At times setting boundaries can feel mean to me, I grapple with the other person’s discomfort even though this is not my responsibility always. It took me a long time to detach from my sisters mental health struggles, often when we spoke, which in the later months was always me phoning to make sure she had spoken to someone that day and then trying to encourage her without violating her boundaries, I would cry silently, until the final time before she fell under again, where I spent the final 3 minutes crying and feeling like I was caught in an undertow.
Kat my therapist said this happened due to me feeling those feelings it was too painful for her to feel, but was it just that or sadness too about tough things that went down and her difficulty engaging emotionally? I do not know but pulling back felt healthier.
Today I had to set a boundary then I went through guilt about it, Melanie Beattie calls this ‘afterburn’ an uncomfortable feeling we get as co dependents trying to change old behaviour patterns. To counter balance this Jasper and I got out for a decent walk by the lake in partial rain. Getting my body moving helps lately and I see it counteracts my very airy tendency to over think and over analyse then form self punishing conclusions. Getting out of my head, out of my thoughts, into nature and the fresh air, what a blessed relief and things look different this afternoon.
I know I can be too impulsive at times in terms of acting on anxiety, then that leads me nowhere good, this is part of anxious attachment, the mere whiff I may be abandoned or abandoning comes not from the mature adult part but from my own or the other person’s inner child. It’s re-enacting my abandonment wounds sometimes by proxy. It’s getting easier not to get as swept under these days but I still have to be very mindful if where my head goes when I attempt to set boundaries. I need to do a lot of self care to cope with the difficult effects of ‘afterburn.’