Food is one of those topics where everyone thinks that they are right.
Whether it’s the source of the food or the types of food or the way that food is prepared, everyone has a deep and profound opinion on what is correct for everyone else.
This line of thought can have diasterous effects, particularly on people with medical conditions or specific aversions to certain foods.
So, what happens when the dietary restrictions are explained and a guest to your home continues not just to ignore those restrictions, but actively work against them?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) poorunfortunatgluten when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for kicking my sister out for bringing gluten into our gluten-free kitchen?”
OP began with the background and their daughter’s unique needs.
“My daughter is on the more severe end of celiac.”
“ANY cross-contamination would set her back for weeks.”
“It has taken us years to get her properly diagnosed and treated, and at 10 years old she now is underweight and has severe anxiety about food. She will not eat if she feels it’s unsafe, and it’s hard for me to blame her.”
“Our house has both a kitchen and a kitchenette in the basement, complete with full sets of pans and utensils.”
“Our main rule for the house is that there is absolutely no dairy, gluten, or seafood to be kept or cooked in the kitchen (our older son is allergic to seafood and my wife is lactose intolerant).”
“The kitchenette is for items containing those ingredients.”
Everything was fine, until…
“My sister and her kids have had to move in with us for personal reasons.”
“They live in the basement bedrooms, and when they moved in, we very clearly explained this rule to them and why.”
The problem only comnpounded.
“It took less than a week for us to find a box of pasta in the kitchen. We explained the rule and moved it, and she was apologetic.”
“A month later, my daughter comes to us in a panic because my sister was making fried chicken in the kitchen.”
“My sister was apologetic, but insisted she needed to because the kitchenette was ‘too small’.
“It felt harsh, but we moved all of the food to the basement, threw out every single pan and utensil she may have used, and deep cleaned the kitchen.”
“These incidents making the kitchen no longer 100% guaranteed safe has made her regress in therapy.”
“We’re working on it, but unfortunately right now, it is so bad again that we have to feed her exclusively takeout from the one gluten-free restaurant around unless we want her in inpatient care.”
“Which takes us to last Sunday.”
“I get home, and my daughter is having the worst panic attack I have ever seen.”
“My mom and sister were in the kitchen making an entire Sunday dinner.”
“Spaghetti, mozzarella sticks, garlic bread, the works. I lost it.”
“I ended up absolutely screaming at them that they were ruining my life and had threatened my daughter’s life for the last time, and I had had it.”
“I threw all of the food out into the yard, and told my sister that if she really cared that little about her own niece’s life, she could get the f*ck out of my house.”
“Now my mom is mad at me for kicking out my sister and her kids when they’re vulnerable over ‘a food allergy’ but I don’t care.”
“She can even leave the kids here if she absolutely needs to, but I’m done with her.”
“We have ONE rule.”
“My wife agrees with me but thinks I should give one last chance and just not allow sister to bring ANY food into the house.”
OP was left to wonder,
“My mom can’t take her in and she can’t afford rent anywhere, so she would be homeless if we didn’t let her stay. I’m not sure I’m in the wrong here.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some were quick to call out OP’s sister.
“After watching you deep clean your kitchen once already because of her actions, your sister decided, apparently, it wasn’t that big of a deal, you’d just do it, again.”
“Your sister got her uncaring and self-absorbed personality from your mother. I’d let them figure out how to resolve the consequences of their actions.” ~ Sidneyreb
“Your daughter has a severe allergy and you explained this to your sister who seems to not actually understand the consequences of her actions.”
“First time, okay fine she forgot.”
“Second time okay…I guess but the kitchenette being too small is a bad excuse.”
“THE THIRD TIME SHE COOKS AN ENTIRE GLUTEN HEAVY DINNER WITH DAIRY;”
“You are within your rights to lose it and kick them out. Three strikes and your out.”
“It’s your house, your rules. If they can’t follow them then they can find somewhere else to live”
“Edit: I now know celiacs is not an allergy but an autoimmune disorder. My point still stands though.” ~ DesignerAsh_
For some it was a clear indicator of just not caring.
“I can even understand thinking that the box of pasta in the kitchen would be ok. Once you start flinging flour around to bread chicken, you have to know that wouldn’t be ok” ~ stitchplacingmama
“It took my step-daughter maybe 2 weeks to fully get the hang of avoiding cross contamination due to my celiac, and she has Down’s syndrome.”
“Granted, she actually has very little intellectual impairment, but if she can remember that my food can only be covered with certain paper towels (rather than the napkins on the table), OP’s sister who is a grown a*s-adult can figure out not to cook a meal containing nothing BUT allergens!” ~ CritterTeacher
“You didn’t kick your sister out because your daughter has an allergy, you kicked her out because of her blatant disregard for your daughter’s health and life.” ~ neverhat
Some thought that boundaries had to be set, with locks.
If there’s a way to lock them out if the house, so they can only use the apartment kitchenette, and if your daughter feels safe with this, then you could lock them out and give them a month or two to find a new place.”
“The accomplice grandmother might need to be banned from the house until you’re sure she won’t do it again.”
“This was an incredible violation, but not surprising.”
“Way too many people don’t understand or respect life-threatening allergies or celiac disease.” ~ percyandjasper
Many pointed out the profound health repercussions.
“If a gluten intolerant person eats anything containing it, it can permanently damage their intestines.”
“Even trace amounts can do damage.”
“Your sister was putting your daughter at risk of medical harm. She knew the rules. She knew your daughter’s safety was at stake.”
“She chose to repeatedly disregard the rules anyways.”
“I have a great recipe for gluten free cookies at home. If you’d like it, let me know and I can send it to you later. It can also be made dairy free for your wife.” ~ TinyRascalSaurus
“Sounds to me like your sister doesn’t believe gluten intolerance is a real thing and how touching contaminated surfaces can cause reactions.”
“Do you think they’d make peanut butter cookies if your daughter had a deathly allergy to peanuts? Something tells me no.”
“Celiac disease isn’t just an allergy either.”
“Personally I think you’re letting your mom off light.”
“They both knew damn well what your daughter’s reaction would be and I’ll bet in private they talk about ‘overreactions’ and ‘tantrums.'”
“I’m making assumptions and putting words in their mouths, but I can’t imagine family who’d do this haven’t had these conversations behind your back.”
“But I do think your daughter’s anxiety toward food because of her disease may qualify as either the beginning of, or a full blown eating disorder.”
“As someone living with an ED, I would suggest getting her evaluated because EDs aren’t just what’s in the media; it’s the mindset toward food in general.”
“Good luck OP and I hope your daughter’s okay.” ~ pourthebubbly
OP did return with some final thoughts and some more explanation.
“The possibility of inpatient care has come up before, and been fully investigated by her medical team.”
“If she went into inpatient care, she would be eating takeout from the same restaurant there as well as they would also not be able to safely cook for her in their facilities.”
“The only true differences would be more monitoring and not being at home.”
Food is a tricky topic.
The personal nature of taste and the various health conditions caused by or affected by various foods means that no two diets will ever look the same.
Remember to be accepting of the boundaries that others give you and respect their reasons for doing it.
Whether it’s celiac disease or an allergy or just a preference.