Last Monday an individual I had told I want no contact with chose to surprise me. When you don't have a good relationship with an individual and you set a boundary to protect yourself and it is ignored, it does a lot of damage emotionally, mentally and physically. I cannot explain the effect that this individual's surprise appearance had on me other than that it was devastating and put me in danger of losing my job.
This painting is trying to visualize the effect which still doesn't do full justice...
~Yellow for betrayal:
《-because I felt like my trust for this individual by expecting respect for my boundaries was betrayed. Not only has it damaged our relationship further but it also will make the "no contact" boundary stay even longer in place.》
~Blue for grief:
《It has been extremely painful and hard to put a "no contact" boundary in place. I felt as though I was coming to the place of seeing the good in it and being able to go forward with my life, only to now have this incident rip up all the progress I made as well as cause me to revert back to some of my old habits I've been trying to overcome.》
~Red for frustration and rage:
《Abuse survivors usually have to learn how to have a voice and use it which is extremely hard after being silenced for so long. I tried to have a voice by setting a boundary only to have my boundary trampled as though it was nonexistent and irrelevant, which then silenced my voice in the moment because I went into shock. But later after some of the shock wore off I felt and still feel frustration and rage.》
~Green for manipulation and gaslighting:
《Even though the initial interaction wasn't the worst I've had with this individual, it did end with some gaslighting and manipulation. Trying to make me look like the bad person. Taking no responsibility for their own actions. Dragging other individuals into the conversation as a way of guilting me for my choice for going "no contact ".》
I cannot keep others from making the choices they do. I cannot control them. If they choose to devalue and disrespect me, that's their choice.
What I can control is how I choose to respond. (I cannot choose how my body reacted. I'm still paying the consequences of their choice in my body almost 2 weeks later.) I can choose to distance myself and take steps to protect myself from it happening again by not disclosing information to the wrong individuals that may enable an individual to disregard boundaries. I can choose to reinstate the boundary in very clear terms. I can choose to get help for myself so I can continue to heal and hopefully stave off the long term effects caused by this incident. There are many things I can choose and steps I can take to help myself without enabling the very ones that can cause so much damage. It's not about them since they have shown themselves to not be interested in making changes. It is about taking responsibility for who I am and what it takes for me to reach my full potential as an individual to make a difference both in this world and the life to come...
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