Thanks to an AofA reader for sharing this blog post by Willow Sanderling of The Sanderlings blog with us. There are powerful stories on personal blogs. It takes courage to write about your life. Here's an excerpt.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious on my thoughts on the vaccine law in California. Many people have asked me what I think, and so I have been forced to think more and more about it. I’m going to be honest, I hate thinking about it. I try not to. If I think too much about the “What if’s,” I might lose my mind. What if I hadn’t vaccinated him, what if I would have gone with the way I was raised and questioned things in the medical field….. what if? What if he would have grown to be a normal boy? What if he didn’t struggle the way he does? What if it was MY FAULT he is the way he is because I BELIEVED that it was safe for EVERYONE?
Many of you grapple with this question of vaccines with the “What if’s,” too. What if you do vaccinate and your child is injured, what if you don’t and your child get’s sick? What if someone else unvaccinated kid gets your child sick? I get that. I know that feeling. But realize I’m coming from a different place than most of you. My child is sick. His life is forever altered. He will never live alone. He will never poop in the toilet. He will never have a girlfriend, a real job, a wife, a child, a love of his life. He will always be severely disabled. And Jason and I will be taking care of him like this until we are dead and then likely his siblings will take on this role. I’m going to warn you right now. This post is sad. It’s not happy and positive and wonderful. If you’re looking for that, read this Blog Post “A Letter to My Special Needs Son“.
So you want to know what I think about the law that says you have to be fully vaccinated without exemption to go to school or daycare? It makes me sad. And it makes me worried. I had a choice. I saw what happened to Ben, starting reading, doing research, and was able to choose differently for my other kids. I have never told anyone else what to do, and in fact, if someone asks me my feelings on the matter, I make it very clear that it’s a very personal choice and they should never make their decisions based on what I did. They have to choose for themselves.
But now I’m speaking out about our story. I’m speaking out because people are so angry and hurtful in their social media and personal comments about those who choose a different vaccine schedule or choose not too. Every mean and angry article that was posted about people who choose differently, I read it, and it hurt me to the core. Every time someone ignorantly tells a non- vaccinating parent that she just listens to Jenny McCarthy, or that doctor whose studies were said to be falsified that they are wrong because of these two things……. or because they are just plain stupid or ignorant or a bad parent…….. I wanted to scream………. IF YOU SPENT ONE DAY IN MY SHOES, IF YOU HAD ANY IDEA OF WHAT OUR LIVES ARE REALLY LIKE WITH BEN, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND. IF YOU REALLY KNEW HOW HARD IT IS TO LIVE WITH THE “WHAT IF’S” THAT WE AND MANY PARENTS LIKE US LIVE WITH EVERYDAY, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND!!! I can promise you, unless you had to do a Masters Thesis on the subject, or are in the medical school, you have not read as many articles, as many studies, as many pages or reports as a Special Needs parent who is left to wonder………WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHILD? For the record, I didn’t read any Jenny McCarthy books until long after I stopped vaccinating my other kids. Hardly any of the people I know who chose to delay or stop vaccinating read her stuff. So I want to give you the opportunity to come into my world for a bit. Walk in my shoes, and then if you still want to tell me I’m a hippy stupid idiot for not vaccinating my other kids as babies, go ahead. But first, walk with me…………. and don’t stop till you get to the end.
Before you enter my world, I want to give you a few facts as you read.
Read the full post http://www.lifeofsanderlings.com/bens-story-a-perspective-about-vaccine-choice/