If you clicked on this link in hopes of getting some info on creating healthy boundaries, you, my friend, have come to the wrong place. I am the queen of unhealthy boundaries. I can offer you no guidelines on how to create healthy boundaries. I’m on a search for them myself.
For a long time in therapy, both marriage and personal therapy, the therapist suggested I eliminate toxic people from my life. And when I insisted that this was an impossibility, they recommended that I strongly limit interactions with said people. These people played an important role in my life and their feelings and beliefs strongly influenced my feelings and emotions about myself. I couldn’t help it. I could be having a great day and a get a critical comment from someone and it would send me into a spiral of questioning my worth as a person. They would tell me I was inadequate, and I would blindly believe it.
It was always extremes with me. I trusted completely or not at all. I would never ever cut a person out of my life, even if they were reckless with my feelings or my heart. I don’t know what made the change. Honestly, I didn’t decide to end my relationship with my family, my mother did, and the rest of them followed suit. But with my marriage, the trust was gone, I felt unsafe, and was constantly accessing his feelings to act accordingly.
One day in therapy, I was talking about another extremely poisonous relationship I had been involved in as a teenager, and I suddenly could see the parallels. I didn’t say anything about it at the time. I always held out hope, until suddenly I realized I had given up gradually, and also all at once. My secrets that I had kept had kept me weak. They continually supported that I was broken and that I deserved less. The husband was one of the few who knew the darkest of the dark. I never told my parents. When we separated, I was waffling about whether to see if reconciliation may be possible though I was very doubtful and believed the damage had been done. My husband decided to win their good graces and show that I was unstable or bad or whatever he was trying to prove, and he shared these secrets with our friends and my parents. Things were crap before, but they blew up after that with my family. My mother decided that I was a terrible daughter for keeping these things from her. He had gone through things I had kept and found an old journal and gave it to my mom. Things that hurt me, but somehow I had been the one who had done the hurting. She insisted I tell her, how could I not, and threatened me with exposing it to other people. Sixteen years later, the thing that I had worked so hard to keep under the surface was suddenly public knowledge and somehow my fault. It was then that everything ended. There was no hope for these relationships. I didn’t end them, but their dysfunction came to light.
Unfortunately, my boundaries are healthy because they were forced upon me. I do not interact with them any longer. But it still hurts me to lose those relationships gradually, then all at once.