I had an appointment with my psychiatrist earlier this week, and we talked a lot about what I’m working on therapy. When the subject of boundaries and my family came up, he told me, “that is literally the healthiest thing that you can do when it comes to your family.”
I was in some ways really surprised to hear him say this. We’ve talked at length about my parents, but I was surprised to hear him say it so bluntly, and not just vaguely nod and call it a good idea. I guess the toxicity of the relationship is evident even to him.
But it just serves as further proof that I don’t need to kill myself on the alter of family, their demands, or their expectations. In all honesty, I think I’m much better off without them looming such an overbearing presence in my life. No longer will I say “how high” to their command to jump.
We also talked about how I have extended these lessons in boundaries to my friends. Back in August I referenced that I thinned the heard, so to speak, and took a step back from friends that just took and never gave. Proudly, I have maintained that distance from these friendships, not allowing myself to get pulled back in. But I have one friend in particular who has had an incredibly rough year. In many ways it seems that nothing has gone right for him. I sympathize, and can and will lend an ear when I can, but sometimes these conversations can go on for hours, mainly with him talking and me quietly listening. But recently I’ve started putting mental time limits on the conversation so I can gracefully exit when the time is come and I’m not too emotionally burnt out.
So far no one has noticed these boundaries or pushed back against them, even subconsciously, so I’ll take that as a win. I’m sure someone is going to realize at some point that I’m not as “available” as I was, even a month ago. But you know what? I’m doing better than I was that same month ago.
Have a lot of things changed in the last month? Sure. My better overall wellbeing cannot be attributed to only one thing, but rather a constellation of things that are direct results of things that I’ve changed in my life. I am categorically refusing to take a step back, but rather keep pushing forward.
I feel like for the first time in a lot of years that my life is starting to become my own. Rather than being dictated by what is expected, wanted by anyone else. The only opinion that matters at this point, other than my own, is Mike’s. I’m taking ownership of it completely.
That’s it for today. Stay safe, friends!