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Ok, here is my story.

I work in the same hospital as my mother (I'm nursing, she's administration) and we usually have lunch together. I came into her office so we could have lunch together and she pulled out this giant baking dish telling me that she had made my favorite dessert... bread and butter pudding! and then said 'oh but if you have celiac disease, I guess you can't have any' as she handed it to me.

I was so mad! My mother has been through all of this with me, she knows all about celiac disease, she has seen me get sick when I eat gluten but she still insists on playing these little games with me, she tries to tempt me with cookies and cakes at work and bakes me stuff that she knows I can't eat! I don't live with her, so I'm not worried about her sneaking gluten into my food or cross contamination.

I'm just so frustrated!

Why would she bother spending half her time baking things that she knows I will just throw out? Why be so cruel?

I just can't understand why anybody would do this! Does she not believe that I am sick? Does she think I am making it all up? Or is she so evil that she actually wants to make me sick?

I think I need to distance from her.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should handle this?

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A lot of it will have to do with what your relationship with your mother is in general. Does she play this kind of games with other things as well? If she does, then I guess you need to take some distance and also not expect too much in terms of support for your diet. Or try to work on your relationship in general.

If she doesn't and you actually have a good relationship I think you should just go ahead and ask her the same questions you wrote above. She might be feeling guilty for passing on the genes for celiac to you, and in denial that the diagnosis is really true, or something like that. In that case a good talk might help.

Pauliina

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Michelle:

I just can't understand why anybody would do this! Does she not believe that I am sick? Does she think I am making it all up? Or is she so evil that she actually wants to make me sick?
I can totally relate to you! I have been gluten free for 8 years in August, my sister 8 years this last March, and our dad will be gluten free 4 yrs in Nov. My mom totally understands gluten free. I, different from the other 2, also am intolerant of so many other things, and she just can not understand that. When I say I can't have soy, she says, "Soy is not a gluten, YOU CAN HAVE IT!" Last week when I told her I have lost 34# since January, she told me that is wonderful, then asked how. I told her I was glutened by a medication, and was sick for over 8 weeks from that, then after losing 24#, things started changing for me, and I changed some of my eating habits. I was already nearly grain free, at that point I stopped all grains, no more high fructose corn syrup, and no caffeine. She says to me, "You can't live without any grains!" She doesn't understand that many, many celiac's can't have grains, she doesn't understand that many celiac's can't have nightshades, she refuses to understand how sick even a little potato makes me!!! I'm going on vacation next week to my home state. I'm sure it will upset my mom when I bring my own pan with me, and cook my own chicken, in my own pan--but it has come to the point, where I find even seasonings in someone else's pans will make me ill! I want to enjoy my vacation, I don't have time to be sick. It's a long drive there and back here, I don't have time to be sick. We just have to become thick skinned and realize, this is our mom's problem, not ours!!!

aikiducky:

Does she play this kind of games with other things as well?
This really made me think! Yes, she does, my mom does. I do have a different set of standards I have to live up too. This does hit home, I never thought about this until you said this, but, it makes perfect sense!!!! Thank you!

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I agree that it sounds like denial. If your mother is at all similar to mine, I'd think she doesn't want to believe you need to be gluten-free, and is hoping that you would be overcome by temptation, eat gluten, and feel fine, proving "it's all in your head".

What I always find annoyingly perplexing, is that most everyone understands a sensitivity to other things. Lactose intolerance, strawberry allergy, tomato allergy, cat allergy, shellfish allergy, etc. Or heartburn from garlic, or spicy foods. What makes them think gluten is exempt from being problematic?

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I am so sorry. That is awful for you. I don't know what that is like. Everyone has been so understanding for me. I don't know the right thing to do,

but I know what I would do. I would curse and say if you don't stop with these cruel behaviors, I will no longer eat lunch, etc. with you. I love you, but I will not tolerate being treated like this.

My mom started to guilt trip me the other day. I got upset and got off the phone. Later she called back and was sorry. She said she was not trying to. Maybe your mom doesn't realize what she is doing and how it upsets you. I hope not.

Good luck.

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Is your mother overweight & jealous because you are not?

Is she just generally mentally unbalanced from all the gluten that she is eating?

I would have thrown that pan of gluten dessert in her lap!!! Or better yet, I would have just taken it & my lunch & left, & dropped off the gluten dessert to the nearest nurses station.

This shows that she totally does not get it - will never get it & has no regard for your decisions concerning your health or probably anything else.

You need to find a new lunch buddy - no sense in walking into those situations.

