Daughter's conspiracy theories causing estrangement. Help please!


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I don't have a clue how to handle this. I will give you some background. ANY thoughts are helpful. There are days I am so heartbroken that I think about ending it, although I never would. I have read so much here, but nothing is quite like this.

It is long. I deeply apologize.

I am a mother of three grown kids. Kay (not anywhere near her real name) was adopted as a newborn and has always been sweet, but different in some ways. She did fine until age 14 and then started smoking pot and this escalated and I am sure you can figure out the rest. No heroin but everything else.

She was in a few treatment centers and stopped using all drugs except pot. I was thrilled. I know now that pot is not benign but at the time it seemed like a good compromise. She got a job and seemed to calm down and met her husband who I will call Lee, not his real name. We loved him at first. He was charmingcabd lovedlKay so much itiseemed. We didnt know he also smoked daily pot and he had a decent job.

Life went on and my husband snd I were close to Kay. It was hard to get close to Lee because once they married, he became remote and distant, but he never tried to stop us from seeing Kay. They fought a lot and Kay would call me crying, but she never left. A few times they slapped each other. This scared us but she wouldnt leave and said they both did it so why blame him. He was verbally abusive too. But rigjt now they have bonded tightly over the issue I am going to talk about and they are now tight as two peas in a pod.

We hoped they wouldnt have kids . Originally they didnt plan on any. But Kay got pregnant and that is when we first heard about Lee's ideas about child rearing and we had to bite our tongues, hoping Kay would refute him and that his ideas would change.

Lee loudly proclaimed that vaccinations were poison and no kid of his would ever be vaccinated at all. He thinks he is a doctor and said that vitamins and organic healrhy food would make the baby's immune system so strong that his child would not need vaccines nor get sick at all. Eventually Kay would sort of agree, but she is so smart that we prayed she would know better once our grandson was born.

It didnt get better but we are parents who allow our grown kids to make their own decisions about their kids without trying to interfer and we knew two stubborn, strong personalities like Kay and Lee would never listen to us and the few times we so much as threw out a question Kay went ballistic. Here are a few things she screamed. I cant remember them all. Nor can my husband.

Since I asked the question...it was something like So you think Big Pharma (her name for the pharmaceutical companies) are trying to give our kids autism and kill them?

Her answers, not verbatim and in no particular order:

Yes! Big pharma is so powerful! It controlls the media, all the doctors (or maybe some kinder doctors just dont know the dangers), the medical schools teach only what Big Pharma wants them to know and soon they will be knocking on doors forcing unvaccinated kids and the elderly to be vacvinated! Or they will take the kids.

Vitamins plus fresh fruit off the vine and no red dye prevents illnesses and nobody ever needs to be sick.

Vaccines cause cancer, alzheimers, autism...it has aluminum in it and that is toxic to the brain.

Measles are not serious.

If you get the shingles vaccine you shed the virus off your person and are contageous for weeks.

Before you think Kay has completely lost it, she directed me to her websites (tons of them) that say exactly what she says plus several docentaries lile Vax. There is a hige cult of young people on the internet who believe this, truly do.

My biggest problem other than CPS doesnt do anything about this is that Kay and I were close but she has been with Lee for years now and is starting to be like him. Last tome we spoke she threatened to cut me off from her and grandson if I made one wrong statement. She accused me of mocking her beliefs for askimg her a question. My cell phone was on speaker and my husband heard the whole conversation and he said I never mocked her. She was yelling at me. And it was all about this health related stuff. She said that she expected her parents to validate and support her.

Honestly, since we have no control anyways, all we have said is that we support what she does to raise her child even though we took a different path. Period. We never said it was wrong although we do think so

This will sound pathetic. Although I have two other kids who think more mainstream and question Kays logic, I dont want to lose this daughter who is our heart. She really wasnt so pushy about her beliefs until maybe six months ago. I am not sure why. She never threatened to cut us off before. It terrifies us but she isnt very pleasant now....happened so fast and its not drugs again. Please trust me that she just smokes pot. Its every day but never made her mean before.

How would ypu handle this? Remember one word and your kid will cut you off. And she may anyway but I dont want this.

Lee is 34 and Kay is 32. They live three hours from us. We used to visit at least once a month. We havent gone for three months now. Last time we went was when Lee spouted his views for the first time.

