Anti-vaxers and social media, who’s really listening?

After recently finding out there is an anti-vaccination movement, being a vaccinated woman; I decided to, rather than assume my position on “my” side of the fence, curiosity killed the cat, and I stepped out in to the battle field, hilariously enough, on social media.

So with an open-mind and a thirst to quench my curiosity, I found serval groups, forums, pages, that we Anti-Vax, which I will not name.

Things were fine at first, I was learning and understand the reasons that anti-vax supporters make, and surprisingly a heavy and consistent influx of pro-vac supporters, insulting, degrading anti-vax members. I was completely shocked and appalled at some of the verbal abuse they were receiving, their personal lives being attacked, accusing them of wanting THEIR OWN CHILDREN to die.

Stop. Just stop

Do not get me wrong, some anti-vax supporters met their abusers with the same force. It is not one sided, but it was frequently provoked.

I was horrified and disgusted that I was a pro-vax supporter, so I expressed my “vaccination status”. Commenting that I was disgusted and humiliated that none of these human beings were being treated as they should be.

(Note – not every pro-vax supporter used bullying, aggression and pure hate to discuss their opinion; and the post is purely based on those who did. I also am very aware that it happens on both sides)

I was honestly shocked at how I was then treated by some anti-vac supporters, only some. To some, it was like I turned into a disgusting human being, and then no matter what I had to say, even if in their defence, I was no longer important, or had the right to comment.

Some were much more polite, just explaining that it was my lack of knowledge which was the deterrence.

Others went as far to accuse me of putting a lot of effort into making a mockery of the whole situation, and my interest and willing-ness to learn was purely fake.

So filled with rage, I took my ball and I went home. Having my first experience and opinion of anti-vaxers, and I most certainly was not impressed, I actually considered believing pro-vac statements of ignorance found commonly in the anti-vac community.

(Keep in mind, I never once argued about their choices, questioned the authenticity of their information. When I say I went in with an open mind, I truly did)

But mostly, I was angry and quite let down, that I wasn’t “grabbed” by the anti-vac community and bombarded with information; they were given a fresh mind to help understand,
And they completely turned their backs.

Feeling undefeated but still determined, I found another group, a little smaller group, still harassed, but fired back differently. I was able to have adult conversation, and ask questions with very few people questioning why I was there, but instead of being met with anger, tension, disgust.

I had people defend my right to be there, encouraging my need for understanding the anti-vac movement.

I also noticed now they handled little “attacks” from pro-vax supporters, some were quickly brushed off, because it was obvious that they were fed an opinion and were running with it, some were factual based, and those replies became a debate of facts, which were always fascinating.

This selected part of the anti-vac community had figured out who was actually worth their time, rather than just fuelling an argument over social media.

So while maintaining my information-food crusade. I began to watch how it was decided who was worth listening to, and replying to.

So, I created a list on how to keep your sanity as an anti-vax on social media.

Stop fueling the stereotype
– You are often referred to as an idiot, and a simpleton, that lack education and repels science, stop allowing them to continue to use that to their advantage because you “couldn’t take it anymore” and you dropped to their level and started degrading them too.

Do not feed the trolls
Some people are just looking for a fight, they really don’t give a fuck about being pro-vax or anti-vax. They just want to see people get angry and act like a fool. These people are easy to see. Don’t fall into it, they are always going to be “right” and they only want to piss you off for their amusement.

An example of someone who is just being a troll is comments like “my child needs “blah” medication in order to survive, should I just stop taking them and let my child die?”

Don’t even waste your time, don’t feed them. They will only succeed at making you look like a bad person or an idiot.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT
A good, and well informed anti-vax supporter will provide details and show where they got their information and statistics from.

Regardless if the person agrees with the information, just being able to provide it, shows that you understand and know what you’re talking about (although they will most often just say it’s wrong, it’s fiction, ignore it, they still read it)

Do not simply believe something because another anti-vax said it, that only keeps the idiocy and misinformed information circling.

Know when to walk away
If you start to feel like you’re playing chess with a pigeon. You are. Walk away, don’t persist, you’ll just go in circles. Don’t be proud, yes they are going to think the have won because you “back away or can’t answer” because that’s how they will always be, no matter what you say, even if they are wrong.

Just remember, chess with a pigeon will always go like this.

He’ll knock all these pieces down, shit all over the board and still fly off like he has won. Not worth it.

understand why YOU are anti-vax
No, seriously. It’s not something you can just choose casually one day, and then take it as you now have the right and responsibility to represent the anti-vaccination community on social media. That will just get messy, really quickly.

You should be confident in your decision. You should be able to tell anyone (only if you what to, you do not need to explain yourself)

The risks/rewards/reasons, not only for taking on the social media assassinations, but for you.

friend or foe?
Take the time to realise that there are people like me, that ask questions, and get involved to understand the anti-vax movement, don’t sit back and complain about being the minority, the bullied, the people that aren’t understood.

A victory is a victory. No matter how big or small, regardless if they stay pro-vax or become anti-vax. You still had to opportunity to help someone understand what you’re fighting for, or debunk silly pro-vac myths. Take it. That’s one less person in the world that is going to run around saying that you “choose death over autism”

Now; since I spent the time understanding I have finally made a choice on what side I want to support.

