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Saying This To You Is So Hard


AnnieO

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Hello everyone

I have made a decision that Marty assures me I won't regret. It's just that I have never told anyone this.(except my husband and brother)even my own kids don't know the truth, but I feel I need support right now and everyone here has been so helpful and kind.

As you know my mom died Dec.7th. What I have not told anyone is that my mom died of AIDS. And one week later I found out my dad has AIDS and today I spent the day, moving him from the hospital to a nursing home. We were shocked when my mom was diagnosed, after being sick for a year.They did every kind of test in the world, except an HIV test. She was so sick by the time they did the test. We spent the last year taking care of her and watching her slowly leave us. During the last few months of her life, I started really thinking and searching thru things in my dad's life. I discovered a life-time of lies and deceit.I cannot put into words the rage that I felt. After my mom was diagnosed, my dad said he got tested and was negative.I don't believe he got tested or lied about the results. My mom died never knowing how she became infected. And now, I am the primary care-giver for my dad. I have not only lost my mom, and am watching my dad die, but feel I have lost my identity. The family I thought I had, wasn't real. I feel so much loss on so many different levels.And then there is the anger I feel towards my dad. I am taking care of him because my mom would want me too. I have managed to find a place in my heart that I can forgive him, because the anger and rage were killing me. It's not who I am. As you can see, I am in a horrible place and cannot find anyone that has been thru this. I miss my mom so much and cannot believe that I now have to watch my father die from this horrible disease.Thank you for listening, this was so hard to do.

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AnnieO

We all find out things we did not know when our loved ones are gone. All we can do is love the person we knew and forgive the rest. My heart goes out to you. You lost your mother to a disease that kills, just like cancer, just like lupus. You are a good daughter to both your parents and that is part of your identity. They must have done something right for you to care so much. I know you can find some way to make it through the betrayal you feel.

Janine

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Annie, I so sad and so sorry for you. You should be angry. I am and I'm hardly involved. The anguish you must be feeling goes way beyond what I have ever suffered. You are an amazing person to be able to care for your father. I know the road ahead will be awful for you. I offer you every bit of strength that I have.

Blackie

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Annie, It took a lot of courage for you to tell us your story and you should be commended for that. My heart breaks for you, but somehow you will find a way to get through this. Janine is right...you are a good daughter and you will find strength somehow. We're all here for you anytime.

Love and hugs to you...Lori

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Dear Annie

It did take great courage to share your story with us and I hope it gave you a great feeling of relief (like taking a big boulder off your shoulders)when you did. Maybe the fact that you can share with us will lessen the stress you feel and maybe even some of the anger - just being able to truly vent about what is and has happened. I admire your strength and ability to forgive your dad and care for him now that he will really need you. I know how hard it is to watch someone you love die slowly, both my mom and husband Rick died of cancer within 10 months of each other. I think that regardless of the circumstances your parents raised a very loving and caring daughter and your mom would be so proud of you. Praying for you tonight and all through your journey Jane

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Annie,

I feel honored that you shared your truth with us and I know we will all do our very best to help you through this time. I can completely understand your anger toward your father. And I think you must be an angel to be able to care for him anyway...you are truly a special person.

Sometimes we do feel like our lives have been a lie when we learn things we didn't know. And, of course, that makes us doubt who we are! It's a really hard thing to deal with. But, no matter what has happened, you are still you.

Big, big hugs to you,

Shell

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Thank you all so much for your kind words.

Jane-you are right, it does feel like a huge boulder has been lifted off my shoulders. It's been so painful, not to have anyone to talk to about all of this. (my husband is great, but I think sometimes he needs a break from listening to me!)

After I put all of this down in my post, I went to bed and for the first time since my mom died, I dreamed about her. She looked wonderful...healthy, like she did before she got sick. It was such a nice feeling when I woke up.

I hope you all have a good day.

