Allergies and Abusive families
March 2, 2013 8:40 AM Subscribe
My own father sent me to the ER because he "didn't think [I] was that allergic to peanuts." I had a near-anaphylactic attack and was lucky to make it to the hospital. Other than getting the heck out of here and not speaking to him ever again, what would you do? How do I cope with this anger and bitterness? The clincher- my entire family except for my also peanut allergic sister sides with him.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Some background. After getting some serious health problems for years, I was forced to quit my job and move back in my parents to recuperate. All my health problems turned out to be auto-immune, and triggered by food allergies because my whole immune system isn't working properly, apparently. My sister was too, and has the same condition and food allergies. We think it might run in the family. We are both 27.
This is the second time that peanuts have been banned from the house, after my first attack. My mother willingly agreed after that not to bring peanuts into the house anymore, because my sister and I are both anaphylactic and can't even smell them without allergic reactions. (which is rare.) We didn't use to be this allergic, as kids we were ok, but even though we keep reminding them that things are different now, they just don't get it. But my mom, although she cares, also agrees to anything that my father wants, and he didn't want to give up his favorite snack. He also claims it's for his health, because peanuts are healthy and help his constipation. Also seriously. After the ER visit, they've banned them again, but I don't expect it to last, because he loves peanuts and my mother will capitulate eventually.
The clincher has got to be that my entire family except for my sister, sides with my father. My parents are already rewriting and gaslighting the entire incident to be some kind of accident, where I didn't almost die of anaphylacxis, it was just "a regular asthma attack". When well, those peanuts didn't buy themselves, bring themselves into the house and eat themselves next door to my room "by accident." He also refuses to apologize, and on top of that he blames the cat! He wouldn't even drive me to the ER, my sister and mother did. I'm pretty much thinking after I get out of here, my brothers can pay for his retirement since they love him so much (he is deep in debt.) and of course I want no contact with him.
They've also been trying to blame me for this somehow. I wear a respirator mask to protect my asthma from being triggered by their cooking things I'm allergic to, but mostly outside to protect my lungs from gasoline fumes and cleaning products, etc. Even though I was just literally exiting my room, it's my fault because I should have been wearing my face mask. Or else it's my fault for being so allergic. They also blame me for getting sick too, because they only raised healthy children and I must have done something wrong etc. etc. It's unbelievably abusive.
Obviously, I am getting me and my sister the heck out of here, and I'm sure I can cover that in another question. But it will take time and money to move out, and I still have no where else to go in the short term. I do not have any friends or family in the immediate area who would take us in. But for now, I'm scared and my whole family seems to think ER visits are no big deal now, when I've already been there four times in the last twelve months. Only two of these were due to my illness.
I don't want to see or talk to my father ever again, he's been abusive enough without this latest incident. But how should I handle the rest of my family? They claim to care about me, but they certainly don't act like it. Should I bring my cousins into this debacle? They'd side with me for my safety, one even has asthma, but I also worry it will only trigger my father's abusive temper. He'd fear other people finding out about it. But that's also the way he gets away with everything, and I already am not safe here anymore.
Throwaway email: emailmehereplz99[at]gmail.com