Trying to plan a trip to visit family for the holidays . . . but vaccination status is an obstacle.

I recently moved to Puerto Rico, and this is my first time living away from my family. I’m not vaccinated and was going to get vaccinated to be able to hold my new little baby nephew when I visit for the holidays. However, I realized at the end of the day that I didn’t feel comfortable getting the vaccine and would only be doing it because I felt forced to. So, I decided it was most in alignment for me and my body to not get vaccinated even though it was a very tough decision.

I respect my family members’ decisions and the boundaries they set for their own health–whether or not they’re comfortable being around me indoors or outdoors, masked or not. However, my Mom isn’t respecting my boundaries to stop bringing up vaccination.

I recently had to end a call with her in which she became combative. I did so calmly, reminding her of the boundary and then as soon as we got off the call, she texted me a link and text message further advocating for vaccines–it was like she clearly had absorbed nothing of what I said or just didn’t care. I feel exhausted from managing this and being asked to justify my position to a degree. I feel like I’m being made to be “wrong.”

I initially had a great talk with my Dad and we were respecting each other’s different opinions. It felt like a huge relief. Then he just called me again and is concerned I won’t be connecting with the family enough and am sort of ostracizing myself from family by making this choice and he asked me the reasoning for my decisions. I am having a hard time deciding if/when to go back for a visit for the holidays now and am thinking about just going the week before Christmas and skipping the actual holiday.

I feel very alone, like they don’t understand me and no one is on my side. I have never had this feeling before where I am on the opposite side from my entire family on a big issue. I am unsure what new boundaries to set with my Mom who keeps breaking the ones I set (she has done this in many other areas–not just about this topic). And I’m sick of feeling like I have to defend my position, so I’m wondering if I need to set a boundary with everyone about prodding me for my justifications.

And I’m just really scared about what will happen to my relationships with my family. I haven’t even talked to my brother and his wife yet and already feel so exhausted and worn down by this. It feels like I could lose them to some degree and my choice is either to do something that feels totally out of alignment for my own body or to lose relationships. I am also admittedly dreading if you are going to reply to this and then put a disclaimer that everyone should get vaccinated.