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I'm being excluded by family

(110 Posts)
TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:16:09

Posting as I could really do with some perspective on this as I'm feel pretty low.

I have coeliac disease, diagnosed four years ago. Since diagnosis I've been consistently left out of family celebrations - birthday meals etc. There are plenty of places I can eat but the feeling is I should go and sit there while they all eat. If I don't it's felt that I'm being difficult.

The first year I was diagnosed, I went along for my mums birthday, sat there while they all went on about how lovely the food was and what a shame I couldn't eat it. I had roaring PND at the time and was struggling with the diagnosis, I got upset and left half way through the meal. Nobody got in touch with me for weeks, general consensus was i'd ruined the meal.

The second year it happened again. I asked if they could go somewhere I could be included and got into a huge argument with my sister who said I was being selfish and it's my mums birthday and she should be able to eat where she likes. I didn't go.

This year I got a text saying 'we're going to x I know it's tricky with your diet, let me know if you can come'. I replied saying the restaurant didn't cater for me and left it at that. This was two weeks ago - not heard from them since. Dinner was last night. Lots of photos on FB today saying what a wonderful time they had.

So AIBU to be upset? The illness is for life. I can't do anything about it. I just can't imagine a scenario where I would leave DS out of a family meal because of a health condition.

Im going to have to speak with them at some point but I'm at a loss as to what to say.

pippinleaf Sun 19-Oct-14 14:19:31

Sorry but it sounds like you are the one being difficult. I'm a veggie and quite often my family choose to go somewhere I can't eat anything (yes, the are still places that don't offer veggie food!). I usually ask the chef for a variety of the veg that are on offer. I'm sure if you rang in in advance you could even taken a Tupperware of something they could heat up for you. You've effectively stropped off too many times (I know you had reasons) and they don't see why they should stop enjoying themselves. Have you invited them somewhere you can eat? Do they know there are places, and what they are, where you could eat?

Goldmandra Sun 19-Oct-14 14:19:32

Can you really not eat anything at all from their menu? There's usually something that is naturally GF or can be easily adapted, even if you have to bring your own bread.

Have you tried speaking to the restaurant staff and asking what they can offer?

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:22:15

I called the restaurant to ask they said they couldn't do anything. Lots of places do cater but lots don't unfortunately.

Andro Sun 19-Oct-14 14:22:34

YANBU and your family are the ones being selfish. People who are fortunate enough to not have allergies/illnesses which dictate chunks of their diet have no idea how difficult it can be.

A quick suggestion though, it can be worth calling restaurants to explain about your condition and ask if it's possible for a suitable meal to be prepared for you. You may end up having to order your meal hours in advance, but a lot of restaurants are willing to accommodate things like GF.

Andro Sun 19-Oct-14 14:25:35

X-posts, it would be a shame if the restaurants refusal to accommodate gf were to make it onto twitter (how difficult is grilled steak/chicken/fish with salad or a large salad with something appropriate in it?).

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:25:56

Yes they are aware there's places I can eat in. If I arrange it, they come along. Otherwise it's pretty much always I can't eat.

I don't expect them to also eat where I can obviously as it's tricky. DS has allergies and I could imagine going somewhere where he couldn't join in.

Quitelikely Sun 19-Oct-14 14:26:28

If your diet is gluten free (is that right?) then there are lots of things to eat that are GF. Obviously not very exciting things but there's always going to be fruit and veg.

Similarly you storming off, I mean isn't that what a child does?

When it's your birthday you can choose a restaurant that you like and invite them all along.

Sorry I think yabu

Quitelikely Sun 19-Oct-14 14:28:13

X posted. So they do come along when you ask them to?

I don't think their choice of restaurant should be dictated by your dietary requirements. Lots of clean food available without gluten

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:29:34

I agree storming off wasn't my finest moment.

The thing is with coeliac and gluten if is they can't guarantee the cross continuation so even though they do veg, steak, chips etc it's usually been contaminated.

Goldmandra Sun 19-Oct-14 14:33:30

I called the restaurant to ask they said they couldn't do anything.

That's a shame.

One of our family has Coeliac Disease and we've never come across that. We often eat out with the wider family and he's always managed to find something that he can eat or can be adapted slightly.

If someone in our family regularly insisted on eating somewhere he genuinely could not be catered for, I would assume that it was him they had a problem with.

