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Just a little thing

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#1 Laura

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 01:48 PM

I don't really know where to put this. It's not an eating disorder, but it's to do with eating and it's kind of not normal, although it never really occurred to me that it wasn't before.

:oops: :oops: I'm kind of embarrassed thinking about it. :oops: :oops:

I can't eat in front of my flatmates at uni. Especially not food I've cooked. I don't know why. :?

I'm fine eating in front of my family. My parents always do the cooking unless they're out. If they are out and I have to cook for myself, that's fine. If my brother's in, I don't really like him being in the room while I eat, but I can manage if he is.

I can go out for meals with my friends, and I was fine eating in the canteen at school.

But in my flat at uni...I just can't do it. Not once last year did I cook a meal for myself and sit in the kitchen with them and eat it. I always got my food at odd times: in the middle of the afternoon, or late at night, when no-one was in the kitchen. I didn't want to be seen preparing it. Then I would go and eat it in my room, just in case someone came in. I kept food in my room, and would buy small amounts of food most days, so I wouldn't have to store it in the kitchen. The thought of eating around them terrified me, and still does: I know that when I go back, it will be exactly the same.

I don't understand. :? I love my flatmates to bits, I like spending time with them, just NOT at meal times. Thinking about it makes me scared, and nervous. I would be okay if we went out, and I was drunk, and we brought chips back to the flat...I wouldn't care about eating in front of them then, mainly because of the drink, I think. Or I could go round to my friend's flat (I've known her for years and years) and we could cook and eat together, and I'd be a bit nervous but it would be manageable, and would end up being fun.

It started to become a big thing with them, they were curious, kept asking me where and when I ate. I think they were worried, or else just nosy, they would always say "Laura never eats", and it just grew and grew and grew until I would just leave the room if they started mentioning it. Then one of my flatmates said, "we're just wondering. Just tell us you don't like people seeing you eat and we won't say anything again" so I told them and that was kind of the end of it, although I know they were still interested and wanted to say stuff about it.

I really don't know why I feel like this. All I know is that, when I would think about leaving my room, going into a kitchen full of people, cooking some food, sitting down and eating it, I'd start shaking and breathing really quickly, panicking and sometimes crying.

I'm worried that this year - when I'll be living with some of my flatmates from last year but also some people who didn't live with us then - it will start up again, with them wondering, and asking questions. I just want them to leave me alone and not talk about it. :(

#2 Aud

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:08 PM


I hate cooking when other people (flatmates) are around, and I ALWAYS eat all my meals in my room, not in the living room where everyone else sits. I did used to very occasionally eat in the living room when I was in my other flat....usually only if nobody else was around. When I was in my flat at uni, I would eat in the living room, but I was often cooking at a different time to my flatmates anyway, so they weren't there while I was having dinner. (Living room rather than kitchen, because flats I have lived in always have such small kitchens). I have also been known (often) to eat at 'weird' times of day to avoid having to cook when others are using the kitchen. And I have my own fridge and freezer.

So....you're not the only one.

Not sure that helps much, but you're not alone.



#3 listener

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:10 PM


I don't really have any idea what makes this happen, but when I was in my early teens I had a similar problem. I just couldn't stand people seeing me eat. I don't think I had a problem with it if I was at home with my family, but with people I didn't know well, particularly if I felt a need to be liked or whatever by them, eating was just impossible. It sort of felt like something intensely private, like maybe getting undressed or going to the bathroom or something! :? Or perhaps I felt it made me unattractive... Or something...

I can't remember how it went away in the end, it must have just faded away as I got older.