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Insensitive Family Members


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#1 smc

 
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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:07 AM

Hi Everyone, I have been Gluten free for almost 2 years now . My question is how do you deal with very insensitive family members? Since my diagnosis my children , husband and I have been excluded from various family dinners and occasions. I just dont get invited anymore and if I do my father will complain about the few choice restaurants that I can eat safely at so I decline the invitation anyway. When I bring up the issue and how it hurts I am told my diet just makes it too hard. The only time I have gone out with them they were all passing food to each other to try right over my plate while I was steaming. And alot of the converstion revolves around food! On a few occasions my mother has tried some of my food and has stated how horrible it is and that she would never eat it even if she had to. My father has made hurtful jokes like "oh how is your bread, cake , pie, etc ? oh yeah thats right you cant have any hahaha" I have been limiting my contact with them because of this. They just do not take this disease seriously as I have been told by my father if you are going to get very sick from celiac disease you dont do so until much later in life. Trying to bring up the issue i am told I am being too sensitive and they seem to find it funny. HELP I am a 45 year old woman with my own family -I dont want to keep fighting to be part of this anymore. Any suggestions???
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#2 kareng

 
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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:37 AM

I'm sorry these people are your relatives. You can't pick them. Just because you are related to someone, you don't need to spend time with them or even like them. Its likely they would be mean to you about something else if they didn't have Celiac to pick on. People don't suddenly become mean & vicious just because you can't eat gluten.

The part about your mom not liking gluten-free foods is stupid. Doesn't she eat BBQ chicken, steak, salad, brocolli with cheese, baked potatoes, chili,strawberries on vanilla ice cream, etc. She is missing out.

I fix gluten-free Thanksgiving. We had cornbread, turkey etc. We aren't big on stuffing. No one thought the food was bad.

We all have family members that are not good people. I try to distance myself & my kids from them as much as possible.
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#3 smc

 
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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

Hi, Thanks and you are right that they have always been somewhat mean and vicious in nature. Celiac or not limiting contact is the right thing to do. Regarding my food with my mother i mean my cookies, breads, pizza crusts and those types of things-she eats the other things you mentioned. I am so lucky to have the most supportive husband and kids -They are wonderful!
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#4 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:40 PM

Wow! I cannot imagine my parents or siblings saying anything like that to me or having anyone exclude me from family events. That's just cruel and you do not deserve to be treated that way. You don't have a contagious disease for pete's sake. Sorry, hon--I imagine it hurts your feelings very much!

Yes, I am glad you have a supportive loving husband and children. My hubby is wonderful, too and even went gluten-free with me and makes our bread.

Um.....you probably got celiac from one of them....don't they get that part?!!

Make your own family memories with those who are kind to you and avoid occasions with the rest who are not accepting of you, especially those occasions that involve food.
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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

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#5 Juliebove

 
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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:57 PM

No suggestions but I can relate. Just last week, I had a problem where my van was in the shop. It wasn't done when I needed it so my dad had to run my daughter to dance class. We stopped at Walgreens on the way to our house so I could buy her a drink and a snack. We arrived at our house just when the school bus did.

Now some Walgreens sell fresh fruit. This one did not. And I had limited time to buy anything. So I got some Skittles and Lays Stax. The only things I saw that she could eat.

So then my mom complained about it and said I should have bought her cheese and crackers instead! I was like... She can't EAT cheese and crackers? And then I had to explain once again why she could not. It gets really frustrating.

