Saturday, August 4, 2012

Boundaries

It's been a week of ups and downs, as I suppose most are. 
Monday rolled around and that meant it was the week of July 30th. I had told my extended family that I would contact their counselor to "tell my side" of the story. This is something I've done before and it's never gotten me anything but pain. However, because they were willing to talk with a different counselor, one I knew by reputation, I agreed to give it one more go. 
Alan made the appointment and it happened to fall on Wednesday, the same day I see my counselor each week. (I am not particularly proud to say that I still see a counselor once a week, but there you go, it's where I am). I was in pain (memory pain from the abuse). I was convinced on one level that this new counselor would laugh in my face -- not believe me -- judge me as a terrible person who just couldn't be satisfied. Generally pull the rug out from under me.
He didn't.
He listened as Alan gave him a quick version of the abuse. I had to ask Alan to quit detailing it, as it was creating panic and stress for me to listen to him recount it.
The counselor responded with shock, compassion, and care.
I told him of the many conversations, emails, and letters I had shared with these family members. He told me I didn't owe anyone anything. I am the victim and what I need is what's important. 
What I need I know I will not get. They are not willing or capable of being compassionate witnesses. Of taking the responsibility that is theirs. Of offering apologies and understanding. 
Here is what I need:
:: their belief that what I tell them is truth
:: acceptance that they failed to protect me
:: understanding of how hard this process is
:: acceptance that forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation
:: a desire to know and carry the burden of the horrible things that were done to me
:: a willingness to accept a new relationship based on my boundaries
:: acceptance that I will never "get over it", but I am finding a way to move forward while recognizing that my past is a huge part of who I am today, and that my survival deserves honor and respect
:: understanding that it will never be the way it was before I acknowledged the abuse
So once more I will attempt to write and explain the abandonment and betrayal I have felt and still feel. I will try to explain why it is impossible for me to believe anything these people say to me because they do not follow through with action. I will try to explain how their reactions have re-injured me and cause continuing pain and suffering.
But I will do it so I can say it is done, not because they will understand or change.

Blessings!

4 comments:

  1. For me the hard part is figuring out what I need and it seems like you worked hard on figuring out what you need. You are right when you say your survival deserves honor and respect. Thank you for sharing your words. Stopping by from Write on Edge... btw - I see a counselor once a week also :)

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  2. All perfectly valid things that you want from this. Unfortunately,we can't control what others think. There is nothing more frustrating than having those around you not believe what you are saying is true. You know what is true. If people around you were aware and did nothing to help you, shame on them. One thing you did get out of your session is that you got to get that part off you chest. You know you have done your part in your healing process. That's half the battle, yes?

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  3. there is nothing wrong with talking to someone once a week, heck once a day if it is benificial to you working through past hurt and away from future pain. hang in there. set up those boundaries and be gentle with yourself. xo

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  4. You can only do so much yourself and you have done that. It think that's a perfect list of what you are owed, however unlikely it may seem, I hope that you get it. :)

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