So here I am, well past 100 days of no. While it was not comfortable, it was every bit worth it. It is stunning what can happen when we make room for ourselves.
I have two takeaways from this, maybe three. One, you can love others without hurting yourself. At first I thought everything was awkward and uncomfortable with friends and family. And then I realized that for the most part, it wasn’t that. It was that they were respecting my boundaries and so weren’t asking as much from me. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think that last post seemed to scream I need a break and I am overwhelmed! And a break was what I was given. I was invited to participate and help in different things, but it was not automatically expected.
Two, you can love yourself without hurting others. When those of us who have suffered from several abuses, particularly of the narcissistic kind, find ourselves on the other side of that we often feel that taking care of ourselves will mean that others will say that we don’t care for them. We’re not used to husbands that remind us of our “oxygen mask,” and friends and family who say “you can’t do it all.” But that’s where healing finds me, and those are the confirming words that healthy boundaries bring.
And yes, I would say there is a third and very important takeaway. People who truly love you, still do even after you make changes and put boundaries into place. They might even be proud of you for it.
To my friends and family that helped me discover my backbone and develop such healthy boundaries, thank you. And thank you for respecting them.