In my case my parents are elderly. I think their memory is going. My mom has tried to force her to eat crackers on more than one occasion. And these are not gluten-free crackers!
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#6 smc

 
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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:50 AM

Wow, that must really upset you. At least your daughter knows enough not to eat food that is not safe for her.
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#7 NateJ

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:41 AM

Same issue here. I've been alienated from my family and pretty much disowned by my parents.
At first it really upset me, and still sort of does like on holidays I spend alone but overall I wouldn't have it
different. I'm not going to poison myself just to make them happy.
I've had to make a number of lifestyle changes over the years including being an alcoholic and having Celiacs.
So make the right choices for you and your health and everything else has a way of working itself out.
You have to feel good to deal with nonsense like the 'F' word. (family)
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#8 Jestgar

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:47 AM

You have to feel good to deal with nonsense like the 'F' word. (family)

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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#9 etta694

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 07:44 AM

I have a lot of respect for people who have to deal with family when there is so much opposition or misunderstanding, and also with elderly family (bless their misdirected hearts). It takes a lot of patience and forgiveness (and some venting and pillow punching maybe...). :)
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Anemia and IBS through my life
2005 Joint pain, exhaustion, general feeling of not being well 2006 Beginning of testing for everything but Celiac 2008 Bloating, more muscle stiffness, feeling sicker, more exhausted-testing 'normal' 2010 March insides begin to shut down, cough that won't go away 2010 June Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, biopsy - all show no problems
Self diagnosed gluten intolerant - went gluten free. Within 3 days feeling better.
After 5 days - insides began to move
Now - feel better than I have felt for 15 years (except when I gluten myself.. which I'm good at)

#10 collgwg

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 09:41 AM

i too have issues with family members
they can not under stand that i have done dammage to my intestines by getting so sick and being hospitalized for a week and a half and haveing diareah for 2 months straight, and had a scare that my bowels were coloapsing

they seem to think that i am making my self believe i have celiac just because i need to be tested for it
i can not make them understand or listen to me when i said i have never been able to handle pasta and when i do eat it i feel so bloated and have stomach cramps
and sure i was able to eat bread but was still feeling sick

last night was really bad i had taken my own dip and gluten-free tortilla chips to his mothers
and what did everyone do but diped their gluten laden chips and crackers in my dip,put chips in replace of my smokes in my case, i did not see the humor in this tatic
they said i was being too sensitive and that i dont have celiac and that its all in my head

ohhh its so frustrateing
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#11 kareng

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:27 AM

they can not under stand that i have done dammage to my intestines by getting so sick and being hospitalized for a week and a half and haveing diareah for 2 months straight, and had a scare that my bowels were coloapsing

they seem to think that i am making my self believe i have celiac just because i need to be tested for it
i can not make them understand or listen to me when i said i have never been able to handle pasta and when i do eat it i feel so bloated and have stomach cramps
and sure i was able to eat bread but was still feeling sick

last night was really bad i had taken my own dip and gluten-free tortilla chips to his mothers
and what did everyone do but diped their gluten laden chips and crackers in my dip,put chips in replace of my smokes in my case, i did not see the humor in this tatic
they said i was being too sensitive and that i dont have celiac and that its all in my head


These do not sound like nice people. If you didn't have Celiac, they still wouldn't be nice people.

Nice people put the wheat cracker in the dip. When you explain the problem, nice people are sorry. Nice people didn't know or remember. Nice people try not to do it again. They may forget because they don't live with it on a dailt basis, but they wouldn't try to poison you on purpose. Nice people may not understand ,or really want a big explanation, of your illness. But nice people would be worried that your illness put you in the hospital.

I don't known if you are married to this guy or have kids with him. If you aren't & don't, count your blessings. You may want to reconsider making these people your family. If it's too late, then your husband needs to tell them that they cannot disrespect and try to hurt you in this way. It's the same as if they were hitting you or putting arsenic in your food.
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#12 collgwg

 
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:58 AM

yes i have been married for 27 years and i agree these are not nice people the mother in law is a nurse yea some kind of nurse huh
i hope i get a medical diagnosis to be able to throw it in their faces see this is why im sick and can not work and this is why i have to be on a special diet
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#13 NateJ

 
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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:00 AM

my wife actually mocked me last night. I was complaining about all the gluten in the house and how there are crumbs all over the kitchen. She went and got a hostess fruit pie out and starting eating it and said 'mmmmmm gluten'. I said thanks thats real nice, and she said 'what, you expect me to go gluten-free too? I'm not the one who is sick all the time'

