? The truth is sometimes determined as compared to the absence of a lie. I know a certain individual, who resides in a big white house with itchy Twitter fingers whose version of "his facts" is not always in line with the written, reported facts. Whose reality determines truth? Because forgive my judgmental little aside, but, um, we all know there are some kooks out there with a skewed version of reality. Or maybe the truth is they are living in reality and we are stuck in the Matrix.
Fact is, even though the truth is the truth, it's relative. Yeah. I said it. Relative. Reciprocal. Not absolute. Truth exists only when comparable to something else. How much weight you put on one side or another of something sways the truth in one direction or another. Fact: a robin's egg is blue. However my friends, is a robin's egg light blue, or is it turquoise blue? Regardless of the simple truth of the color being blue, there are people who will argue you to death about what color blue because it's relative to their eyesight and color wheel choice. (And because some people just like to damn argue).
Here's my truth. I have HIV. It's a simple truth that is made complicated as hell sometimes by judgments and stigma, and by fear. I have been choosing more and more often to ignore the complications. It's my truth. I can do with it what I will.
What do I know about it? PLENTY after all this time. It is true in accordance with the factual proof of the test, and confirmatory test I took at diagnosis. A reality evidenced by my body's response to my medication. Apparently it's my reciprocity for having sex outside of wedlock that one time in particular. Comparable to the virus negative population of people running around having sex outside of wedlock. (At least they are presumably negative if they are un-tested.)
I would hazard a guess that you have heard an idiom or ditty about the truth somewhere. From your mother or granny or in a movie or two...
-If the truth be known
-If you tell the truth you don't have to remember the lie.
-Half the truth is often a whole lie.
-Moment of truth
-YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! (CLASSIC line by Col. Jessep in "A Few Good Men", 1992)
The truth shall set you free!
*If the truth be known; life with HIV? It's best lived as a journey, not a destination. You don't find out one day and BOOM, point A to B achieved the next. Life didn't end when I found out my status, not physically or figuratively. It just changed. My life changed in big and small ways. As difficult as it can be to accept though, change is a constant, right?
*If you tell the truth you don't have to remember the lie. Shiiidddddd... My problem ain't the lie. It's the truth. Who the hell did I tell? Not everybody needs to know. It is not the b-i-tiz-ness of all and sundry that I have a little friend sharing space in my body. That being said, sometimes I forget who the eff I told and have to be careful about what I say and to whom I say it. It's awkward (I know from experience) to casually mention something about my HIV and have the cartoon eyeballs of shock roll my way and have to launch an explanation. While it may be easier in some ways to come all the way out, I ain't all the way ready for that. Lemme just go on and remember where and with whom I set this truth down as best I can.
*Half the truth is often a whole lie. Pretending it didn't happen is the road to denial and unhealthy living both physically and mentally. I can tell myself all I'm taking is a vitamin everyday instead of my virus-suppressing-therefore-quality-of-life-preserving medication, but to what end? To trick my brain that knows it's a lie anyway? Ain't nobody got time (or patience) for that. Pretending it can't happen to you is a half-lie for people who are HIV negative because once you know it has or can happen to someone much like you - continuing to deny its reality as a possibility for you is futile.
*My moments of truth come in a hundred ways daily, weekly, monthly, and with randomness I am somewhat resentful of. I have a moment of truth every time I come to take my pill and I don't feel like it. The truth is without it, I won't be healthy. I have a moment of truth every time I disclose my status to someone new. When, how and what to say? How much truth is too much and how much truth is not enough? I don't know how they are going to react. Random moments are annoying. There is the randomness of overhearing a conversation or joke about HIV. I always feel compelled to educate or correct, but that leads to the "How do you know?" conversations. I have a moment of truth every time I talk to a patient about their status and make a suggestion about how to function in it. What if I do more harm than good?
*You can't handle the truth! – Classic. Sadly, the truth is a lot of people CAN'T handle my truth. It frightens them. If I am being truthful, I realize it's both in fear for me and in fear of me. It adds a layer of duality to disclosing that only someone who lives with this can understand. Is my truth going to overwhelm you? Like with my mom, my main concern was her worrying about me all the time. Was her child going to die? What quality of life would I have? I have told people and had them emotionally recoil in that fear. How does one feel/see an emotional reaction you ask? You can, and trust me; the combination of shock and fear is a tangible feeling when you watch it happen. Imagine it like being able to feel the tension between two people. I can almost see them calculating when and what the last physical contact was, and trying avoiding looking directly at me. Mind you, not just physical sex. Touch. Holding hands or kissing or eating together. (*le sigh- I'm so annoyed by these old falsehoods and myths, but that's for another blog on another day.) I have lost old friends, potential friends, old lovers, potential lovers, lost and gained my sense of self; my sense of self-respect has been lost and found. I swear there have been times I felt like I was standing toe to toe with my sanity and I on one side and insanity on the other side of an imaginary line and insanity is taunting me, daring me to cross the line (I have a vivid imagination). I have been humbled in ways I couldn't imagine and humiliated in ways I never want anyone in this life or on this planet to have to go through.
*The truth shall set you free. Well, yeah; in some ways. The secret of HIV is a heavy, heavy burden to bear. It helps to share the truth and have people to talk to about it. To cry with if you need. To be truthful and naked enough to say to them that some boy or girl rejected you and you feel small and dirty and worthless, and be encouraged and hugged and held up by them. It is a burst of sunshine to tell someone and have them tell you it doesn't change how they feel and touch you. However the same truth that sets you free, binds you to those you tell your truth to. Who will they in turn tell? How will they tell? Will they tell it in your perspective, or will they tell it from a place of fear? Will whom they tell, go and tell others? Even if you don't consider your HIV to be a secret, secret, it is still something you want to be treated with respect by others. My having accepted my status as my truth helps to deal with those situations, and like I said, I'm starting to care less about who knows and what they think.
The fact of the matter is, my reality is: I have HIV. It, and all its little complications, doesn't have me. The truth is the truth.
I LOVE IT ❤️❤️❤️
I LOVE IT ❤️❤️❤️
And my next blog piggy backs off of this one so well...
I love how all so we blogs work so well together!!!
Like Collectively it’s so powerful!
Ms. P Dees.... You are so
Ms. P Dees.... You are so right! Feminine energy is a poerful thing!!!
Ain’t that the truth?
Yessss! I like how you swung all of the idioms. And you’re right, it is not absolute. Perception is so important.
‘The truth is that truth is
‘The truth is that truth is too much for so many... the truth, your truth... GURL, YASSSSSS!!!