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Tag: phobias

Vaccineaphobia

Trust me, if this is how vaccines came, I'd be an anti-vaxxer too.

Trust me, if this is how vaccines came, I’d be an anti-vaxxer too.

So, I guess it’s that time of year.  Cold and flu season.  The glorious time of year where all parents spend about 4 long months either nursing one of their children back to health or trying not to succumb to the horrible congestion and delirious state of exhaustion that comes with the territory.

It’s also that time of year where we start seeing all the articles about measles outbreaks and the various articles pleading the science of vaccines and urging people to change their minds.

It’s also the time of year where all anti-vaxxers ignore the pleas and continue to make a panic-induced choice based on the blog of someone who may have had a legitimate issue with a vaccine.  The time of year where they allow their children to be exposed to a horrible preventable illness that also puts others at risk.  And by others, I mean people who have already had a shitty deal of it.  People with compromised immune systems, or perhaps an infant who hasn’t had a chance to build an immune system.  Perhaps the infant of a parent who fully intends to vaccinate their child but must wait until they are old enough.

I wonder how you would feel, Anti-Vaxxer, if you found out you had given a friend’s infant the measles?  I wonder how you would feel if that infant suffered from complications or died?

I know how I would feel.  I would feel angry.  I would feel frustrated.  I would feel sad.

If natural immunity is so awesome, why aren’t you guys locking yourselves up in a house together for a few weeks and opening a jar of live measles virus in a room and having one of those ridiculous parties people have with chicken pox these days?  ( There is also a vaccine available for that, by the way)

If you are so unafraid of the measles, why don’t you?  Why don’t you go make out with someone infected with measles and just get it over with?  Just fucking have at it already.

The truth is, you don’t want to get measles either.  It makes you horribly ill and there are risks of some very serious complications to go with it. So you are relying on the rest of us and our immunity to prevent the spread.

I think that all of us who try to reason with science and proof and statistics are wasting our disease-free breath.  I think the main thing driving the anti-vaccine movement is fear.  I don’t think it is an issue that measurable science can fix, because we are talking about irrational fear.

I think the anti-vaccine movement is phobia rooted in misinterpretation of facts and pseudo-science.  I think it actually deserves it’s own phobia name like arachnophobia (the fear of spiders.)  It is irrational and incredible to those of use who don’t allow misinformation to terrify us, but to the “sufferer” it is extremely real.

So, I won’t be linking to any scientific articles.  But I will create my own hypothesis:  There is a real epidemic sweeping the Western world, and it’s called Vaccineaphobia.  It’s rooted in propaganda and fear and isn’t worth trying to attack it with logic.

Perhaps some cognitive behavioral therapy?  How are phobias cured?  Don’t say by a vaccine.

Happy Wednesday, Bitches.

Hot On The Titties: Judgement Day

 

I try so hard not to judge other parents, Bitches.  I try.  Lord knows I screw things up all the time and have to learn to do better the next day.

But here’s the thing.

The other day, the day after the super irritating doctor’s office mommy incident, we all went to the park.  And there was a new source of “what the hell?” for me to ponder.

This woman was caring for four children  Two were hers, two were not.  The difference in the way she spoke to her own children versus the children whom she was caring for made my jaw drop.  To sum things up quickly, there was nothing but praise for her sons as they roamed around the playground, and nothing but total assholery in the way she interacted with the littlest of the little girls.

This little girl was afraid of bugs, you see.

And sure.  A child’s irrational fear can be difficult.  Frustrating even.  But you know what I found frustrating?

Watching an adult loudly and repeatedly shame, threaten, yell at, and berate a 2 year old child in front of her siblings, friends and strangers for 45 minutes because her fear was inconveniencing this obviously overwhelmed mommy.

Making sure to tell everybody how they were going to have to leave the park and it was all her fault.

Making sure to let her know if she didn’t instantly forget she was afraid of bugs that she would certainly not get to do X,Y and fucking Z that afternoon.

