“Anti-Vax” Community: A Drama-Free Zone?

June 6, 2018

This community is tough. It’s an amazing community, but tough.

When you have a group of parents who spend 24/7/365 in constant battle mode (schools, doctors, government, etc.), you have to know that nobody is coming in unprepared to stand up for what they believe.

It’s both magical and sometimes crazy. It can mean the absolute best ride-or-die friendships, and it can mean you take a misstep and you will be called on the carpet. It will welcome you, love on you, support you, and guarantee you are never alone. It will also piss you off to the point that you want nothing to do with it again.

Because that’s what happens when every person here knows what is best for their own. Because we have been forced to stop thinking about hurt feelings and speak our truths. Because we know if we don’t stand up, nobody does. Because we live every day with the battle wounds of having not originally followed our instinct. Because we know pain and will strike first if we feel our children, loved ones, or friends are under fire. Because we step down to nobody.

Sure there are some issues with ego, popularity, money, and sometimes even frauds involved when we talk about the drama in our community, but for the most part it’s just about who we have had to become. And that’s mostly okay.

Being a warrior is fine, but living in a constant state of war will be our demise.

When you have been in this community long enough, you begin a transformation. You start seeing people for who they really are. You can separate the talkers from the doers, the scammers from the genuine, the people from their products. You understand that some people have their hearts in the right place and yet are absolutely not the people to take advice from, and some are better than you could possibly have imagined. You figure out that some of the hot new things come and go while other things have remained constants. You start asking questions, dig through mounds of science, and train yourself to add the word scam onto every Google search about the trendy new treatment just to read the opposing views. You know when a fundraiser is legit and know when a doctor is a joke. And you can spot propaganda or a troll from a headline or a that-man-who-did-that-study comment. You feel anger at those who won’t act, and disappointment in those who act inappropriately. And you hate it when people are stupid enough to buy into the drama, because if we could all just focus . . . . And sometimes we hate ourselves for going down that hole.

But we can’t just focus on one thing or just one way of doing thing, because it’s not in our nature. We have to juggle a million tasks and somehow slay them all (or at least as many as humanly possible) and do it in a way everyone approves (or at least doesn’t disapprove) of, in a limited time, and smile about it.

It’s a tough task to live up to, and even if we were all capable of doing so, I’m not sure it would be beneficial. I could tell you that the protocol you are so excited about is based on junk science, or spend twenty-three hours a day arguing on some newspaper comment section with pharma-paid shills, or hunt through hundreds of Facebook comments trying to decide whether someone is really a troll because of something upsetting they said. But is this really the best use of my time, and who benefits or gets hurt? Is it worth it to pull out the sword at every single battle? Or am I allowed at some point to just laugh at how crazy this all is sometimes? Because after so many years, it becomes tiresome to always be in defense or attack mode.

Frankly, my kid has zero chance of improving through my arguing the merit of a GoFundMe campaign, or disputing whether or not some celebrity had autism, or spending three weeks tweeting about the real cause to someone whose sole job is to harass special-needs parents online. I don’t win the Parent of the Year by worrying about who others have elected the unofficial leaders of our movement or whether some folks can’t see through deception. And in reality, we all know that there are many aspects of this life that are hard. Balancing all these extras is impossible. It’s the reason we are exhausted, burned out, needing to walk away, and having to redirect. It’s too much. When we start taking on this extra load, we can find ourselves turning on everything and everyone.

In a dream world we would actually have the necessary tools to change this course so we could just go back to sharing pictures of our pets, dinners, or family vacations. We could take a step back and rest without constant worry or being on the defense. We could spend less time fighting for appropriate education, safety, insurance coverage, medical care, real science, resources and funding, truth, legislation, and actual answers—and more time just enjoying our wonderful kids.

And then maybe—just maybe—we could breathe.

We wouldn’t feel on edge waiting for the next nasty article, disappointing medical professional, or shady politician. We could just be the people we were before we even knew this crazy world existed. Or at least the people who we were when our job was simply to help our children without having to save mankind at every turn.