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Hi Annie

I'm glad that sharing helped you and that we were all a part of that. That's why we are all here, to try our best to support each other. I'm also glad of the good dream you had of your mom - I told you she was proud of you. I sincerely hope that today will be a better day for you. Remember we are here when you need us.....much love Jane

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Dear Annie,

I have been reading the posts on this forum for several months and have received great comfort in trying to cope with the death of my Dad. He died 5-22-06 in a drowning accident in our family's pond. Facing reality has been so hard. I have not even been able to dig up enough courage to actually write something here myself....until now. Your situation breaks my heart. A few years ago my roomate's parents were both infected with HIV and they both died within 3 mos of each other. Both were small town, well respected members of the community. All who knew them were completely devastated. I was so sad for my friend but didn't know what to do for her other than just listen. It was such a helpless feeling and seemed to be so worthless at the time. Little did I know that when my own Dad died in May, this same friend heard the news and immediately got in her car and drove 3 hours north to show up at the funeral home. It meant a lot to me to say the least. I guess the point I am trying to make is that she gives me hope. Hope of survival. Knowing now how difficult losing a parent can be, I am not sure I would have lived through such an experience. She not only lived through it, but was still able to show such sincere compassion to my family and myself. I can only hope that I get there someday too. Be patient with yourself AnnieO, you will be in my prayers. Tracy

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Dear Annie,

I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. Grieving for your Mom and in a way grieving for your Dad even though he's still here. Next, I want to thank you for trusting us enough to share your story. I know it's confusing when you find out these kinds of things about your family, but you have to remember that you are the same person inside. NOTHING has changed in that big heart of yours. Your family at this site is always here for you. Keep posting and God Bless.

Missing my Mom,

Trudy

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I can't thank you all enough. I have felt so alone for over a year and when I read the posts from all of you, I know I am no longer alone.

Tracy, I am so sorry about your dad. I am glad you are here on the website.

Thank you for telling me about your room-mate's parents. I know there are other people out there, that are in the same situation as me, but I just can't find them. She sounds like a wonderful friend. My story is similar to hers...we are in a small town and my parents are well-known and successful in the community. When we made the decision to not tell the truth about my parents illness, we were doing it to protect my mom and my kids. Ignorant people can be so cruel. But, all the questions from friends and people in the community are so exhausting, having to give answers without giving them too much info. Sometimes it feels like I am continuing the lies my father started. But, I want to protect my mom, even after death and protect my kids.

I have good friends, but I just haven't been able to talk to them, I guess deep down I don't trust them enough to keep this to themselves. This community lives to gossip!

Thank you again,Tracy. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Annie,

I'm so sorry that you have lost both of your parents. Inaddition to dealing with your grief over those losses, Keeping their "secrets" from people in your small town must be very difficult for you. I'm happy for you that you felt able to share with your new family here. I think you will find the people here on this board are extremely nonjudgemental. All we want is to help eachother through. We will be here to listen and respond. While I'm not in your situation, I DO understand about small towns, gossip and personal privacy. And you DO have a right to your privacy - you have no reason to share personal information about your parents' illness with anyone. I support your decision to keep your parents' information private - it is your right to protect their memories, yourself, and your children from gossip.

Take care.

~STOO~

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Annie

I am glad that you were able to tell all of us. we are all here for you. you have nothing to be ashamed about. i am sorry that you have to go through all this, but am so happy that you found forgiveness in your heart for your dad. it would only make you sick to carry about all that anger inside of you. we all have secrets and i have mine which i have shared here. it is a great group of people and we are all here to listen and help in anyway that we can. Lori

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Hello,

I just got home from an afternoon with my dad. It was the hardest day I have had with him, so far. There is alot of confusion now, but he does not ever think he is wrong or confused.He gets mad if you try and correct him. He is so mean to me. I have seen first hand the dementia that can come with this disease, but I don't think that is what's happening, because I am the only one he treats like this. It' so hard not to let it get to me. Today, I could easily walk away from him and never look back. When they came to take him to physical therapy, I went down the hall where I heard piano music and singing. They were having a church hymn sing along. I only watched one song and fell apart, thinking about my mom. She was so,so sick the last few months but she was always loving to us when we were with her. The nursing staff loved her too. I don't really know how to handle this situation with my dad. I can't imagine dealing with his anger everyday. I haven't done anything to deserve his behavior towards me. The way I really feel, is he is lucky I am still around to take care of him. I had plenty of reason not to be!

Okay, thanks for listening. It's a beautiful , sunny day, I am going outside to breathe.

