Well, I just got back from visiting my anti-vaxxer relatives: my cousin's husband, a psychiatrist; my cousin and her five-year-old adopted daughter. Since coming back, I can't get their stupidity out of my mind. All three, including the doctor, claim they have "violent reactions" to vaccines, so none of them are up-to-date on their vaccinations. None of them are related to each other and I am skeptical of their claims. Compounding the issue is the fact that the psychiatrist works at a hospital at least some of the time. He's the perfect vector for disease.
I'm also alarmed that my cousin is violently ill a great deal of the time and refuses to see a Western doctor. She is relying on her horoscopes and what I suspect are Eastern "doctors" peddling bullshit.
The Governor of California just passed a new vaccination law. My cousin said she was either moving to another state or to another country. At first I panicked, worried about losing my family's support. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I ever had it in the first place. Vaccines aren't 100% effective and as a diabetic, I'm somewhat at risk.
What do you say to someone who says, "I don't believe there was a measles outbreak. It was government propaganda" and "I don't care what happens to other people; that's God's business"?
So...guess what? I'm coming down with something. My symptoms seem to be a milder form of whatever my cousin has been fighting for months. First some gastrointestinal distress and now a mild cough and possibly a fever. I guess I could have picked up a bug from someone else, but I was in close contact with my cousin and her daughter for nearly a week. Maybe I don't want to have contact with her anymore, after all. Being around her and her family...is it like getting into a car with a drunk driver or am I overstating the issue?
Another problem: My mother is completely on the anti-vaxxers' side. Huh. A left-wing New Age loon and a fundamentalist Christian. Who knew they could have so much in common? The way my mother and cousin spent much of the time whispering conspiratorially to one another--most likely about the new law--made me a little paranoid myself. Maybe my mother would also like to move to Texas or somewhere else where the gubmint can't insert substances into our precious bodily fluids.
I really don't know what to do. I was relying on my mother and my cousin for emotional support and now I feel lost. I need my mother for economic and physical support due to my disabilities. Overall, I think I'm getting better, but I'm still not up to doing things for myself. My disability payment really isn't enough to live on. I've tried it. A couple of times I had to set strict boundaries by booting my mother out of my life. During those times, I had to eat foods that made my blood glucose spike. I lived on Cream of Wheat for awhile. Not recommended for someone who is ketoacidosis-prone. My health--while better than it was when I spent some time in the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis--is not as good as it was when I tried to manage on my own several years back.
Is the entire human race this crazy or is it only the people I've been around most of my life? Maybe human beings are programmed to be idiots and assholes.
You'll never get emotional support from such people. I know that's hard to swallow, I know you keep thinking, "But it's family!" Don't think I'm hard on you, it's just that I swallowed the same pill.
I'm feeling really angry, so it isn't fair to base an opinion on what I wrote above. I only wrote about what's bothering me and didn't present a balanced view of my mother or my cousin. I wanted to vent and that's what I did. I didn't set out to write "A Balanced Treatise on the Behavior of my Family." No person is completely horrible or completely good and my OP only presented what I feel are my family's flaws.
Other than the fact my cousin won't vaccinate, she's a really good mother, better than I would be, most likely. But then again, I realized a long time ago I shouldn't have kids. I realize she is guilty of neglect tantamount to child abuse, but it's due to something that might be beyond her control. I'm beginning to think human beings can't help being idiots and that this fatal flaw will most likely lead to our demise. I'm kind of surprised we've made it this far. At the same time, I think she should be punished if her stupidity hurts someone else. She'll never admit culpability, but it might give fence-sitters pause if anti-vaxxers are held responsible for outbreaks. Once a few people go to jail, lose their medical licenses or are sued, the fence-sitters will get on board. If my cousin's family won't vaccinate, I'm of the opinion they should suffer the consequences.
My family is experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect. They can't tell they're bad at critical thinking because the skills needed to discover they are bad at critical thinking are the same skills they would need to think critically. They are essentially blind when it comes to critical thinking and there's no way to fix it. All human beings are afflicted with various biases. Right now I'm probably really, really wrong about something, maybe something as important as vaccination. The only difference is I've been able to use critical thinking skills to correct some of my more stupid beliefs and belief systems.
