I’ve been working on setting boundaries. Apparently trauma survivors struggle to set and maintain boundaries. I still don’t really understand why it is so hard for me to set boundaries with people, but it is. However, maybe I’m not the problem. Maybe the problem is the way today’s society responds to boundaries.
My husband has a hard time respecting boundaries. He wants what he wants, when he wants it. That applies to everything from food to material possessions, sex, alcohol, etc. He does not handle “no” well at all. He pouts and shuts down and basically makes everyone else’s life hell until he gets his way. Since we’ve started going to marriage counseling, this has gotten a little bit better. Earlier this week, he wanted to get his hair cut. We discussed it and agreed that if he made a certain amount of money, he could use that to get his hair cut. He ended up making way less than that amount (partially because he got fired). Surprisingly, he did not go out and get his hair cut anyway, and he didn’t pout or bitch about it either. I feel like he has matured a lot in the last 2 or 3 months!
Now that I see he is handling disappointment and not getting what he wants better, it makes it easier for me to set boundaries with him. For example: earlier this week I was super stressed about work and he wanted to have sex. In the past, I would say no and he would keep trying until I eventually had to give in. This week, I said no the first time and the second time that he tried, and he respected that and everything was great. Seriously, this is such a big deal!
Now if only my best friend would grow up and respect my boundaries…
Work was AWFUL this week. My best friend at work was out all week due to the passing of a family member. I kept her updated on all of the work stress, but only when she texted me or called me asking about it. Now it’s the weekend. I want to enjoy the snow with my daughter and forget about work until Monday. She started texting me about work today. I answered her questions, but then she kept trying to talk about work stress and drama. I finally told her that I love her, but I can’t talk about work stuff again until Monday because I’m trying to enjoy my time with my family and not be consumed with work. She texted back and was super bitchy saying her week was hard too and she wouldn’t text me anymore because she didn’t want to consume me. I apologized thinking maybe she took it wrong and tried to explain I was just trying to decompress this weekend and be present for my daughter. Her texts got snippier and bitchier. Perhaps this is why I don’t set boundaries. I set a boundary and my best friend gets pissed at me and refuses to talk to me (she won’t text me back now, by the way).
Boundaries are shit. It feels like I can’t do what I need to do to take care of myself without someone getting pissed off at me for it. And then, I get all of this anxiety over thinking the other person hates me. In this case, I really don’t want to lose my best friend – she’s like one of the only friends I have and we work super closely together every single day. I feel like I’m supposed to call her and apologize and let her fill my head with work stress. However, the rational side of my mind tells me no – I didn’t do a damn thing wrong here! Setting boundaries to take care of your emotional needs is what you are supposed to do! And, I didn’t do it in a mean, bitchy way. Ugh – trying to keep my side of the street clean and protect my boundaries is so stressful. I would’ve just been better off texting her about work and getting consumed with that, because now that she’s pissed at me, my anxiety is so much worse.
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