What is the best way tou feel to handle this? We dont want to lose Kay and the baby but if you think we have to, say so. All suggestions will be respected and talen seriously.

Please pretend it is yourself. What would you do?

Thanks for reading all this.
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age 14 and then started smoking pot
My son too now 30 went downhill when he began marijuana. He's also adopted, at 22 months. He too believes in conspiracy theories and to me is off the wall with respect to supplements and other things related to his body and health.
The vitamins plus fresh fruit off the vine and no red dye prevents illnesses and nobody ever needs to be sick.
I am thinking of my maternal aunt who way before it was common believed in health foods and vitamins. In the late 1930's while pregnant she ate only peas, and became very ill. Duh.

She ended up being a multi-multi millionaire and lived a relatively conventional life. But she always maintained her interest in and dedication to healthy practices--as she defined them. Which for many many years were just weird, but now are mainstream.

So, I can look at it both ways. As a parent, I want desperately to influence my son to think "mainstream" about his health and body. On the other hand I see based upon my Aunt that there are people who are outliers with respect to health practices. And in some ways they are pathfinders, and in other ways are just plain out there.

But the bottom line is this: Your daughter and her husband as parents have the right to make decisions about their children, and their own health, within the law. This is not our call. If we want to have relationships with our kids that are not toxic and controlling, we back down. If you keep pressuring her, this will escallate. She has chosen a husband, and she has chosen her views. While I do not like marijuana, I doubt that her views are related to this.

I think there is reason to be grateful that she got off serious drugs, that she is a loving person, a loving mother, and has found a relationship that in the main may be satisfactory. But here, too, you do not have a voice, unless she comes to you and asks for her input.

I believe all of the changing needs to come from you. As is the case, with me. We do not get a vote in how our adult kids lead their lives. We do not get votes on their choices for their children. You are seeing that as long as you insist upon getting a say, you are the one who gets hurt most, and secondarily your daughter and your grandchildren, as they lose contact with you.

I am sorry. I know how very hard this is. But I don't see it another way. Al Anon may be of help. They help us see, that there are things over which we are powerless. They help us to learn to accept and to dedicate ourselves to those areas where we do have control and responsibility, and the potential to create change. Which is in us.

Welcome to you.
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Thank you so much.

The problem is all she does is yell at us. We dont tell her what to do.

It is like she WANTS to have a reason to cut us off. We are not telling her how to raise her son. I am not really sure what is bothering her about us and when we ask she just says versions of she knows we are all laughing at her behind her back, her sister too.

This is not true at all. She is making this up but she believes it and gets very nasty if we say its not true.


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The problem is all she does is yell at us. We dont tell her what to do.
The Al Anon or 12 step way of looking at this is thus: to accept the things I cannot change...

I would back way, way off. I would accept that for whatever reason she does not want to be in contact, or is suspicious, or whatever. These are things you have no control over.

We have to deal with the pain of this. We do this by taking ownership of it. It's our pain. It really does not have to do with her or what she does or thinks.

What can you do right now for yourself? Try to forget about her for now and let her handle herself. She may or she may not decide to be closer to you again. But any contact with her that you initiate will backfire. She will have to make any move.

If she is being controlled by the husband, likewise there's nothing you can do except to back off. At some point she may want to talk to you. You can be available. But I would not push it. And try to be silent about your own views and listen.

What and who we can change is ourselves. To accept our grief and to feel it, and to build our own lives so that we have joy and meaning and pleasure in the only way that we really can feel and own. In our own lives.

I'm sorry this is so hard. It is for me, too.


Active Member
I really feel for you. I take huge issue with the anti-vaccine movement as an immunocompromised person. The science is there and supports the efficacy and safety of vaccines. That aside, if and when my son marries, and they become AVers my stance would be known, but I would let them know that it is their child and they have to live with the decisions that they make for them. I'd probably end up biting my tongue off trying not to say anything though. LOL.


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I relate completely. I will not let my son talk about his far our conspiracy theories with me. I dispute the dietary theories I believe are dangerous. He listens to me not at all.

But so far he has not cut me off .

You have not one whit of control over what she does or thinks or says. The only way to be in relationship with them, apparently is to listen without response or judgement.