You know, the family going gluten-free would be like a dream come true, but I understand people have limits. I just don't
expect to be mocked and made fun of. pardon my language but f that s
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#14 a1956chill

 
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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:05 AM

my wife actually mocked me last night. I was complaining about all the gluten in the house and how there are crumbs all over the kitchen. She went and got a hostess fruit pie out and starting eating it and said 'mmmmmm gluten'. I said thanks thats real nice, and she said 'what, you expect me to go gluten-free too? I'm not the one who is sick all the time'

You know, the family going gluten-free would be like a dream come true, but I understand people have limits. I just don't
expect to be mocked and made fun of. pardon my language but f that s

WOW all I can say is WOW,,, :angry:

I guess I can understand that it must be hard for family members to have their lives "inconvenienced" :angry: by a loved one being gluten free but considering the FACT it is our health that is at risk I do not expect to be intentionally disrespected by someone ,especially a family member :angry:
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Gluten free Oct/09
Soy free Nov/10

numerous additional intolerances,, i.e. If it tries to kill me I do not eat it .
After 40+ years of misdiagnoses I was diagnosed with:
Dermatitis Herpetiformis : Positive DH biopsy...... Celiac :based on DH biopsy and diet response.

Osteoporosis before  age 50
Hashimoto's thyroiditis disease .

Diagnosed type 2 Diabetes 

Osteoarthritis

Gilbert's Syndrome , confirmed by gene testing


#15 gluten-free goddess

 
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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:24 PM

Wow...I'm so sorry for all of you having a difficult time with insensitive family members. Unfortunately, all of you are my "peeps" (people). I say unfortunately because this is a subject which should have no members and no need for peeps, because family should treat you with dignity and respect.

My dad is visiting from overseas, so this week there was a family dinner at my brother's house. I took along some "emergency food" because they are generally not great about having much i can eat. Turns out they made nothing i could eat and just expected that i would bring my own food. They had food that would have been okay, but was cooked on a contaminated surface (veggies on a marinade-and-bun-laden outdoor grill). How hard would it be to wrap some in foil first??? They just never even planned to make anything i could have--didn't even prepare a quantity of food that would have included me.

The next day we all took a train trip into town--a family day together--as a reward for my 3 year old niece being good about going to bed and not making a fuss for a specified number of days (she loves the "choo choo"). I was told the plan was to take the train and go to my brother's work because my niece loves to visit her daddy's workplace and it would be cool for my visiting dad to see (it's a fire station).

We never went to the station. Instead my brother and his wife took us to a restaurant were they all ate appetizers. I could eat nothing. Then we left and they took us to---another restaurant. A trendy German beer and sausage (hot dog) house. Again, i could eat nothing. I'm sure i must have looked miserable; i came so close to tears a number times. Neither place they took us had any food i could eat. The only way i could make it through was to suppress my feelings and slightly dissociate because if i thought about it the tears would have flowed. And in my family that would not have been okay. I would have just been told that it was my own fault and i should have brought my own food. (Nevermind that i was not told that i would be in a situation where food would be involved at all.)

After we took the train home and were splitting up to go out separate ways there were a number of "This was a great day!"s that were said. Driving away from the train station the tears just rolled down my cheeks. Later, my dad remarked again to my mom: "This was a great day!" and tears started *streaming* down my face.

Nobody in my family has figured out i was upset (is this by choice or obliviousness??) and there seems little point in telling them because there will be no good resolution if i do. It just makes me so sad.

---------------------------------
In regard to the comments in above posts: yes, i have found that the way people treat you in regard to celiac (or other food restrictions) is just an extension of the way they treat you otherwise. Inconsiderate people are inconsiderate, mean people are mean, and caring people are caring.

Thank goodness i have some friends who are super cool and kind about the whole diet thing (one friend even has kind parents who have known me for over 25 years and always want to make sure there is something i can eat when they hold holiday parties etc.).

For those of us with inconsiderate families, creating our own "families" of supportive, kind and caring friends is *really* important.
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