Thursday, March 10, 2011

Setting Boundaries

I'm really beginning to identify with the show, Intervention. Not because anyone in my family is an alcoholic or has any addiction problems. So what do I identify with? I identify with the difficult choice so many people on the show have to make: setting boundaries.

Many ACOD's have trouble with this, including myself. I think it's because we're adults, so more details are shared with us (details we don't want to know). Mom and Dad view us as on their playing field, so they get us involved in their petty fights and drama. Next thing you know, we're doing battle in our parents' marriage. But why? We're not apart of the marriage. We didn't make the same decisions they did. So why are we involved?

This is something I struggled with for a long time (and still do). I allowed myself to get involved in my parents' situation--mostly because I was so shocked by what was happening and wanted it to stop. It was like watching a train wreck. You want to badly to fling your body in front of the train and save the people inside. But you can't. And isn't that the most agonizing part?

I allowed myself to check my ticket and get on the crazy train with my parents. I thought I could get through to them and make them their change their behavior.

All being on the crazy train did for me was make me crazy. I started losing sleep, was having trouble eating and was allowing stress to eat away at my body. It made me miserable. And nothing changed.

So what's the purpose of this? Defnitely not to depress you. It's to show you ACOD's out there that unfortunately we can't prevent what's happening. We need to set boundaries with our parents. And that means telling them, "No, I will not be dragged into this. If you're going to continue to drag me into this, then I will need to cut off communication with you."

Sounds harsh, doesn't it? I think that's similar to how the families of addicts on Intervention feel.

But trust works. Taking time away from your parents can help you process the situation apart from their drama. It's can help you see the bigger picture and realize that you can move on with your life despite their divorce. It's not an ideal situation by any means. But it gives you sanity. And that's what's most important: your own well-being.

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