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    avacad0
    Participant

    Hi, I come from a family of extreme enmeshment. Everyone lives through each other. There are no boundaries what so ever. I have worked through very many issues to break free from all this, being that I was not able to manage any more. It is still so hart at times. It is such a lonely feeling being that I cannot discuss the huge upheaval family members cause me at times with their extreme demands and expectations. I have learnt that if I don’t create boundaries than I will drown together with everyone. The hard part is that I cannot explain my actions and seemingly coldness at times when things become too overwhelming for me emotionally, I am a people pleaser by nature and it becomes so draining for me. I reach a point of such emotional turmoil that I feel like I just cannot push myself any longer. It is so difficult for me at times. I wish everyone can just learn to take care of themselves and to stop throwing their responsibilities onto others. But I guess it is wishful thinking.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Wow, I so relate to this. My family doesn’t either have healthy boundaries and family members can demand things from others. I also feel overwhelmed and like I’m drowning just trying to take care of my own emotional health, which they don’t understand. I have become very irritable lately bc of the stress of being overloaded and pushed beyond. For me, it’s getting very hard to deal with – particularly bc I know they won’t respect my needs and bc the demands are so unpredictable in coming. I would say to try to use Dear Man, a DBT technique and describe what’s bothering you even if you think they won’t understand or respect you.

    I might say something like, “ I know you’re doing a lot of cleaning and feel like you need my help. But right now, I’m stressed out and overloaded and trying to keep my head up. It would mean a lot to me to if you can curtail what you would like me to do and I will do whatever I can to help out. “ Something to that effect might help.

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you! appreciate the validation. Yes  so important boundaries. I am also very emotionally overwhelmed. I am trying to work through old stuff from years ago and when unreasonable demands get placed on me I literally feel like I am going to go crazy. I feel like yelling “enough of this!” everyone should leave me alone, I had enough of all the leaning and abuse. I am trying to make a life for myself and I don’t need people to keep on getting in the way…..the problem is the guilt that kicks in. I HATE the feeling of guilt it wreaked havoc in my life and still does.

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    RENEE Traube
    Participant

    It is hard when people around you are relating to each other in ways that are hurtful to you. It  is also difficult when you feel your responses to your situation may be misunderstood by others. The important thing for you to keep in mind is that your mental health comes first. Taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, will allow you to know when you need space and let you consider the healthiest options in order to get that space. Allow yourself special time for time out of the stress around you. Do things you like- participate in activities that let you “vent” your stress—-working out hard at the gym for example–. Channel your frustration into activites that feel good. Replace negative thoughts with pleasant ones. Find a therapist for ongoing support and let yourself process the stress in sessions. Learn tools that work for you and use them. Good luck!

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you so much! I will keep it in mind. I do try to keep telling myself that as “selfish” as I may appear to others I am doing what I need to do to keep my emotional health in place. I just need to learn to take care of myself although I have a very hard time being that I am used to saving everyone around me and that I don’t count.

    Hello Avocad0,

    Thank you for sharing your struggle here on the forums. While not everyone is struggling with enmeshment, I do believe many readers can relate to the feelings of having their boundaries pushed beyond their comfort zone. You wrote that part of the struggle is not being able to tell your family why it is you are coming across as  “cold” or why it is that you are setting boundaries. I wonder if in fact you can not say anything or if we can find a way for you to share that without it being so threatening?

    Often times when we set boundaries in enmeshed relationships the other party feels rejected and/or abandoned and will make it that much more difficult for you to enforce those boundaries. If you are able to share with the other party that you are working on your own “stuff” and the seemingly cold shoulder or boundary is a reflection of your personal work rather than a reflection of their behavior it may ease up some of the tension. The more responsibility you can take for your behavior the less of a threat it may be to your family members which may ease up their “need” to push back.

    This work is very delicate work and I am sure there are many other factors that contribute to taking such steps. As Renee Traube suggested it is wonderful and rewarding work to do with a therapist.

    Chaya Rochel

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    So pesach has passed and spring is in the air. As I sit here and contemplate how things have been I am left with many conflicting thoughts and feelings. Yom tov was beautiful, yet so painful. All my triggers resurfaced with a vengeance. As I tried juggling my role as a mom, wife and daughter I kept my mind busy, with no time to realize what a toll it was taking on me. I feel depleted and used. I need to recuperate from all the leaning and abuse. It has been really difficult. The silver lining in the cloud is that I have learnt very many powerful lessons and I hope to be able to make some changes for the future.

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    The following is a poem describing my feelings:

    Why is it I silently wonder?

    Why is it I painfully ponder?

    Why oh why oh why

    I sit and cry,

    I do so much

    Being leaned on, being everyone’s crutch

    Always doing without fail,

    And I am left feeling so disheartened and stale,

    Why is it that I feel no appreciation

    Why don’t I even get a shred of recognition?

    Why are there expectations that make no sense?

    As much as I do it is never enough,

    When I finish my pleasing their moods are gruff,

    Never do I get the shred of love that I so crave,

    When will I learn that I am not everyone’s slave?

    I know that I must conquer the demon deep in my heart

    “Co Dependency” which is ripping me apart,

    I must surround myself with acceptance and love,

    That is the way to rise above,

    I am a human being who deserves the best,

    I am hashems child just like the rest.

     

     

     

     

     

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    RENEE Traube
    Participant

    It sounds like you have alot of conflicted feelings about your situation, and you are attempting to deal with it through various means. One the one hand, you are keeping yourself busy as a mom, wife and daughter. On the other hand, you struggle with loneliness and inner unrest as some aspects of your situation remain unaddressed. I wonder if you could be helped by sharing your feelings more directly with a skilled therapist who can help you arrive at a point of clarity….

    Hello Avocado,

    Thank you for sharing that poem. I think that many people can relate to the words and the way the come together really invites us into your experience. You speak about a lot of pain, but you also speak with a clear tone of optimism and hope. Writing poems is a great way for you to air your emotions, which is absolutely necessary. It is difficult to stop unhealthy habits without a proper healing process. If you are open to the idea of therapy, that is also a great way for you to get the emotional responses you so badly crave and to help heal the trauma that is seemingly lingering. What do you think of that?

    Chaya Rochel

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi, thank you for your kind responses. I am working through a lot of the traumas that I have been through. It is just very hard for me at times because for years I was in denial about the abusive situation that I was in. I am peeling away layer by layer and the more I peel the more pain I go through. I have been extremely used and neglected being that I am that type of person who feels very much. My emotions were played with and I was made to feel very guilty if I didn’t tear myself apart for others. I have come a very long way and I am slowly getting better. It’s just a journey and I sometimes feel very lonely as besides my husband I don’t really feel like sharing these things with friends as it would put my family in a very negative light.

    When I was made aware of the dysfunction that I grew up with I felt like a person who lived in the darkness for years and they suddenly were exposed to light. I literally felt myself blinking from the shock of how little I understood about myself. How the people that I loved and admired are really so abusive and controlling. I felt like a blind man that was suddenly granted the gift of seeing. On one hand it felt liberating that I am not the problem. But on the other hand the excruciating pain of being led down by those very people that I believed in.

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    Mitchell
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem. The path to healing can be a long one, but opening up, even in an anonymous forum like this one, can be so helpful and reassuring. I understand that sharing private information with a therapist or a close friend can be scary, especially when it involves something as interconnected as your family life, but I think if you do decide to take that leap it could be a big step in the process to healing. Either way, thank you again for sharing such a meaningful poem.

    @avacado – love that poem!

    Creative writing can help alot w/ the healing process.

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