Serious issues to ponder:
I tried to share with you just some of the issues that come out in these counseling sessions, again, looking at the personal burden. And we really do try on different possible futures. We really do sometimes actually role play, say it out loud. You'd be amazed at how much is kept internally, even between couples, between parents, between siblings, that has never been said out loud until they get into my office. Many of the young adults, the adults that I see have had horrendous childhoods and they didn't even realize it. They had no idea that a child was supposed to get unconditional love. They had no idea about the consistency of parenting. These are often adults who have raised themselves. Obviously, if I spend only two hours with someone, I can only raise the issues and then we do have a referral system when indicated, we refer people for additional counseling.
We look at the impact on relationships, reproduction, privacy, career, education, issues of control and motivation, sphere of interest. The motivation to know. People ask me all the time, would you be tested yourself? Many folks who come in who want testing have very similar motivations. They describe feeling paralyzed by the not knowing. They talk about not being able to see beyond or plan in their lives. They talk about thinking about being forty and then it goes blank. The can't make a commitment. They have trouble making decisions. They can't plan. So they say they want to know, because the knowing for them would be better than being stuck. At least then, they feel, they could go forward. They could keep up with the research, they could go to support groups, they could connect with a community.