If that doesn't work what can you do? If she chooses to stay away what can you do? This is her call. Not yours.

Oh. I feel the pain of it. I feel it with my own son. But where is our control here?

With us. Our own lives.


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Copa, thank you for the common sense. Thanks a hundred times.

The fact is just listening isnt enough and we could be cut off for no reason. And there is not one thing we can do to change it. I suspect Lee has wanted us gone for some time even though he doesnt see us that often. Heck, Lee doesnt speak to either of his parents. Kay is always with Lee, even if they slap each other and continue to do so in front of my grandson. Kay has no friends, never did. Just Lee. Same with Lee. So their influence over one another is strong.

If anyone has anything other wisdom or suggestions I would appreciate it. Since Kay is acting so differently now I am worried about her mental health, but I also know that I have to stay quiet about that too. At least this is not the time to bring it up.

Kay's siblings are not that close to her, but now they dont talk to her at all. Neither wants to hear the ranting about vaccines and vitamins. But I am Mom. Its different. I care if Kay cuts me off. Dad does too. At the same time she isnt pleasant company now! She used to be.
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I have to admit, I have some serious reservations about certain vaccines. I prefer organic food, however, I DON'T think eating a healthy diet prevents all illness. I also prefer natural treatments, such as herbs, for various ailments, but not all of them work. If conventional medication works better without bad side effects, I'll take it instead. Every medication has some amount of poison.

However, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe. Take for example the herb Kratom. It has horrible side effects. Opium is natural, and look how many lives it has destroyed. Marijuana is all natural, but it makes some people not want to work and live in a tent, etc. People are moving to Colorado so they can smoke pot legally, and the homeless rate is totally out of control there.

Maybe the reason she has gotten more aggressive about it over the last few months is because the anti-vaccination movement has been in the news more. The debates on social media are getting nasty. Measles is making a comeback, and health departments all over the country are telling the local news to broadcast it on TV. it's making both sides emotional.

Don't engage her when she brings it up. Let it go or she will think you are meddling.


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Lol. Crayola she uses Kratom.

I eat very healthy. I have no issue with that. Nor have I even said anything bad about vaccines.

I dont even know how we got to this point of impending estrangement. We are not pushy parents.

One interesting fact is that grandson eats fast food all the time. I dont. When asked about the healthy eating yet fast food contradiction Kay said in a snooty way "There is a difference between injection and ingestion." This was before Lee snd Kay became downright nasty to us about their health beliefs. In fact we almost never used to talk about those issues that are all she talks about now.

Perhaps all the news IS why they are suddenly so fixated on this. I limit watching the news so I didnt know about the coverage.

Why is Kratom dangerous? I cant find much about it and have not dared ask my daughter anything. She took it for PMS. She may still.


Active Member
It sounds like they have become a bit fanatical. I agree with Copa. It doesn't sound like there is really anything you can do if you want to remain on speaking terms with your daughter. I'm sorry...hugs for your hurting mom heart.


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I do plan to text her "Remember how much I love you!"

Nothing more and probably not until Saturday. She needs time to calm down. And no mention of her fighting with me.

Hey, I can try.


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You have not one whit of control over what she does or thinks or says. The only way to be in relationship with them, apparently is to listen without response or judgement.
In no way do I believe that this is healthy either for her or for you.

The problem is this: We are trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. There is no way to do this that does not have great costs. We have to pick our devil. We are dealing with two bads.
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I have an adopted son who is similar to this. I didn't get him until he was 13 and lots of damage had been done. He is black and is convinced that doctors/nurses will put something (I don't know what) in the vaccines because his kids are black. He also thinks that if he lets the kids pack a lunch someone will tamper with it because they are black. In a matter of fact manner I have told him I think he has mental health issues and explained why I believe his reasoning is flawed. I don't argue about it, just state what I think and move on when it comes up. I also got whooping cough several years ago (not realizing I needed to have a booster- stupid me) and have mentioned that it likely happened because of anti-vaxxers. He even says he knows I am right, but he can't overcome his fear. It's super frustrating. I totally understand how you feel, but you can't really do anything. I would just let that issue go if I were you. If she brings it up just nod and change the subject.


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I dont bring it up. Ever. SHE does. Along with the stuff about how on vine foods make sure you unable to ever get cancer etc. She never talks about ANYTHING else anymore. Nothing.

