THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Shimah’s dilemma

Shimah texted me again yesterday. Although earlier on she felt relieved when told her blood test results came out negative, she started worrying again when told she should come back for another test in 6 months time.

We had been exchanging messages regarding this matter. She couldn’t quite understand the “window period”. I had to be frank and asked her when was the last time she had sex with her husband. I knew she wanted me to confirm that she is confirmed to be negative in the next test, but with the 6 months window period not over yet during the recent test, I dared not say so for sure.

This morning I called her up. I figured she probably needed to talk things out. True enough, after a while she started pouring out whatever she had been keeping inside of her. It was not just her worries about the infection that had been bothering her. Apparently she had been thinking about divorce for some time already – not because of Roslan’s HIV, but because of his attitude.

Dah banyak kali dia buat hal, kak. Lepas satu, satu… tak pernah serik.”

She did ask him to divorce her about 2 years ago, but Roslan simply refused to let her go. Even after the accident and he became handicapped (he is now permanently using crutches), he didn’t even attempt to change. During the last clinic duty when I met both of them, Roslan somehow was in denial as to how he got infected. He said while he did sleep with a few women before he got married, based on his condition he believed it was the blood transfusion he had that caused the infection.

This morning when I spoke to Shimah (Roslan wasn’t home then as he went to visit his father), I found out that Roslan too had secretly been an injecting drug user as well. And both their sons hate him because he had always been a bad-tempered person, and they also dislike the way he had been treating their mother.

According to Shimah, the only reason she is still staying on in the marriage is her children. She’s still together with Roslan for her children’s sake. But at the same time, she also told me that her older son, now 20 and already working, had actually been telling her to file for divorce. The younger son left it all to his mother to decide.

Shimah herself, although has lost all feelings of love for Roslan after all that he had done, still has some pity for him, especially in his present condition, being handicapped after the accident. But at times she does get fed-up with his attitude which hasn’t changed at all even after the accident.


I told Shimah she has the right to file for divorce even if Roslan refuses to let her go. However, I reminded her that the decision has to be hers, and not because someone else tells her so.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see her next course of action…

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