If you or anyone you know has ever gone to law school, you understand that person essentially disappears for a few years. The work load is insanely heavy and difficult, the classes are next to impossible, and socializing becomes a strategic career move. One Reddit user's already clingy boyfriend isn't adjusting well to the change at all and she isn't sure how to help him - or if she even should.
Here's her initial post ... as she warns you, it's a long one:
I'm gonna preface that I am a mix of exhausted, stressed out and generally overwhelmed. It's gonna be lengthy.
I've [22F] have been with my BF [21M] for over two and half years and for the most part the relationship has been rather low turbulence in comparison to my prior relationships. We met in my sophomore year of college and his freshman year when I was only a few months off a break up. I initially wanted nothing to do with him and was not willing to date what so ever. My breakup had been truly awful and I was just really starting to get on my feet. He persisted for about a month before I agreed to go on a break up.
For the majority of our relationship, he's been incredibly doting and supportive. But I would be lying to say if that doting didn't spiral into obsessiveness and clinginess. The majority of our fights have been over the fact that I need space, as I'm a fairly independent person. I didn't want to be together 24/7 and he really struggled with that once the honey moon phase was over. But eventually, he seemed to get better about it and it was tolerable.
As we've dated, I discovered that while he has a generous and kind heart, he can be incredibly immature. He can't manage to show up in a timely fashion for anything, can't keep a part time job and whines the moment he isn't entertained (i'm sure this is part of the current problem) for example. Just lots of little immature and generally exhausting things to deal with. Once again, he's made progress in the past that it reach a tolerable level.
He is also whole heartedly way too reliant on me. Stupid shit like "Should I go grocery shopping right now or go to the gym?" And i'm like, "Why does my opinion matter? This isn't something I should have an opinion in." Because it's really not. What would happen whenever I refused to answer is he just wouldn't do either option and just lay around all day. It's ridiculous, annoying and has been a constant problem in our relationship.
I will lend that the majority of my friends and family love him. He's super easy to get along with, is always willing to jump in and help, and fits in really well with my crowd. The general consensus is that he comes off a bit immature but he's always friendly and kind. My mom in particular is really fond of him, which makes this whole mess a bit frustrating.
Right now, I'm two weeks into Law School and the relationship seems to be self combusting.
I've been wanting to go to Law School for the past two years and I've been incredibly vocal and driven about this. It's non-negiotable to me that i'm going and that this is a priority to me. He has always been incredibly supportive and very, "Whatever you need just let me know." Sounds great, right? I had zero idea that this was going to be such an insane and rocky start.
I spend probably 6-8 hours a day just studying, reading and doing school related things where I am not checking my phone or social media. I just don't have time, brain cells or energy for it. When I go to school, I disable the wifi on my laptop and turn my phone off so that I can try to focus. I absolutely let him know that I was becoming less and less available out of sheer survival. I'm trying to make myself a future, I really am. Well this is absolutely not going well on his end. In a 36 hour period, he texted me "What are you doing" 17 times. 17 bloody times. I was texting him plenty in those 36 hours, but for example I would turn off my phone for class from 8-12. When I would get back, I would have 3-5 messages of "Hey, what are you doing?" half hour chunk of time, "What r u up to?" and so forth. I ended up face timing him and was like this is unreasonable, unhealthy and needs to stop immediately. He seemed to hear it but a few days later, he's back at texting me several times a day to ask what i'm doing.
Don't get me wrong - I get that I'm the one who change here.
I went from being available almost all the time, to basically not available at all. I get it. It sucks, i'm aware. I'm also changing as a person because I have to be more responsible, more mature and more scheduled then ever before. But i'm also being very very forthcoming about the fact that this is what I need to do to survive law school. I'm only a few weeks in and this is really hard and taking some adjusting. Every day I get a better handle on things, but i'm still adjusting to the learning curve of just the giant work load. I physically and mentally can't be more available to him then I am at this moment.
Plus, I just don't want to be.
Every time i've talked to him in the last 10 days we've gotten into a fight. Everything from a full blown fight to passive aggressive squabbles. It's reached the point that the moment he starts being passive aggressive, I just say I have to go and hang up. I'm so brain dead that staring at a wall and doing nothing is actually relieving, I don't have the energy to constantly fight with him and deal with passive aggressive comments. He's like, "Why don't you FaceTime me more often?" Because every time we talk, we fight or you harass me about when is the next time we are going to see each other. On that note, he is not in class this past week and wanted to know if he could come up and stay in my new apartment for my first week of law school. I said heck no. I genuinely am gone all day, i'm exhausted and I need to be making friends with my colleagues and adjusting to my new city and life.
