Updated: Nov 13, 2019
There is this phase of trauma recovery that you don’t plan for or anticipate. It’s that limbo of setting a boundary and having a healthy relationship. It’s that in-between where you see what a healthy relationship looks like for you with that person. It’s where you lay down or re-pour the foundation of your relationship. It’s where you use your found voice to say what is and isn’t going to work for you. Each moment, conversation, and pushback lays down a brick for the building your relationship is going to live in moving forward.
It is brutal.
It’s almost just as bad as realizing the trauma. It’s almost like you feel you have to convince people on the necessities of your boundaries.
That’s a ridiculous thought.
You should just be able to stand in your own words and be able to say, I don’t need that for myself. I don’t operate from that place anymore. This doesn’t feel good to me. I see the manipulation. I see the cycle. I see the pattern.
And when you let them know that you recognize those things. And you tell them with your own mouth that you are no longer going to allow those things to go on, you are left in a weird state of flux.
For some reason, my body was met with such a strong block during this time. I couldn’t interpret the persons energy or how they were dealing with what I was doing and saying. It was a new feeling. That moment of time no one prepares you for.
When you introduce your new boundaries, it is important to understand one major thing. THAT IS YOUR PART. THE REST IS UP TO THE OTHER PERSON. The moment you say “this is what I need” it stops being yours. That means it isn’t yours to worry or stress about. The only thing you do now is to keep living and working towards your personal best.
With it out of your hands, it means it is now into the hands of someone that has an opportunity to break the cycle of how they have always treated you. That in itself comes with an onion worth of layers to process. It’s such a mix of emotions because they are left to make a choice and you are there, trying to stand in your truth with your feet dug in as far as they will go. It’s just a really tense situation that you can physically feel in your cells.
In my case, it shows up as a lot of tears and hurt. A lot of letting go. A lot of pride. But also just the feeling of being proud because you allowed yourself to get to this point. There are just so many things that happen that you can’t prepare yourself for.
It is important to mention that this phase really tests you. It’s so easy to fall back into old routines and get anxious. It is just such a normal thing to do when in unknown situations.
What I’ve started to do, is ask myself questions instead of being quick to respond. Questions like, “What part of myself am I responding to this as? Am I talking to the hurt 8-year-old? The bitter 15-year-old? The angsty, push you away teen?”. (Let’s be honest, that phase lasted well into my twenties.) But, I ask myself these questions to see who is quick to respond. These are my triggers. I’ve identified it and now I listen. After I listen, I think. I think about how I would respond now, knowing what lessons each of those different ages learned.
When I look at it from that perspective, I see progress and progress makes me happy. I also find a sense of calm. I feel like I can make healthy choices in this headspace.
In fact, just before I came in to write, my husband and I were talking about this exact thing. It was such an eye-opening moment when I realized just how shocked my system felt at the act of making a good choice. A choice that I didn’t question. A choice that I felt really good about making. A choice that felt healthy.
He just looked at me, like he was looking at one of our children, and said “Well, that’s how you know you made a good decision. You haven’t had to question it once. You feel good about it and then you move on. And when and if, you feel you should change your mind. You do. You’ll know.”
I’m pretty sure the timing of all of this is validation for making a good choice. It’s the Universe saying “Good Job. You can feel authentic with that choice.”
📸 Picture from @fifties-sixties-everyday-life on Tumblr.
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