She is very angry that most people are against her views and she is taking it out on me although I tell her I support her. Its nuts.

Sounds like you and your son have a good relationship at least. Kay I swear or maybe Lee or both seem to be angry at hub and me just because we wont ....I am not even sure what Kay wants from us.

Lee is toxic. My other daughter and her husband cant stand Lee. My son is much younger, but has more drive and common sense than Lee ever had and privately speaks unkindly about him and wishes Kay would leave Lee. We all do. But she won't.
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Hi and welcome, Busy

It sounds like the only way your daughter will be happy is if you strongly and enthusiastically endorse all her beliefs and talk about them with her non-stop.

This is unreasonable as well as unfair to you, but this seems to be what she demands.

There are many websites on the internet that endorse strange, crazy, impossible or even illegal beliefs and practices. I have a relative that believes he is a victim of “gangstalking” (which has nothing to do with gangs as we commonly know them). There are reportedly tens of thousands of people who share this belief, and they find each other in cyberspace and reinforce each other’s delusions.

There is nothing we can say or do to make someone change.

Stay with us and post, Busy.

It sometimes helps to be with people who are in the same situation.



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Thank you, You summed it up perfectly. I need to not only listen and not say much, which I have not, but wholeheartedly agree with borh of them. No longer can we just talk about little stuff, fun stuff or mutual interests. It has to be all about this and I need to be indignant that the stupid masses dont listen to the truth or font believe it.

I cant. I have another daugjter who vaccinated her kids and doesnt think.the government wants to kill them. My son has a serious girlfriend and when they marry they will vaccinate and live normally. I cant just pretend to take sides as I adore my other kids too and they are choosing another way. Plus I am a rotten liar.

Since Kay wont allow me to just listen, but demands validation and accuses me of mocking her when I try to ask questions just to break my silence, I give up. I did not in any way mean to mock her, but in her head my question did. In her head, we all sit around and laugh at her views.

We are not like that. We rarely group talk about her.

Maybe she is taking majority opinion out on those who love her the most. One day she was in a restaurant with her cousin who sadly has two autistic kids. You know where this is going plus Kay was trying to talk her cousin into pulling her kids out of school, where they are doing well and both progressing by leaps and bounds and getting special help.

But Kay warned her that vaccines caused the autism and that in school the kids are given flu shots even against parental approval and that any shots will make the autism worse.

A woman eating nearby overheard her talking and on her way out she stopped at Kay'stable and said, "Not vaccinating your kid is child sbuse" then she walked away and left the restaurant.

Kay was hurt and furious. She called me crying and I told her that in my opinion nobody has a right to just barge into somebody else's conversation. Kay said this happens a lot. So maybe that's driving this. She wants people to believe ßhe loves little J and is doing all she can to make him healthy. I know she thinks she is. I know strangers can hurt and butt in.

If she wants to take it out on us, I can do nothing. Now that I am over the shock of maybe losing her, I know I have to keep living and let God hopefully handle this situation. I have been praying a lot. That is all I can do.

I am still heartbroken, but life must go on. And so it will, even if an elephant follows me.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

I have a good friend that is very intelligent and also is against vaccinations. She had two adult daughters who were vaccinated of course - she did believe in it when they were children.

She is a speech pathologist and has seen a lot of clients (children) that were supposedly normal before they were vaccinated which is why she feels so strongly.

Okay so there may be some truth to it but I don't know much about it so I NEVER bring it up and we just don't talk about it because I don't want to argue with her and I just don't care that much.

Our boys do not have children yet but when they do I don't think I'll say much. They do not like it when we try to tell them what to do so I can only imagine how THAT would go over! LOL

I would not want to be around them. I know it's your daughter but I just cannot handle drama and stress in my life any longer and that is my reasoning. Let the dust settle. Let some time go by and then see what happens. That's just my humble opinion.


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Thank you. Thats what I am doing. For four months every conversation has been her yelling at me about not just vaccines but how this or that food can cure all sickness and that we are not supporting her. We havent said a bad word about her lifestyle and if we even try to be supportive, every word is perceived as a negative.

I will let this go where it goes. I am not going to get involved in a lose/lose situation. I hope my husband can do so too. This is his baby girl.