This didn't settle well and he's asked probably every other time we've talked about when he can come visit. I genuinely can't even gather the free brain cells to think about what to have for dinner, let alone when I can squeeze in time for a visitor and the amount of pre-work I would have to do.
I guess what i'm failing to get at, is i'm trying to decide how long I should give him to adjust before I call it. Our relationship has problems naturally. I don't enjoy who I am around any more because the little things of his personality really get under my skin and it just makes me cranky. This is just becoming more and more irritated by law school and he's sorta combusting.
If you read this entire thing, thank you and you are wonderful person.
tl:dr I went off to law school and became rather unavailable every day. Boyfriend, who was already clingy, is self combusting and picking fights.
Reddit was ready with some hard truth. (Some comments have been edited for clarity.)
Reflection On YouGiphy
I am currently a 3L and I just have one more thing to add. If you choose to continue dating your boyfriend, be cognizant that, should you work at a firm your 2L summer, he will likely be invited to events with you. If he behaves immaturely, shows up late, etc., these things will all reflect on you.
Just food for thought. I had this specific realization this past summer - I deeply appreciated my current boyfriend for being someone I could be proud of, and realized my exes would not have fit that bill.
This Is About You And You Alone
Law school is not easy-congrats on making it there! His lack of adjustment is not your problem to fix. Prioritize yourself and protect the time you need to do well in your classes.
I dealt with a similar dynamic with my husband when I started medical school. Ultimately, I just shared my calendar with him, including all my classes, skills labs, research team meetings, and independent study sessions. Once he realized how busy I actually was, things changed drastically and he began taking care of himself and helping me out more. However, if you have any shred of doubt that your partner will do the same, it's time to move on. Graduate school is no time for manchildren- this is about you and you alone achieving your dreams.
Relationships Generally Don't Survive Law School
Just call it now. I went to law school. Literally every single couple (that wasn't already married) broke up the first year except 1 and they had been together 7 years already. Even a few married people got divorced. Relationships do not generally survive the first year of law school, and all signs point to this one being on its way out the door anyways. Sucks, but it's going to suck more later.
Rip Off That Band-AidGiphy
As someone who went to law school and let it drag on too long with my college boyfriend before ending things, rip off that band-aid now. First year is by far the hardest year of your law education and you're doing the right thing by dedicating yourself to your studies. Your grades are so important that year and will follow you when you start applying for clerkships and jobs. You're not in the wrong here, but neither is your boyfriend. I'm sure this change is super hard on him, and the break up will be hard too.
Just keep in mind, you can't provide him with what he needs now. You can't be a great partner. Right now. The spouses and partners of my friends in law school actually had a weekly "support group" because they were so ignored the first year (by support group, it was a weekly session of drinking wine and hanging out. I'm sure lots of venting went on too.) It's ok to end things and focus on your work. This doesn't make you a bad person. You sound like my college boyfriend and me, which is you've outgrown each other. There's nothing wrong with that.
Update: Pulled The Plug
I decided to take a week to let things settle in even further. I made it explicitly clear that his behavior wasn't ok and we needed a change if this relationship was going to survive. Verbally he was on board, but after 24 hours it really fell apart.
Tonight, I pulled the plug. It was hard, and awful because I do love him and I will always love him but we are no longer in love. He asked me what I wanted, and I said I wanted him to be ok with less communication and be confident in our relationship, so that I could be at school guilt free. I asked him what he wanted, and he said he wanted more of my time, communication and energy.
His wants had nothing to do with what was best for me, or would make me happiest.
That was really hard to hear and we both cried for a while when I pointed that out. He understood, he saw it coming and he didn't beg or fight it. We just cried.
So anyway, I wanted to say thank you to EVERYONE who reached out to me. Seriously, it made me feel like I was actually in control of the situation and not crazy for walking away. Thank you for being a community that validates others feelings and is honest and truthful.
Now, I'm gonna go shower and watch stupid shows on netflix.
TL:DR Broke up with my boyfriend when he couldn't adjust to the lack of free time I now had in law school.
Easier When You're Angry
It's hard because it's easier to break up with anger against the other person for being so unreasonable/immature/bad etc. Its harder when it's just a compatibility issue. But when you think about it...you started dating the person for a reason. While obviously lots of people get bamboozled by manipulative people, just as many people date and there's nothing more to it than it just doesn't work out. Not every break up needs to be because there is something wrong with one of the given parties.
