My father had been asking me for a long time. He knows me really well and he'd be sat in the kitchen and he'd say 'What's wrong? What's wrong, my love? What are you worrying about?' And I said 'I'm fine, it's nothing.' I just wanted to tell them so much. I really wanted their love, their unconditional love. It doesn't matter the state of me or what I'd done or anything, that was what I wanted.
I'd told my brother. I've always been very close to him, so I told him first. He was really upset, he kept saying, 'I wish it was me, you haven't done anything to deserve this.' Then he couldn't face my parents because he knew this about me. Three weeks after I told him, I phoned him up after work and said 'Tonight's the night'. And he said 'Good, do it.'
We got home and my mother was in bed and my father – I always used to go in and chat with them – I went in and sat on the side of the bed. My dad said 'What is it? What's wrong?' And I just couldn't say it, it was just so hard. My dad held my hand and he just said, 'Look, come on, nothing can be that bad.' So I sort of blurted it out 'I'm HIV-positive.' And they just cried and held me and asked if the children had the virus.
It was very strange. My dad's got a really dry sense of humour and we were laughing, crying, then he put his arms around me and said 'All I can say is, thank God you're not pregnant!' Because usually I go in and say 'Dad, I'm pregnant again.' My mum just held onto me and said, 'I won't let you die, we're all going to fight this together.' She was really strong.
They were just wonderful. Just so supportive. They were cuddling me and holding me – when you're HIV you don't get touched – it was just so important. It was what I needed, to have somebody. I needed to talk and talk.
I always was close to all my family. The thing that has changed is that they're much more open about their problems. Whereas before they wouldn't tell me things, they confide in me – to do with business and emotionally. So we're all much more open about everything.
And my brother's bought a bigger house, so that if anything happens to me there's a home for my two younger children. After he did it, he said there's always those rooms for anybody. I was really touched
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