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need better boundaries obviously

Old 08-03-2010, 07:41 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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ugh. I AM MORE SCREWED UP THAN I THOUGHT. Insert string of swear words here.

Pelican, as much as I hate to admit it, I think this is part of my problem-that helplessness hook. I've been trying to figure out why I resent THE GIRL so much. I don't see her as helpless. I see her as completly in control. A calculated nasty monster, protected by the parents she abuses. It's sick. I hate it. Why am I not seeing her as a victim? But elevating her to adult status? And it's none of my business. I am going to just detach and create big big boundaries for now until I sort this out.

After our conversation today, they might be doing the same anyway.

I think I should come up with a one sentence response to say to them though to memorize so I don't say something completly awful. Where is that filter???

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:44 PM
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And thanks Suki. I bet you're speaking from experience
Hey, little miss fix-it...you have enough on your plate. Don't borrow someone elses problems.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:51 PM
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How about..."I have to take care of my things now."
That sounds like a good automated response to me?

AND what your things are ARE your business...I think if you explain, it will become "negotiable"....as in what he tried to do on that repetitive phone call and NOT HEARING you at all.

I told a couple "friends" recently that I had a problem with something in the way they were relating to me and they are not talking to me at all. THAT is a good thing!
I wasn't unkind, just matter of fact and firm statements. I guess since I am not playing, they don't want to talk.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:19 PM
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How about just "no". You don't owe any explantion to him. After a few times he will probably back off and respect your space more. Sounds like he has the tools to deal with kids professionaly just chooses not to use them in his private life. His daughter lack of respect for others won't be helped by watching him walk all over your time and schedule. Stand firm and keep it short. You can't change or help him much - help yourself instead.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:00 AM
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transform,

As I learned from the wise folks here on SR, "No" is a complete sentence.

This situation is unreal, I agree with you there. My experience says stay away from "helping" him in ANY form.

If you're not able to use the complete sentence "No.", then you have other options. When he says, "Can she come over?" You have the option of responding, "No, it doesn't work for me to have her over."
If he says, "When can she come over?" You have the option of saying, "When it's a manageable situation for me, and right now it is not. I need a break and will let you know when it works for me."

You do indeed have a lot on your plate. Do whatever you wish, but you have the option of limiting the chaos in your life. Remember, you ALWAYS have options...

posie
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:07 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Tell him you feel like an elastic band and will catch him at the other end of the move.

Sounds to me like one of those situations where you ask yourself...Did that just happen?!
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:47 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by transformyself View Post

Tell me what to do. Tell me how to handle this with grace, if I can after saying those things to him
One solution I've used in a similar situation is to come up with a specific time that worked for me and then told the child "come over on x day at y time." and then I sent them home each time they came over before that. Before they left I'd give them a new day/time. If the parents called or asked, I just refer to the above time. It took a couple of weeks, but it worked well in both the cases I used that strategy. In each instance I didn't want to eliminate the child from my house/life but I needed better boundaries.

That kind of control/boundary might also help you let go of wanting to meddle in another family's life. There really is no graceful way to do that.
I can't imagine one single positive outcome of you airing your judgments regarding his child or his parenting style.

If he out right asks you what you'd recommend that would be another matter and even at that it seems like an enormously complicated situation/dynamic from what you've shared. Personally I'd just say that the dynamics between them were not good for anyone and then recommend professional help to sort it out. It isn't going to be an easy fix and the family will need a good family counselor for awhile IMO.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:27 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I can't imagine one single positive outcome of you airing your judgments regarding his child or his parenting style.
ugh. thank you. I know I"m a judgemental jerk. Better boundaries are in order.

Here's a question for your collective wisdom:

Why does creating these boundaries make me feel guilty and afraid that they will misunderstand me, rather than making me feel better?
My experience is that I engaged in this high emotional stuff first, which makes me feel like an unstable freak. When i set boundaries straight away, without emotionally reacting, I feel better.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:29 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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You are not a judgmental jerk!
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by transformyself View Post
Why does creating these boundaries make me feel guilty and afraid that they will misunderstand me, rather than making me feel better?
Maybe because you're like me, and you're used to being concerned with how others will perceive you or of being thought of as a heartless b*tch. I imagine that with time, and practice, we'll both get better at this? (at least I hope...)
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:11 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by transformyself View Post
ugh. thank you. I know I"m a judgemental jerk. Better boundaries are in order.