But in reality, until that happens, sometimes we have to lay down the sword. It will still be there for the real battles, the ones that benefit our kids, but until those arise I am just going to admire the fight that we all have within and not focus on the silly stuff. We don’t have to all agree. We don’t have to share the same views, or direction, or protocols, or even politics. We don’t have to spin our wheels with those who don’t care or waste a moment on those who cause drama. Instead, we can spend the day at the park swinging or thinking about how watching Blue’s Clues over and over brings a sweet smile we might have missed if we were busy arguing the fate of the world on Twitter.

This is not a call to stop speaking out, or to not stand up for what you believe or fight for our babies. It’s a reminder to pick the real battles and embrace the other parts of life as well, because nobody (including the ones we are fighting for) rests in the middle of war.

It’s okay to breathe, to let stuff roll off you sometimes, to plant a seed and move on, to try to remember all those in the same boat, and most of all to spend some of that energy on the main reason we do this all: our loved ones. I will never say it’s okay to stop fighting for our kids, but it is okay to find some peace in the chaos too. It’s okay to sometimes just be in the moment. Our loved ones need warrior-tough parents, and we have that in spades, but they also need us to be there to show them, and in turn teach them, about happiness, love, and laughter even in the toughest days. We have to be their safe spot when all these entities have failed them. We cannot live in anger, fear, and sadness all the time because then we are not teaching them to live at all.

I want you to know that you aren’t failing.

Read that again: You are not failing.

You are overwhelmed because you can see the many ways the world is failing. You whisper to yourself, If not me, then who? You know it takes brave people like yourself to rise up. You know that for many in our community there is no time to wait and that lives are at risk. You know that you can’t back down, or give up, or quit because you would do anything for your child. You are afraid that living life means you don’t care enough or you have given up. It’s too hard to laugh and a weakness to cry. You worry you are letting down the community or, even more so, your child.

And so, you keep going and soon you lose yourself. Your days and nights are consumed with whatever the battle is. I know; we all know. The pressure to save lives is constant.

We walk away and get pulled back. We look for our niche. We talk about balance as our messages and emails spin out of control. We start groups, organize events, begin businesses, visit our congressional offices, jump on every article or poll because someone needs back-up, fundraise, share missing-kids posts, volunteer, stay up late giving advice, pray, wake up and dread the day because—beyond the eight thousand hats we wear—the most important one hasn’t slept and is mid-meltdown. And we sit alone, mid-crisis, questioning what to do for our own children.

The truth is that we are killing ourselves at every turn.

I don’t know how to solve the real problems, the ones our kids are going through. I don’t know how to stop the battles we have to fight. In fact, I have very few answers or I probably wouldn’t be writing this. But what I do know is that sometimes we have to take a step back and look at ourselves.

We are tough, strong, and trying our best.

We are enough. You are enough.

Don’t believe me? Just look at your kids; you couldn’t be more of a hero in their eyes.

~ Crush

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21 Responses to “Anti-Vax” Community: A Drama-Free Zone?

  1. Anon says:

    Have you seen/read the uproar in Australia over a billboard? It is a fairly simple billboard (as these things go), with a Mother bent over reading books, and the question “DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN A VACCINE” with a link to a website “Learn the Risk”…

    The authorities /Medical association etc are acting to have the Billboard brought down.
    They say….

    “A new anti-vaccination billboard in Perth has sparked outrage amongst Australian doctors and caused a dispute to flare on social media.”

    “Nasty & devious’ anti-vaccination billboard sparks outrage in Australia” (I suspect truly it is only a very few who are outraged)

    “However, the message wasn’t received so well by the Australian Medical Association. As soon as the billboard was spotted, the Association insisted on having it pulled down by the local authorities. Their outrage was reinforced by Health Minister Roger Cook, who in turn branded the billboard “nasty and devious” and warned that its “misleading” nature could seriously endanger people’s lives. Cook vowed to pull all the necessary strings to have it removed as soon as possible and said he was considering toughening laws to fight against this sort of “misinformation.”

    etc…

    — The Billboard (I Looked it up) appears fairly mild/straight forward. It suggests we should educate ourselves, basically. Golly…would’ve thought that a good thing.

