Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Boundaryless Relationships

Relationships with family are one of the most difficult hurdles for some one to cope with when a person has DID, especially when there are no personal/familial boundaries in place to provide safety.

My mother must have been raised w/o any boundaries at all to have completely allowed the lack of boundaries in our family. In fact, for my siblings, the most fun of a family get-together is to find the "soft spots" of family members and then dig into them until they are raw and blistered with teasing. There is no hiding, no comfort, and no compassion.

An example would be when my ex declared he'd found a child-bride and walk away from me after 32 years of marriage. One of my brothers kept teasing me saying, "Well, what'd ya do to chase him off?" After my divorce, my older sister told me she'd help me find an apartment in the city I was attending college in. Every address she gave me was rundown, full of gangs, and tiny. I asked why she would give me those addresses because I was not going to live there. Her reply?  "Well they're what you're going to have to live in, you may as well get used to it."

She was just being hurtful, I had/have money. All my family is like that. Not one of them (there are over 30, including nieces/nephews) has EVER extended sympathy for my life falling apart at the hands of someone else.

Therapy has helped me set boundaries. It's very hard to do with family, but I've found it's totally worth the effort.

My mother is really the only one I talk to. She has had a rough time learning to respect my boundaries. Everytime she crosses a boundary and makes fun of me, I get up and leave (if possible) and then I don't call or come back for several months. Then, I wait until she calls me, I don't call her. If her tone is good and boundaries are back in place, I call occassionally or stop by.

She knows what my boundaries are, we have discussed them: Don't talk about my abuse, it's not up for discussion or for you to agree/not agree with. No teasing me about my marriage, my looks, my clothes, etc. No discussing my friends and absolutely no discussion about my choice for a therapist. Never discuss my life or personal problems with any of my friends. Don't expect me to laugh at lude and nasty jokes at the expense of children, women, or marriage. Don't discuss porn-like stuff, such as "packages" or how you might like to "have that". 

There are many boundaries. I'm happy with all of them and they keep me relatively safe from very uncomfortable issues, triggers, and embarassment.

My mother is at least trying to find a good place to be with me and a brother offered expertise for my house issues after I moved in. I think those two are finally learning I can be approached. The others haven't even tried to contact me in 5 years. Their loss. The longer they wait, the stronger I become at holding my boundaries in place.

Here are other posts about family abusing boundaries
It Shoulda Been a Happy Day
All In The Telling
I Don't Want Them To
Being It
Dejected and Disconnected
Happy Mother's Day

... to name a few...



VICKI IN AZ said...

Hi darlin! I have been in my own world for too long. It is so good to come here and read such powerful stuff Ivory!! This is really helpful actually. You gave me good advice about my mom the other day. Thanks!!

Today my therapist told me I am too nice and none of them are afraid enough of me. I am still trying to process this.

I am going to go back and catch up on all that I have missed. You are never out of my ♥ even when I am not around often enough.

The Beehive said...

This was an amazing post. I have tried SO many times to set up boundaries with my mom and my grandma. With my grandma, I will never have the respect of boundaries. With my mom, it's all about having to know EVERYTHING even when it is none of her business. And when I finally break down and tell her, she tells everyone. Over the years I have learned to never talk about anything with her. But after reading this post, I think I will try some of the things you mentioned. Maybe it will work this time!
I admire how far you have come! I can only hope and wish to be in that place some day.


Kerro said...

I agree, this is a truly amazing post, and you show such wonderful strength in setting - and maintaining - your boundaries. Good on you!

I'm sorry that your family is like this - it's all too familiar, but I'm really glad you can see their behaviour for what it is. I also admire how far you've come. :)

fromthesamesky said...

This is wonderful Ivory. I'm so glad you have found the strength to keep your boundaries when your family are so difficult. You are an inspiration, thankyou. xx

Exhale said...

Wonderful post Ivory, you honesty is inspiring thank you for sharing your heart.

Ivory said...

Thanks everyone! You are a wonderful circle of support for me, don't every forget it!

Paul from Mind Parts said...

Ivory, I applaud you for the efforts you are making to fix something that should never have been broken. You have every right to expect to have personal safety from establishing clear boundaries... family or not. Good for you!

Grace said...

Ivory, This is a true testement to your personal growth and boundary setting. It is so difficult to learn how to set boundaries when you grow up in a family where the word does not exist! Good for you!
Although I'm sure it's still difficult. I have minimal contact w/my *family*...but I had to move 1200 miles away from them to get this far.
~ Grace.
P.S. I was going to email you about the last comment you left on my last post but I couldn't get to your email. If it is available, can you send to me?
There were additional comments I wanted to add but I did not want to post them 'publicly'.