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Help - why is my roommate always eating?!

by Marya
(San Jose)

I answered a craigslist ad and started renting a room from a small asian woman. She is really small and this is one reason I'm really confused by all the food she has in the fridge, and her eating constantly. I'm trying to last 6 mos. - but I don't know if it's healthy for me to be around her. Please let me know what you think is going on. Perhaps I have just had too few roommates and there is just a personality difference. She has given me only 1/2 a shelf in the frig and a 1/2 shelf in the kitchen for all my food, a plate, etc. The freezer is crammed so full with foods, wrapped in plastic,etc. you couldn't stick even the smallest item in it. I wondered if she had a body in there. She buys huge quantities of food on Friday - whole chickens, bags and bags of fruit, vegetables, meat - and then she lives downstairs all weekend between the kitchen - i hear her eating constantly, if I go past the kitchen there lots of bowls in the sink, food on the counters - in between eating she sits in front of the TV. The downstairs bathroom is hers alone (she told me I would have the upstairs bathroom, though she uses it to shower). I try to make a salad when she's gone, as once I used the microwave while she was there and she nearly had a heart attack - she nearly had a heart attack when I started making coffee in the morning because she claims she found something unwiped on the counter. Which is really odd, in my mind, as all the cupboards and shelves and drawers are crammed, disorganized, and often seem to have garbage stuff in them. Even if I had pots and tried to cook it would be hard as most of the counter space is covered with stuff - it's hard to even squeeze in the salad bowl. However, on the counters and what you see is all placed exactly so - as she would know if anything is off by one crumb. She has food wrapped and piled under the stairs - she cooks outside - there's a butane container and really I haven't looked closely. She is often in the dark - when I met her before renting - I just thought she was tired - but now I see she's in the dark all the time. I think it's to save money, maybe her eyes. The second day i was here, the upstairs toilet nearly overflowed - i thought it was the TP i used, in combination with how slow the toilet flushed - and bought a plunger. Could this be connected?

Please let me know if you know what's going on. The first 2-3 weeks, I'd invite her to things 2-3 times a week and leave flyers - next couple of weeks I'd just say hi, how are you - now, I understand she wants no communication. She will never initiate hi or hello. Could she be unsafe? She seems mentally ill to me, but I' really like to stay 6 mos.. She said she rented the room cheaper to me if I stayed 6 months because people keep leaving and she has to find new roommates. I think she'll keep my deposit - regardless of the shape my room is in - so I'm just thinking of it as a slightly higher rent for 6 months.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
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and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program