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setting boundaries SUCKS!
October 30, 2005
2:33 pm
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Anonymous
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I know the are necessary, but when setting boundaries results in ADDED stress, it makes me wonder if it's just easier to deal with the offending behaviour instead.

I came home today from church, all happy and loving life.

I got home to find my BF and my dad and mom sitting in the living room of mom/dad's apartment engaged in a "discussion" and my cousin in my apartment about to lose her mind (she is 17 and staying with my parents).

Apparently, my dad wanted to buy my cousin's grandma's house. But my cousin and her mom had already promised it to someone else. And they had to get a mortgage commitment, and they needed more time. And my cousin and her mom gave them an extension. Well, my dad was throwing a fit like a two year old because HE wants this property and he thinks his being family trumps the other person's right to this house.

So he was nagging at my cousin to call or email her mom RIGHT now, so he could "discuss" this. Well, he has been drinking. My cousin was at the end of her rope, because she is only 17 and not wanting to be in the middle. So he called my BF in, because he is familiar with real estate, and wanted him to tell him what he wanted to hear...and since my BF doesn't play these games, they were just going around in circles.

So, in I come. And cousin asks to use my computer. So dad follows us in, and sits his butt down at my table (second time he has entered my apartment in nine months, and both times only to talk to my cousin about the house. He lives in the next apartment!!!).

So I log on, and he asks if cousin is online - I say no, even tho she is, wishing him to leave my house. But he doesn't. So I calmly tell him he is welcome in my home ANYTIME, but his beer is not, that I do not allow drinking in my home. This is a rule for EVERYONE...not just him...smoking is also not allowed. Both have been my rules since my daughter was born.

So he takes his beer and storms out.

As I figured he would.

So, ten minutes later, I walk over to their apartment to ask my mom and question and he yells at me to leave, that I am no longer welcome in his house.

So I look at my mom, who says "this is between both of you"...I remind her she pays half the rent and it's her house too...he tells me that if I want to see my mom, she will come to my house. So - out of total spite, but also to protect my child - I told him that caitlin won't be over there any more either. His games have hurt me, mom, my daughter and my BF. I didn't tell him that, cuz it was useless arguing.

I came in and told my daughter she wasn't allowed over there and her heart BROKE - she wants to know how long this will last. Mom also has a puppy, and caitlin loves the puppy, but mom relies heavily on her to help care for him and puppysit when she isn't home.

So later I am cleaning and knock on the door and yell to her thru the screen that I need her.

We take a chair out to her car and I ask why she isn't standing up for HER rights, since she pays half the bills there. And she says she isn't getting in the middle of it.

I remind her that she did that to me when I was a kid, and that I thought she had come to realize how hurtful it was. She agreed I was right and reminded me that she had no problem when I wouldn't let her smoke in my house. And that she had told my dad that, but he isn't listening. I asked her why she isn't standing up to him and she said she won't take sides or get in the middle.

So she is now doing to me what she did as a kid - she believes my side, but won't support me. I thought we were done with those days...they truly had gotten better for a while.

So, now I am flying solo - and totally PISSED off.

Anyway, that's my rant...sometimes it's just easier to turn the other cheek and don't rock the boat...but then again, what has that gotten me? Don't think this is going to get me anywhere either....sigh.

October 30, 2005
2:49 pm
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Trying to tell your dad what to do and telling your mom what to do when she has said no is not trying to set boundaries. It is trying to be in control. Control over them, control the situation, control the relationships, but that is not setting healthy CoDA boundaries.

The true liberating emotional boundaries are only telling one self what "I" will do, and what "I" will not do.

Anytime one is reaching outside themselves to put boundaries on other people then it is a control issue.

Control is not always a negative thing and sometimes it is needed to take control, BUT, when you write that you are trying to set boundaries to deal with other people's offencive behaviors then it is a no win situation.

First control one self. "I" will not let my own anger get out of control. My parent's reality is not my reality, and "I" will not participate in their wrong doing. Control one self.

October 30, 2005
3:27 pm
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Maybe I was trying to control the outcome when I talked to my mom about her rights as an equal partner in the house. I am upset that I can't see my mom when I feel like it. But I know I can't change it.

But I was not trying to control anything when I told him his beer wasn't welcome in my home.

Those are house rules. Since he has not been in my home before, prior to a five minute visit earlier this week, beer free, he did not know my rules. The rules have been the same - this was not something I concocted today to make him not drink or to control his drinking. I have always had the rule of no alcohol in my house and no smoking. You are welcome to drink or smoke outside, but don't drink in my home.

So this isn't a boundary? but a control issue? how is enforcing house rules a control issue?

I didn't tell him to leave, he chose to.

October 30, 2005
4:22 pm
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Alicat, I took issue with it only because you wrote that; "setting boundaries SUCKS" and in CoDA recovery setting boundaries is our life's blood (so to speak).

I do not want anyone smoking or drinking in my home either, BUT, I know that it is me "controlling" my own home. Controlling other persons is often difficult and I dislike it called a boundary even though it is.

