Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finally Establishing Boundaries With My Family Of Origin

As you all know by now, I am one big, huge, humongous (could I have another adjective please?!) issue!!!! Particularly where boundaries are concerned. I read Boundaries With Teens since I have not been able to get my hands on the original Boundaries book. And to be honest with you I have no idea what the guy is talking about. He just kept talking about teaching your kids boundaries, and I'm like, "What boundaries? Nobody ever taught me about boundaries and I have no idea exactly all the boundaries they need." I'd already set a few without even knowing that's what I was doing, like I recently told a friend that I never go out with an individual guy anywhere other than my husband. She informed me that's a boundary and a good one, that I've established for myself, cause someone suggested I talk to a certain guy over coffee and I said, "Not without someone else going with me I'm not." I realize coffee shops are public and it's not like I would be tempted anyway, but it just looks and feels too much like a "date" to me, so I don't do it. That was an obvious boundary that I hadn't really thought about much, because as a married, Christian woman, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Obviously shouldn't do that. Maybe not everyone feels that way, I guess. I've made an exception occasionally with my pastor, only because he's like old enough to be my father!!! And he's my pastor for crying out loud! But then, I might feel differently if I had a pastor who was closer to my age. Never really had that experience. They've always been much older, or older enough for me to know I'd never be interested and no one would ever suspect anything.

Anyhoo, I've gone a little off the subject. I've realized that a major area where I haven't established good boundaries or really any boundaries at all is with my family of origin. I had to make yet another very tough decision this week and since this is my first time establishing boundaries in this case, I'm sure I'm going to botch it up, if I haven't already. I just knew I had to do something about Christmas. For the last 2 years, since my grandfather passed away I've gone to Oregon to my parents house for Christmas and allowed my family to push us all around, even to the point of being downright abusive towards me and my children. They love to play with our emotions, making us mad or scared. They think it's funny and it's not! It's cruel. They did this to me my entire life and they do it to my more sensitive kids as well. I don't notice them doing it as much with Jeremiah, but the girls have much more dramatic emotional reactions, especially Angela, so that's really fun for them. They always did this to me, as I was very much like Angela, and also tend to feel things deeply and express emotions very dramatically if I get upset enough. They like that, and like I said, it's cruel and abusive. Last year my older brother even put Angela outside in only a t-shirt and her pajama pants and tried to shut the door on her. He almost got away with it until I threw a hissy fit and insisted that mom make him let her back in. She was terrified! I'd hate to see how far he'd go if someone didn't stop him!!! My dad is very mean and uncaring in the way he talks to everyone and even made a comment when I got upset with him at one point, that he could see why Dave likes to do that. It's fun. Yeah, fun for who? Not me. Not my family. We're done and so yesterday I called my mom and left a message at the house that we're not coming for Christmas and not just because of Chloe's allergies (they live on a ranch and she's allergic to most animals) but because I am not going to take the bullying. That was yesterday mid-morning and I still haven't heard back from them. I'm sure they've called a family meeting to discuss what they're going to do about me. They've always had a problem with me seeking help and I can see why. Anyone could see they are not healthy people and that some changes needed to be made in our home and they would totally mess with their perfect little world, as they see it. I was their guinea pig and nobody was going to mess with that. The problem is I'm not a guinea pig and neither are my children, we're human beings and for the first time in my life I am going to insist that we be treated like human beings.


  1. You go girl!
    Isn't it empowering? No matter how that works out, you have won because you recognize that you are an independent adult and you have the right to set boundaries where you are comfortable.

    Good job! #goldstar

  2. Shellie, I'm more proud of you every day. You are making such great strides. I think you are doing the right thing 100%. There may be a time when you are healthier, that you family can be a bigger part of the picture. But maybe not.....and honestly, no matter if you have allowed it to happen to you, you have to protect your kids.