For the sake of this post, I’m going to explain the reason for my long absence ( did you even miss me?!)
At the beginning of this month, I suffered somewhat of a breakdown. Too much pressure, pent up and unreleased, can do that to you. I’m just one of those people that is hardest on herself, and too forgiving of everyone else. #RECIPEFORDISASTER
Soon after, I felt a lot of physical symptoms– Then I had a lump on my neck. Then two. Then six. My lymph nodes were swollen, but I had never experienced that before, so I rushed to the doctor — who told me not to worry, my body was fighting something and, I’d probably get better in a week. Days went by, and I just got worse.
Doctors were talking about ‘Mono’. Then Cancer. Then TB. then back to Mono. And then…HIV.
Now, given, the Healthcare system in America is jacked, yet you still never want to hear the words ‘HIV’ and ‘AIDS’ and ‘possible’ in the same sentence. It really drove me crazy. Even though I knew it wasn’t the only possibility, the fact that it was on the table as a matter of discussion just made me nuts. I started to rewind the tape on my past, questioning everything and mentally slapping myself for it all.
When I got home, I overheard my parents talking about me in their room. I walked in and my Dad turned to me and said in Persian,
“Saaghi, tell me straight. Has there always been protection?”
First reaction: Huh? Second reaction: Is that my Dad’s way of asking if I practice safe sex? Instinct: Play Stupid.
He kept prodding me, and I couldn’t even look him in the face. I just looked away, and just mumbled something.
“100% of the time?” …..“Answer me”….No Not 100%
This is my Persian Dad who has never acknowledged that I have EVER had sex. He’s been in denial of my current physical relationship with my boyfriend, asking if he sleeps on the couch when I stay over.
Now he’s asking about Condoms?
So I guess, my dad was worried about “HIVee” too. Or maybe he had heard that I had done the test. Either way,cat was out of the bag for the evening. Because soon after, he tried to make me feel better:
“And you know? Vhat’s the vorst thing that could happen? You have HIVee?….
“You know, vhen I came to this country, one day, I walked into a room and saw that everyone was sad. It vas the day that they found out Magic Johnson had HIVee. And look at him now! He has a life! He is living!”
Did my Dad just compare me to Magic Johnson?
Did my Dad just try to tell me its OK if I have “HIVee”?
I think for a lot of us, we believe the moment that our parents find out about our ‘secret lives’ will be our last day. Or that somehow, they’ll take their love away.
It was my worst nightmare to have my Dad confront me about my sex life. but It was probably the sweetest, most confusing but honest gesture coming from My Persian Dad–
he usually likes to hibernate in this bubble of denial, but I guess it took a big scare for us to share an honest moment. And for that I’m grateful.
I mean, I’m also grateful I’m HIV-Negative. But its good to know, that for my Dad, life would go on, regardless.
TWEET ME: @SAAGHI_JOON