Both.

I support the right for people to vaccinate without judgement. I support the improvement and availability of vaccinations and immunisations.

And as with anti-vaxers. I also support their right to do so without judgement, I support their opinions without any accusation about them putting my child at risk.
The only thing I would like to happen as soon as possible, would be the promotion of anti-vax information without being completely biased, available to communities and the general public, even if it doesn’t encourage parents to be anti-vax, it still will stop them fearing a plague instantly spreading overnight and killing off the country, because one child at school isn’t vaccinated.

Well. That’s my take on it. Comments are open.

Note. I’m not a blog that talks about this kind of stuff, and I highly doubt I will again.

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A #selfie

So, I thought that I would allow my followers to see what look like, if they choose.

Here goes.

Ha, this was the only picture I could find, where my facial expressions didn’t make my face resemble a bucket full of smashed crabs.

and my eyelashes are falling off.

I will not comment on anything else, because what I see, and what you might are going to be different.

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A perfect stranger.

A progress update.

When blogging for my own mental health, and exploring my thoughts and emotions was first suggested to me, I rolled my eyes. I can barely speak a word that I’m thinking, without the possibility of myself sounding like a simpleton.

I know what I want to say, I think about it, but it’s almost like the words come out backwards, or in slow motion. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain, and probably harder to understand.

But anyway, since attempting to blog to help my expression, my mental health. I have honesty met, well spoke to, the most amazing people that have ever graced my presence.

From a young age, I, personally was taught to hate a perfect stranger, to assume the worst. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent, but one thing blogging has shown me, is that I was completely wrong. There is such thing as a perfect stranger.

And what I mean when I say “perfect stranger” is someone completely unknown to me, meaning that their persona, their raw beauty, is perfect. It’s only until we communicate when we make first impressions and understand their personality.

I was so consumed in my own opinion, of what I thought everyone was like (yes, I categorised) that I never gave myself a chance to get to know someone, because I never allowed them the opportunity to prove me wrong.

But, following the selection of blogs that I do, reading them, commenting, thinking. I started to realise, that I was the one stopping my own progression, I was hurting my communication. I was mentally hurting myself.

A blog I follow, has been the only thing I have ever experienced that allowed me to provide relatable and understandable information that was surprisingly education about my mental health, allowing the strain I cause on my family to decrease.

Having a text book, and clinical facts isn’t always a way someone is going to be easily able to understand the information given to them. Until reading this specific persons’ blog, I was convinced there was no other words or ways the information can be delivered. I’m so thankful that this person, let themselves be raw, and shine a light into a dark place.

I frequently spoke to a woman who was a sociopath, who completely blew my mind, with nothing but brutal honesty and intelligence, helping me open my eyes to situations that were clouding my head, she is a constant support network for me, and I value every inch of advice, criticism and respect she provides for me, which she did, not because she thought she had to, because she wanted to. I’m forever thankful for the kindness of this woman, I’m not sure if she knows how much she has helped me understand the situations I face.

Another opinionated blog I really enjoy, not because of his popularity, because of his honest, confronting and real posts. All thought, aside from a few comment replies, we have never really spoken well enough for me to learn something from his personality shown in his communication, the subject with his blogs provide enough.

He shows me a personality trait that I seriously lacked, free-thinking.

For those that are wondering, Wikipedia defines free-thinking as (below)
Freethought or free thought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas.

His brain is always ticking, I’ve barely read a post before another one has been written, all differing in topic, size and opinion, and I am completely in awe. I was completely blinded to the fact that logic and reasoning should be large factors in my opinions, this blogger also showed me, (over the times I stalked his communication with his followers) that it is possible for two opinions to be different, one person isn’t always necessarily correct, or incorrect. I know, this may seem logical and simple to you, but my brain functions differently.

Also, I have a follower, that is a beautiful soul, that has showed me that it is completely possible to care about someone you have never met. If she asks me if I am okay, I feel nothing but sincerity, and she cared about the answer. I just assumed that people asked if you were okay, to seem polite. It wasn’t heartfelt, and the answer wasn’t important.

While it may seem silly to you, that these perfect strangers have provided so many life lessons that I should already have, I know, and I understand.

I lacked the guidance and understanding to learn these simple things.

I can feel my being becoming a better person, all because strangers allowed me to see into their lives, exposing themselves in their blogs, unintentionally providing me with valuable information that I was greatly needing, and the best thing? Some of them don’t even know how they have assisted in changing my life. They were just being them, being perfect strangers.

My opinions have the human mind, and the kindness of people have completely changed. I no longer assume that someone unknown is guilty until proven innocent, and I also believe that everyone has a lesson to teach, we just have to ask the right questions, and look in the right places.

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Being a bisexual woman.

When I was younger, I was only attracted to women, sexually and emotionally.

Apart from the obvious sexual attraction to women, I thought I was a lesbian due to the hatred I had to men, I despised anyone with a penis. The male figures in my life had hurt me, and I was young and naive enough to assume that all men deserve to be in that category, no one had shown me different, but in all honesty, I never allowed a male the chance.

