What makes a person (a woman especially, methinks) risk their own well being to avoid embarrassing someone else… or to be polite, or to be “liked”? I’ve done it. I have a very potent example from my past that I use to remind myself how absolutely dangerous it is to eat (to consume or accept) something questionable.
Such as warm cheesecake.
I was on a date with a man who was fascinating and attractive, many years my senior and being especially kind and gentle that night. After a nice supper, he took me to a tiny dessert place with incredible coffees and really cool art all over the walls. I chose a big piece of double chocolate cheesecake and decaf. Both were just warm. The latter, I could handle and had no reservations about. The former, I knew was going to be my undoing if I ate it… but I did… I didn’t wish to offend this very special man.
It takes a few hours to kick in – the food poisoning.
We had gone to my house and we were sitting in the grass, looking at stars when the world began spinning. I tried to be brave and got to my ginger root… chewed on it like a ravenous bear… threw up all over the bathroom… burning ginger making it up through my sinuses… gross to the tenth power.
He took me to the emergency room at the local clinic that was open until midnight. They actually had to give me IV fluids and an injection of something to stop the retching (and the violent “spinning”)… the shot worked within an hour… the needle hit a nerve in my hip where I had burning pain for over a month. My date was kind, helped me through the entire night and was still my companion after the “event”.
I have had many similar situations since (not involving food), where I was willing to overlook my own innate good sense or needs or well being or even the advice of close friends, so I could be a “good partner” or maintain a relationship or “not give up” when I believed I had “invested” a lot of myself into something.
Here it comes – nothing is worth the misery of the consequences of eating the metaphorical warm cheesecake! Seriously.
I know this from far past and recent past experiences. If you sacrifice yourself (your well being, your principles, your finances or your heart) for the sake of a relationship or its possibility – you will be vomiting and spinning, figuratively, because a real partnership does not base itself upon the sacrifice or the silence or the suffering of one of the partners. Ever.
While I thought I had learned this pretty thoroughly, I had a little lapse last year into the fantasy of a cheesecake experience that turned out to be warm – I’m kinda speaking in code now and I’m sure you get what I’m saying. Kinda, Oooops!! Yet, this time, I’m coming out okay. No hospitalization (so to speak), no bathroom to clean up (metaphor again), only a slightly rattled spirit and partially shaken heart. It’s a learning experience. A reinforcement of what I know deeply as truth. If something feels one-sided, it is one-sided and you cannot shift it if you are the one on the shitty end of the deal. You can spit it all out and save yourself. If the other was or is genuinely caring about you, they will shift things to balance it all. If they do not, count the lucky stars you see and move along. I know.
My life is unfolding in this brilliant and exciting way with the rescue of another special horse, the expansion of my fur family and the Dharmahorse tribe and a gradual release of the emotions that I have kept tamped down all these months for fear of them possessing me. I’m stronger than I thought!
And when I open a can of veggies and it seems puffy or smells odd – I toss that sucker in the trash! If I’m eating out and a meal seems questionable – I don’t eat it! If I sense that my own well being is in jeopardy, I speak up… I say, “what do you mean?”, “why are you doing (or not doing) this or that?”, “how can we solve this?”.
I am no longer going to just sit there and eat the warm cheesecake.