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SUGARS , FATS, and SWEEETS

SUGARS , FATS, and SWEEETS

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My room served several functions.

“Dorothea, more chocolate?,” I said as I pulled out another candy bar from my dresser draw dedicated to chocolate, sweets, and sugars of all kinds.

I was a healthy weight and was never a big candy person, but Dorothea loved sugary sweet confections of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. My dresser draw of candy served different purposes at different phases of our relationship. To be honest, it started off innocently. Dorothea and I were setting up the room and had just moved in to the house. We needed groceries, food, everything.

Walking around the grocery store with Dorothea was one of my favorite pastimes. I didn’t like her cooking, although I pretended to enjoy it, particularly since the timely meal preparation process absorbed a great deal of our time together. Always looking us to spend time together, I encouraged her cooking, and horded snacks for us to have in the house. For Dorothea, chocolate and cookies and cake meant the Beginnings house was her home. Since I supported that thinking, I supported snacking, and, ultimately, a giant dresser drawer of sugar sweets.

Sugar was Dorothea’s pain reliever. Whenever we argued, she would bake a cake, which my friends would later call “Sad Time Cake,” to suggest she bakes as means to resolve conflict and improve her mood. At the beginning, Dorothea was very happy, and few cakes were baked at the Beginnings house. But as time unfolded, the frequency of sad time baking and sugar consumption rose dramatically.

“I’m putting on weight,” Dorothea said as she looked in the mirror.

“You’re beautiful, Dorothea,” I would always respond. I was beginning to realize that all the sugar consumption might be serving another purpose.

As my self-esteem dipped toward the end of that semester, I realized I was less independent. This is when I knew what psychology I had to apply to the relationship. For Dorothea to cling to me more, I had to chip away at her self-esteem. Candy provided me with the means to do just that. From March until the end of the semester, I pushed sugar products of all kinds. The drawer was a cornucopia of sweets, and I would stop at nothing to encourage Dorothea’s weight gain until she felt too uncomfortable with her appearance to look for love elsewhere.

About the Author

J. Peters

Bold 10 Under 10 award recipient Jacques Peters ’08, MSW ’12 . Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), therapist and disability rights advocate, Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various systems of care, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health or the city’s Department of Corrections. Jacques is the author of University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy, which he published under the pen name J. Peters in 2019, and First Diagnosis, published in 2020. Jacques refers to his stance on recovery in his journal articles as “Too big to fail.” No obstacle too big, no feat out of reach, Jacques let nothing stop him in his path to recovery and healing.
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