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How To Deal With Unsupportive Family Members/friends?

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I'll try to keep this short - I (unfortunately) still live at home, and my parents are just awful about celiac disease. My dad makes absolutely no effort to even try to understand it, and my mom thinks she's a genius about it somehow. 

 

I always check labels, but in her mind if it's not a bread product, why would it have gluten in it? She gets nasty and defensive that I check labels (nice, huh? It's not her life - she wouldn't be the one getting sick regardless) And just last night when talking to my sister about potential gluten in cookie dough flavored coffee, my mom interjected and said there is never gluten in any flavoring. I started to argue, and then just stopped mid argument. Living with her is a complete nightmare, but I am not financially stable enough to move out. 

 

I have been sick on and off for 13 years, and my mother always treated me like a hypochondriac. Unfortunately this still happens even though I'm an adult. She doesn't even try to educate herself at all, yet she feels she can interject her thoughts and tell me I'M wrong. It's driving me crazy. I've tried reasoning with her, but she has one of those loud, overbearing, nasty personalities where if you try to argue with her she will talk over you and repeatedly shout in an (overly sarcastic tone)"Yep, you're right! You're right, I'm wrong." 

 

Does anyone else have a family member/friend or anyone else who is like this? Any advice on how to ignore it/get a thicker skin about it? 

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I'll try to keep this short - I (unfortunately) still live at home, and my parents are just awful about celiac disease. My dad makes absolutely no effort to even try to understand it, and my mom thinks she's a genius about it somehow. 

 

I always check labels, but in her mind if it's not a bread product, why would it have gluten in it? She gets nasty and defensive that I check labels (nice, huh? It's not her life - she wouldn't be the one getting sick regardless) And just last night when talking to my sister about gluten in coffee/other flavorings, my mom interjected and said they don't put gluten in flavoring. I started to argue, and then just stopped mid argument. Living with her is a complete nightmare, but I am not financially able to move out.

 

I have been sick on and off for 13 years, and my mother always treated me like a hypochondriac. Unfortunately this still happens even though I'm an adult. She doesn't even try to educate herself at all, yet she feels she can interject her thoughts and tell me I'M wrong. It's driving me crazy...it'd be one thing it it were an extended family member I rarely had to see, but it's my own mother. I've tried reasoning with her, but she has one of those loud, overbearing, nasty personalities where if you try to argue with her she will talk over you and repeatedly shout in an (overly sarcastic tone)"Yep, you're right! You're right, I'm wrong." 

 

I'm stressed enough as it is. Completely changing my lifestyle around is hard enough, but I have to deal with such a negative energy. It's draining and awful. Luckily I have a great boyfriend who is very supportive and overly cautious if anything - but my mother will always be my mother and I am just so tired of her.

 

Does anyone else have a family member/friend or anyone else who is like this? Any advice on how to ignore it/get a thicker skin about it? She does this about everything, not just the celiac disease. In her mind she knows everything and she's right about everything - there's no use in ever arguing with her. I'm just curious how other dealt with similar issues. I'm really tired of it...

 

 

Yes.  I moved out.  Much easier to deal with from my own house on my own terms.   ;)

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((Hugs!)) Your mom sounds like my dad. She wouldn't be bipolar, would she? 

 

Fortunately, I had already moved out and been married by the time I discovered I needed to be gluten free, so he didn't really have a say in it. He was very skeptical about it at first, but has come around. Though I wouldn't put it past him to try to sneak gluten into my food somehow if I visit him. Fortunately, he lives a couple states away. 

 

It's so difficult when loved ones not only don't "get it," but refuse to. The only thing I can think of for you is to just be sort of sneaky about it. If it doesn't come up, don't talk about it. If you eat meals with your family, make your own food and don't make a big deal about it. Even something very simple can help. Stock up on the gluten free Progresso soups. They're really good, and all you do is heat 'em up (I wouldn't recommend using a plastic bowl, because any scratches can hold gluten). It's not a perfect fix, but it can get you by until you're ready to move out. :)

 

Hope it helps!

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I know it will improve immensely when I move out, I can't wait. My boyfriend and I are looking at houses right now, I'm also looking into new jobs. I just have no idea what to do until then.  :angry:

 

 

It doesn't sound like you can do much about it.  It sounds like, if it wasn't Celiac, it would be something else.  Some people are just like that.

 

JUst an FYI - There is no gluten in coffee.  Not likely to be any in "flavoring" either.

