18 January 2012

My Trust Was Betrayed

UPDATE: Confrontation is always awkward, but it's better than just venting to everyone/no one. Deleting entries always feels dishonest, and I'd rather fix the present than erase the past.

This is one of those situations where the matter itself seems pedestrian, even inconsequential, but its implications and preceding events give it a gravitas that does not turn the molehill into the mountain by exaggeration, but reveals it as one by way of perspective.

I have a chocolate stash. It's a "stash" because my roommate has a weight problem and virtually no self control (the result of depression, among a handful of other issues). About three years ago, she even asked me to put a lock on the pantry door at our old apartment. I told her flat out that I would do no such thing as I didn't feel like locks and keys had to factor into my eating habits. Since then, things have not changed that much, and I've just about given up on trying to help her despite her asking me sometimes. The pattern breaks down like this:

*) She asks me for help.
*) I tell her to hold back (and sometimes take actions to that end).
*) She gets angry and carries on. I tell her I'm trying to help, just like she asked.
*) She says that she knows, but can't help feeling angry, and carries on out of spite.
*) I point out the absurdity of that way of thinking.
*) She says that she knows, and breaks down crying.
*) I tell her I'm not going to help her just for her to project onto.
*) She says she'll try, and I believe her a little less every time.

Irrational behavior that turns willful when help is offered upon request. Turn that over in your mind for a moment.

As a result of this, something of a compromise has been reached. I don't hide or restrict all our food, but I do keep a few things out of sight for reasons that will become abundantly clear.

Above our sink is a cabinet where I keep some of the liquor. On one side is a small cardboard box with my shotglass collection in it. On top of this box, I often keep a few Hershey bars and a jar of peanut butter. It wasn't until a few months ago that I even told her about it. The deal ultimately is that I don't dictate her diet, just as long as what's above the sink stays off-limits (she can barely reach it, anyway). The fact is that I work and she doesn't, so there's an eight-plus hour window of temptation.

Two days earlier, I'd stocked it with a pair of Hershey bars. When I was getting them at the store, I also picked up some potato chips. I told her about the chips, but not the bars (again, out of sight, out of mind). I do not touch the chips out of respect (after all, I've got the two great tastes that taste great together).

Yesterday, I noticed one of the bars was gone. I thought it just fell behind the cardboard box and left it at that.

Today, I get this text message, which I read on my break at work:
"Can of air, candy - heath, twizzler, favred starburst"
My reply:
"Air is in the closet in the office, top shelf immediately on your left."

Her reply:
"I dont like to tear my comp appart." 

Not that I was telling her, "Do it yourself." but that's not the point, chalk it up to assumptions. She sends another message 2 hours later:
"Bread couple loaves, can go in freezer"

Admittedly rolling my eyes (planning ahead is not her strong suit), I reply:
"I'll pick them up tmw along w/ the candy since I already have to drive into Ellisville to get my tickets sorted out."
She says:

We live about a good 30 minutes from any grocery store. Needless to say, small trips are a little inconvenient. Also, I'd gone grocery shopping the previous day, which had me a little annoyed at her being so scatterbrained. So, with tomorrow's trip planned, I came home, made dinner, and, shortly thereafter, went to my stash. The last bar was gone, and I realized nothing had fallen behind the box.

I stormed into the office, seething. She asked what's wrong, and I said, "Hershey bar."
Her response is, "Well, that's why I was tellin' ya to get more candy." and I can't tell if she's jokingly apologizing or being defensive and willful. She told me to take some of her cash and go get some more, and I still can't tell if she's actually trying to make amends or acting tough to make me feel like the bad guy.
I'm too mad to say anything, as much as I wanted to say, "I had no intention of driving anywhere tonight, and I'm not going to renege on that because you've got no self-control."

I feel like I'm being manipulated. Things haven't been going well, and this is just one more matter.
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