Wikipedia defines Claustrophobia as “the fear of being enclosed in a small space or room and unable to escape.”
Boundaries are meant to make us feel safe but they can often close us off in ways that make us feel trapped. The walls we put up to protect ourselves can start to look like they are closing in on us.
I have set some really strong boundaries with my family that I am not budging on and there have been repercussions.
I do not know how my mom has been doing the past few weeks. I haven’t seen my family since the holidays. I can’t answer the question “How’s the family?” because I don’t know. It makes me feel lonely, selfish, and a little scared.
Don’t get me wrong, setting these boundaries with my family has been freeing at the same time. I am not basing my day around if my mom is sober or not. I am not feeling responsible for her or their well-being. I have let go of the “ball and chain” that I felt her alcoholism was for me.
I also feel like I am not needed. Even though it is completely wonderful to not be responsible for taking care of my family, it was nice to be needed. I had an important role. They depended on me. I felt…special? Does that make me insane? Maybe. Who is normal these days anyway??
As I continue down this path of letting go of taking care of my mom and shaking the guilt off that I know I don’t deserve to feel, I am going to make mistakes. The topic of Boundaries is my favorite subject because it is something that everyone who loves someone struggling with addiction has to adjust, break down, and rebuild.
I hope that wherever you are in your journey, whether you have no boundaries, boundaries made of steel, or somewhere in the middle, I hope you know that we are not supposed to be perfect at this. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Move on. AND love yourself every step of the way.
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