It's not that hard to say no

It’s not that hard to say no (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

 

I have still been doing a lot of thinking about my relationships with my family and as upsetting as this whole situation is I know that this is a learning opportunity for me (although the lessons SUCK). The truth is that spiritually anyone who pushes our buttons is our teacher. In this case I need to separate myself from other people’s hurtful behavior and learn where my boundaries lie. This is very difficult for me because it is hard for me to know when something is legitimately my fault or the other person’s fault. I go back and forth between feeling like a completely worthless person who can’t do anything right so I try to please everyone, to feeling like telling everyone to leave me alone and go to hell. But one thing I am learning is that even if I have done something wrong, IT IS NEVER OKAY TO BE TREATED LIKE A WORTHLESS PERSON.

Some of my relatives have had legitimate reasons to be upset with my behavior in the past with my bipolar disorder. And yet what I have found is that as I have tried to make things right with them it seems to have given them permission run right over me.  They insist on standards for me that they are not willing to abide by themselves. So for instance it is not okay for me to yell and scream and make wild accusations and I haven’t done that in years. But it is okay for them to yell and scream and make wild accusations against me! I feel very betrayed because frankly they are taking advantage of my genuine desire to make things right.  Nothing is good enough for them. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I got a while back:

“YOU HAVEN’T YELLED AT ME FOR A WHILE, SO YES, THAT’S AN IMPROVEMENT. BUT IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. NOT EVEN CLOSE. THE NEXT STEP IS TO LEARN HOW TO GENUINELY CARE ABOUT PEOPLE, AND SHOW IT, AND PUT A STOP TO THIS CONSTANT SELF-PITY.”

Learn how to care about people? I gave them my car for FREE, low-mileage. That was several thousand dollars in their pockets!

I got another e-mail saying that my standards of treating them weren’t good enough, and THEY DEMANDED THAT I LIVE UP TO THEIR STANDARDS (without specifying what they were).

Apparently living up to their standards involves doing everything they say without question.

That was from about a year ago and I thought we had recovered, but no things fell apart again and this time I’ve had it. I can’t deal with this anymore. It doesn’t work to do everything their way just because I feel guilty about the past. It is time to move on and if they don’t like it, tough.

IT DOESN’T MEAN THOUGH THAT I DON’T HURT. I CRY A LOT. BUT I AM NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY FEELINGS AT ALL BECAUSE THAT IS “SELF-PITY.”

Anyway these are some thoughts I’ve put together about MY RIGHTS in a relationship:

1. I have the right to make mistakes and learn from them

2. I have the right to be imperfect and be okay with that

3. I have the right to not take on other people’s emotional baggage

4. I have the right to not live up to other’s expectations if I don’t agree with them

5. I have the right to negotiate the terms of any relationship I choose to be in

6. I have the right to expect mutual respect in a relationship

7. I have the right to have my feelings be taken seriously

8. I have the right to express my needs

9. I have the right to end unhealthy relationships without being made to feel guilty

10. I have the right to live my life as I choose without anyone’s permission or approval

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