For those of us recovering from child abuse, our sense of self is distorted. We literally don’t exist but to cater to the twisted expectations of our toxic families. Then one day we wake up and realize gosh ‘Why am I doing this?” “Why am I putting up with this shit?”
You want to scream out the words, Stop!, No! Enough!
Yes, it is the moment we start learning to put our foot down and change the way people treat us. It is the moment when we realize that we have to take care of ourselves because no one else will do it for us. The only way to ensure that we don’t get walked on and shat on is by putting up “Do Not Trespass”
Sarri Gilman, the author of Transform Your Boundaries calls boundaries your Yes, No Compass.
Everyone is in the middle of a life story, and your story is being shaped by what you are saying Yes to and what you are saying No to. Your Yes’s and No’s are what boundaries are made of.
Your boundaries are trying to take care of you, and if you couldn’t protect yourself during the trauma, you may have lost trust in your boundaries. Restoring your connection to your Yes and No (your boundaries) is an important part of the healing process.
You need to start noticing the little voice of resistance you hear in your head that may say, “I don’t want to go to work today.” “I can’t cook dinner tonight.” “I wish I could leave this relationship.”
Good boundaries free you | Sarri Gilman
Most of us trauma survivors for whom freeze is the default mode may become too frightened to react to this little voice.
Some of us survivors may experience boundaries that are extremely rigid. We may find comfort in sticking to the same thing every day. We are terrified to say Yes to any change. Any disruption of routine is stressful to us. We’d rather stay numb and on auto-pilot.
At other times our boundaries are just non-existent. We are unable to say No, letting others walk right over us. And we hate ourselves but are afraid of not being liked or having to deal with angry feelings. It feels safer to just clam up and go along.
Healing & Your Boundary
Healing your boundaries, if they are too rigid or non-existent, is an important part of recovery.
We have to learn to stop taking on burdens that are not our responsibility. And we may need to become more open to changing things.
We need to get out of our codependency trap. We need to learn self-love and self-care. That it is okay to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. And we don’t have to give explanations. Our lives are important. We are not here to fulfill the needs of anyone.
We don’t need to feel guilty about setting boundaries to protect ourselves. When those thoughts come up to make one feel guilty, we must learn to tell them to Go Away. If we keep protecting our boundaries and indulging in our self-care, eventually, the voices will quiet down.
Slowly, our inner Yes, No Compass will be operating perfectly.
We know when to say Yes or No.
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