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Need To Vent Because Mom Is Not Helping
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12 posts in this topic

Sorry gang, I need to vent a bit here...

My mom seems to only understand what gluten free means if I walk her through every single step. She wanted to make a meatloaf the other week, which she did fine with - no CC issues at all!

She's sometimes really good, sometimes really not good. Over the last 4 weeks, she wanted to send cake home with me after Thanksgiving dinner, asked me if I wanted a piece of pie, and offered me a cheese sandwich today, none of it gluten-free. Today I made a mistake and just went off. I felt bad and apologized to her. Mind you, I gave her Living Gluten Free for Dummies to read 5 MONTHS AGO! She still hasn't read it. That was part of why I got so upset today. On top of this being my first gluten-free Christmas, it's been a few mentally and emotionally tough days.

Please tell me she is going to catch on that when she keeps offering me food I can't eat, it's like poking me over and over in the shoulder. And that I'm going to learn how to deal with it better. Gaaaah!

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First of all, congratulations going gluten free as a young person with a family who does not understand. I understand how difficult that can be.

Yes, she will catch on, at least slightly eventually! Just keep declining. Eventually, as some ailments of yours improve from the efforts you are making, she will see that this is real. My two sisters used to think that my paranoia about gluten was an eating disorder, but after seeing my mom (who's also gluten intolerant) go off into a world of mania after eating gluten every holiday, they now say "I think she's glutened..." It's shocking to hear this from them because finally after years they believe it. So as long as you improve and you feel better they will trust that it must be doing something and that it must be important. Even my grandmother, who 30 years ago refused to make my mom a gluten free birthday meal and kicked her out of the house for it, offers now to make or buy me gluten free items :) It just takes more time for some people.

If after awhile your mom does not understand, she may, even unconsciously, be in her own denial over the fact that this is very real and could mean that she has to do something about her diet too... Good Luck and Much Love !

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Bless you, revenant. You have been there and walked that walk and you offer good advice to goof. Much love to you too! :)

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I don't know how old your mom is but that might be an issue. My mom's memory is just shot. We have given up on her getting it. We just bring our own food now.

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Sometimes people just don't think. I was at a restaurant with my hubby 2 months ago. The cashier asked if I wanted a cookie with my salad. Hubby looked at me and said, "Do you want a cookie?" I just raised an eyebrow at him and said, "Really?" It took him a second and then he realized what he had just said. He was embarassed. He didn't mean anything offensive by it, he just wasn't thinking. Maybe that's how it is with your mom too.

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Just politely refuse. "Thank you, but no. I can't eat gluten." Repeat as necessary. She'll eventually either catch on or stop offering you food. Sometimes saying, "I have a wheat allergy" works better then saying the word gluten. Not everyone has heard of gluten, but they have heard of wheat.

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My boyfriend forgets all the time. I really don't get upset about it because honestly, before realizing I needed to go gluten free, I didn't know a whole lot about it either. I mean, do we all research peanut allergies, and shellfish allergies and the like? I suppose some of you might say YES but I don't. I have so much going on in my life that I barely have time to research gluten free, and that directly affects my well being. Just give your mom some time. If you keep telling her you can't eat such-n-such she will eventually get it. I know it's frustrating.

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I think family goofs are pretty normal. We live and breathe it 24/7, they don't. My partner & son are good about 98% of the time but every so often forget and put something down on my counter.... :unsure:

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She is still learning about gluten and because she is your MOM, she still feels the innate desire to feed you. :) She's trying.

Be patient, honey--just gently remind her every time--"No, Mom--it's gluten, I can't eat that"

And I am just curious--but does she have a gluten issue herself? :unsure:

Could be why she is not "getting it" entirely...sometimes our brains on gluten do not work sharply at all---just suggesting??

Maybe a cheat sheet of "no-no" food items would help...a quickie reference list for her??--until she tackles the gluten-free for Dummies book?

Best wishes, kiddo. :)

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You've had some great advice so far. I'll add to it with my own experiences.

You would be surprised how many people really don't have the faintest clue what's in the food their eating. Many people don't know what gluten is, and that's understandable. But I've had experiences with people who thought that I could eat white bread. "Oh right, you can't have wheat bread. But white bread is fine, right?" (Uh, no. It's still wheat. What did you think it was made of?). People will continue to surprise you.

I live with my partner's family, and I have since before I was diagnosed, which was over a year ago. His father, bless his heart, STILL doesn't understand what I can and can't eat. He doesn't prepare any food I would eat anyway and he's good about keeping things clean and separate so I don't worry about him glutening me, but just this morning he came home with a big bag of soft pretzels and offered me one. I just gave him "the look" (a playful one) and he said "Oh wait! You can't eat this, can you? I'm sorry, I always forget what has gluten in it." He not only forgets what has gluten in it, he also forgets what has flour in it, what flour is made of, etc. If your mom is anything like him, you may just have to learn to laugh and live with it. YOU know what you can eat, so you'll just have to be vigilant in making sure she doesn't accidentally gluten you, and keep gently reminding her what you can't eat.

I know this doesn't make it any easier...but at least she cares and tries. My own mother says things like "A little bit won't hurt you, right? Just eat the cupcake and move on with your life." When I refuse, she rolls her eyes and says "God, what a boring existence..." I don't know what it is about gluten intolerance that people can't seem to take it seriously.

I know you gave her a book, but honestly, if it wasn't my own problem, I don't know that I'd be interested in reading a whole book about gluten intolerance and everything that goes along with it. If it was my young child, I would, but it sounds like you're old enough that she knows you can be responsible for your own food. That's probably why she hasn't bothered to read it. I know it's hard when you're fairly new to gluten-free and someone keeps offering you food that you REALLY want to eat but know you can't. Believe me...I know it. But she loves you and she's trying, it's just complicated for some people. If it helps at all to know, it does eventually get easier to be around foods you used to eat. The other day, when I made a new pizza crust recipe and my partner asked me if it tasted "like a real pizza crust," I realized that I don't even remember what regular pizza crust tastes like. Mine tasted really good! You'll develop new tastes for the foods that you can eat. It gets easier, I promise. :)

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You've received great advice so far. The only other thing I would suggest is that perhaps for a number of reasons your Mom hasn't been able to digest the book. This is a good link for getting written materials to reinforce what you tell her verbally.

http://www.celiac.nih.gov/Materials.aspx

There are other good sources for materials that reinforce the "rules" in a snapshot, i.e. the University of Chicago. It's normal that you got upset with her.

No matter the audience (children, adults, anybody), learning improves with both speech and written materials.

So if you get the refrigerator magnet mentioned in the link, I'd do something like, "Wow, look what I got in the mail from the National Institute of Health, Mom, it says.." .and read it to her while you show it to her. Her retention should increase by a huge threshold. Then ask if she'd like to put it somewhere on her refrigerator, or just give it to her.

Hope the link helps. Keep us posted.

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Thanks gang! I appreciate the advice, and knowing that some of you have been through the same. I have gave her a book a few months ago, and have given her all kinds of resources, which she has not really done much of anything with. I think that's the aggravating part. She seems a bit better since I blew up, and after I explained a few days later this isn't something I think about occasionally. I think now that she realizes that I (we) always have this on our mind, she's a bit more empathetic. I think she will probably stop offering me things I can't eat now, too. (There were a few times she responded "I know you can't eat that, I just wanted to be polite." Sigh...need to be patient...) I guess that's the key word, is patience. I guess the good news is that my mom is driving my sister nuts righ now, too. So it isn't just me!

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