I am someone you know. At least you know me through my work and through the media, most likely.
I am writing this anonymously not for that reason, but because of my children. And because I feel that the real story here is not my story to tell. However, all of this interest in Charlie Sheen makes me want to share it with you now, albeit anonymously.
Years ago, my then-husband, father of my children, contracted HIV through sex with another partner or partners. It has been a whirlwind of emotions since then and our children are still too young to know about it, or at least that is the way their father feels, so that emotion is still to come.
This is what hurt the most since the Charlie Sheen stuff started coming out yesterday:
- Overhearing people all day yesterday dissecting it and speculating about it as the new juicy gossip of the day. I have been in the business long enough to know that this is what happens to people in the public eye, but it still hurts.
- Seeing Heather Locklear post an Instagram picture of herself (I have known Heather for a long time too and of course she only means well) with Charlie saying "my heart hurts." HIV is not a death sentence. In fact, if he began treatment right away, as my partner did, and if he keeps up with the treatment responsibly, he can live a nice long life -- as I hope my ex will, for his sake and for our children.
- Imagining how the headlines about it can negatively affect our children, who like Denise Richards and her children from what I understand are, like me, uninfected. I am mostly concerned about how this can affect their relationship with their father. And at the same time that I write that, I know that just the other day, their dad cut his finger while cooking and when my son was handing him the Band-Aid, I confess that my heart tensed up for a moment, and that I was watching like a hawk to see if the blood touched my son's hand. And I wonder if my son noticed that and what effect that could gave on him too.
Dealing with this is ongoing and made more difficult by keeping it secret. So Charlie (who I know through work, though am not close to) coming out and talking about it is helpful to all of us. The gossiping is not.