Throughout my teen years, I dated several women, enjoying life, accepting my sexuality.

It was when I was 17, that I met an amazing human being, a lovely boy. So kind, and genuine. I started to want to be with him, as much as I could. He was always so patient with me, caring and understanding. He was my soundboard, allowing me to share my secrets, my pain, my fears. I let him do the same.

The time we spent together, I forced to suppress and hide my feelings towards him, feeling nothing but confused by my desire to be with a man sexually, when I had convinced myself that I was a lesbian.

I ended up confessing, thinking I was cunning by referring to the guy I was wanting as another man, asking him to help me understand what I was feeling, and ease my confusion.

I was shocked when he so easily blurted out that I was bisexual, a sexual orientation that I had never heard of before. (I grew up in a very small country town)

That boy and I were in a relationship for several months, before I was kicked out of home, and we sadly drifted apart.

Now fully understanding my sexual orientation, and exploring sexual partners. I was finally truly comfortable with who I sexually was, until I had to start defending myself.

“no, I’m not just trying to have the best of both worlds

“No, I’m not trying to figure out what I want or who I am, I’m not confused

Ever since there was a rise in popularity with saying your bisexual, I felt less and less more confident to say I was a bisexual.

I have had people say to me before, “kissing a girl at a party when you’re drunk, doesn’t make you a lesbian”

Really. really seriously?

It seemed it became the fashionable thing to do, as a woman. Say you like girls too! It was annoying me, and I started receiving shit for it.

People would often look confused and belittle me if I declined a request of a threesome.

I met men that assumed I was going to bring a woman into the picture, and we will both submit ourselves to him. (Not that I don’t enjoy this, but this was mentioned the first time we were getting intimate with eachother, and it’s nothing but a turnoff.)

When discussing with friends or associates about my sexual orientation, I was often met with a half-assed attitude, and told to get over it, or make up my mind.

It’s so frustrating. It’s not about making up my mind. I am sexually attracted to women, and I am sexually attracted men. I do not prefer women over men, or vice-versa, and it is not something that I enjoy hearing that you’re talking about, behind my back, with your opinion of which gender I prefer.

My supposed friends are all for equal rights. They like to point that out to prove they are a good person whenever the to on is right.

They say the understand that being a homosexual, or a lesbian, (or various other sexual orientation) isn’t something a person can choose.

I don’t understand how the hypocrites can even suggest that I just choose, or think it’s appropriate to give me advice of which gender that I should decide apon, and which will be preferable. Like, having children, or make jokes about how being with a woman will be easier because there will be no “manly” smells and issues in the house.

I have spoke to them individually, explaining how I feel when they talk about, they literally brush it off. Like I was an idiotic confused girl.

It’s been over six years, since fully understanding my sexuality, and I’m not going to change.

While I am only one woman, who is a bisexual, I’m reaching out to see, if other bisexuals have been ridiculed, bulled or questioned, been taunted about your sexual orientation, or treated like you were confused.

How did you explain to love ones and friends about being bisexual?

Do you often feel that your sexuality is treated as a joke?

When did you find out that you were bisexual?

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Bipolar ll.

I had this saved as a draft. I wrote it a week ago.

I am so sick of hearing people tell me that “bipolar two” isn’t as severe as “normal” bipolar, because you have absolutely no clue.

Okay, it is true. My hypomanic episodes aren’t as server, or as frequent, but they do actually happen. I’m not just “really sad”.

Just because I don’t have as hard of a hypomania, doesn’t mean I don’t get them at all. I experience it differently, I feel revived, I talk a lot, I feel this underlying urge to by anything that’s completely fucking useless to me. I once spent $5000 on a van. Why? It was cheap, and I was excited to be the owner of a van. (Yes, you can laugh, I do now) That was when hypomania was an extreme moment, and hilariously brought on by anti-depressants.

At first, I was misdiagnosed, first with depression, which I might add, the times I wanted to die the most, was with those anti-depressants, then I was diagnosed with “normal” bipolar, but after a small number of hypomanic episodes, the black hole that was my mental state, just never started to feel a small moment in time where I was impulsive and happy. My ratio of “highs and lows” is completely fucking retarded. The high never seems to come, and when it does, I’m sucked back into myself again.

I can barely notice a “high” anymore. It’s much more subtle.

What’s worse than having type two bipolar? No one in my family has it. I can’t blame anyone, there are only small cases of mild depression, oh, and one cousin had schizophrenia, but he ended up losing his battle, that was my first experience seeing death, actually seeing it, feeling it. I wish I could point the finger, drop down to their lever and blame them for my life, but I fucking can’t.

I feel like I’m being made a mockery of, like I’m not allowed to be in the club of crazy, I’m so sick of CBT training. It’s not working, it’s not magical and amazing and awesome like I’m being fed. I can’t just flick a switch and change how I perceive everything. Shut up.

I’m sick of being on lithium, it’s fucking old, there are other proven and much newer medication that I could be trying. I literally have no idea who I am anymore.

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