Monday, April 23, 2012

Setting Boundaries...Follow Up

Not too long ago I asked for advice on my facebook page about boundaries.  I got some good feedback on the page and then some feedback that was messaged privately to me.  It seems to me that this is not an uncommon issue and something that all of us at some point deal with.  I decided to share a little bit about what sparked that topic in the first place and how I've decided to deal with it.

A few weeks ago, someone in my life purposely encroached, yet again, on my personal boundaries in hopes of getting a response out of me.  This was not the first time this had happened.  In fact, this was just one of many, many times this has happened.  Because of the position this person holds in my life I've done my best to respectfully deal with or ignore these attempts of hurting me over the years.  I thought that this was the right thing to do...the Christian thing to do.  Another thing...I've never purposefully or intentionally, hurt this person back.  I always had hopes that the attacks that they have thrown at me would one day, eventually stop.

Well, I came the the realization a few weeks ago that the attacks will never stop no matter how much I walk on egg shells!  Within a span of 2 weeks I was wrongfully attacked (that's the word I call it) by this person a total of 6 times!  I did not respond to any attack as I felt that any response I gave them would give them more ammunition in their quest to hurt me.

I've prayed, I've cried, I've sought the Lord on this matter.  I even asked my readers how they handle boundaries.  Well, after evaluating the situation and how it's gone unchanged for nearly 2 decades of my life, I decided that I needed to do something drastic.  I felt a peace about this from the Lord.  He showed me that I CAN NOT change the person that does this to me, but that I can change the way I respond. I CAN CHANGE ME!

So, after several days of praying, thinking and seeking wise counsel, my husband and I decided to set up boundaries with this person.  It's been extremely difficult and something we never dreamed we would have to do.  It has not only affected us and the offender, but other people that we all interact with.  In some cases it's been downright uncomfortable and awkward.  Our hopes are that this person will maybe one day realize that they can no longer use me for their personal dart board when they are upset, scared, angry, feel rejected, feel unloved and/or whatever other feelings they have as a result of whatever it is that sparks these internal rages within them.

I'm writing this because I've learned a lot about myself during this process. Early on in this relationship I didn't voice my opinion nearly enough, I didn't voice my hurts, likes, dislikes and complied in order to keep peace  I also didn't tell this person that the things they say to me and about me to other people hurt me.  In essence, I TAUGHT this person that it was okay to abuse me in this way.  Yes, you read that right.  I take full responsibility in that area.  When I came to the realization that I was responsible for the way I reacted to their behavior I decided to no longer live under their manipulative, controlling, passive-aggressive, sporadic behavior any longer and I chose to scale way back on our relationship.

This has been heart breaking to me.  I love this person very much and I'm deeply saddened that things have come to this point, but for my own sense of well being I did what needed to be done.  In my heart of hearts I desire to have a good relationship with this person and I will continue to pray that they seek treatment, and accept help for their mental illness so that reconciliation can happen.

I normally don't recommend psychological help websites here on my blog, but I found this one to be extremely helpful for me to understand exactly what I have been up against.  I'm posting it here in case it might help someone else that reads this.

If you read this far, thank you for letting me share a little bit of my world with you.  Feel free to comment, but please note that comments that mention specific names of people and comments that are mean or rude will be deleted.