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I think if this situation were mine I would tell her that I will not put up with her cruelty any longer.

I have a family that can be very cruel also. I have had to put all of them in their place by not putting up with anymore dysfunctional behavour.

Your mother seriously needs help!

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I don't have celiac but I can relate to this. My mother was the same way. I say was because I let her have it with both barrells one day and told her that neither me nor my children needed her in our lives and that it was up to her to decide what kind of relationship she wanted with us. This came after months of struggling with gluten intolerance and her inviting us all over to serve lasagna. I really blew a lid. She is a model mother and grandmother now. It's almost comical how much she changed. You relationship with your mother is going to be different and my outburst was not just about lasagna. I will say though that your mother has some serious explaining to do about her motives. The ball is in your court!

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I'm so sorry your mother did such a cruel thing. For you own health and safety, do not give her any more opportunities to do it again.

If that means not eating lunch with her, then don't eat lunch with her. If that means leaving her standing there holding a pan of whatever, then so be it.

I don't think giving her the "if" option (if you don't stop this I will not eat lunch with you any more) will work. You will probably have to just tell her that as she is unable to control her cruel behavior you will not be having lunch with her anymore. Period. No "if."

It won't be pretty but for your sake you need to protect your physical and emotional health.

Again, I am so sorry. It has to be terribly difficult.

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I think if this situation were mine I would tell her that I will not put up with her cruelty any longer.

I have a family that can be very cruel also. I have had to put all of them in their place by not putting up with anymore dysfunctional behavour.

Your mother seriously needs help!

I second that.

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What I always find annoyingly perplexing, is that most everyone understands a sensitivity to other things. Lactose intolerance, strawberry allergy, tomato allergy, cat allergy, shellfish allergy, etc. Or heartburn from garlic, or spicy foods. What makes them think gluten is exempt from being problematic?

Yeah, it's always a relief for me when someone actually gets it. Where I work, I can only think of 2-3 people who really seemed to get it. I'm always glad when there's not a friggin' blank stare. Because some people seem to view it...possibly...as me being finicky, nitpicky...you know, it COULD seem like I'm just high-maintenance/difficult. That's why it's such a relief when someone DOES get it. It seems to happen if/when people offer me food or something to be nice, and I turn it down...I guess it could be viewed as rude. So that's why, when I say "gluten-intolerance" - and the other actually GETS it...it's a relief. I'm like B) inside. Like someone a few weeks ago...to be nice, some were encouraging me to have something, I was like "Noo...I have a diet restriction" blah blah, and they still did...then, just as a shot in the dark, I mentioned it was gluten free thing and one of them immediately got it and stopped offering the food, and the awkwardness ended there. It took me by surprise but in a good way. Usually "gluten-intolerance" means nothing to people. So yeah.

But the original poster's mom just sounds like someone with mind-games and emotional weirdness that, yes, needs to be distanced from.

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Hi

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I'm finding this really hard. On the one hand I want to cut my mother out of my life, she is toxic in more ways than one and I find it really frustrating and hurtful. On the other hand she is still my mum, I want her in my life, I'm getting married in January and I want her involved.

Its a hard situation to deal with without causing a huge problem.

I don't really know what I'm going to do, if I stop having lunch with her she will demand to know why and every time I try to talk to her about celiac disease she rolls her eyes at me. Perhaps quiet and persistent insistence about my gluten-free lifestyle is the way to go?

I found great relief in the responses, sometimes when you are frustrated and angry all you need is words of comfort.

Luckily my fiance is really supportive, he is happy to eat gluten-free with me and is alway sweet if I get sick. My sister in law has been dealing a wheat allergy and a lactose intolerance for many years and is very helpful with recipes and general support.

Thanks again.

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Hi

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I'm finding this really hard. On the one hand I want to cut my mother out of my life, she is toxic in more ways than one and I find it really frustrating and hurtful. On the other hand she is still my mum, I want her in my life, I'm getting married in January and I want her involved.

Thanks again.

Do you think that maybe throwing it back at her might make more impact? For example if you had responded with "Oh didn't you KNOW that gluten free bread is available at the supermarket? What a pity that your generous effort is wasted because you didn't know that, you silly duffer! Maybe next time!"

or even "sure I can have some, but can you please cover my shifts while I'm stuck in the bathroom having horrible cramps and D for the next three days?"

If she's trying to get a rise out of you then the best medicine might be to act totally calm and nonplussed and make out like she's clearly the one being silly.

Although I have to say that for a MOTHER to be behaving that way I find really upsetting, I really feel for you.

