I don't have a list of 10 things for you to do today to deal with these emotions. I'm just in need of space to acknowledge mine and hopefully validate yours.
Today, I lost a piece of me.*
Many things make up who we feel we are- relationships, career, faith, friendships, etc. And today I lost a piece of who I have been that I really loved and thought would be a part of my life for a lot longer. I'm not going to lie- it sucks.
All of this was my decision, my choice. A hard choice no doubt, but a necessary one. I took my time in making this decision- I prayed about it, did my pros and cons list, talked it out with someone I trust. I know it's for the best but right now it feels gross and awkward and heavy.
We talk about boundaries in the mental health world a lot- how hard they are to set and even harder to enforce. Even identifying the need for a boundary can seem foreign if you were never modeled healthy boundaries growing up. We anticipate the push back we might receive but it always seems to come with a promise of eventual relief and better balance in life. We prepare ourselves for that.
I think we miss something though. I don't think we talk enough about what hard emotions to expect on our end that come with setting a necessary boundary. We prepare ourselves for the other party's emotions (their anger, testing of the new boundary, not understanding your reasoning, etc), but not for our own. Today I am recognizing that I didn't expect to be grieving right now, which brings such a range of emotions. Any loss or unmet expectation can cause grief and that's what this is, so how did I not expect it? I'm sad I needed to set this boundary and disappointed that my expectations were so incorrect. I'm angry too. I don't feel good enough. I wasn't prepared for this.
I asked my IG friends what unexpected emotions they felt after setting a boundary and this is what I got:
Loss of security
Guilt x 10
I don't have a list of 10 things for you to do today to deal with these emotions. I'm just in need of space to acknowledge mine and hopefully validate yours. And also to remind us both that as hard as this can be, as much as it sucks, it's still the thing that needs to be done. You can't always anticipate how something is going to feel before it happens, but I think offering yourself space to explore can ease some discomfort later.
If this resonates with any of you, what were your experiences like? I would love to hear what you felt and how you worked through it.
*I feel the need to say "I know that sounds dramatic" here. Why do I feel like sounding dramatic means I'm taking up too much space? At least it got moved to a footnote this time, instead of first paragraph. #progress