Monday, March 19, 2012

This far - no further

Lately I've been struggling with boundaries.  

Not so much with where they are - I am slowly getting a comfort level there - but how to set them .... and how to enforce them .... is the thing that's been occupying my attention the last few weeks.  

I know I have to set these boundaries, and the hardest ones to set are those that must be put up for the first time with people (especially members of one's family-of-origin, be they natural or extended) who not only don't have ANY boundaries of their own, it seems to be part of their religion to cross over others' borders too - and stomp all over the tulips while they're there.  So (this is a given) I know for certain that they won't understand. I used to think exactly as they do now.  I know that they will wonder just what the big deal is.  And that they'll judge me - and tell everyone they know how cruel and ungrateful I'm being, to get them to judge me too, so their own treatment of me seems justified.  I KNOW this. Yet I am feeling compelled to tell them why I'm setting that boundary, how disappointed I am that they wouldn't have had the good sense to know not to "go there".  How wrong their crossing it is.  How much it hurts.  And yes, a large part of me wants to stick it right back to them.

I can't lie about it.  But it doesn't make their trespassing on my emotional property any less wrong.  And here I sit.  And I question.  And I pray.  And I wonder.  

Image "Businesswoman Asking To Stop"
courtesy of imagerymajestic at
How much should I tell them?  How do I tell them?  Do I tell them ANYTHING?  I write stuff so ... should I write to them?  Hmmm... any of the rare times I've ever written to someone before about something similar - it wasn't pretty.  The fangs and claws came out - on both sides.  It was pretty ugly.  I hesitate before doing that again.  

Maybe I should just be quiet and not "go there" myself.  Say nothing, but refuse to play that game - and then when they ask about it ... keep it not only simple, but short.   Yet there's this big, empty ... whatever... out there which begs, no, demands to be addressed.  The call of that thing is so strong, perhaps irresistible.  Or is it really "out there"??  Maybe it's actually "in here" - maybe it's just my own desire for self-justification.  Or maybe, as people in the recovery circles I hang around in say, it's "the codependent crazies."  That desire to gain the upper hand, to change the other person's behavior - even though I know for sure it won't - and will probably make it worse...!  

One of the things I learned in a course many years ago just popped into my head.  The course was on decision-making - and I remember the instructor saying, "The decision to do nothing is still a viable decision.  Sometimes a problem needs to just stew for a while - as uncomfortable as that is - and come to its own conclusion." 

That is the only option for me right now that has any semblance of peace attached to it.  Everything else is rife with turmoil.  So - once again I turn the whole situation - and myself - over to God, asking Him to relieve me of the bondage of self-will run riot, and to make me an example of what happens in a heart totally in love with Him.    

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