In recovery one needs to establish healthy emotional boundaries and psychological boundaries and those must be directed at one self or else they dysfunction.

If I put up a fence around my house then that too is a boundary and it is totally a physical boundary. So is telling persons to keep the beer and smokes out of the house. It is a control issue because the guy did bring a beer into the house. We all have control issues. I have friends of mine that I do not invite to my house because of drinking and other issues too. It is an issue to control our own homes, and rightly so. That is what I meant.

House rules is how everybody controls their houses. So I would say that making rules SUCKS, and enforcing the rules SUCKS even more.

October 30, 2005
6:52 pm
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yeah, making and enforcing rules sucks.

But then again, it was my understanding of boundaries...something we will or won't tolerate.

since I won't tolerate it, it became a rule...and something I could choose or not choose to enforce.

In the past, I had not enforced it.

But then again, I also let my dad do anything he wanted to my "inner child".

Those days are done. I am an adult, and I have rules - and he must follow them in MY home - the one I work hard to pay for myself.

So anyway, it was my understanding of boundaries. Maybe I have to reread teh books on what it really means.

October 30, 2005
7:08 pm
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Hi Ali,

I personally agree with your second post.

I think that what you have done is set a boundary. You don't want drinking/smoking in your house. That is your choice. As you stated it was his choice to leave. Very good for you for standing up and enforcing the boundary that you set.

The only thing that I found "controlling" or perhaps manipulative, was the conversation that you had with your mother....which you acknowledge as such.

I think that you have every right to decide what goes on in your house and you have every right to enforce it.

Good job by you.

Love,
Lolli

October 30, 2005
7:10 pm
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Ali, I feel for you not getting along with your dad. I was lucky about my father~s drinking (it seemed at the time) because I was a child.

The concept of establishing boundaries is not new to me in theory, but in practice it is. Its taking a while, but slowly...

Perhpas slowly works for you. Its hard with your parents living nextdoors. Try. Its also hard on your daughter, she loves them. Caitlin doesnt know about boundaries. I feel for her because I was practically taken way from my dad~s and grandpa~s laps on the separation.

I became codependent anyway...

October 30, 2005
7:17 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Ali....me again.

I guess I would also say that involving your daughter may have been a bit extreme.

I understand that you were angry but sometimes it is best to cool off and THINK, as the saying goes, before you jump the gun.

Just something to think about for the future.

Otherwise, I still think you did good by standing up for what you believe in.

Lolli

October 30, 2005
7:26 pm
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Well, I did explain to caitlin and she DOES understand rules and consequences...so she does understand.

She was happy I had said he couldn't drink in the house - because she HATES his drinking. But it hurt her that he stormed out and that he then banned me from his house.

She doesn't like how he treated me - that was her words.

In any case, the compromise is that she can go over to the house, when dad isn't around...which is a good percentage of the time - as dad is a "wanderer". Most nights he comes home after 7 or 8, eats, then goes to his room.

Anyway, I TOTALLY realize that my response was codependent...there were other ways to say the same thing.

I also realize that the convo with my mom was too....but on the same note, I wanted her to realize that she was hurting me again - like she used to do when I was a child - and would think I was in the right and dad in the wrong - but would keep her mouth shut because she didn't want to go against my dad. I made my statement - could have worded it better maybe - but I did let it go...there was no more mention of it and the whole thing is over. In the past, it would still be dragging out.

Soooooooo, things are IMPROVED - but not totally better...things with my parents will take time before I truly get over all the bad things - simply because the "buttons" have been programmed and pushed for 34 years.

October 30, 2005
7:37 pm
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lollipop3
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I understand Ali....I really do.

As far as your parents are concerned.....you said how you felt and you let it go. That is all you can do.

I know you were hurt by your mother's actions as a child but you are now an adult and you have to accept her for who she is.

I remember a conversation that I had with my mother long ago.....I was having a problem with my father and went to talk to Mom about it. When she took his side over mine, I got angry. She looked at me straight in the face and said very matter of factly...."Do not make me choose between you and him.....you will lose." I have never forgotten that to this day. But, now that I am older I can understand that that was the mantality of that generation. The husband came first.....no if's, and's or but's about it. That's just the way they were raised to be.

Forgive her. Let her be the mother that she is and you be the mother that you want to be.

October 30, 2005
7:41 pm
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(((Ali)))

October 31, 2005
9:07 am
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Lolli,

thanks...

my mom is not of that generation - well, maybe she is...but that wasn't ever her reason for taking his side.

In the past, she did it because she thought that, as kids, we would grow up and "get over it" and that she had to live with dad for the rest of her life - so it was best not to rock the boat with him.

Recently, in the last few years, she admitted how wrong she was, asked for forgiveness, which I easily did, and then from that point forward, if dad was out of line, she backed me.

But recently, I have not been around them - I "detached" and feel like I am being punished for this.

I know I am doing the right thing by detaching and that they will act like children because of it. I just didn't expect it from mom.