    Sad

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Yes, I’ve seen that billboard! I hope if they get it taken down that that sets off a LOT of people’s alarms. It is a VERY straightforward question that EVERYONE should know the answer to since they are asking you to inject your children with them.

  2. Hans Litten says:

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/06/15/14/20/perth-doctors-outraged-over-anti-vaccination-billboard

    We have them on the run !!!
    —————————
    A new billboard placed in Perth has sparked controversy and outraged doctors.
    A woman is pictured holding texts books with a question next to her asking – do you know what’s in a vaccine?

    It then provides a link to a radical American anti-vaccination group called ‘Learn The Risk’.
    The Australian Medical Association is now calling for the billboard to be pulled down immediately.
    It says not only is it a public health risk but it is also misleading and conspiracy theory garbage.

    The State Government also wants to see the billboard banned with Health Minister Roger Cook asking the Department to investigate whether powers under the Public Health Act could be used.

    He says the anti-vaccination lobby is once again spreading dangerous misinformation, with vaccines the best way to prevent children from potentially deadly diseases.
    The AMA says international anti vaccination lobby groups are not welcome in WA.

    But lawyers say given our freedom of speech rights in Australia, the State Government will have a tough time getting rid of it.

    At just 32 days old, Perth mother Catherine Hughes lost her baby boy Riley to whopping cough.

    He was too young to be vaccinated.

    She says given the nations strict advertising laws, she’s flawed it’s slipped through.

    The City of Vincent is now trawling through records to determine whether the billboard was approved for installment.

    The City said in a statement that they did not approve the anti-vaccination advertisement on the billboard.

    “The City of Vincent is strongly opposed to the advertising material on the billboard and we are advocating for its urgent removal,” they said.

    “We will do whatever we can to support the State Government in this.

    “We have already submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau requesting that they deal with the content urgently. We will contact the owner of the billboard to alert them to our concerns and to strongly lobby them for its removal. ”

    Posted by: Hans Litten | June 15, 2018 at 02:37 AM

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    • ProfessorTMR says:

      You and “Anon” are on the same wavelength. Hysterical overreaction that’s got to get a LOT of people wondering, what exactly IS in vaccines? 😀 They’re gonna lose this one–BIG!

      • Anon says:

        Professor TMR

        — I surely hope so.

        I find their objection (HOW DARE anyone question …..)…frightening/sad/ and horribly reminiscent of another era/time/governments when free thought was banned…questions banned…(I wont mention them, but these governments, if anyone voiced support for them today, folks would be censored. Yet and all, I see little difference in them and a govt banning folks from asking a question/seeking info)

  3. Stacy Wurz says:

    I wish I could look at my son, but vaccines took his life. Even if it kills me I’ll never give upon that truth.

  4. Hans Litten says:

    We are ALL waiting …… Scott Pruitt, Nancy Beck, Richard Yamada, Molly Block

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-formaldehyde/epa-slows-release-of-formaldehyde-cancer-risk-study-documents-idUSKCN1IP3EX

    Pressured by industry, U.S. EPA slows formaldehyde study release: documents

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from the chemical (vaccination) industry, has delayed release of a study detailing cancer risks from formaldehyde, according to internal communications seen by Reuters, potentially keeping important health information from the public.

    Democratic senators Ed Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse and Tom Carper last week wrote to EPA chief Scott Pruitt to ask about delays to the report and request communications between the EPA and ACC related to the formaldehyde assessment, saying they were concerned the agency was bowing to industry pressure.

  5. Jeannette Bishop says:

    Thank you for this post!