Making sure everyone know how stupid she was because there were obviously no bugs at the park.

So yeah.  I get it.  Sometimes 2 year olds are fucking ridiculous.  Mine is ridiculous at least 10 times every day.  And sometimes I lose my cool.  More than I’m proud to admit.

But I keep thinking, when we’re out in public, we are usually on our best behavior, because we know other people are watching.  We try to control ourselves a little better.  And certainly, we are likely to be more careful with how we talk to someone elses child.

Right?

So I keep thinking, if that’s was her best behavior, what the hell goes on when no one is listening?

And then I thought.  Thank goodness I saw this.  Because if it broke my heart enough to watch a little girl I don’t know be talked to that way, I sure as fuck am going to be even more careful about the way I talk to my Destroyer in those ridiculous moments.

Because making a child that obviously already feels vulnerable fell ashamed just makes it worse, no?

So yeah.  I guess I should really thank this woman.  She made me a better parent.

And I’m sure I do a lot of things that make other people shake their heads.  I know I shouldn’t judge.  But seriously.  I am judging this woman because she chose that behavior.  I am judging her because if the little girl’s parents knew what kind of dialogue happened there, I’m pretty sure they would have some words to exchange.

How would you deal with a similar situation?  I find that most often when I get pissed off is when I have a plan in my head, and the children don’t care.  As soon as I let go of my personal agenda, I feel less stressed.

How about you?

Nothing To Fear But Love Itself

Fear.  What are you afraid of?  Bugs?  Death?  Heights?

There are a few things around that scare the shit out of me, that’s for sure.  Anything that has more than 4 legs and creeps or flies or lives in swarms.  Bugs and spiders are enough to send me over the deep end for sure.  The thought of something like that crawling on me and feasting on my warm flesh makes me want to die.

I also hate to be up high.  The only ways I would go up a mountain would be on my own two feet or on the back of a horse.  No car, no ski lift, no mechanical monster who is out to drop me over the edge and kill me.   Neither my feet or the horse are going to go and fall off the mountain.  Most of the time.

Flying? Oh my God. I have to be drunk first.

Failure.  The thought of not succeeding at something is terrifying.   The threat of being unable to accomplish a task makes me just about sick.  I am convinced that anything is possible if you try hard enough, so this would be like breaking a law of physics.

Oh.  And skin things.  Like moles.  And infections.  And overgrown zits.  I am absolutely certain that I will die from some strange skin lesion bursting and spreading a deadly infection throughout my body, or that all those moles I’ve had for 25 years are all cancerous.

Illogical?  Maybe.  But it seems real enough to me.

Does anybody watch Dr. Phil?  I fucking love that bald little bastard.  I think he says that fears or “odd” behaviours are ok as long as they don’t interfere with your daily life or change something about you fundamentally.  Then you should seek help.

Whoa. I’m fucked then.

Cause let me tell you what really scares me.  All quirky little phobias aside.

Once you have a child, your biggest, most important, only really present fear is that something could happen to your child. I see things on the news all the time about babies being killed in accidents.  Or young children that get sick and pass away.  I read about mothers having their babies taken from them.  And the thought of any of this crushes my heart.  The thought of anything coming between me and my child literally takes the breath out of my lungs.  Because that’s what she is now.  She is the air I breathe.

And that fear has changed me.  Or that love, I guess, depending on how you look at it.  Everything in life is seen with a fresh perspective.  I finally had to give in to the fact that not everything in life is completely black and white.

So has the fear changed me or fixed me, Dr. Phil?  Is my new found sensitivity and empathy a good thing or a bad thing?  Am I just really high on pregnancy hormones?  Is love really that powerful?

Life was way less complicated before I had feelings.  I used to be so predictable.

The one you should really be afraid of is the Destroyer.  She’s the one who did this to me after all.  Anyone who has the ‘nads to make me change is one tough little cookie.

And she’s all mine.

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