Ask Amy: Toxic in-laws endanger allergic family member

Dear Amy: I have an extremely severe food allergy.

I carry an EpiPen; I’ve been hospitalized multiple times because of exposure to this allergen.

My husband explained this to his parents when we started dating.

Since then, most meals we have shared at their house have had very limited options for me. They manage to find a way to add the ingredient I’m allergic to, to almost everything.

One time they made a point to make a special plate containing this allergen, and then passed it around, while my mother-in-law announced, “I would have liked to have added it directly to the salad, but SOMEBODY has problems with it!”

I literally held my breath as it went in front of me, for fear I would have contact with it.

That was extremely dangerous for me. This food could kill me.

When I was pregnant, my husband told them we would not take part in any family meals if they didn’t promise to keep the meals allergy-free.

His dad said, “We can’t promise that. Everyone except your wife likes that food, and we’re not changing what we eat for one person.”

My sister-in-law then berated me about this over the phone.

This has caused a huge wedge between my husband’s family and us.

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We no longer spend holidays with them, and rarely speak.

They don’t get to see their grandkids. His sister stopped talking to us. He has a brother who still reaches out and is kind to us, but he acts as though his parents are just set in their ways and we should forgive them and move on.

Short of taking them a doctor’s note, telling them my allergy is real, I’m not sure what to do.

My husband supports me 100 percent and he is very angry and hurt by their actions, but at times I feel terrible that I am the cause of this rift. I want everyone to be happy.

— Disrespected DIL

Dear Disrespected: Given the way these people behave, I doubt a doctor’s note would have any effect on them. They are either willfully and woefully ignorant of the life-threatening aspects of your serious food allergy, or they are simply mean and willing to endanger you.

You are not the cause of this rift. They are.

Yes, they are not likely to change, so I suppose you could make the effort to forgive them and move on. But in moving on, you will not be moving toward them, because it is dangerous for you to do so. (If only there were an EpiPen …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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