Takes a lot of maturity to make that kind of honest change.
An Inspiration Not A HypocriteGiphy
I didn't read the first post, so I initially commented calling the original poster a hypocrite. So many people pointed out things that I missed that proved how wrong I was. I'm going to highlight a few things from her previous post that further clarifies the situation:
He can't manage to show up in a timely fashion for anything, can't keep a part time job and whines the moment he isn't entertained
He is also whole heartedly way too reliant on me. Stupid shit like "Should I go grocery shopping right now or go to the gym?" And i'm like, "Why does my opinion matter? This isn't something I should have an opinion in." Because it's really not. What would happen whenever I refused to answer is he just wouldn't do either option and just lay around all day.
In a 36 hour period, he texted me "What are you doing" 17 times. 17 bloody times. I ended up face timing him and was like this is unreasonable, unhealthy and needs to stop immediately. He seemed to hear it but a few days later, he's back at texting me several times a day to ask what i'm doing.
Every time i've talked to him in the last 10 days we've gotten into a fight. Everything from a full blown fight to passive aggressive squabbles. It's reached the point that the moment he starts being passive aggressive, I just say I have to go and hang up. I'm so brain dead that staring at a wall and doing nothing is actually relieving, I don't have the energy to constantly fight with him and deal with passive aggressive comments. He's like, "Why don't you FaceTime me more often?" Because every time we talk, we fight or you harass me about when is the next time we are going to see each other.
wanted to know if he could come up and stay in my new apartment for my first week of law school. I said heck no. I genuinely am gone all day, i'm exhausted and I need to be making friends with my colleagues and adjusting to my new city and life. ... This didn't settle well and he's asked probably every other time we've talked about when he can come visit. I genuinely can't even gather the free brain cells to think about what to have for dinner, let alone when I can squeeze in time for a visitor and the amount of pre-work I would have to do.
With all of that in mind, OP absolutely did the right thing, and it couldn't have been any more timely.
The way I see it, he wasn't getting something he wanted from her, so he was resorting to passive-aggressive behavior in an attempt to shame her into sacrificing all of her independence, her ambition, and her attempts to make a life for herself in order to lavish him with as much attention as he wanted. No matter how you look at it, this is emotional manipulation, plain and simple. Either he is hopelessly naive or consciously malicious, because no one in their right mind would think that forcing the one you love to return from 8 long hours of non-stop studying to over a dozen texts asking where they've been is in any way benign, especially after it's been warned against in the past.
Even if you take the former optimistic answer that he's just an idiot, it is still completely and utterly unacceptable, and he has a lot of learning to do before he's ready for another relationship. But if you take the more cyncical latter answer, she didn't just escape an overly-attached boyfriend; she deftly evaded a malicious attempt to drag her into an endless cycle of abuse.
Either way, OP saw it for exactly what it was and she would not have any of it. She asserted her agency, and it shouldn't just be accepted, but celebrated.
Like, goddamn. If only more women (and men!) had her willpower and foresight. If more abusers were more conscious (or caring) of the pain they were inflicting upon the ones they supposedly loved. And if only we, us so-called "relationship experts", would do more to empower the victims of abuse, instead of criticizing them for not being "more understanding" or "more patient" for the benefit of their abusers.
Thank you to everyone who was willing to confront me with what I was doing. And to OP, I'm so sorry. You are not a hypocrite. You're an inspiration.
More Than Most Can Give
You did the right thing. Your ex texted you "what are you doing" 17 times in 36 hours and couldn't go grocery shopping without asking you first. He wasn't just asking for more communication on a reasonable level. He was asking for more than most people who aren't going to law school can give.
Never Going To Get Any Better
Coming from a lawyer, you did the right thing. The legal profession will demand just as much of your time as law school. So, this issue was never going to get any better. Best of luck!
Learning How To "Do" Law SchoolGiphy
I'm a lawyer and lots of relationships don't survive law school. It is intense and demanding and it takes serious commitment and understanding from the non-law school partner to survive it. I always felt bad for my friends' spouses who would come out to dinner or drinks with a bunch of law students and we would talk about nothing but law school. It had to have been annoying and exhausting for them.
Take this time to be single and focus on school. Learning how to "do" law school is the hardest part of the first year - years 2 and 3 were much easier for me. Good luck!
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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