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how to set personal boundaries
September 5, 2006
1:40 pm

I have several sisters, all married and now with grandchildren except for R, who has had a SO (divorcee 17 yrs older than she, with kids) for 30 yrs.

We’ve always been close. Last year, I let R know pretty aggressively that she needed to stop bossing me around and telling me what to do and to stop criticising everyone in the family when they are out of earshot. I think she got the message, because she told me afterwards that I said she had hit me in the past (I said she “pushed me aside”), and that I threatened to hit her (which I didn’t). I did scare her though. I wanted to get her attention so she’d listen and “back off”.

So, I set some personal boundaries.

Yesterday R called to tell me she had gotten married to this SO last May!! She had called and told pretty much everyone in the family BEFORE she told me. I had had an hour-long conversation with her the day before. We spent a weekend together a month ago. She had even called my son before me.

I can’t describe how bad it hurt to be treated this way. It was about as spiteful and mean as she could have been.

I managed to say that it hurt my feelings alot that she called me last, that I would get over it, and continued the conversation along the lines of wishing them well and wanting them to be happy. So I handled it just fine. But I’ve cried HARD several times since then.

Actually, remaining co-dependent might be a lot less painful in some ways!!

September 5, 2006
7:54 pm
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I set boundaries with my oldest sister who is very bossy and controlling and ever since then, my relationship with her was strained at 1st and now my sister seems to have got used to it, that I'm not that too easy-going type of siblings I used to b4.

The problem with being peaceful is that most people will think that you're weak when you're not.

Dr. Henry Cloud wrote several books about Boundaries which I highly recommed.

Older sister tend to be pushy and bossy due to being the oldest and more responsible. You need to keep reminding her of what's NOT ok to you since to her - being bossy - became 2nd skin.

I don't agree with you that being codep is less painful. How can you be happy when you suppress your own feelings and desires & wants and please others and live only for them?

In fact being codep is very suffocating, frustrating, and depressive. When I used to do that with my oldest sister and family, I would become depressed and very angry and unfulfilled and even lost my character.

Learn to love yourself, when you do that you will learn up how to stand up for yourself!

~Love, Ras~

September 6, 2006
12:37 am

Dear Ras,

I said being codependent MIGHT be less painful in some ways -- I really wasn't saying I believed that. Just feeling the old pain and working through the whys of setting boundaries. Actually feeling like I had had to re-set them.

I'll try to locate the Cloud/Boundaries book.
Thanks for the suggestion.

I think the pain I felt from this was how she could be with me, talk at length with me, for over three months, after having gone through so much together over this many years....we had a good relationship for a long time, where we were mutually respectful, but she has sort of "reverted" to the way it was when we were young in the last few years.

I can kind of see why. When I was going through treatment for cancer, I did not go back to work, and circumstances have changed and I am realizing how much I "gave up" on life and let the meds drag me down into depression. You're right about all the co-dep behaviors and what they create.

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