I have never been sure if they are to keep others out or me in. I guess both. I have spent my life setting boundaries that have not served me well or have failed to maintain a firm line once set. I have delusionally believed that others want what is best for me and will take action to support their purported love for me. This has gotten me into a lot of very hard places.
My son is back home and he is pushing me hard. Life isn’t easy and he is doing his best to engage me in all sorts of arguments...all day, every day. And I am taking the bait less and less but it is still hard living with someone who tries to “getcha” at every turn, who wants and demands things endlessly, and who rarely appreciates anything or is willing to work for the things that he wants in his life.
The main issue right now is that his lungs are all jacked. Like totally messed up. Allergies and returning to California where he is allergic to many things are part of it. He won’t take the allergy medicine I bought him...so he suffers needlessly. The real issue is that he smokes pot and vapes. His lungs have always been tricky and he has asthma. I have told him a million times that smoking in any form is going to cause him untold amounts of trouble. He cares not at all.
Last night he was coughing up a storm. I gave him some medicine for that and he went to bed after sleeping on the couch all evening. He returned moments later, yelling at me to get out of my bedroom right that second! I went out to see what was wrong and he reported that he was in a full blown asthma attack. My paramedic boyfriend assessed him and found that he was not, in fact, and really just had complications and a bad cough. We gave more medicine and an inhaler.
He continued to yell at us. Completely missing the point that someone who is having an asthma attack isn’t yelling at people, instead they are doing their best to savor every breath of air they can get.
He finally calmed down and his breathing returned to normal. He continued to cough, insisting between hacks that his smoking and vaping had nothing to do with it!
How do you parent someone who creates their own reality? How do you live with someone who has his own version of events and refuses to even consider anyone else’s?
Sure boundaries help but I also feel like the more I employ, the more battlegrounds I have just drawn. Shannon and I have been watching the whole Viking series. And this is what I feel like on a daily basis. I feel like I am constantly in peril from a warring faction that is coming for me. There is always some warrior coming to burn my Uppsala to the ground. Try as I might to create this sanctuary, I am caught in the middle of the pagans and Christians and it really matters not which side I am on...I am likely going to be maimed either way.
I do pray a great deal and make sacrifices. Not the pagan offering kind, no my goats are totally safe! But the kind that a parent makes for a child. The kind of things that you do for those you love because you love them and want to provide a good life for them. It is hard defending Uppsala all the time. I mean I can’t stop because I do not want to live anywhere else. And I feel like I have already moved to Jamsborg like a thousand times. And no matter how well I defend it or hide it, it is always in peril, all the time.
Because it isn’t about the actual physical place. It is about my state of mind. What I think, I create. And living with someone who is hellbent on making it all about him and his demands, lying and spending all his time creating acrimony, makes my head a very uncomfortable place to live.
I am trying to draw the boundary for myself that I will only live in this day right here. That I will resist my urge to delve into the past or future trip. I can do nothing about either really...most especially in my head. It matters what I am doing now. And right now, I am trying to get it all out. My frustration, despair, fear, pain, irritation and grief. I am trying my best to find a way to be loving to someone who cares little to nothing about me, my feelings or what I might need. It is like be the unwitting subject of a tyrant king. Knowing that your time is coming, but praying for another day to remain on this earth, functioning.
Even in places like Uppsala and Jamsborg, there is carnage and death. There is great spiritual growth that is always matched with calamity and challenge. I want to be on the mountain top, above the fray...but that is not my lot. I am instead on the ground, dealing with all this hardship and trying my best to step over battle lines drawn, my own and his. I am trying to take care of myself while also trying to take care of my daughter and my partner. I am trying to do what I can to make everyone’s life better. And some days it feels impossible.
Today might be one of those days.
But I find that the boundaries are for me. I set them to help me, and because I believe they are in his best interests. I do my best to remember that you cannot help someone who doesn’t want your help, doesn’t think you have anything to offer and spends a great deal of time telling you that you are wrong and stupid. I still have to set and maintain the boundaries because my own wellbeing depends on it.
He is going to do what he is going to do. And, just for today, I can handle it. I will be given the strength to deal with it and I will be as happy as I make up my mind to be. Boundary setting only feels like Viking battles. In reality, he is just a boy with a whole host of issues that he doesn’t have a clue how to resolve. I have to remember this. He is not only how he acts. There is more there driving him and his actions. And being resentful and pissed off only hurts me and everyone around me. Wishing it to be different does no one any good either.
So I begin again this new day, attempting to set the boundaries I intend to maintain for my own health, well being and sanity. And to choose carefully which hills I am going to die upon...because dying in Uppsala or Kattegat or London is really immaterial...the end result is that I have failed to live. And what I know with absolute certainty is that the only moment I am ever guaranteed is this one I am in right now. So live I shall...boundaries met, held and maintained, trusting that with every great effort, there is always growth, whether I see it or not.