Boundaries. Yeah- Another thing I get to learn in this journey. Isn’t this fun that every day I find something else I need to get better at?
I must have skipped class when we learned about creating healthy boundaries. I thought being nice was the most important thing in the whole world and let people take anything they wanted from me. Maybe it was that I couldn’t say, No?
The new me came out when my husband died. I had to say NO because I couldn’t do it all anymore. I had to figure out that there are boundaries and limits for a reason.
This is one of the most important things I have learned through this challenge.
It was easy for me to learn to say no to things like volunteering at school or church or working long hours. I didn’t have the physical energy to do it or the brain power to remember to do it. It wasn’t as easy for me to tell neighbors and well-wishers that rang our doorbell at night that it was our family time and my kids needed me to help them with homework or bedtime. “Could you come another time please?” What was hard was when it got into my core family circle. Some people in my extended family were doing things that I did not agree with. Such as telling my children that they were cheated and other negative information that the kids took hard. I know those people who were saying it were in pain, but I had to ask them to please back away until they were healed so it wouldn’t hurt my kids. It changed some of the basics of our family life and who we spent time with. But I had to look out for my kids and also myself. These few people were my TOP priorities. I am the one who gets to deal with the repercussions and fallout, so the more I could shut these problems down before they started, the better.
I also had to place boundaries with how my children treated me. They thought I didn’t have feelings, I guess and told me things that were very hurtful. I had to be very clear on what was ok and respectful. I am still trying to define my boundaries here as I learn and grow with those that mean the most to me. Teaching them that I have boundaries shows them that they, too, should have boundaries of their own.