For most people, the fact that you're enjoying time together as a family is of primary importance. The food itself comes a close second.

There must be plenty of other places that would cater for you. Perhaps you could try taking your DM to some of them over the next year then offering to book one of them for her next birthday well in advance.

Wonc Sun 19-Oct-14 14:34:18

What kind of restaurants are they going to?

My father is Coeliac and I am vegetarian. We have never had any trouble finding something at any kind of restaurant, although admittedly we do often eat the Greek salad together.

It's less about the food than the company though isn't it?

We just fill up on wine

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:36:48

Thanks Andro lots of places won't take the risk. I've tried to do that. Been halve way through a meal and been told that sauce contains flour, we cook our chips in the same oil as wheat...then I'm ill for days. There are loads of places that do cater though. Loads.

Andro Sun 19-Oct-14 14:38:22

Then it's lazy practice - a one off, pre arranged meal should be possible by means of clean pans/counters/utensils/hands...and if the concern is storage contamination then environmental health would have a field day!

A restaurant incapable of preparing basics without contamination is worrying on too many levels to count.

(I have an allergy where micro contamination will hospitalise me so I feel your pain)

MoominKoalaAndMiniMoom Sun 19-Oct-14 14:41:13

"storming off"

- You were struggling to deal with a diagnosis
- You had PND
- You were upset and people were rubbing it in.

The people criticising you for removing yourself from the situation need to take a good long look at themselves, as do those claiming you're being 'difficult'. I wish people would realise that things like coeliac (and to some extent, gluten-triggered IBS/IBD) aren't just being fussy, or following a gluten-free fad.

Nomama Sun 19-Oct-14 14:41:47

But you can choose steak or fish and ask them to use a separate pan.

If you ask about cross contamination in a certain way they always say no... DSis just phones up, chats to the chef, and then goes, talks to the waiting staff and then orders something they all agree is 'safe for her medical condition'.

It does sounds as though you set an unfortunate image in their heads, OP. Storming out of that first meal is probably all but indelible now.

It is up to you to make this one work, I think. Good luck.

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:42:05

I agree - Pret for example have loads of GF food, even have a gf menu. They don't have good cross contamination though, so can guarantee for Coeliacs.

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:45:01

Thanks Moonin for getting it.

Mrsgrumble Sun 19-Oct-14 14:47:35

I think they at very hard on you. Just give them a wide berth for a while.

It sounds to me there is more than just th food that is the issue. It's the lack of support.

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:49:40

Fwiw my bil is in a wheelchair - would never dream of choosing somewhere with no disabled access....his company is more important than the food.. May be I'm unusual but I like to include everyone if possible.

LilAnnieAmphetamine Sun 19-Oct-14 14:49:59

It is not difficult to find something suitable to eat at virtually all restaurants when you have CD. I have never had a problem and sometimes I even take food with me when it is a large booking. I have never bothered to ask about cross contamination and it has never been an issue.

Andro Sun 19-Oct-14 14:52:09

I don't think their choice of restaurant should be dictated by your dietary requirements.

Sorry I think yabu

Quitelikely - Do you have any idea how painful, isolating and sole destroying it is to be excluded for something that it beyond your control? The restaurant has stated it cannot assure OP that a meal which is apparently GF will actually be 'clean', it would be lunacy for her to risk it if she is very sensitive to minute amounts of gluten.

I'll turn this around for you:

Would you consider the OP to be unreasonable if instead of gluten, the problem was wheelchair accessibility? Would it still be unreasonable to hope that her needs would be taken into consideration or would you respond that I don't think their choice of restaurant should be dictated by your accessibility requirements.?

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:52:51

People say this Lil but I've been ill a lot.

Yes a general lack of support is probably the bigger issue.

magicpixie Sun 19-Oct-14 14:56:18

when they text and said is x place suitable

did you say no how about y instead or did you just say no its not suitable

I think you might need to throw them a bone here or there

TaleTastic Sun 19-Oct-14 14:57:11

It is pain and isolating - and permanent.

There's lots if things I'm excluded from team lunches, work do's weddings, dinner parties. We were delayed for 12 hours coming back from holiday. They only thing I could find to eat was a banana. I just get in with it most if the time as I don't expect people to cater for me. Family though- I kind of do.

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