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AnnieO,

I feel so sorry for your situation. My mother has dementia or Alzheimers and when they get mean, it is so hard to take. In my moms case, she can't help it. But if your father is doing this just to you and you really feel it's not dementia, there is no reason that you have to put up with it. We all want to be there for our parents, but there's nothing that says sometimes you just can't be. Sometimes you have to walk away. This may sound selfish, but if his abuse is deliberate, then you have to think of yourself first. You can't put up with that kind of abuse and not let it affect you deeply, so don't feel guilty if you decide to never see him again. That's not selfishness or not doing your duty. It's protecting yourself and I'm sure your mom would understand and agree. Think about it, but remember...you don't have to put yourself through this.

Big hugs,

Shell

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Annie,

I posted a couple of things on betrayal...I found out my husband was doing Meth just three weeks before he died. Meth comes with a million lies and theft...in this case, the theft was from me. I had my house paid off and a savings when we married and when he died 3 years and 8 months later I was broke with a mortgage and a million bills coming in.

Working through all of this has been exhausting and does take a lot of time and exhertion. It takes extreme effort on your part, but you can work through this. It starts with anger and hurt and eventually learning to accept the person on all levels, all aspects of them. Accepting they were human with weaknesses and they let you down. Accepting that the love you had still existed and was real, in spite of the let downs. Whether it be a spouse or a parent, it is a lot of work on our part to reach the acceptance of the person. But you can do it...if I have, you can too. I wish you the best in this because it is very important that you come to some understanding and acceptance of the person, not for their sake half as much as for your own. There is much good in forgiveness, it is healing. I will be praying for you, God be with you.

Edited by kayc
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Kayc

Thank you for your post. I know our situations are different, but your understanding, makes me realize they are also the same in some ways.

You said so many important things, I had lost sight that the love I had for my dad was real, and I know he hurt all of us, but had not thought about the diappointment part of it. I am trying so hard to forgive and to keep in mind that he is human and although he has made decisions in his life that caused so much pain, I also believe he didn't make those decisions with any of us in mind, or that he ever thought this would all come back and cause the pain it has. I hope it's okay to ask you a question, if not, no problem.

Did your husband know, that you knew what was going on when he died?

My dad still keeps up the lies...I often wonder if I should confront him with what I know. But, what purpose would that really serve? Thank you so much, you gave me lots of things to think about and lots of hope.

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My husband talked to our pastor and elders in the church and me just three weeks before he died...he didn't know at that time that he was going to die. He didn't tell me each and every lie he told, but I found out about most of the details after he was gone. I know that he would feel horrible if he knew the pain, stress, and struggles his actions had caused me. He was a wonderful man that loved me with all of his heart...but he also failed me in so many ways due to his own problems. I still love him and always will. I don't know what would have happened had he lived. I told him I would not divorce him but I also laid down some tough love requirements if he wanted to stay living with me. He was getting counseling when he died.

Your dad undoubtedly holds to his lies because he doesn't want to let you down and he is unable to face responsibilty for his own actions. That doesn't mean he doesn't love you...quite the contrary. He has painted himself into a tough corner and doesn't know the way out. Probably the best thing you can do at this point is assure him of your love of him "as is". You are well on your way to making it...it is tough, I am here if you ever need to talk.

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Kayc

I am now discovering financial "mysteries" from my dad's secret life. So many unexplained bills, loans etc...I have been checking on his house and checked the answering machine...big mistake.People calling, that I don't know who they are, saying strange things. I am obsessing about finding out more about my dad's life. who are these people? Where did the money go? I haven't done anything yet, I know that if I start looking, this will take on a life of it's own. I don't want to be consumed by this. But, I don't know how to let go of this. Thanks for listening.

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My ex-husband also betrayed me by lying and having an affair. It was short-lived, then he came clean with me finally -- he was gay, and trying to cope with that. We did divorce, but I always loved him, and later we were able to be friends. After he died, I did learn more details about what happened back then (due to his old boyfriend's insistence on telling me because he wanted to assure me he was more important to my ex than I was!) And it hurt. But I knew the boyfriend was wrong, and my ex told me a lot of the truth before he died. Love forgives a lot, especially when the hurt wasn't deliberate, but came out of circumstances. Nobody is perfect. Although some people are malicious, most people just trying to stumble through their lives, making the best decisions they can, even if it turns out later not to have been such a good decision.

I really miss him, though.

Ann

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