Thursday, July 10, 2014
Life with Limits
Of course I'm talking about my mom again. That relationship has been the constant one in my life that I have had to keep a close eye on. And even this week, I find myself pulling my boundaries in a little tighter around me where she is concerned. Which is a very important point about boundaries: they can change. It takes time to figure out the right boundary or limit for each person or situation in your life.
Some of my friends know everything about me and have the freedom to question my actions or motivations. Other friends know what I want them to know and nothing more. With my mom, well, big sigh, I love her to pieces. I want us to have a relationship that we don't have. And maybe never will. But it is important to me to have her as part of my life. So in order to have her as part of my life, I have had to be very deliberate with my limits.
For example, the strongest boundary I've had to draw between us is the situation with my birth daughter. Of course my mom was part of my life when I became pregnant unexpectedly as a teen. But I didn't find her to be very supportive of my pregnancy or life afterwards. While she continued to be my mother, I moved on emotionally to where I could find the help and the healing that I needed.
During those years after I moved out on my own, I figured out for myself how to cope and how to grieve and how to survive the loss of my daughter. I didn't do it alone; God put people in my path to show me how to live a healthy life and how to grieve but still go on. I do not consider myself to be a self-made woman by any means. But I am strong and I do know myself. I know what I need and what I don't need.
But because my mom missed out on those years when I was grieving, learning, healing, and growing, she doesn't understand those things about me. And now she wants to. And it's too late. And there is no happy middle ground on which we can meet. So the line around all things birthmom in my life is squiggly and may remind you at times of an electrically charged fence. When she just leaves that area of my life alone, all is well. But when she doesn't and I have to defend it, I do. And she doesn't like it.
I know I'm not alone in struggling with limit-setting in my life. What is your hardest area? How do you draw the line and defend it?