please oh please help
My father and I do not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but one of the most crucial is vegetarianism/veganism/healthy nutrition. I¬ím currently in college out of state, and I¬ím panicking about going home for the holidays.
I'm concerned about Thankgiving dinner and life in general for me at my house. Last year my dad found out that I was eating vegetarian, (I was in fact raw vegan at the time) and he reacted ina way that I find immature and totally unacceptable fro my sanity. He thought that I had an eating disorder and told all of his brothers that I did, and he literally forced me to eat meat. Now, all of my extended family who will be over for Thanksgiving will be watching me like hawks, and I'm not looking forward to that. I'm still eating raw vegan now, and have been since last summer. I wrote my dad a letter in which I mentioned that I¬íve started to eat vegan, but I was a little vague¬Ö I didn¬ít wan to freak him out.I figured that I'd get the fight over with while I was still here, but he didn't even respond, and hasn't mentioned the letter at all even though it was like two months ago. So I'm scared. I don't want to have to keep hiding the way that I eat, but I don't want to anger or provoke him too much because I'm scared (terrified) of him, and also because he's paying for college
Please help me, I¬ím at the end of my rope. I should probably also mention that I have been invited to other places for Thanksgiving, but I want to have a healthy relationship with my family, and I don¬ít feel that running away is the answer. I want to get all of this out in the air so I don¬ít have to be afraid anymore.
I would appreciate some wisdom from all of you.
I am sorry to hear this! I think it is important for you to have a serious talk with him about why you do what you do, and offer him some things to read that easily explain the raw-food health truths. Do you have specific reasons for doing raw other than weight loss? Explain those to him to show that it is not an eating disorder. As scared as you are of facing this with him, I am sure that his heart would break to read the post you just wrote. Show him your desire for health, and support from your family. It is the only way to get him to try and understand!
GOOOOD LUCK! I know it will be ok!
I think that God must smile on those
who hold on tight to what they are dreamin' of
you can want a healthy relationship with your family until youre at your wits end, but unless the participation is mutual chances of achieving your goal are slim. if somebody is not going to love and support you regardless of your choices, they are not a person you need to include in your life - particularly if they are causing you such stress because you are "terrified" of them. you have other offers, take those people up on them.
see, my interpretation here is "i dont want to tell him im vegan because im terrified of him" and "i dont want to go elsewhere because then ill feel guilty." okay, but what about YOU hunny? what about your own feelings?
i dealt with putting my emotionally abusive father before myself for 5 years. and now? i dont speak to him. and no i dont feel great, but i feel a heck of a lot better than i used to. you cant let guilt absorb you like that. love yourself and those who unconditionally love you first and foremost, focus on those who present you only with conditional love afterwards or not at all.
just because theyre family, does not mean you are obligated to include them in your life should they do anything but support and love you. there are 6.5 billion people on this planet, many of whom are waiting with open arms to love another. accept the offer for thanksgiving dinner elsewhere, and avoid the situation altogether. and while youre at it, congratulate yourself for making the first step towards loving yourself as unconditionally as youre attempting to love your father.
We don't have ideology. We don't have theology. We dance.
How much more college do you have to go? You're in a tough spot if provoking him might mean the end of your college money - it's like choosing between your health or your education (and the career that will be based on that education!)
In your shoes, I think I'd try not to make waves yet, I'd eat somewhere else and wait until after college for the confrontation. If he sounded at all understanding, I'd try to work it out, but it doesn't sound like he's even willing to consider the possibility that there might be another side besides his, at least based on what you've posted.
~ Pailani ~
Those are great posts above, and I can see the sense in going either way.
Another consideration is, how much 'normal' food would you have to eat to keep the peace? If it's only one dinner, it might be worth eating a few cooked but well-chosen, well-combined foods. Eating raw is not a religion. It should be about being healthy, not some strict principle that doesn't make any sense objectively. In other words, there are lots of raw foods that are less healthy than some simple cooked foods and as a new raw fooder you most likely eat some of them (unhealthy raw foods). You can bet that if most raw fooders don't know this, the people you'll be eating with don't know it either. You'll be able to give the appearance of abusing yourself without really doing so. :)
Whether you can get away with it physically without feeling awful the next day will depend on how long you've been raw, and whether you can eat small quantities and draw the line at those few designated foods without going into a full blown backsliding frenzy.
If your education is being paid for in full, that's a lot to lay on the line for the sake of your diet. And if it's just Thanksgiving, it is only one meal. Your dad probably feels like he has a right to say what you should do with your life for now, even perhaps down to the way you take care of yourself, if he's making such a big investment in you. That's the way it works with parents sometimes.
I'm not sure which way I'd go, but I think you should give yourself some slack and forgive yourself if you do have to compromise. Principles are great but they don't pay the bills. You have to think about what serves *your* long term best interests.
Well I think we have all possible angles covered now! :) However, I think it's important that you not take any of our comments too much to heart since only you know all the factors that are involved. Thanks for asking our thoughts and best of luck w/ whatever you decide to do.
At a typical Thanksgiving meal, what would those foods be?
Originally Posted by rawnora
I imagine that her family will be watching like a hawk to see if she eats the turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie - the meat ("for protein") and the standard holiday traditional foods (to "prove" that she's normal and not extreme).
~ Pailani ~
Wow, that is really unfortunate.
I don't know how possible this is with you being in college and all, but maybe you could bring a raw decadent dessert with you and not tell your relatives that it's raw. I know Alissa has a pecan pie recipe in her book, and I saw a post on here about chocolate cheesecake.