  6. My Opinion,
    I am a first time Grandmother of a beautiful , now 9 month old baby girl. Who I now don’t get to interact with on Skype anymore. Because I am told what I can and cannot say to my daughter who’s views have changed since the birth of my Granddaughter.
    During her pregnancy she called me twice a day. Once on the way to work and then again on her way home.For nine months, so we discussed a lot of different topics. At that time we both felt that the drug world (Big Pharma) was getting out of hand. Especially with the number of Vaccines that is now “Required” for your baby. And the relentless commercial advertising of TV. That I refer to as Legal Drug Pushing. ( My Opinion).
    But it seems her views have changed. Mine have not. And for good reason. I have spent the past 18 + months researching . Toxins, Vaccines, Prescriptions and the ingredients, Doctors, Scientist, Chemicals, Chemtrails, Monsanto, Natural remedies, Holistic Doctors, Indian medicine, Ancient beliefs and medicine. Government, Health care, the Human body, Immune system, Schools, Illuminati, Conspiracy theories basically I haven’t left any stone unturned.
    I am not an expert on any given topic or issue. ( Jane of all issues Master of none.) Persay. I am a Truth seeker, I do have common sense, a good sense of right and wrong. I am not Anti -Vaccine not am I Pro-Vaccine. I do believe we have a responsibility to know what you are putting in your body. And Especially what we are putting in our Children’s bodies. I joined the blog site because I wanted to see if there was anyone else that felt as I do. And because in my quest for truth I ( it ) has caused the bandment from my Daughter’s life. I have been blocked on her phone, facebook, twitter, pinterest, email. etc.. What happened ? You may ask. Well the Daughter ( my only Child) I talked to every day. And shared similar beliefs changed the day she told her doctor she wanted to delay some of the vaccines . You see her Doctor told her that if she did not Vaccinate her baby she would not be aloud to come back. And that is when our relationship became strained. I raised my Daughter as a single Mom and I did the best I knew how. I taught her to think for herself and to question everything. She was not to take my word or anyone else’s word. She was suppose to do her homework and make her own educated decision. Well that fell down to the waist side. All because of one Doctor with a degree who with that degree is an expert in medicine and vaccines. NOT. I have asked my daughter to do the research , look up the ingredients of these 30 + Vaccines. She claims she has and she has made her decision.
    And I am not allowed to bring it up. I am not allowed to even say the word Vaccine. Here is what got me blocked and exiled from her life. The baby after her sixth month round of chemicals developed eczema. My Daughter asked me if myself or anyone has in the family has had eczema. I told her No and why was she asking? Her Doctor, (the one with the degree) told her that eczema is inherited. I replied with ” WHAT ” are you serious? I could not believe what I was hearing. Now like I said I am not an expert, but I have done enough research and read more medical articles , theories, hypotheses, studies. to know eczema is your immune system have an overreaction to an irritant.( If this is wrong then feel free to let me know. ) and I have also learned the your immune system is NOT inherited. So someone please explain to me how in the hell is eczema inherited. And explain to me why a baby not even a month old needs to be vaccinated for a std diseases. That one has floored me. I have done enough research to fully believe that a lot of the childhood problems like Autism, ADHD, Asthma are either caused by or triggered by chemicals. ( aka Vaccines ). I pray everyday that this does not happen to that precious little girl. My heart goes out to all the mothers that face this and have this nightmare to deal with on a daily basis. All in the name of science and health. More like Money and greed and narcissism.
    I am angry and lost. This has ruined my relationship with my daughter and as far as my Grandbaby I am sent pictures of her every now and then by my son-in-law.
    I apologise for the length of this blog. And if you made it this far, Thank you so much for listening. Missing my family!!!

    • Jeannette Bishop says:

      Carol, so sorry!

      I wonder if your son-in-law or daughter wouldn’t mind giving this interview 15-20 minutes of his time to get a a pretty good feel for the vaccination climate and what motivates doctors and how much they are actually trained regarding vaccination:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiJRUdY9l3E

      I’m sure there are other sources regarding therapies for eczema, but since I’ve just finished Dara Berger’s book ~How to Prevent Autism~ which doesn’t avoid the vaccine question, but that book comes most readily to mind and might be helpful to your daughter as Dara has experience reversing both eczema and autism which she goes into in the book.

    • Anon says:

      Carol English….I am truly sorry to hear what you are going through. Even sorrier for you loss, of relationship with your daughter/grandbaby. Maybe even sorrier for possible side effects to baby.