Most people are terrible at critical thinking. It's a blue-eyed wonder I'm an atheist considering how many years I went to Christian schools and was isolated in a Christian community. I know it adversely affected my ability to think fluidly and yet I still managed to dump the fundamentalist Christian mindset. *shrug* Being born with abilities others lack doesn't necessarily make me better than them. We decide what skills are important and usually those are the skills we possess and others don't. Yes, I'm of the opinion that humanity's inability to think critically will probably lead to our demise, but I also think we can't help it. I'm railing against that idea, but I don't think my apoplectic anger will help in any way.
Plinius (Chris) is right. The support you'll receive will be conditioned on your acceptance of their batshit views about reality. A psychiatrist that doesn't accept vaccinations?!!!! Where did he get his medical degree? Liberty "Loves You Some Jesus" University and Faith Healing Center? It's unfortunate, but the moment you let them know you think prayer is a complete waste of time, the ostracism begins. Like Chris, I'm personally familiar with that.
There is not much you can do, and if anything new age health nuts are worse than many religionists.. You won't change their mind.
There isn't much you can do except get away from them or join them. The human race is this crazy. Thrust me, I've been there. It's also the people you have been around most of your life. Find others that agree with you and they can tell you a similar story
In my own life I was the rebellious "minister to be" but I rebelled enough to where it didn't happen. My life became a wreck that I had to deal with, so one day I would drink with them and the next day I would recover wanting to be myself again. I can't deal with people's DRAMA. Believe me, people have a lot of drama. My 35 year old wife and I are not together because of drama.
Today at 69, I work 3 days one week and 5 short days the next. I'm good at my job but avoid people privately. I do see my family briefly but am a recluse. WHY? It's the drama. My oldest daughter has 3 kids aged 7 to 9 and the kids killed all the chickens recently. It's drama like out of a horror movie. I show up and give my opinions but basically I live behind my closed door. I prefer this to anything else.
With my Internet knowledge I keep up with things all over the world and watch TV and movies from all over the world. This is what I do. I'm a recluse that does not want to be actively involved in all the nonsense that I see day to day. I can't live it myself and do not want to live it through my children. Therefore I had to "divorce myself" from all this crap.
The difference between me and the average religious wingnut is that I no longer believe. I cannot share my anxiety with their anxiety. Otherwise I would go insane!
As to Fox News, I don't blame you. I saw a great post that states, "I don't watch Fox News for the same reason I don't eat out of the toilet." I am convinced the distance between the left and right is NOT a straight line, but rather a circle. The more batshit extreme each side gets (right wing nut bag moron anti-vaxers and left wing New Age pyramid crystals for your chakra idiots),the worse it becomes for all of us. My suggestion, if possible, get some antibiotics, take care of yourself, and avoid the loonies. Best wishes. Hope you get better soon.
Thanks. I am waiting on my antibiotics.
I can't avoid the loonies. I don't know anyone IRL who isn't a loony. Makes me want to give up.
And yes, I've already considered the circle analogy. They circled me: some on the left and some on the right. :( I'm surrounded by idiots.
Don't give up. It'll just encourage the bastards. Does it get easier? Hell No! But remember. You're one of the "good guys." We need you.
Thanks. Right now it's hard not to see anything but the circle of idiots. :|
Whatever happened to the news reels from WW2 time that championed the invention of and use of vaccines to cure and prevent disease? I saw these things in my childhood and into my teens all over the TV. If you went to an indoor movie theatre you saw this on the news reels that they showed. People just got so stupid that they decided these things are now harmful? It doesn't make any sense.
Nope. No sense at all. I think I'm going to have to tell them that vaccines are one of my boundary issues.
If I become certain that my family is endangering lives, I'm not sure what I will do. If I told on them, most likely they would disown me immediately. I can't live on the street. My back is in so much pain I can barely manage now. Also, I refuse to put myself in a situation where I would be constantly under threat of sexual predators. At the same time, I don't think I could live with myself if my failure to act led to the death of someone else. Yes, my family would be culpable, but my conscience would eat me alive.
A part of me questions whether humans are even worth the trouble. It seems we can never learn. Anti-vaxxers are nothing new. We're just experiencing the latest foray into stupidity. Have a gander at this Depression Era comic:
People are idiots.