I know many of us have experienced this firsthand.
“Creating healthy boundaries for toxic parents can be very difficult, because, as adults, we are often still caught in the old patterns of childhood without even knowing it. We just live in the pattern, and the pattern does what it does until somewhere along the way, we begin to see or feel how the pattern is affecting us. Even when we see it or feel it, it may still take us some time and effort to start creating healthy boundaries because we feel guilty, or we don’t want to start an argument, or we fear we will hurt our parents’ feelings, or we are just so entangled that we can’t seem to find our way out of it. “
There is some good advice in the article about how to create, and maintain, healthy boundaries with a variety of toxic parent “types”, but I will always fall back on one fact of life as a survivor of childhood abuse, we came out of childhood with no idea of what a boundary is, let alone why we would create one. We were never given the opportunity to learn or practice this skill.
It’s OK if it takes us a minute to figure it out before we get it right. But, getting it right is something that has been such a big part of healing for me and for many other survivors that I’ve talked to. There are so many issues that we cannot see clearly when we don’t have enough of a sense of self to even know that a boundary should exist between ourselves and our own behavior, and other people and their behavior.
Starting to understand boundaries puts so much of it into perspective that I cannot stress it enough, which is probably why articles like this one keep making it onto the blog over and over again.
You deserve boundaries. You deserve to understand what they are, why they are important, and how not being allowed to have one as a child wasn’t your fault.
There lies a path to healing.