Even cooked food eaters love these and don't know it's raw until you tell them, just don't tell them. Then you yourself can pig out on it and appear to look unhealthy with the rest of them.
I think the important thing to remember is that you are an adult now. No matter what decision you make, make it with dignity and confidence. You can't let them see your insecurities.
Like a rock, baby, like a rock!
It depends on how much cooperation a person could get from the one doing the cooking because, ideally, things should be cooked as lightly as possible and not be made too complicated with toppings, condiments, spices, etc. Like simple cooked yams (with butter if necessary, but no margarine) would be okay, but the monstrosity that is more often seen at Thanksgiving -- canned yams topped with marshmallows, etc. -- would not.
Originally Posted by Pailani
Proper combining would be important and would greatly decrease the potential for negative after-effects (symptoms). If a person wanted to avoid meat, yams or potatoes would combine well with other veggies and salad. If meat was acceptable, simple, unadorned meats like roast turkey, chicken or beef (no ham!) would combine well with salad or non-starchy veggies. These foods could all be eaten in small quantities, just for appearances, and the person could bring lots of raw foods to eat as well.
My previous comments notwithstanding, if bringing supplemental raw food is out of the question, I'd seriously think about finding other ways to finance my education, because nobody should be so threatened over another person's eating habits that they make her empty her purse at the door.
While I appreciate these kind words I feel as though they don't help. Although I have only been raw vegan for about a year and a half, I do not feel like a beginner. In fact, I feel as though I have a very refined diet. I eat a lowfat hygine-style diet, mostly mono fruits.
Originally Posted by rawnora
I also eat some fresh greens, etc. but I do not eat gourmet food, and the closest I get to a recipe is a blended salad/soup type meal, and that is only occationally. Even Lara bars make me feel sick. More than a few bites of avocado, and I feel less well. Thus, no way I can just make raw recipes and get by.
I really don't know what to do. I'm still panicking.
Sharon's post felt closest to what I need, but I am still fretting so badly that I'm not sleeping.
Any thoughts? Please...
As I mentioned, a lot of what you'll need to do will depend on your specific circumstances, and you have to remember that we are offering advice without having all the relevant information. It's true that a brand new raw fooder would have less of a problem with the physical after-effects than someone who's been eating mono for a year or more. On the other hand, a long term raw fooder would have less of a tendency to let the situation develop into a serious backslide. So there are advantages on both sides.
Originally Posted by bittersweet
The way you're eating currently reveals a lot of commitment and resolve on your part. Incorporating a hygienic-style diet into our lives involves a major shift in the way we socialize and otherwise conduct our lives. Your dad clearly has no idea the seriousness with which you've undertaken this attempt to be the healthiest you can be. It is an extremely responsible and commendable thing you've done. It is sad that something so worthy of pride is being condemned, essentially. I have to say that knowing a bit more about the situation, I tend also to agree more with Sharon's comments.
Obviously there are going to be no easy answers. I hope you find a way to deal with the situation without it costing you either your education or the great progress you've made with your diet.
Originally Posted by bittersweet
Sounds like there is already history between you and your father? Do you think this may just be the last straw to challenge you in standing your own ground. There comes a time in our own life where we are challenge to make our own decisions and at times, defend our beliefs,convicitons, morals etc.
What is the [worst] that will happen if you eat what [you] want to eat? Is anyone determing what they will eat?
I wish you strength and peace. :)
Misslinda has been dedicated to the ancient art of fasting since 2004 for optimal health and wellness.
"Fasting is an intimate experience between the mind body & spirit."
Let's journey together. See my blog for details.
I so want to commend you for wanting to pursue a relationship with your father.
I have to disagree in part with eatyourbrocolli; you can keep doors open for relationship, you can pave the way, and you can do all of that without submitting to any additional abuse.
My mother was a very emotionally abusive alcoholic who undermined my best efforts to be myself and embrace my own purpose. I was fortunate to have a mentor who walked me through the landmine of being inviting without asking for more damage. I'd love to tell you that it all worked out, but it didn't. She remained abusive until the end, but I can look in the mirror and feel proud that I gave her every opportunity to know me and love me. I gave her every chance for a real relationship.
I didn't always handle everything well, sometimes I handled everything badly, but I'm left with no regret.
The day may come when you will have to cut ties with him, I feel confident that you and you alone will know if that day has come.
In the meantime, do your best to be true to yourself and your goals during the holidays, compromise your diet only to the extent that it serves your purpose of relationship without damaging your health. For example, if you've been low-fat raw and eat a full American Thanksgiving Day meal, you will be sick afterwards, probably.
Consider the book The Pathway by Laurel Mellin, it's been a life rope to me.
You also make a plate of good raw stuff but thow a little turkey or whatever on there & kinda cut it up & move it around without actually eating it!
Originally Posted by RawVeganMom
Wish it was as easy as that... this isn't going to work anymore.
Rawnora has some good points.
If it were me, and my father was paying for my college, I would consider eating some cooked food for Thanksgiving, and maybe a Christmas dinner. Two meals out of the year really would not be that bad.
Think of it like this - let's say that he is paying $10,000 a year for your education. I know that I would eat two well-combined cooked meals a year for $5,000 a plate to keep the peace with my father for a few years.
Right now, your education is more important than a couple of cooked meals a year. Once you have a job, and have your own money, you will be able to support the lifestyle that you choose.
After college, you can talk to him like two adults, and the balance of power will actually be with you - since you will be the one who might have his grandchildren. He will need to treat you like an adult and listen. Tell your dad about all of the things that raw can help prevent - heart disease, prostate cancer. All of the things that his friends are going through. That might be a good way to get him to sit down with you and actually listen to what you are saying.