When Sabrina’s mom and dad started reciting QAnon conspiracy theories last spring, the 19-year-old thought the best thing she could do was debunk their misinformation. So whenever they’d send her links about anti-fascist activists going undercover to provoke riots, or COVID-19 being the “biggest hoax since 9/11,” she’d explain why it wasn’t true. It backfired: Their conversations almost always turned into vicious two-on-one arguments.
She became severely depressed and started harming herself as time went on. Then in June, after a particularly volatile clash, Sabrina’s parents kicked her out of the house.
“Telling them their beliefs were wrong only strengthened that belief in their mind. It just made them more convinced they were right,” she said. “I wish I had just stayed quiet.”
Sabrina dropped out of school and spent months sleeping in her car in a Walmart parking lot and on friends’ couches before finally finding a place she could stay long-term. She hasn’t heard from her parents since she moved out: no birthday call, no Christmas card — nothing.
“They’ve hurt me a lot,” she said. “I feel like I’ve lost my parents.”