The Following Article was submitted by a Client who wishes to remain anonymous.
Setting boundaries has never been easy for me. Coach and I have talked about this a lot over the years. I’m the kind of person who says yes too often and takes on too much. I don’t speak up enough. Frequently, I let myself be treated as the family doormat. Sound familiar?
Ironically, I was the one in the family who had the most rules and boundaries, growing up. As the oldest child, I was our family’s people pleaser and rule follower. To the extreme. Maybe that’s why I’ve struggled with setting my own boundaries as an adult…because I was rarely allowed to push back against them as a kid. I’m sure Coach has more thoughts on this!
However, as my parents have aged, I’ve found those old boundaries and paths getting even more challenging to navigate. Do I have to fulfill every request and run every errand to be a “good” daughter? Is it my responsibility to be my parents’ caretaker…and to live nearby and be available 24/7? How do I cope with my parents’ more critical behaviors and attitudes as they age?
As Coach says, we must learn how to set new boundaries with our parents and others in our lives as they get older. Each day is a journey back and forth across those lines. And maybe, in their own way, my parents were doing their best to learn those same lessons, years ago.