How does one erect boundaries? Damned if I know. I was taught to be quiet even about the most gruesome traumas done to my psyche, body, mind, and spirit all during childhood. The inability to speak up for myself in the moment is a permanent and tragic loss, but it can be done afterwards once figuring out how- along with owning the right to deserve respect and boundaries. All still extraordinarily challenging.
How do you shut a door once opening it? Unblocking a sister-in-law who was never someone close and cuddly was done only because after an impromptu visit I felt compelled to help her get her medical marijuana card. She seemed extremely interested in trying what has helped me with sleep issues as she also experiences them.
I don’t like her, I never have. The first wife was so much kinder helping a great deal during tumultuous times. My feelings have never warmed up for Don’s second wife Ginny. But my compassion towards her because of sleep issues over-rode the possible treachery of interacting with her.
If a survivor chooses not to unwind the traumas of her childhood, that’s her right. And she did suffer from an abusive grand-father, but that’s all Don shared. My belief is that every survivor’s path is the right one.
But in doing so, she is dangerous for me. My need was to unearth every detail and release it. Her decision causes her to be disconnected from it. Hence she is disconnected to the wounding done to me by Tom, the only remaining attacker that they all interact with. He not only sexually abused in a horrible way, but then spent the rest of my life making me pay for it.
She continues to bring his name up even after angrily asking her not to. It is not a lot to ask due to the rarity of visits. It’s possible I didn’t explain why believing she knew, but perhaps she doesn’t.
That disrespect causes days of suffering afterwards. I get it, I understand why, but I suffer from her disconnect. I am strong, yet I am fragile. Being disconnected from her own childhood abuse makes her dangerous for me, a missile of potential pain that wounds me.
I can’t mend her, nor have her shred me. I can’t have her email me either. Her correspondences go from cursory one line statements, to newsy. The dysfunction feels like drinking poison. I need space from those who threaten my peace. She has the freedom to choose her path to healing, but so do I.
By opening up communication via email to help her, sleep issues have returned with a vengeance. A resolution finally floated up from that wise source inside me that seemed to have been blocked by self-hatred at how badly I’m handling all this in my confusion and inability to set boundaries.
Blocking her again doesn’t seem right, but how to keep safe? Sleep issues escalated out of the possibility that I might have hurt her by not answering her last email until a week later. After helping her through the process, I had blocked her again thinking that was that, and I wouldn’t be hearing from her again. But then I felt strangely about it so checked spam discovering her continued correspondences, even a request to come visit!
I felt badly about it, That’s not my style as I’m a prompt replier unless you are not, then I don’t bother interacting with you. There are exceptions. Those I love who don’t answer because I know that’s their style and it isn’t personal.
But those, like Ginny, who I haven’t heard from in years, well it’s like walking on eggshells because she’s cold, hard, and not my friend. But still I need to live with me, and being kind is important to me.
So I once again apologized for my delayed response explaining how busy we’ve been and I just forgot. A lie, but I allow white lies when necessary for my own protection, or if the truth hurts another.
I emailed her to call if they need to get a hold of me because I am so poor at getting back to people via email. Then added that we don’t answer our phone either due to so many robo calls, so leave a message. That part is true.
Buffers… I need buffers from some people.
Now to deal with severe sleep issues which have returned due to less daylight without the complications of worrying over how I treated another human being.