OY, ANOTHER PROCESS!
It’s so much work – but I need it
1. FOR YOURSELF
REPAIRING Damaged Boundaries (Bs)
a. Use a therapist, Al-Anon meeting & other resources to identify & examine the underlying causes of your unhealthy Bs. While we may have an extensive knowledge of our background, we often need an experienced listener to tag unhealthy life-patterns so automatic we don’t even notice
b. Identify specific ways your Bs are dysfunctional, listing how they show up in your life. Think of ‘character defects’ as expressions of Self-Hate
c. Write letters to yourself encouraging the changes you want, which
nurture the right to have healthy Bs. Include 2-handed conversations with your:
• Wounded Child, about ways you’d like to help it heal from S-H
• Healthy Inner Child – about ways you want to support it to be happy
• Pig Parent (Negative Introject) – about ways you won’t let it hurt you any more
d. Notice the fear-based beliefs (CDs & Toxic Rules) that reinforce your resistance to change. List specific ones that apply to you & how you express them
e. Make a list of Personal Rights, for yourself & in relationships. Paste it where you can read it often & keep a copy on your phone.
Find an appropriate sponsor, friend or mentor to strengthen your desire to be kind to yourself.
Pick one ‘Right’ you’d like to enjoy. For a month incorporate it into your life. Write down what happened & how you feel at the end of that time. Pick another ‘Right’ & do the same…..
f. Keep a journal to record the pain* you feel when you don’t stick to your Bs with others. The idea is to cut thru denial about how it affects you
This kind of pain is NOT from self-recrimination or fear of abandonment from others. It’s the most basic pain of self-abandonment, reproducing what our parents did to us. Without contacting with our emotions we keep repeating the old ways – as if they don’t do any damage.
*A certain level of pain is a useful motivator if it’s not too much.
Don’t turn ‘failures’ into S-H, depression & isolation. Identify what led up to each B violation – because you were (are):
• with the wrong person, always invading Bs, & no one can stop
• tired, ill or otherwise stressed, so you were more vulnerable
• in a situation which pushed a very big button that’s still unhealed
• unaware there would be problems in a new situation
• still letting the WIC run your life, or at least in certain areas…..
g. Have a journal page titled: “Who Am I?” with sub-heading like – Accomplishments, Education, Natural Qualities, Skills, Talents, Tastes, Values …..
Fill in as many characteristics as you can. Ask others to list the positive qualities they see in you. Continue adding to it as you see more good things about yourself
h. Look for role models & other examples of healthy Bs in your life & in media. In any situation that challenges your Bs, take a minute to ask: “What would my role model do?” If they’re part of your life, ask them, but don’t assume that what’s good for them HAS TO be good for you. Try a variety of options & come to your own conclusions. One size does NOT fit all
i. Regularly build in time for yourself, away from your job, mate, children, & pets. Find time alone to relax (just veg), be with close friends, time for spiritual growth, self-care, humor, fun & creativity
• If you have a hard time saying ‘No’, look for opportunities to practice, without anger if possible, with anger if that‘s the only way – at first. Eventually people will get used to this change in you. If they don’t, one of you will inevitably let go
• If you have trouble saying “Yes” to one-to-one social events, or anything involving groups, be willing to accept an invitation from time to time. You’ll be uncomfortable, but do the Inner Child book-ending for each situation & see what the realistic outcomes are.
NEXT: Setting Bs with Others