Boundaries

Boundaries

I had to set boundaries with my daughter with respect to the behavior I would allow in my house. I was not being mean, and it took some time before I stopped feeling guilty, but it was necessary. She was slamming doors, shouting and causing me to feel overwhelmed and abused. I knew that if I allowed this behavior to continue the situation would exceed my ability to remain calm and in control. As much as I disliked the thought of having her leave home, the probable outcome of continued escalating disruption was untenable. Setting boundaries introduced some structure and made clear that there were consequences for violating acceptable behavior. I think we all have limits regarding how much we can take, and it is our own responsibility to recognize when we need to set limits and implement boundaries.

 

Accept

Accept

I learned to accept it was the illness causing the frightening symptoms, not the person. When I was able to look at the symptoms of the illness and my daughter as separate entities, I was much better able to handle the situation and show empathy instead of anger. This illness was not my daughter; it was just an unwelcome addition that I had to learn to handle. What had become a miserable struggle with constant conflict, was replaced with an educational experience that changed my life and that of my daughter. Blaming bad behavior initially, caused frustration and anger which made the situation worse and was so unfair. Realizing my daughter had no control over the symptoms of mental illness allowed me to see the situation more clearly and use compassion and empathy to heal our relationship.