I had a moment of absolute clarity yesterday. On food, I really resent my family.
See, they became vegetarians in the 1970s. And my older brother was veggie. And I was born veggie. And for the first 10 years of my life, and the first 15-20 years of my parent's time together the whole family was vegetarian. No matter where we were at in the world we did not eat meat.
Then they changed.
My Brother was the first to start eating beef; after he moved out. Then when I started High School my mum was eating meat.
My home changed.
The food changed.
The scents and smells of my home, my safe place changed.
One of the biggest (not moral) social upbringing I had was suddenly just gone. No one ever ever discussed it with me; either their reason to eat it or a notification that my house and diet might be changing. What was so important growing up, "Don't ever eat meat, we don't do that!" was suddenly null and void.
I am seen as the outcast here. I am seen as the bad person for not "liking" the smell of meatflesh.
This is the same family who I suppose just don't remember every time I remind them of my old job and the fact that meat cooking smells like human meat cooking to me. It's not a tasty or pleasant scent to be around for me. It's strange and because of my work on cadavers and victims I sadly know what burned and cooked human smells like. It's revolting and not really something that puts me at ease or into a pleasant mood.
I still have not ever had meat. I most likely never will. I don't begrudge the people who eat meat, again it's not a moral issue to me.
But I completely resent that my family brought me up one way, brought our whole family up one way... then abandon it and get pissed at me for not "enjoying" the smell of cooking meat.
They created who I am in that respect, and I just find it so demeaning that the way they brought me up, the eating habits I was given from birth are suddenly shit to them or something. I'm the same- they changed!
And they hate me for not changing too.
There is a good reason why I hate family dinners and big meals and such. I think this is a big part of it.
I don't need to have the vegetarian stuff pointed out or read to me from a menu, I have eyes and can read myself.
Maybe I'll try it another way to describe; you are born into a Catholic family. They are all Catholics, you are too, the family goes every week, prays together every night for the first 10, 15 years of your life.
Then in a few weeks your entire family says they are now Hindi and they just bemoan that you can't just drop kick Jesus and start loving Kali.
Each time I try and articulate this though, it fails. I either can't get the words right or the blame and discomfort get pushed back onto me as it's my "choice".
They could choose to respect me too.
Or, maybe I am wrong for wanting to hold onto my identity.
- Thanksgiving went well for my family. We went out to a restaurant this year. 4 star food. And a chef who forgot my vegetarian oder.
I'm glad that crap day is over.