How I Learned To Set Boundaries Growing Up With An Emotionally Invasive Mother and Absent/Alcoholic Father

When I was younger I often listened to people vent without actually having conversations with people. They didn’t care what I had to say. My mother was like that, she didn’t care about having a conversation, she was basically venting. My dad was an avoidant person. My mom would yell at him, for cheating and he wouldn’t say anything back.

So I often found myself incapable of knowing how to speak up to someone who was an alcoholic or addict, because they were so out of it and knowing how to speak to people like my mom who didn’t want a response.

I used to stay in uncomfortable situations because it reminded me of my dad being drunk and how uncomfortable. I tolerated bad behavior because I was used to it. Even though I did not see my dad a lot, probably once in 2-3 years, I allowed him to be how he was because I could not change him.

I realized that I didn’t need to allow people to make me feel uncomfortable in order to “love them”, that I needed to set physical and emotional boundaries to protect myself.

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Embracing “Badness” In Ourselves

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(photo from the internet)

I had a dream last night. I was in a competition but the leader expected perfection, I was having an argument with my mom and yelled “SHIT”…the leader immediately canceled me (or outed my from the competition. I was eliminated completely. The leader in the dream used to be a leader in a christian group I was in.

I was so angry when I got outed. I couldn’t believe that just by being authentic I was outed. Then in my car outside, I saw a few other members of the competition come to my car. They sat in my car and I asked “you got outed too?” Yah they replied. I started driving but reached a beautiful land where I actually had to carry my car because no cars were allowed and we had entered from a side that didn’t have a parking lot (the wilderness). 

I believe this is a prophetic dream about where I have been, the wilderness and in the beginning being outed for revealing my “badness” or imperfections especially in the church, or in my previous hidden persona of “always being the positive one”. 

Imperfection wasn’t really accepted in my household, I was the strong one, you know the rock that people leaned on…even in my group of friends…and perhaps the institutional church encouraged perfectionism even more. So when I started to say no and started to show weakness, I was outed. The thing is I have always been different, I always had differing opinions, but for some time I pretended to agree, I tried to love the unlovable, I pretended to be patient when I was a boiling pot inside. 

I woke up from the dream with a knot in my heart and a strained neck. Yes, perhaps I had been hard on myself as well…being polite, not knowing how to say no, forcing myself still to go to things I didn’t want to when in reality I needed to accept and embrace the badness….

The badness we all have:

Being judgmental, mean, harsh, bitter, angry, sad, depressed, ego-centered, selfish, sly, manipulating, lazy, lustful, indulgent, unforgiving, loveless, discouraged, unhealthy, etc.

The badness represents a part of ourselves that wants to be loved but we often hide those parts of ourselves because we have not met people who have had enough grace to love us in spite of our “badness”. I have found that God completely loves and accepts us in our most baddest self…in fact we have to acknowledge and love ourselves in our baddest self in order for grace to heal us.

Because if we continue to hide our “weaknesses”, we will actually starve from love-malnutrition. 

I remember one time I was feeling really shitty and my ex said “I thought you were the positive one?…You are supposed to be the positive one and I’m supposed to be the negative one that you encourage”. It hit me. I hated that.

I don’t want to be the positive one.

I’m tired of it. I want to be able to be the weak one. I want to cry, I want to be weak. I want to be sad. I want to be angry. I want to hate someone. I want to feel those authentic emotions because it is relieving and it is real. 

When your real emotions are pent up, you feel tension in your body. I have been experiencing late periods and now dealing with healing my low thyroid (hypothyroid). I quit caffeine 4 days ago and have also realized that I used to block out negative emotions, tiredness or spiritual weariness by drinking coffee.

I have been learning to love myself through it all. Because grace is sufficient in our weakness. Living the authentic life means being honest with yourself. Find people that can love you despite your differences. 

In our culture, we are applauded for being good at something, but when was the last time you embraced your badness?

Gaining Freedom In The Waiting

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When you heal your heart, you may find seasons of seeming equilibrium, no extremes. Your old self may crave drama, it may be addicted to highs and lows, but you are a new being. You have been healed, you no longer need external validation to confirm your inner glory.
She is no longer broken, looking for acceptance in the wrong places or the wrong people. She is whole, gaining freedom in the waiting.
Her heart belongs only to the one who has freed her. She is secure in her own right, she breathes with courage. She waits when everyone runs, she runs when everyone waits. She listens to her heart because it tells her when to go, when to wait, where to go or whether to stay.
She is no longer attracted to the dark balls of illness and disease that looks for broken parts of humans to absorb and trap.
She is no longer chained to old patterns, bad boys, nice boys with manipulative tendencies, bitchy friends, gossip, bad-mouthing, she looks for peace in places. Where is the peace, she wanders there, she is attracted to light. She is light.
She would rather be alone than with bad company. She comes alive in the presence of the one who frees her, there within her heart. She lets go and flies free.