Perpetual Eye Roller, Uncomfortable Phone Checker, and Always Setting Boundaries

My Rebel Deck Cards. Forever trolling me.

I recently met up with a couple of friends for dinner. Sometimes I feel like such a recluse I forget how much I enjoy getting together with friends to talk about any and everything. Even if part of the conversation focuses on me and my…ways.

I haven’t talked about it much on here but this has been the hardest year of my life. Going through a divorce is rough. I have been through ALL. THE. EMOTIONS. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. There are major holes in the year where I can’t remember the things I’ve done as I have spent most of it in a haze and in my head. Well, I remember the pain. The sadness. And the tears. I’ve never cried so much in my life which I know will be hard for some to believe because I’m an expert at making boundaries and not showing emotions that make me vulnerable. And according to my well-meaning friends (the victims on my constant eye-rolls), not all of them are healthy.

I do believe boundaries are important and healthy but how they are phrased is just as important as well. As soon as I would finish telling someone the reason(s) I decided to end my marriage, the next thing out of my mouth would be, “I’ll never get married again.” “I will never live with someone again. I don’t want anyone in my personal space. I don’t have space for them. I have my sons and plants. No space for someone new.” And I wouldn’t stop there. I would tell them if I wanted to travel I would do it alone or with my sons. I no longer needed or wanted someone in my life to have experiences with. I have me. I decided no one new would meet my family members. Why bother? I feel the only reason they need to meet the parents is if I’m planning a future with them and I’m not trying to integrate anyone into that part of my life. I told my mom I may show them a picture or they may briefly meet them just in case I go missing and they will have a lead. I’m sure as hell not letting them meet my sons (“I am not looking for a father figure for them. They have a father”).

I’m pretty sure you are reading this with furrowed brows or all the eye-rolls. I don’t blame you. I would do the same. But, I’m not finished. *insert Brown Girl Face Palm emoji*

These were all the boundaries I created if I decided to start another relationship. There was (and since I’m being honest, still is) a part of me that feels I will never be in another relationship again. And with that, came more ridiculous thoughts and boundaries. ” I’ll never find love and that’s ok. Love is a beautiful thing but it is for other people and not for me. Love is not meant for everyone.”

Yes, I sound ridiculous but can you blame me? I was/am completely broken. I truly and literally gave my all to make my marriage work and it still failed. Yes, there were factors beyond my control. And because of those factors, the marriage could not be successful. But damn if it doesn’t hurt.

Back to the dinner. It was four of us. All three knew about what I was going through but in different tiers. One had seen the good, bad, and all the ugly. In return, she would tell me what I needed to hear (note: I said “needed” not “wanted.”). One knew enough but would push back with caution because she knows I have walls. The other one who I didn’t see as much? Listen!!! You know how they talk about that friend you may not always see or talk to but when you do see them the conversation is real as hell? Well, she put me in my place (to an extent, ya know, boundaries). She was not here for any of it. As soon I started my “I’m never getting married” spiel she interrupted real quick, challenging me, asking me questions. And yes, I was annoyed. I rolled my eyes. How dare she interrupt my list of “I’m Nevers?!” I tried again to explain my reasoning but still, she kept coming back with questions “Why are you saying that?,” “Ok, I understand that but why do you feel that way?” Um, hello!! I’m going through a divorce and I’m jaded as hell. That’s why! Next thing you know. The other two started jumping in with questions, challenging me. Talk about an “Et tu, Brute?” situation. Why were they questioning my boundaries? Boundaries are good. Everyone needs boundaries!!

Feeling uncomfortable, I started to check my phone that was on 4% (yes, my phone is always on 4%. It’s how I live my life. Don’t @ me.) for texts, missed calls, trying to quickly scroll instagram. I did get a call from my son that worked as a great a little buffer but as soon as that was done, they started back up. And I continued to uncomfortably check it until it was yelled across the table “Put your phone down!” Damn, this girl was calling me out on everything. See if share my spring rolls with her ever again.

Other issues were brought up as well. “She doesn’t like to be touched. She’s not a hugger!” This one I own all the way. I have never been an affectionate person and it bothers me. I wish I could be more affectionate but it makes me uncomfortable. My mother recently revealed to me I used to hurt her feelings when I was younger because she would try to show me love and I wasn’t receptive. I didn’t see it that way. I just wanted to play with Barbies. And as I continued to get older and feel more awkward, insecure, and not wanting any attention drawn towards me, PDA became an enemy. Yes, even hugs. I will hug people and it’s always awkward. It makes me feel vulnerable and I don’t like feeling that way. The people who get most of my affection are my sons. I wish I could say it was freely and unconditional but even their hugs and kisses are overwhelming. Ugh, that sounds worse than it truly is. If you ever met my sons or have seen me with them, you will know they are more than loved; more so by me than anyone on this earth.

So as the dinner and my trial came to an end, I did agree to a few things, with boundaries of course (I got issues, alright?!). I am going to work on my narrative because words are powerful and my mom always tells me “Do/don’t speak it into existence.” So instead of the “I Nevers” I am going to work on the “I Wills.” And I feel the “I Wills” will create healthy boundaries because if something doesn’t fit positively into my plan then it will not be entertained.

I WILL write more in the new year and beyond. I’m not sure how much I want to share about my divorce (out of respect of my sons, and myself – vulnerability) but if it feels right, I’ll do it. But if not, well, I know a few people who are willing to listen. I just have to be open to their feedback. And I’ll even keep my phone in my purse.

Shanika

Living in Columbia, South Carolina and using this blog as my space to share a little insight into my life in what I’m making on the sewing machine, knitting needles, crochet hooks, in the kitchen, and elsewhere.

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