Now that we're nearly 4 months into life with a baby, I am noticing my husband has a particular way he interacts with our daughter that I think is related to his HIV status. It just breaks my heart to see, but the shame he feels is manifesting in a way that prevents him from fully enjoying life with his new daughter.
Just simple things like a reluctance to touch her, kiss her, or even breath on her. I hope he can work through his shame and fear because as she grows older, she will interpret his reluctance as rejection.
It all comes down to his lack of acceptance about his status. He is so afraid to face it and accept it because it would mean having to face the bad choices that caused him to contract HIV. He is ashamed of his choices, and ashamed of his status, and until he can forgive himself, he will continue to feel that way.
I wish he could know...truly know...how much I love him. I wish he could know how his smile, his smell, his touch is a source of happiness and contentment for me. I wish he could love himself as much as I love him. And I wish he would love himself as much as his daughter will love him. Children pick up on our vibrations....she will know that he doesn't love himself, and in turn, will struggle with her own issues of self-love.
I can only hope that with her every smile and giggle he comes one step closer to accepting and loving himself, and teach her to do the same.