Self Care: Part I – Setting Boundaries and Letting Go

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By: Jana Greene

*Sigh*

How convenient that I’m kicking off a blog series about Self Care when just the right inspiration presented itself, and made me consider one of the most important tenants of Self Care: Setting Boundaries and Letting Go.

As of late, I’ve been dealing with a situation in which a loved one whom I’ve constructed pretty high fortifications with is lobbing cannonballs at me in the Wonderful World of Social Media.

This person has not tried to contact me in five years. Not even once.

Letting go completely of one’s own family member seems like a cold-hearted thing to do to the casual observer, but I can promise you it’s heart wrenching. It takes years (and sometimes long periods of recovery) to gain the clarity of how very toxic a person is – a person who is supposed to love you.

Preceding any true rift are innumerable fights, a scorched earth battlefield where innumerable feelings went to die, and enough hurt to quite literally kill a person – if you don’t separate yourself from the drama.

I’ve decided that – instead of lobbing cannons over in response  – I’ve drafted:

The Healthy Person’s Guide to Surviving Emotional F*ckwittage and Manipulation –

A Bill of Rights


1. You have the right to estrangement if said toxic person repeatedly oversteps (or bulldozes) boundaries you’ve asked to be respected.

2. It is NOT HONORING someone to allow them to manipulate you.

2. If it’s all about them all the time, it’s not about you having a healthy relationship.

3. You have the right to guard your sobriety (or regular old peace of mind) with everything you’ve got, and if this means stepping away from toxic people because they make you want to use / drink / pull your hair out / jump off a bridge in order to just to DEAL with their drama, so be it.

4. You have the right to pray for the toxic person every single day. I recommend it. Seriously, pray that God will bless them in unimaginable ways and that he will heal both of your wounded hearts.

5. Once you’ve decided that it is in YOUR best interest (yeah, that’s right, YOU get to determine when that is!) to stay away from a toxic person, that is reason ENOUGH. A narcissist will never give you permission, so don’t wait around for it. It ain’t coming.

6. You don’t owe a DAMN thing to anyone. Not one explanation, not one excuse. ONLY YOU know the particulars that left your heart in shards.You’ve been hurt, and it ain’t nobody’s business what/when/where/why you have severed the relationship.

Don’t let others weigh in on your self-care.

Don’t let others weigh in on your self-care.

Don’t let others weigh in on your self-care.

(S0 important, I said it thrice)

I used to worry that everyone would think I was a horrible person for protecting my boundaries. Now I no longer care. I’m not a horrible person, just someone who has learned in the most painful way possible NOT to trust someone.

7. A narcissist will ALWAYS have somebody to blame for every circumstance, relationship, or non-relationship in their lives. It is usually the one person that they are trying to destroy with their manipulations. If they had to own a single shred of responsibility, they are afraid of losing their Victim Card. This entitlement card allows the bearer to run ramshackle over the feelings of others in order to receive constant validation. It also makes it damn near impossible for you to look like any thing but a villain.

Because, as aforementioned, it’s all about them.

8. Setting boundaries, even estrangements, does not mean you stop loving that person. Oh how much easier it would be if that were the case! But love goes so many layers deep in the sediment of relationships. You will ALWAYS love this person – even if they are really bad for you. Who knows? God can do all things, including restoring relationships. But when a person has spent a lifetime cultivating an inability to own any of his / her behaviors, it may be on the other side of the Kindgom before true healing takes place.

Your feelings matter.

Your boundaries are there for a reason.

Your self care is tantamount.

 

 

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