July 13, 2011
So this journey has begun. I discovered in my book on "boundaries" that boundaries are like fences. Fences identify our boundary lines, this is my property , I take care of it, manage it and am responsible for it. However, when you grow up in a home where your boundary lines are repeatedly crossed, not respected or protected by those you love, you have trouble as you get older identifying where those personal "boundaries" or fence line begin and end and where to draw the line with others.
I grew up in a home where my brother was allowed to beat on me, abuse my car, fling plates at me and put my head through a wall. I still suffer from that physical damage today. (Yeah, this is hard to discuss) My brother was an alcoholic and drug abuser. He beat on me to make himself feel better. So as you can see he did not respect my fence, he marched right through it. The worst of it yet was my parents never held him accountable for that abuse and so even to this day after he has supposedly been with AA for years, he has never "made amends" with any of us as he is supposed to do. He doesn't even realize that he has offended, hurt and abused his own family, because he was never shown true boundaries from those who raised him. Because of those blurred boundaries, my brothers and I suffer and I made the choice to marry an alcoholic. Where is my fence line???
All fences need to have gates. The gates are to let those who truly love us in and keep the bad and not so good people out. I am learning to identify who and what they are, it is a slow process. Years of keeping the bad people in and not knowing who the good people really are to let in, will take time to correct. One of the things I am learning to identify, is that little voice in my head that tells me "RED FLAG" don't touch that!!!! Don't go there, or don't be apart of it, don't let them in. It also tells me there are good, kind, loving and trustworthy,people. I'm learning to listen to that voice. It takes practice and good listening skills. LOL! Will be working on that for awhile I"m afraid.
Lastly, I'm discovering that I too am responsible for my choices and that I don't have to do anything anybody else trys to make me do....really. I don't!!! Do you ever do this: you have something you really need to do, but the person your with, can't seem to get you home on time, they have to go here and there and in the meantime, you have asked them to please take you home. They don't, they just keep doing what they want, don't mean to make you late but just one more stop, Ok?!? So what could I have done different. Well I don't like to be yelled at so I just suffer in silence, or I say this "take me home NOW!!! I have asked you repeatedly and you are not respecting my needs as well. If you can't respect what I need then pull over and get me a cab, I HAVE TO GO HOME NOW!!!! Which will get their attention and results? I usually do the first choice. If I do the first choice, I get so mad and fume for days, nothing gets resolved and that person does it again and again and again. I didn't set the boundaries with that person. That really happened to me. If nothing else, I should have never stepped foot in her car again and told her why I won't.
Fear drives me, but I believe through this journey of self discovery and God's guidance, I will truly learn to set boundaries. I just put the first fence post in the ground today. See ya at the next fence post.
God bless! Cathy
Reference: "Boundaries" by: Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend