AIBU making space from my dad?

My dad likes a conspiracy theory. Sometimes he does have a good question but he is finding answers in the weirdest of places. For the past year now all he can talk about is the pandemic and there is a lot I disagree with (and I do know a bit as I work in microbiology). I’ve asked him 4 or 5 times to not talk about the virus as it just makes me frustrated and I know we won’t agree. The most recent time we talked I expressed an opinion he didn’t like and he laughed right in my face as if I was someone he was arguing with on twitter. For me it just showed a complete lack of respect which I will not tolerate from anyone, even a parent. I’ve now blocked him on all electronic media and told him if he wants to get back in contact he can write me a letter. I can’t remember if he knows my address but he knows where I work and it’s really easy to look me up online. AIBU?

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if he wants to get back in contact he can write me a letter.

Like a caveman? Naw, you’re not the assħole here; your dad has got that job covered.

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I wouldn’t say so at all. Honestly, I wish I was in your position where you can actually cut your dad off. I’m still living back at home for nearly half the year so there’s no escaping mine’s insanity! I still don’t get how he ever expected a public health major to agree with his crackpot theories😂

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Nope, I disagree with family on this too and we haven’t spoken about the virus this whole time. If he can’t even respect your opinion because it’s yours then he’s not able to be in a healthy relationship with you right now.

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If you don’t like what your dad is doing, then you have a right to be free of him. You’re not being unreasonable, he is.

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Nope. Like everyone else said, the problem is on your dad’s end. It sounds like you gave him more than enough chances.

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Nope. The moment he laughed in your face was the moment he showed you he had no interest in having an adult conversation or debate. He just wanted to spout his nonsense and expected you to listen to it. He’s not welcome back until he can view you as an equal.

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In case your dad doesn’t have your address, send him a card at Christmas.

I’m guessing that he is against the vaccination, so if you love him, you will worry about him not having vaccine, for him. (Is it easy to get vaccine where you are? The real vaccine?) Would he get vaccine if you asked him to, so that you do not worry? I’m guessing again, he would not? Then you cannot do anything about that.

The vaccine does not protect completely. But you cannot do anything about that, either. (Except for wear mask, wash hands, avoid crowds.) You only can do what you can do.

He is dead set against the vaccine, that was part of the issue for me as he was sending me anti-vaccine propaganda after I got both my jabs. I work in microbiology so as part of my studies I learnt about vaccines and how they work so I could smell the rubbish that was coming out of these articles. He will never get the jab and I do worry about him because of that (he’s also anti mask) but I also know there is nothing I can say or explain that will change that. Some people don’t want to listen.

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You are not unreasonable to want to cut toxic people out of your life. And I’m sorry, but your dad does sound pretty toxic.

Someone being “Family” doesn’t mean you have to stay in contact with them.

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I agree with everyone. You’ve at least made the request to just not discuss this topic anymore, and he should respect that.

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What do you mean with “the real vaccine”?

If you really want him to get vaccinated, there is a way that might work–if you’re willing to invest the time and effort. It was pioneered by psychiatrists who needed a way to persuade people with serious mental illnesses to stay on their medications–even though the patients were firmly convinced that they were not sick (anosognosia or lack of insight). It is called LEAP or motivational interviewing, and it works with people like your dad who have gone beyond what we think of as rational thought.

I’ll warn you right now, though, that the first step is very hard: you have to really listen to what the other person is saying–even if it is literally insane–in a respectful way, and reflect back what you hear. This is NOT endorsing their beliefs, it is just listening.

For more info (and free videos) go to https://hacenter.org/home
Or you can read I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Now What by Xavier Amador.

This web site is worldwide (nearly?) and so in different countries, a vaccine may be any of several international products, may or may not be available freely and without a fee, for older citizens - like caracal’s dad - and possibly could be something useless that some country’s government has offered as their official remedy because they couldn’t get one of the proper ones.

So, make sure that you get a real one.

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Nope, I would do the same. It’s one thing to do that to anyone, another to do it to your own kid; but it’s something all over again to do it to your own kid that works in the science field in general. All the best, caracal.

honestly, sounds a lot like my uncle. there’s a reason I never added him on Facebook or anywhere else online and that’s because all he posts about are conspiracies. there’s a lot less frustration to deal with if I don’t have to talk to him online. I don’t even know where he is or how he’s doing at this point, I don’t talk to him. not unreasonable at all.

IDK I must be super old school. I get not wanting to talk about a topic, but to completely cut him off just sounds strange to me, over something to disagree about. My mom and I go round and round about a particular subject so now I just don’t talk about it, and if she brings it up I tell her politely but sternly, I will not get into this with you, and if you want to keep talking about it I will leave/ hang up or whatever. Then I change the subject. Now if he was abusive to you growing up or abandoned you or something like that, absolutely cut him off. But if it’s just a difference in opinion, let him have his opinion, at the end of the day he’s only hurting himself.

I think it’s so hard to draw the line between “difference in opinion” and “harmful and abusive to you.” Each relationship is different and people have different tolerances at different times in their lives.

I used to enjoy debating a family member with different political opinions and learned a lot. When Trump happened suddenly it was less fun and I did as you do, sternly changing the topic. But since then it has become more dangerous—insulting groups I and my partner belong to, not taking COVID precautions—so while I desperately don’t want to cut off contact entirely, it’s more difficult to interact with them safely and happily.

The main difference I think between my situation and OP’s is OP’s dad laughed in their face disrespectfully, whereas my relative still wants to keep the harmony in our relationship. If your difference values mean you can’t even respect each other civilly, there is nothing left to the relationship.