It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
This is a saying that I not only disagree with, but that brings out a lot of anger from within me. If you know someone would answer no to your request… DON’T DO IT. I find it completely dishonest to function within this thought pattern, and dishonesty always makes me angry.
When my son was young, and we were still living close to family, I found out his paternal grandparents had been taking him out of town without asking me (I had custody, and he didn’t have a lot of contact with his birth dad.) When I confronted them, they said, “we didn’t ask because we knew you’d say no.”
In that moment, my trust for them was shattered, and they never quite got it back. It was a lie, through and through. I ended up moving nearly to the other side of the country after this, and this action on their part was probably the top deciding factor.
I cannot see how anyone could honestly rationalize this thought. In my mind, there is no room for maneuvering. If you know someone would say no to something, and they are ultimately the ones who should or would be making the decision on that subject, there is no way it is okay to follow through, just to apologize later.
On a seemingly unrelated subject, which will be tied together in the end, is my relationship with meat.
From the time I found out where it came from, I have had trouble with the thought of eating meat. On several occasions I have tried to go vegetarian, but have ended up getting quite sick, and have had to go back to eating meat. (I have a poor relationship with food to begin with, and a lot of foods cause me strong digestive as well as emotional issues, so I am limited in what I eat to begin with.)
A few years ago, I tried to become vegetarian again, and did quite well in finding alternative food sources for a while.
My choice to become vegetarian was in an attempt to reduce the amount of meat consumed. I could not save all of the animals from this fate, but if I could save one cow… one chicken – it might not be everything, but it would mean a lot to that animal.
Imagine my distress, therefore, when I realized that my husband’s consumption of meat increased in direct correlation to what I had stopped eating.
It was one thing that my husband and son continued to eat meat when I had stopped. That wasn’t my decision to make. But for my husband to eat my portion… why couldn’t he see how wrong that was? No matter how much I tried to explain it to him, he could not see why I felt he was doing something wrong.
It was a huge sacrifice on my part to stop eating meat. Yes, it was something I chose. Something I wanted to do… but I had huge trouble with food to begin with, and suddenly I was removing all that was familiar, to replace it with new foods – a huge feat for someone with autism. And then he ate what would have been my portion so that my sacrifice was for nothing. No one was saved. And that hurt me so bad… and he would not see it.
After a couple of years, and after I had been put on anti-depressant medication which numbed my thoughts so my thoughts weren’t so obsessive, I began to eat meat again. I was camping with a group – which nearly always causes a meltdown as I cannot eat with them, cannot cook around them, and end up feeling so hungry and weak that I cannot think. So I ate along with them, and didn’t fall apart as often.
It is something I have had to do – but I still feel bad for the animals. I still feel it is a cruel world that we have to eat like this, and choose smaller portions, or meatless meals when I can.
Then we came to last night. My husband had brought home a ham on his last shopping trip, as I had made one the week before, and he very much enjoyed it. The one he brought home was a lot bigger than the one we had the previous week, which fed us for supper, and had enough for a lunch the next day for him.
When he went up to get his food, I made a point of saying it was so much bigger, so there would be leftovers for the three of us.
We all had our supper, and as I was finishing, he came back with seconds. I went to make my lunch for the following day, and all of the ham was gone. He had split it all between his seconds and his leftovers for the next day, so there was nothing left for my son and I.
It wasn’t about having leftovers. He should have known that – we have been married 12 years, and I have never hidden my views on this. WHY DOESN’T HE KNOW ME?
He told me that he didn’t understand, and that it couldn’t be helped now. And I was full of such hurt and anger that I cried for hours, and am still crying today as I think of it.
It is as if he slaughtered the animal in front of me, and fed on its carcass like a scavenger; and I am so hurt, and so angry, and so disgusted… and he doesn’t understand.
And his response, “It can’t be helped,” to me is identical to the belief that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission. And I am wondering how I can trust him… how can I trust him if he holds that belief?
If he honestly didn’t hear me, and didn’t understand (which I can’t see how was possible) there was still the fact that he noticed there was a lot more meat there, and chose to consume more rather than share to begin with. And that hurts me a lot, because how could he possibly not know by now how I would never, NEVER, see that as okay?
It is one thing that he doesn’t reduce his meat consumption for my beliefs – but to increase…. it is like an attack on me – like he doesn’t know, and doesn’t care, who I am – and it hurts me. It really hurts.
And to say after that it can’t be helped, does not address the betrayal I feel inside. And to dismiss my tears as if they are fully my problem – as he always has – and to not see that my anger and my tears are there not because he made a mistake, but because he has shown me again that he still doesn’t know who I am, though my responses are quite consistent.
WHY DOESN’T HE KNOW ME??? and if he does, why doesn’t he care?