      —What I am thinking, is maybe the Doctor has hinted/implied/or out right stated that if she does not “vaccinate on schedule”, she may be “considered” an unfit parent and at risk of having child taken away by Social Services? I have heard/read of many cases like that.

  7. Dawn Loughborough says:

    Well said – thank you for your thoughtful statements. I’ve mostly felt everyone’s amazing desire to get this handled for our kids with an unfortunate rug pulled out from under by our own self righteous zeal. I’ve thought I could quietly outsmart and out maneuver and avoid domination as my path forward, but now as I shift into thinking what can I do for my future grandchildren things look more gradual. I’ve been disappointed and frustrated by lots of misguided unforeseen mishaps but at the end of the day I got my son better and maybe the rest is just a desire to have this stop. Taking an unnecessary bullet for the greater good is a house of cards that will tumble.

  8. Sue says:

    So true ☺💕👍. Hit the nail on the head.

  9. nhokkanen says:

    Thanks for this excellent summation; you’ve covered a lot of historical (and hysterical) ground regarding our ever-growing subpopulation.

    How different life would be if the CDC had responded to the increase in vaccine-induced autism with intellectual curiosity and a sense of ethical responsibility… working toward diagnosis, treatment and prevention. And if securing appropriate education and human services didn’t feel like pulling teeth.

    We’d have far less stress, too, if family and friends and neighbors put forth more effort to understand and help, instead of standing limply at the sidelines offering only inanities, insults or silence. So we take out our frustrations on the people closest to us, the fellow autism parents, the ones who understand.

    I agree that we need to winnow the grain from the chaff, and figure out what pursuits result in positive forward action. Recently I half-listened to 15 minutes of a person’s half-hour rant. The video was more instructive about the person’s stressed mental state than the situation she was trying to describe — which could have been summed up factually in just a few minutes. Yes, venting is important, but not when it is publicized with intent to distract, inflame and polarize.

  10. Kristi says:

    This sentence speaks to me the most, “Frankly, my kid has zero chance of improving through my arguing the merit of a GoFundMe campaign, or disputing whether or not some celebrity had autism, or spending three weeks tweeting about the real cause to someone whose sole job is to harass special-needs parents online.” I have been caught up in this and I’m determined to do better. I think one of the reasons we do this is because sometimes it’s actually easier to battle these battles than to get offline and battle the ones in our own home. I joined Facebook at exactly the right time. I thought I would go crazy. It thought I couldn’t take my life and our vaccine injury anymore (I say ‘our’ because both myself and my daughter are injured). Facebook took me out of my isolated life, our solitary confinement, and put me back in touch with others. And because it makes you feel ‘normal’ for a little bit…to just be having conversations and be part of a community (even if it’s just online), I found myself there too much. It was an escape b/c that took us somewhere different for a little while. But is it the emotional break we need? Probably not. When I see ‘normal’ families online, living their life, posting graduation, wedding, new baby photo’s I don’t feel part of that world anymore. The normal life now seems like a fairy tale to me that is no longer my reality. So I spend time then with ‘my tribe’ of other warrior families. At least I fit in there and belong, but yes, it turns into a battlefield, just as you described. I wish I had the answers. Please someone write about the answers. Surely the answers are somewhere. Let’s pray for those answers and pray for each other.

  11. Randi McIntyre says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you.

  12. Jeanette says:

    This is so well stated. I know this article will have the most meaning for parents who are raising vaccine injured children and are on the front-lines of this issue each and every day; but as someone who was fortunate enough to start questioning vaccines 30 years ago, and was able to avoid vaccine injury, I can tell you that it is also quite meaningful and an excellent reminder for those of us who are in this movement simply because we care. Thank you so very much. God bless and take care…

  13. Thank you for an excellent article. Of your many salient points, this stands out to me and bears repetition: “We cannot live in anger, fear, and sadness all the time because then we are not teaching them to live at all.”

  14. Joanna says:

    Thank you for this! We ALL need this reminder, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me 🙂

    Taking a lesson from War Games – the machine doesn’t stop and sometimes the only way to win is not to play.

  15. John Collins says:

    Fight the good fight. Never give up.

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