Why It’s Hard to Hold a Boundary and How to Make It Easier
“The only real mismatch you will overly have in your life won’t be with others, but with yourself.” ~Shannon Adler
I sat in my chemistry matriculation during my junior year of upper school staring at the periodic table and wondering if I was going to make it through. Bored and lost, I struggled to find value in the matriculation or make sense of why I was there. It felt purposeless.
Until I met Kevin.
Kevin sat a few seats yonder from me and was a senior. I knew of him, but I had never really noticed or paid sustentation to him. I can’t recall why I plane started paying sustentation to him other than his seat’s proximity to mine.
Maybe it was considering he wasn’t like the typical guy I was attracted to and I was ready for something different.
It could have been considering he was a bit withdrawn and kind of afar and his sustentation made me finger like I was winning some sort of game. Either way, it wasn’t long surpassing I was hooked.
He was the “jealous type,” which was moreover new for me. He wanted me to only pay sustentation to him and scolded me when I spent time talking to my large group of male friends. I received his jealousy as his expression of adoration. I wanted him to want me. He wanted to requirement me, and I wanted to be claimed.
It didn’t faze me when he began to put me lanugo and make me finger like I was doing something wrong when it didn’t involve him. When we were drunk and he accused me of stuff disloyal, I was sure it was just his way of saying he cared.
And when he cheated on me, it made perfect sense why. I blamed the girl he was with instead of him— considering she unmistakably was jealous of me.
The day he tapped up with me, I was unswayable to do everything I could to win him back. Make him realize I was good unbearable to be chosen. Make him see that letting me go was not really what he wanted. Make him realize that life without me was never going to work.
The cat and mouse games we played were thrilling. The highs upper and the lows disturbingly low. The dopamine and adrenaline rush made me finger alive, and the eventual crash left me starving more.
My younger smart-ass identified this chemical combination as “passion” and a feeling I wanted increasingly of. Increasingly importantly, it taught me in order to sustain my relationships, I would have to put others’ needs over my own. A pattern that began in older diaper but was reinforced when the stakes felt high. I unconsciously chose partners who would not, could not segregate me.
Because I was too wrung to segregate myself.
It’s not that I was wrung of creating a boundary, a line, a point of no return. It’s just that when someone crossed that line by treating me poorly, I didn’t finger ready to follow through on what may have followed.
I wasn’t ready to finger the repercussions of my choice. If they didn’t like my boundary, I might lose them. They might reject me. They might punish me. They might leave me behind.
I had plenty of examples of when that had happened.
And then I’d have to finger the inevitable pain of loss and loneliness. I’d have to finger the grief and the space it would take up in my life. I feared I’d have to put my other priorities on hold considering the overflow of emotions might be too great. Too overwhelming. Too depressing. And I didn’t want to deal with that.
So instead of asking for what I needed and what would have made my relationships holistically better, I unliable men to treat me with disrespect, inequity, and tawdry condone for my well-being. All in the name of maintaining the status quo and not having to finger the unsavory emotions I masterfully avoided.
This fear of holding a purlieus led to years of crippling anxiety, layers of depression, embarrassment, and lots and lots of subconscious shame.
The feelings I avoided not only became unvarying companions, but they moreover intensified with my visualization to ignore them and pretend like they didn’t exist.
I had weird physical ailments that no one could quite grasp. My swig consumption increased just so I could finger “normal” and less anxious. The emotions of wrongness and fear dominated my thoughts, and my passive-aggressive response to them became my go-to reaction.
I was furious at those who wouldn’t segregate me. I blamed them for my choices and lack of follow through. But I didn’t dare ask for what I needed, to alimony myself unscratched from the unknowns that might slosh me. My silence and avoidant behaviors became my cozy home wiring and the only way I seemed to know how to cope.
There was no one moment when I recognized what I was doing. Unconscious responses are well subconscious in their motives as quiet protectors.
But I did spend a lot of time shaming and blaming myself when the repercussions of my avoidance unprotected up to me. Questioning what was wrong with me and why I was so broken. Never quite recognizing my behaviors weren’t meant to hurt me but to shield me from the discomfort of feeling emotions I’d rather run from.
It’s taken a lot of slowing lanugo and observing my reactions and thoughts to see why it’s so difficult for me to hold a boundary, plane when I know it’s the healthiest whoopee for both myself and another. It’s moreover taken a lot of compassion to judge myself less, knowing my desire to finger loved and wonted often outweighs my desire to stand my ground.
Most of us wits this as humans. And that’s okay.
Learning to hold a healthy purlieus is a continuous practice for me, and one that starts with stuff honest well-nigh my own motives and fears.
When I am resisting asking for what I need, it becomes an opportunity to pause and trammels in with myself and ask: What are you really scared of? What do you think will happen if you ask for what you want?
Most of the time my fear is of rejection, abandonment, or stuff verbally attacked as a way to manipulate me. Having experienced these things intensely in the past, those fears can get quite loud.
Once I identify the fear, I’ll ask: What you do you need to finger safer in this situation? If you can’t tenancy another’s response, what will help you finger increasingly ease surpassing and after? What supports would goody you? Who can you ask to aid you with this? How can you soothe yourself through the discomfort that may arise?
When we do this, it allows our very real fears to be seen and undisputed and enables us to set up a plan of support for surpassing and after. It moreover builds our tolerance for holding discomfort. A skill many of us struggle with.
Our fear of stuff x-rated asks that we don’t welsh ourselves too. The parts of us that are wrung of stuff left overdue are looking for vestige that someone will show up for them. If we create a plan to not welsh ourselves with reinforcement and supports, our need to protect ourselves decreases. Our sense of safety improves and slowly we uncork to trust our own follow through.
It’s moreover something we can support our friends and children with. Telling someone to hold a purlieus is not nearly as helpful as modeling or showing them how to.
Our seeming inability to hold a healthy purlieus is not a sign of weakness. It’s not a weft flaw and it’s not something to finger ongoing shame around. It’s a normal response to deeper fears that are asking to be seen, acknowledged, and supported, which is well within our control.
We have the power to stand up for ourselves, and for others, and ask for what we need in a way that is loving, compassionate, and kind. We can do this by starting with ourselves.
How easy is it for you to hold a healthy purlieus that benefits you and another? What are the deterrents that alimony you from pursuit through? How do you support yourself through the challenge? How will it finger when you reach the other side?
Let this be your guide while you practice choosing you.
About Lynn Reilly
Lynn Reilly is a licensed professional counselor, master energy therapist, and tragedian of the self-care typesetting 30 Days to Me and the children's typesetting The Secret to Beating the Dragon. You can subscribe to her insights and goody from her 15-minute trust practices to live increasingly fully on livingwithserendipity.com as well as follow her on Facebook and Instagram.