I tend to agree with some of the advice above, maybe if you actually show her you're not willing to put with it it might snap her out of it - chances are she wants to be involved in your wedding just as much as you want her to be.

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Quite often those closest to us have the hardest time accepting ...

All those times you have been sick and your mother gave you gluten but she can't come to terms with that so instead she is in denial.

I don't think this makes her evil, it just means she can't cope so she won't let herself believe she was poisioning you all those years...

IMHO, you need to try and let her know you don't blame her, "even the doctors didn't know back then..." etc.

Right now she's desperately trying to prove its not celiac disease because in her head she was poisioning you and can't take it back.

If its not one thing, its your mother :D

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If its not one thing, its your mother :D

HAHAHAHA!!!

I truly think that there are people in this world who simply enjoy seeing other people sick or unhappy, because it makes them feel better about themselves. Regardless of the psychology behind it, this behavior is not healthy for YOU to be dealing with, I mean, this woman works in a hospital, how can she not understand this stuff? What would she do to patients who have Celiac?

I personally have had to distance myself from an abusive parent, it is VERY hard. I think what I might say to your mother would be something about how sh'es so silly for wasting all her time making things for you SHE KNOWS you won't eat because SHE KNOWS it would make you sick. I would put it all on her. Just keep reminding yourself that this really, honestly, has nothing to do with you personally. I would imagine that this is the way this woman operates in all her relationships, to some degree. Don't let her manipulate your feelings. I know she's your mother, but being a mother doesn't give you the right to be mean.

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If its not one thing, its your mother :D

I truly think that there are people in this world who simply enjoy seeing other people sick or unhappy, because it makes them feel better about themselves.

The above is so true--as a person who has been dealing with a similar situation for years--please don't give her the power to keep making you feel bad. It's easier said than done, but it's much less stressful with a little distance put between the two of you.

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I know it's hard, and it's frustrating, but you won't be able to change her. You can educate her, and hopefully someday she'll "get it", but you can't change her.

You can, however, change you. You can act, instead of react. (I know, that's really hard to do, too. I still react more often that I act. :( ) I know a woman who said her grandmother taught her something invaluable, and she's never forgotten it: Gracefully say "Thank you", accept the gift, then give it to friends or even throw it away if necessary.

You could also say something like "Oh, Mom, that's so sweet of you. Thank you. But you know I can't eat anything like that, so why don't you take it home and enjoy it yourself?" Or "Maybe you could share it with the people in your office?" Or "I'll take it down to the nurse's station. They'll love it!" :D

This way, you're still thanking her for making something for you, and letting her know in a nice way that you will NOT be eating it at the same time. :D:D At some point, she may realize she is no longer making things for you, but for some of the hospital staff instead, and stop doing it.

As for why she's doing this? You will have to ask her. She may not have an answer for you, she may not consciously know why herself. :huh:

myst

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Okay it sucks, but sometimes parents just don't get it.

I don't speak to my mother anymore. She just couldn't respect ANY of my boundaries. Yeah, she's my mom. But does that give her the right to treat me however she sees fit? NO. And when I set firm boundaries, she quit speaking to me. It's been about a year now. And I have to say, I feel FREE of her. Looking back she was so mean and manipulative.... I don't miss her. Do I wish I had a nice, trustworthy mom? Sure. But I don't, and no amount of wishing is going to change her if she doesn't want to change.

I can't tell you what to do but I can tell you that I don't regret anything I've done for a second. You are WORTH MORE than that, you have a right to feel safe and respected with everyone you choose to be around.

Hope it all turns out!

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On the one hand I want to cut my mother out of my life, she is toxic in more ways than one and I find it really frustrating and hurtful. On the other hand she is still my mum, I want her in my life, I'm getting married in January and I want her involved.

Luckily my fiance is really supportive

Tricky. My mother died before I realized I can't have gluten, but we certainly went round and round on plenty of other issues. In her case I now think she was OCD (hoarding in particular), but didn't figure that out until after her death either...

but I digress - In my case, what worked really well was meeting on neutral territory. Somehow at a restaurant or a mall or a park or on vacation, my mother was sweetness and tact itself (well, with a few barbed comments but funny ones at strangers' expense so not my pain...)

So, you could try setting boundaries. Feel free to make it all about you, if that works better - you know, "my body is really going through a strange period with lots of reactions, so I am limiting how many places I will go". Or you can just set the boundaries without saying anything, change your actions to preserve your health & sanity (she may or may not notice).

