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matts

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Still too passive about boundaries


matts

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I never want to talk to my siblings about our childhood again. They were also abused, so I understand why they want to talk. But I really can't handle it.

They have, like, an intellectual curiosity about it. I don't have that at all. It just sucks. It's all incredibly painful. I don't want or need to know any more about what happened. Every frigging time we talk about it, I learn some new twisted, hurtful, or worrying detail. A few things they've told me have so profoundly rocked me that it took months of crying and moping to get to the point where, I don't know, I guess I came to terms with the new, more evil and detailed, story.

But I am so, so bad at boundaries. I want to tell them to shut the heck up and not ever talk to me about our abuse again. But I can't. I don't know why. What's wrong with me?

So they called again tonight. After dropping more, like, abuse related stuff on me a few weeks ago, and the whole time -- instead of me just saying "Yeah, no, I love you, I love talking to you, but umm, can you promise me to never, ever, mention the abuse again?" -- no, I was just worried the whole conversation that it would turn in that direction. I wouldn't have even hung up if they did, because that's, like, dramatic or something.

I don't know why I am such a wimp with this.

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I understand this. There's actually this book called boundaries that my therapist suggested that i am reading now. The hard truth is...if you want them to stop, you're gonna have to plainly tell them...sometimes more than once.

It sounds like whatever happened it didn't affect them the way it did you. You need to make sure they knownthat and that they respect that you need them to not talk about it....or at least not talk about details anymore.

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Oh, thank you for the understanding and book recommendation. I just sent a sample of it to my kindle. :)

Yes, they were affected differently. I am the youngest, by far, and so when they left home I was more alone and the abuse didn't have to be as hidden or furtive. And the abuser also evolved in how they abused. Ok, this is quickly getting so super gross and sad that I can't even write it.

And plus my siblings are different people. I'm more quiet, they are super outgoing. I never looked to drugs/alcohol to cope. For some reason I fell out of 'denial' way sooner than they did.

Anyways, thank you for replying.

And, yes, I really need to plainly tell them. I don't know why I find it hard. I think I did, but it was years ago, and, I don't know, I can sometimes pretend to have that detached intellectual cool about this when talking to them, but it always drops as soon as we hang up. So they really don't know how bad it is for me to discuss it.

 

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I get it. For some people it is hard to set boundaries and harder to express them. My husband was like that. He wasn’t abused but even in general life situations he finds it hard to speak up for himself. It took him a long time and a lot of work to get to where he is today. I hope you can find the strength to  express how you feel to your siblings. It will help cut down on the anxiety you feel when you converse with them next time. Sitting with you and sending you support.

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I think often that we never actually learned about healthy boundaries. Being a people pleaser does not help make boundaries any easier either. And being raised by two varying levels of narcissists just adds to the fun. Know that you have a right to set boundaries to feel safe and that it may take some practice to do so. You're not imposing them upon others more so you are keeping yourself safe and healthy. Sitting with you very carefully with each of us in our safe bubbles. :wave:

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@matts I wonder if part of why it's hard to tell them the boundaries is because some part of you feels like you have to be a support to them?  I know that I have said yes to hearing people's stories when it wasn't a good and healthy time for me for this reason, and if that is true I just want to say that it's ok not to have to be the strong one for them.  Yes they deserve to be heard and this shouldn't have happened to any of you, but it's ok to ask them to get support from other sources.  Sending you support and sitting with you too, if that's ok?

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