There are many, many things I can't eat, and when I say 'can't' I really mean it. I don't mean that I'm a fussy eater. I have Issues.
I can't eat at most peoples' houses, and it's not always to do with the cleanliness of the house, either. It's like a switch clicks over in my brain, and I just. Can't. Do it.
Any leftovers that have been in the fridge for more than 24 hours go in the bin. Can't eat 'em.
If I think something might have been out of the fridge for too long (like in the shopping trolley and then home) I might not be able to bring myself to eat it. And the thing is, I know it's stupid, a lot of the time, because I can give it to the kids. But I can't eat it myself. And that proves it's in my head, because no way would I risk the kids with food I seriously thought was bad.
It's the same with the pantry. Tin of baked beans been in the pantry for 3 weeks?? bin it. It might be 'bad'.
I can't bear food smells on my hands.
I shudder when I have to cut up chicken, because the smell will be on my hands. I have to scrub and scrub to get all the smells off.
I bought a box of gloves, those thin ones you can get, but I couldn't deal with the smell of them, either. Maybe I'll try a different (unscented) brand.
I use a lot of rubbing alcohol, to kill germs on my hands. See, I totally get how Howard Hughes managed to wig out and become germ-phobic. I'm not a mad house cleaner or child sanitiser, but I have to keep my hands clean-smelling.
I become fixated on certain things I do enjoy eating. And then I eat so much of them, I get sick. Or fat. Or both.
Part of the problem is that I can taste the chemicals in many foods. Sauces, packet foods, tinned foods, pre-prepared stuff -- it often tastes metallic, or overly sweet or too salty. Preservatives in bread, cakes etc make me dry retch.
I avoid anything with a strong odour if it's at all possible. Sometimes I seriously have to tie cloth over my nose and mouth so I can make the kids something to eat, because everything, everything, smells hideous to me.
Sometimes I drive my husband mad. He has a cast-iron stomach, not quite in the Bear Grylls category, but he never has to stop and think about eating. He just enjoys it.
I'm lucky that he really tries to understand, because it's embarrassing and annoying for him that no matter where we go, I'll likely stay hungry rather than eat something that might be 'bad'.
We hear a lot in the media about eating disorders, but I've never read about anyone else like me. I don't know what's wrong with me... and I'm not asking for solutions (unless you really have one).
I just want to know ---- am I the only one?