Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mothers' Day

motherMothers’ Day came and went without a stir. I know I’ve not talked much about my mom, or my family even. Just so happened we don’t have the perfect relationship.

Apparently, being the youngest child doesn’t automatically mean you are the favorite and the most pampered. I’ve always been under pressure to live up to my parents’ expectations, not to mention reach the achievements of my older siblings. Something I’ve failed terribly at.

Growing up, I would willingly do chores around the house. But nothing good came from this. My mom would just end up scolding me for doing things wrong, or just not good enough. I’d be left wondering why that was the thanks I’d get for my effort, when my older brother who hardly helped got all the praises.

Conversations at home would be me saying something and getting ignored, and my brother saying the exact same thing and getting commended for his good idea. This forced me to become more passive, less opinionated, and more introspective. It made me a loner, but it made me stronger.

In primary school, I never got any awards, unlike my older brother and sister’s handfuls of medals and certificates during their graduation. I took my secondary education in the premiere science high school in the Philippines, getting into which was an achievement in itself. But my mom would only point out that though I was passing all my subjects, I wasn’t doing as well as my sister did when she was there.

I was never one to take that against them, but I could not deny that it was changing me. I had given up trying to please my mom, and ended up being an underachiever. I had accepted that I was expected to fail.

By the time I was in college, I had turned to extracurricular activities instead, where I earned some respect from my peers for my talents and leadership. My mom never knew about any of my achievements in that field, as I chose not to let her know. I was just happy to get praises from somebody. From anybody. Though my grades suffered and I went beyond the term of the course I took, I finished anyways. And I was proud of that. Maybe because I was no longer expected to graduate, and I surpassed that expectation.

I’ve mentioned that I came out to my mom when I was 21. And I did that at that time, because I knew my relationship with my mom could not possibly get any worse. It came to a point where I was wishing she would tell me I was adopted, just so I had some reason as to why she didn’t love me like my siblings. Just so I didn’t have to think that she hated me for being me.

It’s only this year that I’ve had her to myself, as my dad passed away some years ago, my sister has been married and on her own for several years now, and my brother just left the country to pursue a job abroad. She has decided to turn her attention to me finally, but as my sister says, too late the hero. It’s uncomfortable. I don’t need it. I matured early on in life because I had no choice but to. I learned too soon that I could not count on anyone but myself. That I could please no one but myself. The wall has been built. The damage has been done.

At this critical turn in my life, I have no urge to tell my mom that I have HIV. Because she wouldn’t understand. Because she’d just be disappointed… again. Because she’d just feel obligated to care for me. I don’t want her to love me because of pity. I don’t know if and when I’ll tell her of my condition, but most probably, it will be just an FYI.

How she brought me up made me what I am now. I’m quiet, because I was taught my opinion didn’t count. I’m a loner because I knew only I could accept and love who I am. I love to write, because I had no voice. I’m strong, because I learned I could only count on myself. I’m happy, because I am content with myself… I’m proud of myself.

So thank you, Mom. I just want you to be happy. Happy Mothers’ Day!


thonnibg said...

First of all I missed your posts the last couple of days.I too will say that you`re a damn good writer.I don`t want it to be like a silly compliment to you but I really love your blog and your attitude to life,to everything that happens to you,to everything around you.I stop by sometimes more than once a day and read your blog again and again.I don`t know how to express myself right but I feel calm on here,I look at the world from a different point of view.And,frankly,that makes me feel good!
Sorry to hear about your not so good relationship with your mom.I understand why you still haven`t told her about the HIV.
I wish you could tell her and trust her as I would do it with my mom.Or maybe if you`d tell her that would be a new beginning of your relationshp with her from now on,a great relationship full of all the great things that only a mother and her child could share.Mothers are still the persons who are supposed to be the closest to you.I wish you that!I wish she wouldn`t accept it as a an obligation.
It`s never too late:)
At least I hope your brother and sister would be by your side and show you all the support.

And yes,you must be proud of yourself!

Many hugs to you Pinoy from another loner:)hehe

PinoyPoz said...

Thanks for all the well wishes, Toni. Let's see how things unfold. But for now, I'm trying to handle things on my own. I'm considering telling my sister soon, as she's pretty open-minded, and she understands me best. I hope I have the guts to blurt it out... :-) Really, thanks, Toni... You've been so kind...

thonnibg said...

I`m sure you can handle the things on your own:)
But telling your sister may be a big relief for you.Good to hear your sister is your friend too.
Keep us posted.

Have a good week,Pinoy!