Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm so mad I'm gonna blog about it!

Greetings XXXXXXXX,

I talked with your father yesterday.

He has given permission to organize a healing.

The target date he and I have agreed on is the 22nd. A master number. This should give each of us enough time to prepare and organize our thoughts.

Here is Wikipedia definition of a stroke "A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood supply) caused by thrombosis or embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech or inability to see one side of the visual field. "

We need to reestablish the flow of blood to the affected areas of the brain and also repair the damage that has been done. John's stroke is the result of a hemorrhage, resulting in bleeding in the brain.

Do we need to wait to the 22nd? No. I would just like to make sure we are all working together at that time for the greatest effect.

I would encourage the participation of everyone possible.

Take care,

Right, so THAT was an email that greeted me in my inbox this morning, written by one of my father's well-meaning idiot friends.

THIS is what I grew up with. THIS is the big solution to all life's problems from the woo-woo crowd-- "Let's think really hard about it to make it better!" THIS is what they feel the need to INFLICT upon me now that my father is facing some serious end-of-life issues. (He is not living with me or with my brother, btw-- he's still in a hospital in another state, and he will have to be moved to a facility with round-the-clock care when he is discharged. There is NO good solution at this point. All our options are bad.)

I deleted the email, but then I fished it out of my trash JUST so I could shout my reply into the blogosphere:

Dear XXXX,

Let me ask you this-- if a "Healing" actually worked, why does ANYONE ever die? Doesn't EVERYONE wish really hard for their loved ones to recover? Why, specifically, would my father, who seems to have a cultlike following in you and your fellow well-meaning idiots, be experiencing all these issues? You think he hasn't EXTENSIVELY studied and practiced your Newage "healing" crap modalities for, oh, NEARLY SIXTY YEARS??? You think L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley are still alive? How about any of the ancient Egyptians and Chinese mystics you lifted your rituals from? Oh, wait, I forgot-- life expectancy was only about 40 years in those days and modern medicine has already DOUBLED it. Got news for you-- my father's sick because he didn't manage his diabetes for 30 years and his body is giving out as a result. It's simple biology. In further news, death comes for us all, with or without the cruel and false hope these lame-ass "Healings" bring the gullible.

Fucking spare me.

Please don't email me again,
That's Ms. XXXXXXXX to you.

EDIT: No, of course I didn't email the guy this! That would be rude.


Quirky Mom said...

I'm sorry that you have to be subjected to such trash when it is the least thing you need right now. Well done lashing out over the blogosphere. :)

Perky Skeptic said...

Thanks, Quirky Mom. :) Handling my dad's weird friends has been an adventure in and of itself during this crisis time. Even at the best of times, I can count on one hand the friends my dad has had in his lifetime that I actually liked/wasn't utterly skeeved by.

CyberLizard said...

Wow. Just, wow. They actually believe that they can reverse the damage from a stroke by thinking about it? On a certain date because the number has power?!?

I wouldn't worry about being rude, I'd send the reply directly to him. You're not saying anything untrue or insulting, unlike his original post. But then, I've never quite gotten good at the whole social interaction thing.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this kind of crap on top of an already stressful and painful situation. Stay strong *fist raised*

Perky Skeptic said...

Cyberlizard-- I totally would, if I weren't worried this guy might tell my dad about it, thus adding stress and heartbreak to his already-horrible situation. I literally don't trust any of these people to have the sense not to bother a sick old man with this stuff.

uzza said...

Well, you lasted a week. <:-) You said you weren't going to blog about family woofulness, and can't risk writing anything that he might accidentally come across. Well, if its on the web, its public: from my past experiences I'd say there's a very good chance his buddies are monitoring your blog.

I can't tell you what to do, but suspect my opinion may be worth something. I'm in a similar situation, have cancer and had to move in with my offspring, who are –horrors—fundamentalist christians. We've had a couple flare-ups (one over internet posts) but its been ok. Like you say, he loves you = overrides your having differing opinions. Hiding them causes as much harmful stress as confrontations would, and let's face it, one of us is going to die soon anyway, so better to save the children, eh? We just don't discuss certain topics in our times together. The other cultists, well, screw 'em. Self defense allows retaliation proportionate to the attack. He's rude, yer rude. He:

--assumed you are too ignorant to know what a stroke is, and he had to define it for you—from Wikipedia yet.

--assumes you are too stupid to know what causes a stroke, and proceeds to explain it to you; with a sentence that is not only a tautology but directly contradicts the definition he just gave. (To be fair, he's likely just too stupid to realize this.)

--offers unsolicited medical advice, implying that he can and will remove the source of your pain, an insensitive and hurtful lie.

--twice uses the typical abuser's way of including the victim without their permission (“we” need to...”, “we” are all working...” )

--assumes you give a tiny shit (does he know you are rational?) and insinuates, rather than asks outright, that you should join them.

No one has a right to ask you to stuff your feelings and suffer this attack in silence. It's physically unhealthy. Me, I'd probly send the letter. Edit out the “please”, though. Whatever you do, I sympathize with the situation you're in.

Perky Skeptic said...

LOL! Uzza, your point-by-point analysis is spot-on! I've seen the tactics so very many times that all I could do was shake my head at the pure dumbassery.

Don't worry, though-- I've got no need to reply to that dingbat. He doesn't have the right even to hear my honest emotions. Replying to his ilk only empowers them. If he emails me again, I've already sent it into my spam filter. But I did want to post this, so it serves as a warning to others.

Rosemary said...

I'm sorry that your father had a stroke. Both my parents had strokes so I know how stressful it is (and how unhelpful religion is in coping).

Perky Skeptic said...

Thanks, Rosemary. Stroke does seem to run in my family as well. I've taken to walking a lot, and eating my green leafy veggies with a lot more conscientiousness.

My ideal death would be to keel over on the track at age 90. ;)

JLK said...

I woulda sent the email.

But you're a much nicer person than I am.

Hittman said...

This is nothing new. Thirty years ago, when my mom was dying of cancer at the ripe old age of 45, we received at least a dozen letters from friends, acquaintances, and people who were practically strangers, advocating all kinds of woo-woo cures. The favorite back then was Mexican mustard plasters that "pulled the cancer right out of your body." Most of the letters contained variations on the line "doctors and hospitals don't want you to know about this because they make too much money from cancer."

They upset my father horribly. Here he was, dealing with losing the love of his life, and these idiots were interrupting his grief with their nonsense. (He was an elder in a cult, but that was *different*, dontcha know; his cult didn't preach faith healing.)

The calmest, most rational way to deal with people like this is to ignore them, but who, in situations like this, can remain calm and rational? The last thing you need is their stupidly compounding your grief.

Podblack said...

I hope it doesn't get to you too much - that sort of garbage just isn't worth it. :(

Les said...

It's certainly a rude reply...

...but I probably would've sent it anyway. That's just me though.

JohnL said...

Sorry about your father.

I agree with el gato negro. As difficult as it may be to suffer fools, they're views don't merit much review. (Of course, I assert that despite the fact that I've drafted many similar missives and rehearsed many similar speeches myself.)

Joy said...

Perky is doing the right thing by ignoring the emailer for all the reasons she gave. When I went through cancer, there were many suggestions and comments I ignored.

Ibrahim said...

Sorry to here you have to deal with all this. I know where you're coming from, my grandmother was really into herbal supplementation and so forth- encouraged by my other relatives. I never really said anything, because it would have been rude, selfish, and out-of-place and would have made things worse.

In the end, I can't help but see all that time spent looking for something that would help as time wasted when it was most precious.