Do you fear getting the call telling you someone you love is in the hospital and in critical condition?
What if you never got the call?
This is what happened to me exactly two weeks ago today. Technically, I DID get a call, but it was from my brother in Arizona asking me “What’s up with Dad?” “I am not sure. I haven’t talked with him in awhile” I responded. My brother goes on to tell me that our Dad has had a major heart attack and is in the hospital and will have open heart surgery. He received a TEXT from our stepmom telling him and my youngest brother about my Dad’s condition. Hey, at least they got a TEXT.
Why did I not get a call from her when I live 2 miles away from them? BOUNDARIES.
I had established personal relationship boundaries with my Dad and in exchange for not tolerating disrespect to me or my family, my time, my truths, my health and my home, I was (according to him and my stepmom) out of the family. At least that is what their actions revealed.
I love my Dad and our extended families very much. My Dad and I have always been very, very close. More so now that we live 2 miles away from each other. My heart aches that I wasn’t given a call that there was something wrong with my Dad that was life altering and critical. When I called my stepmom to find out what what was wrong with my Dad and I confronted her with why I wasn’t notified, her response was “You didn’t want anything to do with your Dad, so I didn’t let you know. I can give you updates if you want” she replied.
I don’t tell this story to “shame” my Dad or stepmom (although I feel she should apologize for being disrespectful), I tell this story to share the repercussions from setting boundaries with the relationships in your life. BUT YOU STILL NEED TO SET BOUNDARIES. Sorry….I didn’t mean to to yell, but I really want to make my point. I have no regrets. I HAVE had conversations with my extended family about being disrespectful to me. I needed to do this for my happiness.
I want to add to the discussion that I am not innocent in overstepping boundaries with others. I have also participated in family “gossip” and said inappropriate things about other people in my family so I share blame. Sometimes we must set boundaries within one’s self too….about not gossiping, disrespecting others and holding yourself to a higher standard and having integrity when it comes to others boundaries as well.
Are you dealing with BOUNDARIES issues in your life? I highly recommend this book:
If I am being completely honest here….I have had to read it several times. It provides great insight to why we must establish boundaries and be true to our own self for the betterment of relationships we have.
Some warning signs that you need to establish boundaries with others:
- Does the person expect you to drop what you are doing to help them at a moments notice?
- Are you doing more for the person time wise than they would take doing it for themselves?
- Do they drop by unannounced and stay for long periods of time with no attention to the time?
- Does the person ask personal questions about your health or body?
- Does the person give unsolicited advice regarding your finances or health or family?
- Does the person “assume” the facts of your life without finding out if what they are saying is true?
Values & Morals
- Does the person try to shame or coerce you into “their” way of thinking if you do not agree on an issue?
- Does the person tell you who you are or what you are feeling?
- Is the person loud and combative when talking about an issue?
- Does the person insult you or your values?
Although, thankfully, I have not dealt with all of these issues from others in relationships, even just one or two of these warning signs can lead to an unequal balance in a relationship.
An update on Dad: He had open heart surgery a week ago last Thursday. I was able to see and talk with him at the hospital before his surgery. His last words to me were “I Love You”. That was all my heart needed. I get regular updates now via a group text (with others I do not know), but nonetheless I am getting information about his condition. He is in an induced coma on a breathing ventilator. His prognosis is good. We are hopeful. T I pray that me and Dad can establish a “new” relationship with set boundaries when he is able. Prayers are welcomed!
How about you? Do you have trouble setting boundaries with others?
Please share your story in the comments below….