Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Snooping

Snooping is something I have been dealing with all of my life. My mother is a snooper, and she found out everything about me by snooping through my things. At the time it made me feel so angry and violated. I knew I had no privacy as long as I lived with her. It felt like prison. I often confronted her about how it made me feel, and I would always get the same response: "As long as you live under my roof I have every right to go through your things." Oh how those words made my blood boil.

Now I am a mother. I have three children who are very young. I know now how my mother must have felt. I know how much she loved me and how much she wanted to protect me, but I do not agree with her methods of finding things out about me. I think that she could have just asked what she wanted to know without violating my trust and putting even more distance between us. I forgive her for all of the snooping -- she was able to save me from getting into trouble several times because of it. But I will not do this with my children.

I have had to deal with the snooping issues in my adulthood as well. When I was in my first serious relationship, I started snooping through my boyfriends things. I felt like I needed reassurance that I knew everything there was to know. I often found things out that I wouldn't have found out otherwise. He used to lie and keep secrets all the time, which made me feel like my snooping was justified. When I married my husband, we swore to each other that we would always be honest with each other. I started seeing behavior I was all too familiar with, so again I started snooping. It was the only way I knew to get what I so desperately needed -- the truth. It felt different this time though. With my husband I was really hoping that there wasn't anything to find.

Being a mother has taught me so many things about love and trust. It has helped me understand and change certain behaviors that were destructive to my marriage. I will not snoop through my husband's belongings to find out his secrets. If I want to know something, I just ask. I find more times than not that he is willing to open up to me and be honest with me. It has taken so long for me to accept that there are certain things that I don't NEED to know. I only need to know those things that he wants to share with me, and the more I treat him with love and respect, the more he wants to share.

Jaime R.
New Jersey

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