Boundaries. Want to know a funny thing about me setting boundaries? Joining the church was a way for me to do that with my mama.
Isn't it ironic.
it's been a long, long time since I've set boundaries with my dad and my stepmom. My mom is constantly pushing things, but with my dad it's been very chill over the past ten years or so. We just came to a "don't ask don't tell" kind of understanding, and my husband taught me how to love being at his house. I became friends with my stepmom. Things got weird when I became friends with my sister, though. Conflict of interest.
Setting boundaries with friends is a little trickier. They've mostly set them with me. You know, "I won't read this," "we can't talk anymore," "please don't say that," "prolly not a good idea to post that on my wall" etc etc etc. There are even the subtle ones between new people I meet. "Don't get me wrong, I'm Christian," they say. The claim is a strong one.
Or maybe it's just me, defensive. Assumptive. Gun shy.
I've let a lot of people be themselves around me. It hurts when I can't be myself around them. Then I ask myself what is the line there, too. In high school my big thing was being accepted for who I was. I went to drop off a job application in not-so-nice clothes. You don't like it? Go to hell.
I feel myself going back there, but it doesn't work. It barely works for a 16-year-old, it sure as hell won't work for an almost 30-year-old.
So I'm seeking the middle and finding it may not be that happy. That scares me. My husband finds it easy to be private. I'm fairly open--too open--with most things. Not everything, but too many things. I don't go looking for fights, and often I lack the courage to say much, but when I have it I don't back down. Piss me off enough and it doesn't really matter where we are. I don't say that to be all "fuck with me and i'll fuck you up" or "don't mess with my family, bitches," but it takes a lot for me to be aggressive. Not so much for me to piss other people off. That's a talent I seem to have. Seems to be the one way I know how to set boundaries. Probably not the best way, but it can be entertaining. And painful.
Everyone who has left the church--probably most any church--talks about boundaries between friends and acquaintances and leaders. I will say my husband is great at that. It takes me a bit longer. I'm there now, but it took a bit longer.
It's interesting, how members are so much quicker to set boundaries with others than former members are. I think it becomes easier the more confident one becomes with the decision to leave.
What's with the people pleasing?
We haven't talked to anyone in the church in a while--well, except when Eric attended priesthood session with his father. The guy who would be our bishop invited us to church "anytime." Eric thanked him and said it wouldn't happen. The bish was very respectful, apparently. "Yeah, I know."
He had to try. It's in his job description.
Eric made it painfully clear to his mama about where he stands at least. Atheist. Comfortable. She took it well at the moment, at least, but still asked if it would bother him that they would pray for us. Have at, cats. She asked if it bothered him that they talk church so much. Eh, you know, it's who they are.
They're good people.
The issue of boundaries seem to be more on my, non-LDS side of the family at the moment. Not saying this is the norm in the least--I couldn't say that with the stories I've heard, but it's my situation. It could change very soon.