Stress Talk #4: Mission Impossible: Meal Prep

Here comes more mantras: you’re not dirty, you are an intelligent human being, you are not a brainless person when it comes to buying stuff.

Honestly, I thought I was going to cry yesterday. I was so close to losing my voice while having so many emotions coursing through me at the same time. I was stressed, frustrated, annoyed, angry, and not to mention borderline-hyperventilating. All I wanted was to do some meal prep on a Sunday so I can save some time during the week.

Is that too much to ask?

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Apparently, to mom, it was. I guess me occupying my own kitchen has left her with nothing to do. So she decided to spend the time watching me measure out portions of sausages, dicing fingerling potatoes, and separating a large fillet of halibut into smaller fillets while obsessing over every minute habit of cleanliness that didn’t meet her standards which no one had ever met.

I was honestly so tired of having overnight oats, breakfast wraps, and scramble eggs for breakfast as I have been having them alternately for breakfast since I began working from home. I needed something different. As I portioned out the 3-pound sausage into 2.5-ounces patties, my mom was giving me her “disgusting food” stare. “Can you please stop staring?” I asked.

“I’m not eating that.” She replied.

“No one asked you to. It’s my food. I bought it with my money. It’s my right to decided whether or not I want to share.”

“I can’t live like this.” She groaned.

“Then go. Find your own place. I pay all the bills and mortgage around here anyway.”

“Excuse me, I paid 50K on this house.” Again with the damn 50k down payment. Didn’t most of that money come from her sister?

“Hey, I put 10k down. Considering what I was making, that was my entire saving.” I snapped.

“You will need another sheet tray.” Mom stated, changing the topic as I wrapped the second tray with 7 patties in cling wrap. She didn’t like what I just said and I could feel her hyperventilation because sausages aren’t her kind of food. Before I had time to yank open the freezer door, she had already snatched the tray and slid it into the freezer. “Don’t you know there’s a pandemic going on?” She said. “Don’t you know about cross-contamination?”

Of course I do but it’s not like this is the first time anyone’s put any raw meat in the freezer. She did it all the time with beef and pork. She didn’t like it because my craving for sausages was like an act of rebellion. “Look at you,” she sneered as she sat down before the computer again, “all you know how to do is eat. Go ahead, eat, be a pig.”

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“What the hell is wrong with you?” I said, it was it, that was as high as I was willing go. “You have nothing to do, is that it? So you decide to take it out on me like I’m some sort of punch dummy. You know what, shut up and find something to do.” A while ago, I would’ve been afraid to say those words but I was so angry then and so exhausted of the insults and emotional assaults. Somebody needed to say it.

She scoffed. Insults kept firing. I have no brain. I’d rather spend 20-some-dollar on a tool to try to fix the Christmas tree than just spend a few dollars on a few strings of lights. I’m dirty. I’m lazy. I don’t ever clean the house. If it weren’t for her, my house would’ve been a pig sty.

And all this time, all I wanted to do was to make a dozen egg muffins for the week to come. Meal prep is starting to feel like mission impossible. How did I do it before? How did I peacefully prepped 4 mason jars of apple brown sugar overnight oats all those weeks before? Was mom not around then? Is she the obstacle to meal prepping?

Two hours later, with my egg muffins finally baking in the oven, my voice strained, and my whole body felt like I’m standing on a taut wire, I headed to the laundry room to take care of my laundry. She followed and the insults continued. If each insult was a bullet, I would’ve been dead a long time ago. “Get out!” I screamed and wanted to throw something, anything, at her. I didn’t want to hurt anyone but the insults had got to stop.

She scoffed at my cowardice. She knew I couldn’t throw things. She knew I would never hurt her. She knew that at the end of the day, I’m still this idiot who has no way to escape this life she calls her reign.

And that’s the sad truth of my current life.

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