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Complex-PTSD and Boundaries

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Boundaries.  The word that gets thrown around like confetti.  Even from those who you should actually be setting boundaries with.  Now that’s ironic.

Toxicity is something that I have known since the minute I took my first breath.  Breed into it like some warrior princess or some shit like that.  Toxicity and elasticity rhyme.  That’s a little ironic too.  The toxicity is the environment, the people, the abuse.  Elasticity, or rather, neuroplasticity, is how the brain changes how it looks and how it works.  The neural pathways are paved for those who endure neglect and abuse to continue to endure it, over and over and over.  

I had a counselor tell me once that the way I was reacting to a situation was a “trauma response”.  I was curious, and shocked.  That shit happened a long time ago, it was behind me.  I’m a nurse, a mother, a sister, a friend, a partner.  I did do some research at the time and it made sense, the shit I went through growing up, the toxicity, literally changed my brain.  But I didn’t stick with that counselor, and I started to feel better, and life got busy.  The bipolar moods waxed and waned, but not so bad that I couldn’t function regularly.  I just kept taking my meds, kept seeing a *different* counselor, and went on with business as usual.

The problem is that I never did, and honestly still haven’t, been able to set boundaries with the toxicity.  I let it come in and out of my life like a revolving door, and if the door happens to briefly close, I end up peeking back through, just to see what’s on the other side.  Such a curious bitch I am.  I know what is on the other side.  One crack and toxicity engulfs me.  The chaos is exhilarating.  I feel overwhelmed, but needed and alive.  Trouble is, it’s not safe here.  It’s not stable.  It’s not healthy.  So I attempt to shut the door.  Grab it with all my might, squatting into a position of strength trying to pull it shut only to fail.  I fall to the floor, pounding heart , racing breaths, and fallen tears.  This is my life.

I don’t want it to be my life.  I don’t want to be curious about the chaos.  I don’t want to put myself in the middle of every crisis or emergency.  I don’t want to be the caretaker, or the worrier, or the goddamn warrior princess anymore.  I want the door shut, and not only do I want it shut, I want to be able to like it shut.  I want to pave a new path for my brain.

And that’s the end of the story, folks.  I want.

Well, maybe not the end, but the end for now.  I want to stop.  I am going to stop.  I have made a commitment to myself, for myself, that I am going to do whatever it takes to rid myself of whatever fucked up roads my brain has established.  I am going to create new ones.  Better ones. 

“When the fuck am I going to stop going through so much shit?”.  

And my counselor, who I love, literally responded, “When you start setting some fucking boundaries.  We’ll work on that.”

I need to learn to set boundaries against those who have advised me to set boundaries against others.  That was a mouthful.  My trust, my dependency, has been on the people who are most toxic for me.  It’s those toxic people who like to make it sound like the unhealthy coping skills I have picked up all these years are something to be proud of.  Something special.  It’s not special, it’s isolating, its poor emotional regulation, its impulsiveness and dangerous.  It’s making excuses so as not to end the fucking cycle.

I don’t want to make excuses.  I want to own it.  It wasn’t my fault, but it’s my responsibility.  And if I don’t take responsibility, it will be my fault.  Breaking the generational trend.  It won’t be easy, but remember, I am a goddamn warrior princess.  

  • One Flawsome Momma

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