I also see my dad's alcohlism progressing rapidly now and I know it's taking a grave toll on my mom.

On top of that, my cousin has been chilling at my place alot lately, instead of hanging out with my mom (she was filling the void I left)...so now mom is alone more again and too deep in depression to do anything about it.

Anyway, I know these are not my problems - I just felt like crap for the fallout of simply asking someone to follow my house rules. As soon as the rule came out of my mouth, I felt like I should have shut up - but the inner child in me kept saying I didn't want him in my house - he was being beligerent, he was hounding my cousin and my BF and he had started on me - the last thing I wanted was him sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting for my cousin to log on to AIM and talk to her mom. I did not want to start a war, but I wanted the drunk out of my house. I got my wish, but got a war on top of it.

Well, the good thing is, dad isn't home enough to make much of a difference and when he's gone, we can be over there...so I guess it's a fair trade.

November 7, 2005
1:39 am
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Ali-

Sorry-

I just now saw this and that no one even responded. I am setting boundaries and being punished dearly for it too! It is causing all kinds of confusion, havoc, chaos. I guess over a long period of time, people expect you to maintain you roles.

Sadly, I am going to have to detach. I am hiding now. I am at home visting my family of origin (mom, dad, etc.). I loved them so much, but have come to realize they are NOT HPs, along with the guy who has been torturing me (see my original post post no HP, power, and abuse of power), and also Nesh-Please Respond.

I have no coping skills to deal with this mess.

I feel bad, because basically my family are good people, but they abandoned and punished me (by ignoring me) for years. I had to hide from my abusive older brother. I spent my entire childhood in my room. No one ever apologized. I was a very good girl. THe model daughter. I went on and was very successful to the point of being internationall reckognized in my field. Never asking anyone for a dime. My brother put us through hell. Now I am the one paying for it all emotionally. So, I am leaving. I love them very much, but they won't respect my boundaries.

I am not married, and have my own home. I am here visiting, because my grandma is in the hospital. I suspect I will never see her again. I would get the hell outta here now, but I am waiting to see my own doctor on Tues AM for a minor procedure. So, as I did my whole childhood, I am hiding in my room and crying...this in my mid 40s. I have no one now, except my friends.

I finally had to face all this after having that serial rapist stalker this year, and its aftermath. My parents did almost nothing to help me. They rarely called. They visited me once in about 6 months (a 2 hr drive). MY friends took me to the store to buy toilet paper. I couldn't go myself for a while, as per the police orders. This is what I get for being a good girl and never causing trouble.

So, now, I am imposing boundaries, and it is making everything WORSE!

November 7, 2005
2:12 am
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Hi gals,

My counselor calls this an extinguishment burst. The last ditch effort to get you to go back to how you were, and not rock the boat. Don't fret, stick it out, stay the course.

LL

November 7, 2005
2:18 am
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Lass-

It is tough...they are doing all they can to fight it.

November 7, 2005
3:02 am
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oh sweetie please dont feel bad.you are awesome.just be strong.if someone like that is never put in there palce then they are most likely to NEVER change.you did the right thing.maybe one day your mom will be just as strong as you are.keep doing what your doing dont give in.

November 7, 2005
3:06 am
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thanks, pc, but i feel like the price was too high and I am being punished.

November 7, 2005
3:10 am
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maybe I will go back to bed. I have been trying to sleep until I can leave Tuesday...it is the only way to cope... it is just unbearable.

November 8, 2005
1:12 am
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well, i agree but i believe with time it will get easier.and god will not put anything on you that you cant handle.but i know you are doing the right thing.i have a long day ahead and i am very tired but i want to share something with you tommorow.if i dont forget.but i think it will help you to see you are braver than you are giving yourself credit for.pcbutterfly.

November 8, 2005
1:22 am
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thank you pc!

November 14, 2005
5:42 pm
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ali, I bet your mom can come to change her mind, what about that hope?

November 15, 2005
9:33 am
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Sin,

I have plenty of hope, but I am careful not to put hope on things that are out of my control.

My mom made her stand...and like everything else, this has blown over.

I have puffed up my chest with pride in who I am and walked into their home for brief moments in time to borrow some butter or such, or talk to my mother for moments about something important. (I can't call, we share the phone).

And that was okay - he didn't complain and it seems like it's just another temper tantrum blown over.

He is currently in florida looking for a retirement home for them. He professes to have found the perfect one, but my dad's business sense leaves alot to be desired.

It is sad that my mom is going to leave me soon. But at the same time, I am proud of her, because she is setting boundaries. Dad is at retirement age. Mom is 8 years behind. Mom has no pension or social security due. Mom also has medical issues. Mom told dad if he was going to force her to move come June - she was NOT going to work and he would be responsible for her support and medical care. I know she won't back down on this - and I am proud of her.

I will miss her. And I will be sad for her - because I know her depression will suffer - and dad's alcoholism is worse when he has too much down time (retirement) and such...but it's her choice and I can't change it.

And I can't hold onto my mom forever.

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