I realized that I have lived most of my life without setting solid boundaries for myself. Why do I need boundaries? My whole life I hoped to get to know people better and people to get to know me. Why would I want to keep people out or make it more difficult for them to get to know me than it already is for them…?!
As a child, I didn’t learn that boundaries create a necessary separateness that allows you to have your own feelings, make your own decisions, and know and ask for what you want without needing to please others. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fortunate enough to grow up with a good role model showing me that respecting myself is the most important thing I could possibly do for myself while teaching others how I wanted to be treated myself. Oh, the confusion as to why people I loved always seem to take advantage of good intentions and the open heart on my sleeve!…
I am aware that I might sound vague, naive and simple-minded… but this simply wasn’t taught to me. I wasn’t shown as a child that I was just as important as everybody else, that I had a voice that mattered and indeed how to use it. In fact, it was the opposite that mattered: Respect was counterproductive to my family’s dynamics. As a child it only mattered to be heard not seen and do what you were told. Be a good girl and, if you are lucky, you may were thrown a crumb of love. I did what I had to to survive and learned to trust nobody but myself.
I am aware that as a HSP, I always took it all to heart much too deeply: Even still today it is not unusual for me to relive those moments that did hurt the most – simply triggered back into existence by somebody’s ignorant remark, thoughtless behaviour or selfish action and lack of respect. Sometimes the darkness of ‘not being enough’ to be celebrated, respected or valued for who I am – not who some think I am supposed to be – does indeed ask for much of my attention, awareness and compassion as to avoid spiralling into the ‘sadness rabbit hole’… Your understanding then means everything to overcome.
Somehow though, I have learned to accept this sadness in my life – it is sadness NOT unhappiness as some might think – I am not unhappy but have every reason to be happy in my life. Yet… I am sad. Thoughtfully sad, contemplative and introspective while trying to make sense of things and find the deeper reasons as to reflect, learn and grow.
My sadness feels like grief. Grief for something I have never had or known, yet always looked for all my life. I do feel sadness for the little girl who gave it her all to do her very best in order to please, already knowing it would never be enough. Sadness for the grown and ageing woman, realising that pleasing others was indeed the very thing that laid the foundation of her voicelessness and disrespect from others while blocking visibility she now battles to achieve for herself.
My path starts with setting healthy emotional boundaries – an imaginary line that separates me from you while allowing me to be myself. It separates your physical space, your feelings, needs, and responsibilities from mine and allows me to be my true self without the need of pleasing anybody else.
xox ❤ xox
#HSP #HighlySensitive #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #Childhoodemotionalneglect #ChildhoodEmotionalAbuse #PTSD #ComplexPTSD #CPTSD