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KarenG - I don't know what else to call it other than 'flavoring'. I've seen malted barley in flavored teas, I just wanted to be sure about the flavored coffee. For example - there is wheat in some flavors of frozen yogurt at Froyo locations on the allergen labels, (such as cookie dough or thin mint cookie) I wasn't arguing with her specifically about the coffee. I realize now my wording was off (I'm at work - I work at an accounting firm - it's tax season, bear with me) She was arguing that there wouldn't be gluten in something other than a baked item. It's a beverage, why would there be gluten in it? Well, why would there be gluten in toothpaste, or shampoo? But there is. I know there is no gluten in coffee in general - I actually drink their (Dunkin Donuts) decaf iced coffees. And their flavored coffees might actually be gluten free, but that's not the point. The point is I have to check everything,which is what I was telling my sister.The main issue is with her basically treating me like I'm crazy for double checking before just freely ordering something that one might assume to be gluten free. You're right about how it would be something else, though. Just a constant issue. I just wanted to see if anyone had any success trying to 'educate' family members or avoid such conflicts. I suppose not. 

 

HarpGirl - Thank you! You're not the only person to ask me if she's bipolar, lol. If she is, she hasn't been diagnosed. I do already buy/make my own food, and I have my own ceramic mug that I use for soup. I love the Progresso Lentil soup, I eat that regularly. I try not to talk about it too much...it's just frustrating. I do what I can to take control of my own life and then she has to interject. It's stressful enough l to have to check every label for every single thing, I don't need to be questioned why I do it.

 

There is a lot of hidden gluten around, like in Twizzlers and tomato soup. Why do they put flour in tomato soup?? So when I hear "cookie dough flavored" coffee, I'm going to check to see if there is barley and/or wheat in the ingredients before I jump out to buy some. In this case there is not, but that doesn't always hold true and that is what bothered me.

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I agree with moving out as soon as you can, and being sneaky.  How would she react if you left an article or two about Celiac and Gluten on her pillow for her to read, away from you? That helped with my mother (though I don't live with her).

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I'm trying. I work full time and pay my own bills, including a car and groceries - but I could not make ends meet on my own. Definitely a high tension, high stress environment for me right now with work and trying to feel better again. I don't need the extra stress. 

 

That's a really interesting question. I have no idea. I just really don't want to hear it anymore. I wasn't saying "There's gluten in everything, including all coffee!" I was merely stating that I had to check, and she doesn't even get that aspect of it. I think at this point it might just be a lost cause.

 

For example - We went to Thanksgiving at my uncle's girlfriend's house. She went through special efforts to make the turkey "gluten free" (basically by not stuffing it) but my uncle forgot and brushed the turkey all over with flour. When she asked me if it was okay for me to have, before I could even open my mouth my mom cut me off and loudly said "Oh yeah that's fine" 

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Does your sister still live at home too? It sounds as though she is sympathetic. Mine is and she is totally wonderful about me being gluten free. :) It does help to have someone in your corner, so to speak. But I wouldn't talk about it in common places where your mother is. If she is bipolar (and from my perspective, she totally sounds like it), there is no convincing her while you're in the thick of it. My dad is also one of those people who is "always right." He is never "wrong" about anything and he never apologizes. (He also won't take his meds which is common for bipolar sufferers.)

 

I hate that twizzlers are made with wheat. They were my all-time favorite candy. I also hate that tomato soups have wheat too. Stupid. I did find a nice gluten free tomato soup once, but I can't remember the brand name. It was at a wholesale club, which I no longer have a membership for.

 

I noticed on your signature, that you are lactose intolerant. I was too. It would hit me at random. For a few months, I wouldn't be able to tolerate anything made with dairy. Then it would go away, again randomly. I've since learned that it was because gluten affected my ability to digest lactose and why. Since going going gluten free, I've never had any trouble with dairy. :) You may find the same effect. 

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Yes, my sister lives at home as well. She is more open minded than my parents are, she is willing to learn/she tries to understand. She certainly doesn't tell me I'm wrong to be concerned about checking products!  <_<

 

That's terrible about your dad. It really does sound, based on what you've said, like she's bipolar as well. It would make a lot of sense. She's just a miserable person. I'm trying to stay positive because hey, i got a diagnosis, I'm careful..I'm feeling better, etc etc but when you've got so much weighing down on you already and then you can't even feel comfortable at home..it's really out of control. 

 

I know! Twizzlers were my favorite candy as well. I actually found out they had wheat because my sister bought me a pack last summer right after I had been diagnosed (just to be nice) and on a whim I checked the label (to get used to it - I really didn't expect to find gluten) and there it was - wheat flour! What!? And then when checking my favorite tomato soup (Progresso's tomato & basil) Wheat flour again! WHAT? So I have definitely learned to check everything, even if it doesn't seem likely that there would be gluten in it. I would never suspect there being gluten in tomato soup. 

Oh yes, Amy's makes gluten free tomato soup! It's really good, but it does have cream in it so I need my lactaid pills!

