If you're here for the IWSG post, come back on Wednesday.
This is part two of my BOUNDARIES post. If you missed part one, click HERE.
Okay, so last week mom and I went to Sam's Club. While I was at the membership desk getting a Sam's credit card (since she filed for bankruptcy, she lost her cards), she was shopping. When I catch up to her, she has two rolls of ribbon in the cart.
Note: I'm a nut for Christmas supplies. I just love Christmas. I love wrapping paper, ribbon, ornaments, anything snowman. A nut. It's been a conscious decision to NOT buy this stuff. Since mom and I have combined our Christmas wrapping paper, we've discovered that we have enough paper to last the rest of our lives, and it could be handed down, lasting that person their entire lifetime. We tend to reuse the "good" ribbon, so we've got a lot of that, too.
This ribbon in the cart was the thin wire ribbon, possibly the only element of the gift wrapping process we were lacking. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the ribbon. (Oooh pretty. I must touch it.) I say, "The ribbon was on sale? I want to see the ribbon." There may have been slobber involved here. Can't say for sure.
She says, "We don't need the wide ribbon." Tell me something I DON'T know. "So, we don't need any more ribbon."
And, my blood pressure spikes. In fact, a whole bunch of thoughts went through my head in the space of thirty seconds. But, I want to see the ribbon. Why do you get to choose the ribbon? What if I like something? I'm paying (50%) for the ribbon, but I don't get to choose?????
And then I think of all the fighting we've done. Remember that Frasier video? Seems like it's constant bickering over Her (Imaginary) Man. So, I say nothing. Nix looking at the ribbon. And I didn't think any more about it. Honestly.
But, that night I had this horrible dream (make it in the very early morning) and I woke up with a migraine in my right eye. Very painful shizzle. What was the dream? Mom and I were wrapping gifts. She got the table. I had to wrap on the floor. She got the tape. She made me use glue. And I was frustrated and pissed and... well, pissed.
I knew it was all related to that damn ribbon escapade the day before. So, I debated my course of action with my eye pulsing. Not fun. Got up and told her about the dream. And she says, "If you wanted to see the ribbon, you should've said so." And I told her I did say so. And her response was we have enough ribbon. True. Then she says, "Well, there wasn't any point because these were the only two styles of thin ribbon." Aha. Now, if she'd said that my desire to see the ribbon... gone.
So, later that day, it's me and my therapist. I've done more thinking about this and realized that this whole thing wasn't about ribbon, contrary to what you might be thinking. It came back to the five fundamental things I figured out last year caused my chronic migraines. The pattern started in junior high school and I revisited it when I got married. Both of those situations made me feel;
Loss of voice
Not good enough
The ribbon was lack of voice. I felt like my voice didn't matter. I said I wanted to see the ribbon. She said we didn't need more ribbon. It was a parent to child exchange. Or a person who makes decisions talking to someone who doesn't get a say. And instead of holding to my boundary of "my voice is important," I sacrificed it to not have a (potential) disagreement. And this is how we hurt ourselves.
Every single of the above issues that I've rooted out of junior high and being married (causing illness) came about because I lacked the ability to set and maintain a boundary. Whenever we disregard our own boundaries, we create a problem. I'm not even certain those are ALL of the negative things that came about by those two circumstances (junior high and marriage), but I know that when my migraine escalates to jackhammer status, something has happened. I only need to look at recent events to determine what the REAL PROBLEM is.
The good news: setting and maintaining boundaries will improve your life. The bad news: it is hard. It's really hard if you've never done it well and you're in your 40s. The good news: understanding the core issues helps you to know when you're experiencing one. The untrained eye would've thought this was about ribbon. It wasn't. The bad news: understanding your issues on a rational level isn't enough. You actually have to dig in there and do the "work" of letting all that shizzle go (past crap) AND learn how to do better in your present. Egads. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
Have you read about boundaries? Do you fully understand how setting good boundaries impacts all of your relationships in favorable ways? Likewise, not setting them makes a big ole mess? Have you ever noticed that physical pain in your body correlates directly to emotional pain in your heart?