Sometimes role-playing or talking through a situation before it happens can help. So if you're trying to figure out how to, say, invite her to try on wedding dresses with you, think of all the nutty, er "motherly", responses/issues she might have and perhaps you can avoid them. In my case I finally realized that I could control my own actions, but not my mother's. Eventually when she flew into a (short) rage I could realize that I wasn't really the target, I was just in the neighborhood for the outburst, and I could let it wash over me quickly.

Good luck, and congrats on your engagement! Thankfully sounds like you have a lovely fiance.

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My husband's mother is JUST like that. He doesn't have any food issues, but I could see her doing something crazy like that. What has really worked for him after years and years of stress is just calling her on whatever it is she is up to. Everyone in his family doesn't want to upset her because she is, shall we say, unstable? But he finally just started calling her out on stuff and she straightened up with him. He was really, really respectful about it, but nonetheless, he did it. And it totally through her off guard that her "games" were no longer working over him. Their relationship has improved TREMENDOUSLY!

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Does this sound like your Mom?

Diagnostic Features:

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviors become persistent and very disabling or distressing.

Complications:

Vulnerability in self-esteem makes individuals with this disorder very sensitive to criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt these individuals these individuals and may leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow, and empty. They may react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack. Their social life is often impaired due to problems derived from entitlement, the need for admiration, and the relative disregard for the sensitivities of others. Though their excessive ambition and confidence may lead to high achievement; performance may be disrupted due to intolerance of criticism or defeat. Sometimes vocational functioning can be very low, reflecting an unwillingness to take a risk in competitive or other situations in which defeat is possible. Individuals with this disorder have special difficulties adjusting to growing old and losing their former ?superiority?.

Comorbidity:

In this disorder, sustained feelings of shame or humiliation and the attendant self-criticism may be associated with social withdrawal, depressed mood, and Dysthymic or Major Depressive Disorder. In contrast, sustained periods of grandiosity may be associated with a hypomanic mood. Anorexia Nervosa, Substance-Related Disorders (especially related to cocaine), and other Personality Disorders (especially Histrionic, Borderline, Antisocial, and Paranoid) frequently co-occur with this disorder.

Associated Laboratory Findings:

No laboratory test has been found to be diagnostic of this disorder.

Prevalence:

The prevalence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is less than 1% of the general population. It is seen in 2% to 16% of psychiatric outpatients. This disorder is more frequent in males (50% to 75%) than females.

Course:

Narcissistic traits are very common in adolescents, but most adolescents grow out of this behavior. Unfortunately, for some, this narcissistic behavior persists and intensifies into adulthood; thus they become diagnosed with this disorder.

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I would like to add that no matter how tempting it might be, it's better not to give in to emotional knee-jerk reactions to her behavior - name calling, throwing stuff back at her, that sort of thing.

I always tell the kids at church that one person's unacceptable behavior is *NEVER* an excuse to drop down to their level.

If you still are meeting her for lunch, the next time she makes something for you that you cannot have, thank her for her "loving and thoughtful gift" (sorry - I love sarcasm!) but do not even touch it. If she is trying to hand it to you, eventually she will set it down. When you leave, don't take it with you. If she asks why, just say pleasantly that you cannot eat it. And then just walk out.

Once she figures out that she cannot get a rise out of you any more, she most likely will quit.

Hopefully, anyway!

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Hi

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I'm finding this really hard. On the one hand I want to cut my mother out of my life, she is toxic in more ways than one and I find it really frustrating and hurtful. On the other hand she is still my mum, I want her in my life, I'm getting married in January and I want her involved.

Its a hard situation to deal with without causing a huge problem.

I don't really know what I'm going to do, if I stop having lunch with her she will demand to know why and every time I try to talk to her about celiac disease she rolls her eyes at me. Perhaps quiet and persistent insistence about my gluten-free lifestyle is the way to go?

I found great relief in the responses, sometimes when you are frustrated and angry all you need is words of comfort.

Luckily my fiance is really supportive, he is happy to eat gluten-free with me and is alway sweet if I get sick. My sister in law has been dealing a wheat allergy and a lactose intolerance for many years and is very helpful with recipes and general support.

Thanks again.

I can feel for you....I've spent my childhood, teen years and young adult years dealing with a mother who said and did cruel things - who tried to spoil good things in my life from happening. In her old age, I am there for her but I don't trust her to do the "right" thing and try to keep an emotional distance. It's difficult finding a proper Mother's Day card for her because it can't say "for how wonderful you are/were to me." or "how you sacrificed for me" blah blah. Because it wouldn't be true.

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