One of the hardest things to do, one of the hardest concepts to grasp, is establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries.
In recovery from childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic abuse, bullying, any type of abuse or trauma, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to be sure that the situations we allow ourselves to be in are not going to invalidate us.
All too often our past was filled with people who did nothing but tear us down, crush our self-esteem, and completely steal our self-confidence. To make it worse, we kept going back to those people and those situations.
Why…because we were groomed and brainwashed into thinking we had no other choice. We ran to familiar and what we perceived as safe people, to get validation, love, and protection. There is no blame that we can place on ourselves for that, no matter how much we may feel otherwise. Believe me I know all about casting self-blame for my past.
As adults now, it’s our responsibility to not allow ourselves to be placed in situations that can tear us down and invalidate us. We owe it to ourselves, to our dream of healing, to make sure that we surround ourselves with positive, uplifting, inspiring people.
There’s nothing wrong with saying No (as hard as that is), when a situation just screams “Here We Go Again”!
Let me break this down into some circumstances I can personally relate too. Hopefully you can relate to them too, and by all means add in your own thoughts via the comments.
As an adult, would I willingly go back that dimly lit room, with that couch, the shag carpet, knowing that nobody was home? A place that, after 1 visit, I knew was clearly unsafe? A place where horrible, selfish acts were done to me for the sadistic pleasure of someone I thought was the coolest dude ever?
No, I would never go there, not for a split second! If I did find myself in that situation now, you better believe I would fight with every fiber of my being.
As an adult, would I engage in conversation and try to win the approval of those who emotionally and physically beat me to a pulp? Would I keep going back, day after day, to those kids who bullied me relentlessly?
Nope, not for a split second! If I do find myself in a situation where people are treating me poorly, I will stand up for myself. While I admit I’m not the greatest at that yet, I am getting better at it. Sure, that Guilty Gremlin in my head will keep trying to tell me that I am worth nothing, and that nothing has changed. He is relentless, that little punk, but I can’t give up trying to fight him off!
Finally, with my mother, I am currently in a battle of wills with myself. I struggle with keeping the healthy boundaries in place that I have created. Sometimes I win, other times I don’t. I know that if I keep being true to myself. and not give in to the guilt, I am doing something that is good for me.
As hard as it is to realize we are worth the work that we are putting in, we have to believe we are bettering ourselves. We are bettering ourselves! We deserve to be with people and in situations that inspire us, and make us feel important and wanted.
Let’s face it, we’ve spent a good part of our lives feeling like crap; feeling like were used up and worthless. It’s high time we take our lives back! If we are going to heal, we can’t allow ourselves to go backwards.
You are Worth It. I am Worth It. It’s all about putting our well being first, regardless of what others think. Not everyone understands where we’ve been. Some may see it as selfish to put our own needs first. The fact is, nobody is going to heal for us. Nobody understands us better than us. We know what we need to do, we just need the confidence to do it.
You are always worth fighting for!
Image courtesy of wall.alphacoders.com
I am so glad that I don’t need validation from anyone anymore, I give it to myself and I am good enough for me. I expect others to invalidate me at times, put me down, abandon me, but I give them grace and forgiveness without putting up permanent walls that will only hurt me in the end. My husband could be very validating at times, and very hurtful at other times, I allow him to be himself, flaws and all, while staying strong in myself and cherishing all the validation I have from the God I choose to love.
The post was really good. For us survivors it is really hard to enforce boundaries. I was guilt-tripped to being the good girl that standing up for myself is causes me anxiety. I working on it and getting better