We Have to Have Ground Rules for Protecting Our Boundaries

“People lack boundaries because they have a high level of neediness (or in psych terms, codependence). People who are needy or codependent, have a desperate need for love and affection from others. To receive this love and affection, they sacrifice their identity and remove their boundaries. (Ironically, it’s the lack of identity and boundaries that makes them unattractive to most people.)

People who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that if they put the responsibility on those around them, they’ll receive the love they’ve always wanted and needed. If they constantly paint themselves as a victim, eventually someone will come save them.”          Mark Mansoon

I never get tired of learning new ways to manage my codependency. Found a new blogger today, Jana Greene, who writes in the first post about a grown child moving back in for awhile. This is a very common happening nowadays with the Covid, unemployment, and dismal wages.

From Boundaries and Boomerangs. A Few Thoughts on Codependency:

“Here are some ways in which I will protect my boundaries and actually enjoy the experience of having a grown child back at home:

I will not run interference between other family members.

This is HUGE for me. Keeping the entirety of peace in the house – even in a relatively peaceful family dynamic – is not my job. I will do my part, but I will not clean up after others, literally or figuratively. I hope my husband and daughter get along (as they mostly do), but I will not take ownership of their relationship.

I will set realistic expectations of myself, and of her.

As a disabled person, I sometimes need help. A lot of help. It is okay to ask for it and expect it. (Hear that, self? It is OKAY TO ASK FOR IT AND EXPECT IT.)

I will show grace and respect (and expect respect.)

It’s not the same world it was when most of us were in our 20’s. It’s much more expensive to live on one’s own. As she comes in for a landing, I will remember it’s not her destination flight that brought her home; just circumstances that will improve and allow her to spread her wings. I will try my best to be graceful and patient, while knowing this is temporary.

I will operate from a place of healthy boundaries. I’ve become accustomed to having my own space. And accustomed to meditating and self-care. These things did not come easy, and they did not come until my children flew the nest. I am protective of them.

I can be happy, even if nobody in my house is happy. I tend to calibrate my mood to whomever is feeling any type of way. This includes my husband.

I will not try to “fix”. I am present and available, but must remember it isn’t my job to “fix” anyone. Furthermore, it is an impossibility.

I will keep the faith. I will lean into God and have faith that whatever comes my way, He is only ever good. And I will have faith in my daughter, as I always have. We will get through the bumps in life as a family.

I will find the joy in this – and every – experience.”

From Codependency, Adult Children & Self-Abandonment:

“I thought I had put an end on my codependency but I guess I haven’t. I did good when I was by myself but I got triggered the moment I let someone in. It hasn’t been easy to experience and process it all. As of today I feel numb and confused. It’s like walking on a minefield on a daily basis and you don’t know how to fast track your healing process in order to create a smooth life. You push each other’s buttons instead and suddenly you are in war zone again. Rinse and repeat. This time was your turn, next is your partner’s. To make things worse, you totally abandon yourself and turn to your own addictive behaviours when you are too tired of fighting and you just want a quick relief. It’s never a true relief though and it’s never quick as cravings can become guests for days, weeks or even months.

At the end of the day, we are all children in a grown-up body. We hurt each other not because we want to but because we have unresolved issues. We may know better but we can’t act on it when we are overwhelmed, scared or stressed out. Some people had it easier and they learnt in their early years how to gain internal control and thrive. Others weren’t so lucky and need to learn how to reprogram themselves from scratch. This requires a tremendous self-discipline and courage to go deeper within to face all the inner demons left inside – and do all the things we need to be healthy and happy adults.”

5 comments

  1. I am very familiar with codependence, even though I only recently learned how codependent I was after growing up in an alcoholic family and then getting in the cycle of addiction myself. Once I learned the symptoms of codependence, I started recognizing them in myself and it was like multiple lightbulbs were going off in my head. I immediately stepped into action and started setting boundaries, especially with my husband’s family. It got a lot easier from then on. I stopped trying to please everyone to get approval and instead started focusing on my own needs. The biggest win for me I finally stopped turning to alcohol when finding myself in an uncomfortable situations. I also started a blog on generational family dysfunction and want to encourage parents to recognize the symptoms and break the cycle so that not to pass them on to next generations. Great read!

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