Here's a question for your collective wisdom:

Why does creating these boundaries make me feel guilty and afraid that they will misunderstand me, rather than making me feel better?
My experience is that I engaged in this high emotional stuff first, which makes me feel like an unstable freak. When i set boundaries straight away, without emotionally reacting, I feel better.
You are not a judgmental jerk. We all form judgments, it is just depends on what we do with them. I myself have an incredibly mouthy 9yo. You'd be appalled but even with that level of 'understanding' I think the situation you describe is messed up.

Letting go of being 'understood' is one of the hardest things for me to do. I just keep going on and on and/or confuse my roll something terrible - all in an effort to not be misunderstood or look unfair. I think this is part of the co-dependence that makes me think I can (and should) actually 'fix or control' someone else. I feel misunderstood when they aren't going along with my master plan, lol. That, along with boundaries in general, is one of the biggest 'co-dependent' traits I have to work on.

I picked the following up from here.

"Help is what I do for those who can not do it for themselves.
Enabling is what I do for others who can do it for themselves.
If I say it without being asked; it is meddling.
If I say it twice; it is manipulation."

I actually make myself go through that before deciding how to handle a situation or before I throw my 2 cents in.

I've added to it

What is my boundary.
Is this my problem or theirs?
Is this a feeling? If it is their feeling, leave them to it.

I have to make myself go through the lists of questions because what I do off the cuff is generally not the right thing, lol. If I don't articulate my boundary very clearly (to myself) I just don't have any. I'll do anything to not be uncomfortable with someone elses feelings! Crazy but that is it. I need these to uphold my boundaries *and* not trample all over theirs in my effort to 'make a difference' - also known as control their life because I know best .

I still have troubles but before I would just end up in the quicksand but these lists help me get back on track.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:41 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Thanks Thumper.

This is making me very confused about my role in life. My friend, the neighbor, doesn't ask for or want my help. I'm trying to control him and his parenting. That I get. Now.

Working in social justice, i get phone calls from folks every week who aren't in a position to help themselves and want me to write about their plight.

I've realized lately that I can't get sucked into every conflict in every town across the state. Can't micromanage. Have to stay macro focused. In order to actually help folks, I have to focus on continuing to educate legislators and community leaders who create policy.

It all comes down to the same freaking question: where will I choose to put my time, thoughts and energy. With whom and how do I share my beautiful self? (even if i do think I"m a judgmental jerk sometimes )
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:52 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I am afraid, for whatever reason, of offending the parents.

I hope you did offend them so they stop talking to you and confusing you with a full time paid nanny.

RE your move, have you called your friends to bring boxes and help you pack ? or is Super Woman going to do Everything Alone?

Also about his job, we got a saying here "farol de la calle y oscuridad de su casa" meaning "lamp on the street and darkness at home" ... its like me solving complex network issues in the job then unable to set up my wireless network at home lol.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:04 AM
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I understand about the job thing. I work in social services. I spend my day working with people that call me to help them fix their problems. Trying to answer the often times unanswerable. I use that list at work a lot now too.

It all just becomes to much. I wonder how many 'co-dependents' work in the helping professions in one way or another?

Currently I hate my job and spend way to much time avoiding my work, which then makes me feel bad. I suspect it is because I've reached my saturation level. I'm tired of fixing things when I don't know the answer or they just can't be 'fixed'. I'm tired of people needing something, expecting something. Makes it easier to follow my list at least I need a career change but right now I just need to put food on the table so I'll keep at it.

I should have went into accounting. Numbers are never 'iffy'. They just are. Go in, crunch some numbers, have a problem and there is a CONCRETE never fail solution if you look long enough, come home. Ahhhhhhh.
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