 

That's great that you no longer have issues with dairy - that gives me hope. I've unfortunately noticed the opposite. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I actually increased my dairy intake to make up for the missing grains. (I don't like meat, so basically all I could eat was fruits/vegetables and now dairy) At first, only icecream and milk really bothered my stomach. I switched to almond milk and lactaid icecream, and used lactaid pills when I just HAD to have normal icecream (I needed at least 3 to avoid getting sick)

 

Now I have a reaction to all dairy products that contain lactose. Lactaid icecream still is fine, and I switched to almond cheese (it has casein in it, but no lactose) and that's fine. But to eat something with cheese now (like a gluten free pizza) I need 4+ lactaid pills. No idea why it's getting worse. My symptoms range from bloating/gas to bad breath after eating the dairy. (Even if I brush my teeth, rinse, etc, the bad breath lingers. It's awful.) So I've cut back tremendously on "regular" dairy and only eat it when I go out to a restaurant. I do hope the lactose intolerance goes away at some point. It's really embarrassing.

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It really stinks that your mom is so unsupportive, especially when you have an actual diagnosis (which is no easy feat). Is there a particular reason why, do you think? My dad doesn't trust doctors. He still thinks smoking is harmless. But he can be quite selfish. If he can't feel the harm, and he enjoys it, then "there is no harm." Maybe your mom gets frustrated by all the reports through the years about foods that are not good for you then suddenly are, and then get switched back? Maybe if you found out why she's so against it, you might work through it.

 

Sorry that your lactose intolerance got worse! At least it's not a total allergy and you can take the lactaid tablets. :)

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I am the Mom of the family, so my situation is a little different.  However, my family has begun to note extreme changes in me and have started to listen.  I, too, need to talk about it much more than anyone wants to hear about it.  I also have several in the family and have talked each of their ears off, except for the two youngest.  The forum is a good place to find people that understand. I would just have your own food as peacefully as possible. 

 

My mother was appalled at my behavior when I  asked what was in food they brought and than I didn't eat it.  I never dared explain it much; she wouldn't believe me anyway.  Mothers often really do care.  Sometimes they just don't get it, or know how to show it.

 

Dee.

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Mothers often really do care.  Sometimes they just don't get it, or know how to show it.

 

 

Yes, I agree completely. :) I also feel the need to point out, Waitingindreams, that if your mother is indeed bipolar, then she can't help her behavior. That's something that I've had to learn and understand about my dad. It's very difficult, but you kind of have to just accept what a bipolar says, but then do what you feel is right.

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Thanks for all of your feedback, everyone! I think I just needed to 'vent' slightly, as I am overly stressed and I just wanted to know that other people are dealing with/have dealt with others that are unsupportive. This is a huge lifestyle change as all of you know.

 

I have no idea if she is bipolar. She very well could be, but if I even suggested that to her she'd just fly off the handle. For now, I buy/make my own food and try to stay out of her way. On the plus side, tax season is almost over so my stress levels should go down considerably, lol.

 

It's just nice talking to other people that have similar issues! None of my friends really knew what celiac disease was before I was diagnosed, so they still don't really get it - but most of them try.

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You poor thing! I cannot imagine having people around me not supporting me. I cannot imagine a parent not being supportive of their child. I guess you will just have to be as patient as you can be untill you move out. 

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Thanks for all of your feedback, everyone! I think I just needed to 'vent' slightly, as I am overly stressed and I just wanted to know that other people are dealing with/have dealt with others that are unsupportive. This is a huge lifestyle change as all of you know.

 

I have no idea if she is bipolar. She very well could be, but if I even suggested that to her she'd just fly off the handle. For now, I buy/make my own food and try to stay out of her way. On the plus side, tax season is almost over so my stress levels should go down considerably, lol.

 

It's just nice talking to other people that have similar issues! None of my friends really knew what celiac disease was before I was diagnosed, so they still don't really get it - but most of them try.

 

Vent away! :) We all get down about our situations because of misconceptions believed by the majority of society. Hang in there and know that we are all ears (or in this case, eyes) if you need us. ;)

 

I have friends who are accountants and I definitely don't envy them around tax season! I'm just thankful for their sakes that it only comes around once a year!

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It sounds like she just doesn't take your celiac seriously. Maybe take her to your next doctors appointment, and have them explain it. Maybe coming from a professional, she'll be more likely to "get it".  good luck!

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Thanks so much to everyone for the insight. She doesn't take it seriously, she thinks i am being 'dramatic' about it...it's not like I'm demanding them to throw away all gluten or forcing her to learn to cook for me! I simply do my research and check labels, and I don't assume things that should be gluten free are. 

 

She goes through spurts where she'll try. She made a good gluten free ricotta pie for Thanksgiving, but then my dad consolidated it in the same pie dish as the leftover pumpkin pie. I wasn't mad, I simply said I can't eat it anymore..and she got offended and said that "it's not even touching" It's in the same exact dish! What? Lol. This will be a minor headache once I move out, but for now it can get pretty bad. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's dealt with something similar!

 

:) It does really help going on this forum and reading what others have experienced/their advice for it. My boyfriend means well and he's very supportive, but even he doesn't get it fully. It's a lot of strain...maybe it's because I'm still fairly new but it can be draining to be a stickler on this diet and still have persistent health issues. 

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