“Setting boundaries is a way of caring for myself. It doesn’t make me mean, selfish, or uncaring (just) because I don’t do things your way. I care about me too." – Christine Morgan, Happily Imperfect
Have you ever met anyone who likes boundaries??? No.
But why? Why are boundaries so uncomfortable?
Because you’ve been brainwashed by a master manipulator to believe that any kind of self-care, self-preservation or self-love is not just selfish but unwarranted – because only good people are worthy of taking care of themselves. And you’ve been told for months, years, decades that you are not worthy.
You tell yourself that as soon as the chaos settles down, THEN you will go to that yoga class. Or start hiking. Or clean out your closets. Or cook a healthy meal. Or even just unplug from technology for an hour.
You tell yourself that self-love and self-care work for others, but their conflict isn’t as crazy as yours.
You tell yourself that you just need a week without drama for you to even figure out what boundaries you need to create. Who has time to figure out the boundaries they need when they are drowning??
But right now, while the chaos is at an all-time high (isn’t it always at an all-time high?) you tell yourself that you just need to try contain the conflict and if you were to try and implement a boundary, the wheels would come off the freight train and everything would fall apart to an even worse state than it is right now.
If your survival pattern is to hold off on creating boundaries for fear of what your co-parents reaction might be, then you’ve created a comfort zone in your conflict.
“BUT I hate the conflict, I just want peace.”
“BUT the boundaries will make it worse.”
“BUT what if I implement the wrong boundary?”
Excuses. To keep you in your comfort zone.
As horrific as your situation is, you’ve gotten skilled at convincing yourself that you are managing the conflict as best you can. And any advice on how to improve your situation is met with, “that won’t work for me and my situation.” Or you try a boundary, it’s hard and mucky, so you quit and tell yourself the boundary didn’t work.
But the truth is, you didn’t give the boundary much of a chance to work. Because your comfort zone is an easier place to live than in the unknown and unstable place of boundaries and self-care.
You can choose to continue to operate as you have in the past, in your survival pattern of not implementing boundaries, and a year from now nothing will have changed, except that you will likely have more grey hairs and many sleepless nights.
Or you can embrace a new pattern, one that forces you to put you first before anyone else regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
Because what you allow is what will continue.
What will you allow?