Thursday, November 29, 2012
Um...we need to talk
Ahh...awkward conversations. How come when you become an ACOD, you start having so many more of them?
I didn't used to have awkward conversations with my parents until they divorced. Now it seems like 95% of topics are off limits and I'm not sure what to say next (uh-oh, will that set Mom off? Crap, I just mentioned Mom and now Dad looks like he wants to kill someone). It's exhausting.
But unfortunately, if there's any hope of repairing your relationship with your parents (not to mention maintaining your sanity), those awkward conversations have to happen. Because without them, there's no boundaries. And without boundaries, your parents are open to saying anything and everything about the situation. And when that happens...well, don't be surprised if you find yourself in a straight jacket (figuratively speaking).
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Can't say enough about them. I'm still working on establishing them and have a ways to go (I like to get myself involved in situations where I shouldn't), but the boundaries I have already established have done a world of good. My parents don't talk about each other or the divorce and we can actually hold a conversation that doesn't end in tears or an abrupt exit from the room (those still happen at times, though). I can feel like myself around my parents again...it's not what it was, but it's a step in the right direction. I like the way I feel when I have boundaries. And I hope to keep it that way, as difficult as it is. And as you all know, it's difficult.
How did you establish boundaries with your parents and have you been able to stick to them? If your parents are newly divorced, what types of boundaries do you hope to put in place? No matter where you're at in this process, I think we all have something to learn about boundaries. And what better way than from the advice of others in the same situation?
Would love to hear from you all, either through the comments below or via email (send 'em to email@example.com). As always, I'm thinking of all of you and sending some encouragement your way.