Caroline Pover is the author of The Covid Vaccine Adverse Reaction Survival Guide (available from Amazon and www.carolinepover.com). The book is also available through www.ukcvfamily.org, a support group for the vaccine-injured in the UK (sales through UKCVFamily generate income to help keep the support group going). The following text is from a speech Caroline gave at the Better Way Conference in Bath on May 21, 2022.
I’M going to make some of you feel uncomfortable.
Having spent the past fourteen months living as a vaccine-injured person, I’m used to making most people very uncomfortable.
I make people uncomfortable because I talk about what happened to me – I am very open about the forty-something symptoms that started exactly nine hours after a single dose of AstraZeneca.
Most of the time I don’t even need to tell people what exactly happened. Just the words, ‘I’ve been diagnosed with an adverse reaction to a Covid vaccine,’ are enough to bring all sorts of unexpected responses.
These are my favourites …
‘Your dog just died … it must be grief. Are you going to get another one?’
‘It’s probably menopause. Have you tried HRT?’
‘Sounds like Seasonal Affective Disorder. Just wait until the sun comes out.’
And in response to multiple signs of kidney failure, I was told: ‘Stop watching the news. Book a massage.’
That last bit of advice was from NHS 111.
I didn’t book a massage. I booked an appointment with my vet. To test my urine. Which did indeed confirm signs of kidney failure.
But it wasn’t those responses that baffled me – in their own ways, each of those people were looking for reasons and were trying to provide solutions.
The responses that baffle me – and I still get them – are the ones like, ‘Oh, I’m triple jabbed and I’m fine.’
We do not respond in that way to any other health condition, or any other trauma. If somebody confides in us that they have had a miscarriage, we do not say, ‘Oh, I’ve got three healthy children,’ or if someone tells us about the domestic abuse they’re living with, we do not say, ‘Oh, my partner is wonderful. So kind and gentle.’
No decent person considers it appropriate to respond to another person’s pain by telling them about their own joy. But it seems to be OK if you’re talking to someone with a vaccine injury.
The vaccine-injured do not find compassion when we first try to talk to people about our pain.
So we learn to keep quiet, thinking that nobody understands or cares enough to even try, until we discover a different community of people. Or they discover us. People who want to hear our stories.
They want to hear our stories so much that they dedicate platforms to sharing them. Those platforms make compelling reading or viewing. There’s story after story collected by people who say they want to give us a voice yet don’t think about how gently we need to be held as we speak.
We talk and we talk and we talk because we cannot believe that someone is actually listening at last. We share details about our most vulnerable moments – about the relentless physical pain, about the inability to function, about the intense suicidal thoughts that take over our minds in a terrifying way that feels chemical rather than emotional.
And when we’re done, and the platform has its story, we are left alone again, with just those thoughts for company. Only now those thoughts somehow feel even louder. I don’t know of other kinds of trauma where this mass harvesting of real people’s stories is acceptable.
Somehow, in our desperate need for help we have become subject to a growing voyeurism around the vaccine-injured that is as inappropriate as the way we are treated by those who refuse to acknowledge we exist. We do not find compassion in this exploitation.
We find the courage to speak out and then we discover stories about ourselves on the internet, accompanied by gleeful commentaries about how we deserve everything that happened to us for being so stupid.
Our support groups are infiltrated by people there to tell us that we’re all going to die and I wonder … does anybody join cancer support groups to tell everyone they’re going to die?
We receive messages from people saying they want to help and then go to great lengths to tell us all about the poison in our bodies. About the permanent damage that we’ve done to ourselves. But guess what – it will all go away if you drink this special tea. Or sign up for lots of testing, but no … there’s no treatment. Just lots of very expensive tests. We are told to allow God into our lives because only He can help us now.
We do not find compassion anywhere.
Much of my life has been devoted to compassion-related endeavours. The lack of compassion I have seen during the past fourteen months, as I look at the world through the lens of a vaccine-injured person, has greatly disturbed me. What has happened to our compassion?
I am coming to the conclusion that we have lost our compassion, because our world is not comfortable with pain.
Our world encourages us to hide our pain in alcohol, medication, food, work, sex, exercise, TV, social media, or whatever other distraction that will make somebody some money. Pain is expressed through anger, judgment, and accusations, or whatever other method that makes somebody feel in control. Or it is dealt with by shutting down and not expressing pain at all.
And now the Covid world has pushed people into camps that do not allow space for anyone in pain. It doesn’t even allow you your own pain.
The Covid world nurtures not just words like antivax and conspiracy theory, but also words like sheeple and face-nappy. All these words dehumanise. All these words prevent further understanding of another human being. All these words stop us from taking the time to understand someone else’s pain. These words stop us from acknowledging our own pain.
The vaccine-injured do not fit in the new Covid world. We do not have access to the distractions that may have been available to us before.
Exercise can make our condition worse, many of us can’t work, new food intolerances make every meal a challenge, and most of us don’t dare go near alcohol.
Our pain goes beyond what is happening to our bodies – our pain exists every time we see a friend change their profile picture to announce their vaccination status, it exists in the AA sign pointing toward the vaccination centre at the end of the road, it exists in the queue of people we see standing outside it.
Our pain exists every time we see an image of someone else rolling up their sleeve. Our pain exists in the weeks and months that pass since we heard from our oldest friends. Our pain exists in the silence on a phone after a doctor tells us to stop wasting their time and hangs up on us. Our pain exists in the knowledge that we did this to ourselves.
We have spent months living, feeling, and breathing our own physical and emotional pain. We have had no choice but to learn to be comfortable with pain. We are some of the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet.
A few weeks ago, I bumped into a friend in a busy market place. We hadn’t seen each other in months. She asked how I was, and I told her that my head and eyes had been throbbing again for days. Right there in the street, she stood in front of me, and gently placed her cool hands either side of my head. In that moment of kindness, tears started pouring down my face.
My crying didn’t faze her. She let me cry. She didn’t need to stop me. She didn’t need to fix me. She didn’t need to do anything for herself. She just stood there as I sobbed, still holding her hands on my temples, not caring one bit that we were in a street, surrounded by traffic and people. In that moment, her opinion on vaccines or Covid or vaccine-injuries or anything else did not matter.
She was comfortable with my pain. Are you?