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2 Bumps

How to be supportive of SD and DH when I am really upset with SD and her choices??

My SD called this last Sunday and told DH that she has tested positive for HIV, this really hasn't come as a shock to us because of the lifestyle she has been living for the last 3 years. She is 28 and has 3 kids (9, 4, & 3) and is still legally married but seperated from her hubby. She has had 40 some partners in the 3 years they have been seperated. How do I support my DH as he deals with the thought of losing a child (given it could still be 15 years from now) he gave her a car this weekend because he feels sorry for her. I don't feel sorry for her, her kids yes, but she made her bed so to speak and we have tried to tell her that her choices would have long term consequences, but we don't know anything. I am really stuck with what to do. SD has also asked us to take her kids when she gets to the point that she can't care for them, but yet she isn't willing to move closer to us, she will expect ME to drive 45 minutes away to take them to school and pick them up, while I have 5 kids at home myself (3 ours and 2 foster kids) I know that it will be some time before htis is needed but if she is expecting us (mostly me) to do all this shouldn't she think about helping us out to? It isn't like she has a job or is buying a house, she lives in a run down rental and is unemployeed and living on PA and student loans.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:47 AM on Nov. 23, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (9)
  • People live almost thier whole lives with AIDS now. I know 3 people that have had it for over 20 years.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 10:53 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • Wow she messed up and she is going to pay for it the hammer has been dropped on her and no amount of I told you so or bringing up her past is going to undo this I hate to be clliche but this bell cannot be unrung all you can do is be there for her or stay back because yes she did it to herself but maybe you can realize this is not the moment to say look I was right. I think the best thing for her is if you hold her fathers hand while he holds her hand worry about your husband support him while he holds his childs hand. GL Momma

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 10:57 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • i think that you need to realize that while she has made the choices that has gotten her to this point, your dh is STILL facing the fact that he will likely have to watch his daughter suffer and ultimately die before he does. wether he has had a role in her bad choices or not, as a parent he likely carries some guilt for where she is in life. no parent wants to face losing a child, no matter how "bad" they are and this is a very scary and depressing time for him. while you may not agree with things he does for her, you need to let him do what he needs to in order to feel more in control and at peace with the situation (so long as he doesnt start to neglect the rest of the family as a result). you also need to consider that while SHE may not deserve the things he does for her, it probably ultimately benefits the innocent children involved as well. as a foster parent, you have to be sympathetic to her childrens situation...

    Answer by LoriaAnn at 11:01 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • I know where I live there are tons of programs that support people that are HIV +. Hopefully the same is true for the area that you live. Best thing that youb can do for your husband is be there for him.

    Answer by rebock at 11:04 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • If she doesn't have AIDS yet, just the HIV virus, and she will get treatment, she will probably still live a long life. People with HIV are living more than 20 years.....and they don't know how much more than that yet because the treatments are only 20 years old!!

    I don't know that I'd go around buying her cars for getting HIV, and the odds are that she will be able to raise her own children.

    As for being supportive, no matter how long she does live, it is scary, and should change her lifestyle...she is dealing with the ultimate consequences for her actions. Maybe you and your husband can join a support group for parents of HIV positive children, and he will get some better direction so that you can just be supportive. I'd also check into getting some literature or books that may help him understand this better.

    Good Luck

    Answer by ohwrite at 11:07 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • just remember that if you try to interfere too much with what your dh feels the need to do for her, he may be very resentful later when she passes and he feels as if he did not do enough for her...there does have to be a line drawn though. he needs to remember that he has obligations to many more people than just her and cannot neglect everyone else due to her health issues. this is a VERY tough situation thats likely to leave alot of people resentful and broken. the BEST thing you can do for your family and your marriage is to try to let things go and not let your dh's actions or your sd's get to you. you cant let resentment, anger, jealousy, and hurt build up in your heart because it can become toxic to your relationship. also, remember, you cannot control anyone but yourself. people make thier own choices in life. the only thing you can control is how you react to the choices of others.

    Answer by LoriaAnn at 11:08 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • Sounds like you are angry and feel like you are left holding the bag. I would say right her a nice long letter spell out how you feel good bad and the ugly. Then burn it. You have issue with it all and that is understandable but you have a choice be there for the grandkids or not. And like you said it will be many years before you really have to do it. So give her time, in the next decade or two things will change and she may feel the need to move closer to you all. Be the the wife and mother they have come to rely on.

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 11:11 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • The past is how we all got here, and now that we're here it is rather cruel to spend any amount of time in I Told You So land --even in private. There's nothing she can do about the fact that you were right, nor that she's contracted a disease (which is just as easy to get by having sex with one person as with 40, so much for divine retribution), but there is a lot you can do for your husband. The first thing you have to do is stop crowing about how right you were. It's undignified.

    People deserve to be treated with respect and kindness because they are people and because they are alive. And, as you have seen in vivid illustration, treating them with disrespect doesn't make them better people. Exactly how much more does she have to 'pay' in harm and suffering before anyone stops acting like she is only worthy of disdain or even pity.

    Help your husband see her value as a human being. You'll have to see that value first.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:12 AM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • I think you are at the very beginning of a long journey, a journey that will take years, and that will have a lot of ups and downs. Right now I would focus on supporting your husband as he deals with this news, be there to listen and comfort him for now. The time to worry about driving her kids to school, etc, is a long way off, there will be plenty of time to deal with that when it comes. There is no use stressing over it now when it could be years into the future. The idea of finding a support group for family of HIV+ people is a good one, and a support group for SD would be great, too, if she will go. I would also focus my attention on the children as much as possible- it is so sad that they, and your DH, have to now pay for her mistakes, but that is the reality. Try to be strong for all of them. Your anger is understandable but may fade to compassion over time and anger really won't help anyone. Good luck.

    Answer by MaryMW at 12:05 PM on Nov. 23, 2010

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