Sometimes I have to laugh at the absurdity that was my daily life… I think it is the ONLY way to get through. The other night while I made a quesadilla for dinner filled with real, delicious, creamy cheese I thought back to a topic that dominated several of my therapy sessions before I moved out… Cheese.
You see, the Narcissist was absolutely OCD about healthy eating, tracking calories, taking supplements, etc. etc. He was also lactose intolerant (which I was not) and he wanted us to follow a strict Paleo style diet which outlawed dairy products even if his stomach could handle them. Throughout the process of getting to this OCD style eating regiment… I literally lost all interest in baking and cooking. It actually used to be one of my most favorite things to do. I used to dream of being Martha Stewart. I used to bake cookies, cakes, brownies, pies from scratch a few times a week and bring them on base for everyone to eat. I shrieked with excitement the day my parents gifted me a pink Kitchen aid mixer. It used to be so much fun, and it used to bring me so much joy.
As with most things that brought me any joy, the Narcissist sucked out all the fun of it until I no longer wanted to do it… not at all. Most nights, the Narcissist would make us eggs for dinner, sometimes we would eat tuna fish, sometimes it would be a smoothie. The last time I can even remember really making a true meal was last Thanksgiving and that was a Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free Thanksgiving. But back to the cheese…
The Narcissist was bringing home new and exciting non-dairy cheese options to try pretty regularly. There was one brand that I actually liked. It tasted like real cheese, it got melty and cheesy in texture, when I ate something with it mixed in, I could almost believe that I was enjoying real cheese. (It was Daiya brand for any of you who actually need to consume dairy free cheese and want a recommendation. 🙂 ) So what was the problem then you might ask???
Pretty much every time the Narcissist was cooking he would ask me what kind of fake cheese I wanted in my eggs or whatever we were eating. I would tell him I wanted the one that I actually liked… and he would launch into a full-blown advertising campaign about why I should eat one of the other brands. Typically I would just acquiesce in these types of arguments because it is damn near impossible to win an argument with a Narcissist… but towards the end I was feeling fed-up and feisty and dammit if I had to eat fake cheese I wanted it to be one that actually melted!!!!
So, I would push back and have to say something along the lines of “thank you so much for purchasing this other cheese, it is so thoughtful of you. I think its a great alternative, and I’m glad you like it… but I want the other stuff.” There were a few nights where this turned into an hour plus discussion, and where everything got pinned on me for not appreciating the things that the Narcissist does, and for being stubborn, and for not wanting to try new and better things, and the capstone of all of the Narcissist’s arguments… for not wanting to find the best and not wanting to be the best. The Narcissist was constantly slamming me for ‘settling’ and for being ‘average’ and for not wanting to be the best in absolutely every single way. (exhausting right?!?)
There were a few nights where I gave in and ate the stupid other cheese, and even a few nights were I stormed off to bed and didn’t eat at all. Then I would go to visit my therapist and tell her I just couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong for wanting whatever type of damn cheese I wanted. It’s funny to me now to think about. I was so stuck in the fog that the Narcissist created that I could not see how absolutely unhealthy and crazy this shit was.
What is scary is that this was my life… every day, every decision, every interaction, absolutely everything was judged in this matter and was this freaking complicated. From cheese, to clothes, to my career, to how I interacted with other people, to what my family said, to what we would watch on TV, to how our workout would be, to what the dog would to… to absolutely everything. I was constantly exhausted and drained, I felt numb about almost everything because it was too much effort to care, I let the Narcissist decide almost everything because it was so much easier, I no longer wanted to do anything because all the fun was gone and I was so freaking depressed.
So today, it is a small victory and a BIG reminder of how far I have come to put some real freaking cheese in my quesadilla and not think twice about it and to celebrate the baby-steps back to normal. ❤