Why is it hard to enforce boundaries when you know in your heart it's the right thing to do, not only for you, but for your family? For me, I believe it's because I lived so long without them. I lived an unbalanced life (in regards to healthy appropriate boundaries) that at times when I am balanced, it feels unbalanced. The reality is being balanced is good, but making the choice to stay balanced is hard.
An area where I find myself constantly questioning a boundary that I know in my head is necessary and important, but still causes me sadness in my heart, is with my mother. If you have read my book or followed my blog you know the boundary that I have put up with her. She knows about my writing. I sent her a copy of my book at her request, with a letter on January 14, 2010. I have not heard directly from her since. I have continued to acknowledge holidays and birthdays with boundaries and respect in place, towards her. It's hard though. I recognize that she is respecting the boundaries I stated, but at the same time, this also tells me she isn't ready to move in a forward direction (at least with me). My heart still aches for a relationship with her, but it's for the relationship that we never had.
I find myself looking at old photographs and recalling "simpler" times. Times when I knew something wasn't right but I didn't understand and I was willing to ignore facts and keep pushing them under the rug. I was so desperate for her love and acceptance that I was willing to over look the reality. And quite honestly, there was just enough "good" times that it made it easier to push the other times further under the rug.
Confrontation and boundaries are never easy. They change relationships, but isn't that the point?. I ask myself what would it be like if I never confronted my issues, not just with my mother, but with all the issues/people/choices in my life that contributed to my ptsd and panic/anxiety. The reality is it still wouldn't have stayed "the same". The people, the choices, the events in my life, would have continued a spiral downwards. The relationship with my mother began to unravel way before my journey towards hope and healing began. You see part of my struggle in the feeling of "unbalance" is to take responsibility for other peoples choices and behaviors, to try to make it feel balanced. That is not true balance.
As I am balanced now, it still feels unbalanced (unnatural) to me. I recognize this is part of my healing and that I need to acknowledge this. I also realize the reality when you are willing to honestly open your eyes and heart to truth, you may lose relationships. But then I say, was it really a relationship in the first place? Was it ever balanced? Was it healthy?
I am still dealing with grief in regards to my relationship with my mother. I love her and care deeply about her well being, but I can not compete with alcoholism, her past, her present, or her brokenness. So, the boundaries are still in place even through the sadness and tears. I continue to pray and hope that there might someday be reconciliation and healing in my mom's mind, body, and soul.
I hope my openness can encourage you in boundaries that you may be struggling with. We are not alone! and there is ALWAYS hope!
Do not fear, for I am with you: Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10