As a young girl I grew up constantly trying to please my mother and her exceedingly high expectations. I always met the goals she had set for me, but then she would immediately raise the bar higher with no acknowledgement of my efforts or achievements. I felt like a circus animal constantly jumping through hoops! Exhausted and robotic.
Over time this caused me to be a people pleaser. It opened me up to tons of abusive people as an adult because I was always giving and giving, receiving nothing in return. I had been conditioned into thinking that I wasn’t enough, I should do more, and I didn’t deserve anything in return for my time or efforts. Talk about a majorly deflated sense of self worth!
The last couple years I’ve been working on setting boundaries. This task has proven to be harder than one would think. First, you have to learn to identify where you lack boundaries. After that, you must begin implementing these new healthy boundaries with yourself and others. As someone who never had boundaries I initially experienced overwhelming feelings of guilt. I felt guilty for not being available every single time someone called me needing help. Most times I gave in to their requests. I couldn’t say NO!
A lot of the people I surrounded myself with became angry and felt abandoned once I started implementing these boundaries. People often fail to see that when you set boundaries with them it’s because you actually want them to stay in your life. If you didn’t care to have them around then walking away would be a much easier action to take. It is always those who feed the most off your energy that lash out against the new boundaries you have set within the relationship. You must understand that those types of people have absolutely no respect for you! None!
Today was an absolutely exhausting day. I have a bunch of family problems happening right now, am piled under a mountain of paperwork, started exercising again which has my spine under stress, and I’m just feeling drained. I was very VERY proud of myself today for being able to say NO!!! Boy was it hard at times lol. I had three friends call me today all facing situations I have recently experienced. As I sat on the phone listening to them open up about their problems my heart ached for them. What was I to do?
I knew exactly what each of them was going through and all they wanted was to have me in their presence. Aka feed off my energy. Somehow I managed to muster up the courage and respect for myself to deny their wishes. Why? I didn’t have the energy to give today. I myself was having a hard time too. One person understood while the other two were disappointed. Although I understood why they didn’t react positively to my boundary, I did it for their own good.
At some point throughout the day while thinking about my decision to say NO, I remembered what happened while I was experiencing the same things they were. Each time I went to one of their houses and sat and just hung out with them all day. I wallowed in my self pity and indulged in frivolous activities to pass the day by. Seems harmless and comforting, yet it wasn’t. The next day I still awoke with the same problems and no one around to help me fix them. All I did was delay said problems from being resolved and fill myself full of guilt for wasting another day of my life.
I hope that by refusing to wallow in my friends sorrows with them it gave them the space to sit with their problems and try to find a resolution. We can‘t always expect our friends to be available when times are hard. Expectations are not a part of unconditional love, but boundaries are. Friends have problems too and everyone is always dealing with more than they reveal to others. If you love someone you must respect their boundaries! Otherwise you get lost in a back and forth vampiric cycle of energy feeding.
Before bed this evening I said a prayer for them all and laid down with not a single thought of regret or remorse for saying NO! The way I look at it is if you believe in God and you can’t be there for someone, then he will put someone in their path to do what you cannot. If you’re having a bad day and God doesn’t put anyone in your path to ease the pain it is most definitely a sign. A sign to put on your adult hat and handle that shit like a boss! We are never given more than we can handle. God never sets us up to feel sad, lonely, or helpless. We either accept that as our own perception of our current reality or allow others to lead us to believe that is our reality.
You decide the narrative of your life! If you’re feeling unloved or unsupported by those around you then most likely the problem lies within. Try pouring your energy into yourself instead of others. You cannot blame those who abuse your time and energy because you allowed them to take it in the first place. It takes solid boundaries, a strong will, and loads of self love to survive in this dog eat dog world. Good luck everyone!