Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Uh oh, here come the meat dreams.

About 8 years ago I made the choice to be vegan, and shortly afterwards my best friend joined me. We were vegan together, and if you know us, you know that we tend to do many things in tandem. Partners in crime, if you will.

Based on the other’s glowing recommendations, we’ve been known to buy everything from the same purse, glasses, cat food, hair products, lipstick, and even underwear. The other’s opinion is something we each prize even more highly than our own. We know it’s a little sick; its okay, we’re self-aware. So it’s no surprise that we would make this huge lifestyle change together; with very little warning, jumping in head first and fully trusting that we would do this thing together -- as partners.

So shortly after we became vegan, I had these intensely vivid dreams where I would walk into a room and find my best friend eating a steak or a chicken, and she would look up at me and say in-between meaty bites, in defiance, “What?! I eat meat now.” And I would be horrified, and I guess now that I think about it, these dreams were about my fear of being betrayed by someone I loved and who was my partner in something huge.

So it comes as no surprise to me that over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve had dreams about my ex mixed in with images of my bestie eating meat. It’s weird and undoubtedly kinda creepy, but not a total surprise.

I realize now that I feel betrayed by him.

I had dreams that he and I lived together again, but still broken up; living is some dirty old apartment. I dreamed we were fighting in the backseat of our friend’s car as they drove. I dreamt I was trying to talk to him but he was dazed, falling down a lot, falling onto me, not really able to speak. Then I dreamt his face kept shifting. In all the dreams, there was one common theme… I was like insanely angry. And then once in a while my bestie would pop into the picture eating a ham or something. One thing is for sure, this means that (a) I feel betrayed by him, and (b) as a result of “a,” I’m angry all over again.

I thought I was done being angry, but I’m not. I’ve been feeling a seething hatred for him very much like how I felt 2 months into this and would wake up in the middle of the night with clenched fists after dreams of smashing him in the head with various household objects. I’m angry again and I want to scream at him, jab forks into his face, etc. You know the drill.

I wrote a post about blame (see: Blame?) two months ago. At that time, I wondered who was really to blame; me or him? I had this feeling that we were both to blame. In the post, I explained that I didn’t push hard enough to get him to understand what I was going through, and alternately, he wasn’t really capable of dealing with my feelings. So in a way, we were both to blame. But I don’t think that’s fair anymore. Because I did push; I did for a long time and then, after being very unsuccessful, I gave up. I tried to get him to see me, to understand me, to see how his carelessness affected me; and he was incapable of certain things, yes, but he refused to get help, go to therapy, and improve himself and how he related to others. And for that, he is to blame.

And that’s what feels like betrayal to me now.

I tend to be understanding to a fault. I try not to judge others. If someone said, “So have you ever tried bashing a baby seals’ head in with a club? It’s really fun.” I would think, “Hmm. That’s odd ....” Seriously, do your thing, even if it’s not necessarily my thing. I’m sure you’ve got your reasons.

This attitude came to bite me in the ass in the end. I watched as my ex was barely civil to my best friend, barely engaged in conversations with my family, barely engaged in conversations with people who weren't stroking his ego, barely participated in holidays because he hated them, barely acknowledged my graduation day… you get the picture. I watched all this and did nothing because I thought that he had his reasons, I didn’t want to judge him. I thought that’s just the way he was. And I thought that I accepted him completely.

Well fuck that. It’s inconsiderate and above all, it’s bullshit. Because no matter what your reasons, you suck it up because your girlfriend loves you and would do anything for you. She's your partner and you're hers.

But he wasn’t my partner.

Because no matter what I did or how much I gave, tried to understand him, didn’t judge him -- no matter what, he didn’t work as hard as I did. I worked on us and on myself because I thought that’s what you did in a partnered relationship. And did he? No.

Much like my best friend and I dove into veganism together as partners, navigating through vegan cookbooks from the 70’s and sprouting mung beans under our sink, my ex and I dove into our relationship together -- I thought -- as partners too. But where I was navigating how to have a better relationship with his mom, support him in his career choices, deal with the late hours, organize our home, and fit into his life -- he was doing what? Well, nothing of the sort. He wasn’t involved with my life like I was involved in his. He wasn’t really my partner.

And I’m slowly beginning to realize that this is how he betrayed me.

….oh, and he would never have sprouted mung beans with me under our sink either.

photo by richard.heeks


  1. would you believe me if i told you that I had my own "you need to learn how to suck it up because I do it all the time for you" conversation with X? That would be almost verbatim.

    Funny. Or I guess not so funny.

  2. I'm sorry! That sucks. But you don't have to help him anymore, that's one of the perks of this whole deal, you know?



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