THE SITUATION: My celiac child isn’t invited to a party because the party-throwers aren’t willing to make it safe for my child.
MY BELIEF: They should invite my child to the party.
- Celiac Counsellor’s Corner* is a place where Sherry Scheideman, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor, responds to your questions about the emotional and social issues that celiacs face. Diagnosed with celiac disease herself in 2001 in Victoria, BC, Sherry draws upon personal experiences and a Master’s Degree in Counseling to support you in transcending this ‘life transition’ and turning it into an opportunity to live your best life – ever.
How I react when I believe this:
- I feel angry at the party-throwers, I feel sad and scared for my child, I feel desperate to make them embrace my child and powerless to make that happen. My chest is tight, my throat is tight, my head is buzzing. I yell at the party-throwers in my head. I say harsh things about them to other people. I imagine confronting them or giving them the cold shoulder in the schoolyard. I judge them to be horrible people. I distance myself and my child from them. I see a future of ‘us-and-them’. I see a future of isolation for my child and me. I boil with resentment that my child has celiac disease. I hate other people for not understanding the condition.
What I get for holding onto this belief:
- I get to blame the party-throwers for our hard feelings. I get to think that the world has to change for us to be happy. I get to give the power over our happiness to the party-throwers, so I don’t have to take care of it myself.
What I cannot do when I believe this:
- I can’t be happy and peaceful and feel connected. I can’t stop resenting the party-throwers. I can’t feel like things are fair. I can’t stop feeling hard-done-by. I can’t stop worrying that the world is unkind to my child.
Who I would be in the same situation (my child is not invited to the party) if I did not believe that they should invite my child to the party:
- If I weren’t caught up in believing that they should invite my child… I would just be a parent, noticing that I don’t have to chauffeur my child to that party – my child and I have that party off. I’d be noticing what’s going on with my child. I’d be open and calm and happy. I’d be more available to myself and my child.
Other variations of my belief that could be true:
- They should NOT invite my child to the birthday party. (Yes, this is true, because they didn’t. It’s also true, because they aren’t prepared to host her safely. It’s also true, because it frees us from preparing for and going to that party, so we can do other things, maybe with other people.)
- My child should invite them to a party. (Yes, it is true that we could hold our own party and invite them. It’s also true that I can recall a time when I or my child did not invite everyone to a party – we had our reasons, we weren’t intentionally being hurtful, and we were doing the best we could at the time. It’s also true that if I look at what’s going on in my own head as a party, I can see that my child and I are not hosting the party-throwers kindly in our heads right now… we’re judging them harshly and kicking them out of our hearts.
- I should invite myself and my child to the party. (Yes, it’s true that I could speak with the party-throwers about their concerns and help them make it safe for my child if they are willing to do that. It’s also true that I could cultivate a party atmosphere – inclusion, play, celebration – in my own head and share that with my child and others whether we are invited to parties or not. It’s also true that life is a party and I know we are invited because we are alive. Cheers!
What happens when I question my belief:
- I notice that when I believe they should invite my child, and they don’t, I suffer. I notice that when I don’t believe they should invite my child, I feel ok.
- I notice that it’s not their actions that make me suffer – it’s my beliefs about their actions.
- This is empowering, because even though I can’t change their actions, I can question my own beliefs and feel better.
- I notice that I am always the host of my own party – if I think it is important to be inclusive, playful, and celebratory, that’s what I can work on.
- I am grateful to these people for clearly showing me what my values are.
- I don’t need them to have the same values – their values are their business.
- Now that I know now how much I value being inclusive, playful, and celebratory, I’m very excited to let these values shine through my life. (And… I will probably accidentally influence others to share these values, by my own example.)
Let the good times roll! Even with celiac disease. (The rolls are gluten free. 😉)
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“Life happens! Why not love it?”
“Being diagnosed with celiac disease and going gluten-free has challenged me to develop inner resources that I never knew I had, and I’m grateful for that. As a counsellor, I love to help other celiacs find their own gifts within the challenges of the disease, and to facilitate healing. Why not let your celiac disease motivate you to be your best self?”
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- *Information and perspectives provided in Celiac Counsellor’s Corner are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. You should always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. The Celiac Counsellor’s Corner does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.