Wednesday, December 10, 2008

boundaries

I'm at war with a number of people in my life right now (exactly 2 people...well, 1 person for one reason and a married couple for another reason). Which I can't decide whether to view as bravery or cowardice or a bit of both. It's not really war with them so much as it is an internal war, which I'll get to in a minute.

I am setting up very strict boundaries with certain people, really for the first time in my life, and maintaining them, period. I am civil. I am ever-so-barely polite. Not quite courteous. Definitely not friendly. I'd say I am being tolerant of having to co-exist with them. This is not something I'm used to nor typically comfortable doing. I'm very demonstrable with my emotions, typically. As I've said before, I'm a yeller, and I'm also a hugger. I love to give hugs. But this year, along with losing 50 pounds, I've also restricted my behavior. I'm dieting behaviorally. So, I act with minimalistic civility. I do not indulge in flamboyant expressions of emotion, much as I'd like to. In a similar vein, I do not indulge in overeating as I have a tendency to do. In 2008, I have embraced moderation and shunned regret. Which is the war within - I prefer to outwardly, physically express my anger and disdain and hurt and resentment and distrust and general being pissed-off-ness, but I do not express it. I hold it in check, except for private moments here and there. And I do not eat whatever I want anymore, either. I hold my appetite in check. I skip lunch and chew a lot of gum.

I am growing up. I am also holding at bay my sense of can't-we-all-just-get-along. Because the answer is, no, Virginia, we cannot just get along. We are all very different, with uniquely clashing needs and issues and baggage and none of us can truly be free of our filters. We are human, afterall. And so I have chosen to be human over here, and let them be human over there. Don't call me. Don't talk to me if you can possibly avoid it. I'll do the same. We'll both employ restraint and distance and things will be much more comfortable for everyone that way.

And it has been. Truth be told, things are really good this way. The only regret I feel is regret over the fact that setting strict boundaries does not produce a deep disquiet for me. And yet I feel it should. Say what? Yeah...basically, I'm saying I'm bothered by how comfortable my life is after having cut certain strings. The lack of bad stuff outweighs the good of the fun stuff. The half-full part of this is that I've turned my back on the half-empty parts. The half-empty part is that I can live quite contentedly with the results.

I guess I'm saying that the Whos are as dysfunctional as everybody else, that The Grinch never joyously rides down to them, but instead ends up staying at the top of Mount Crumpet, buys some ear plugs, writes a blog and lives happily ever after.

Everybody wins.

3 comments:

CM said...

You seem ambivalent about cutting ties with people who aren't making your life better. You did it, and you're glad, but you feel like it should bother you.

Why? I say, good for you -- I'm all for living drama-free.

gudnuff said...

Drama-free! Yes, yes, yes. It is soooo much nicer this way.
It's all those made-for-tv movies, I'm sure of it. Everyone reconciles and enjoys each other and nobody dines alone at the end.
Somebody should make a Healthy Boundaries After-School Special.

Hyphen Mama said...

*Somebody should make a Healthy Boundaries After-School Special.*

Ain't that the truth!!

In the past several years, I've had to end friendships because the other person REFUSED to acknowledge boundaries. I was really broken up over having to end it all, but the lack of that drama left absolutely no wanting whatsoever.