Tag: Boundaries

Predatory People and Toxic Relationships

My rant to a harassing person from my past that will not respect my NO:

Not everyone is our friend. There are those people who are alongside the Enemy and just wish to kill, steal, and destroy. There is good, and there is evil. Learning to discern the difference between the two has been a journey for me. Evil people don’t wear horns and carry pitchforks. Sometimes they dress and act just like you and pretend to be a friend. So you try to help. Invite them in. And wonder why you got bit from the wolf 6 months later! There are Predatory People out there.

 The Bible teaches us that you will know a tree by its fruit. And some trees are bad. No amount of tlc will change it. Learning that I am not the Savior was a hard lesson for me. I kept getting myself into toxic relationships with Drama Kings and Queens until I learned to say NO. 

No, You don’t get to pretend to be my friend and stab me in the back at the same time. 

No, I will not allow you to treat me disrespectfully time after time and pretend it never happened. 

No, don’t expect me to believe a word that you say when all I hear are lies. 

No, you are not my friend and I do not have to let you back into my life. 

For the dog that keeps knocking on my door and trying to bully their way back in – NO. 

   
I forgave you, God commands me to do that. That doesn’t mean you get to come over and have lunch like nothing happened. God also gives us wisdom. 

Forgiveness does not mean that I accept what you did to me and my family. IT WAS WRONG. And you treated many others in your life the same way. I can’t believe we all believed the same lies. Wouldn’t you at least change your story? Playing the same ‘ruse’ is so sad. 

Forgiveness means that I trust God to deal with you. I am not your Savior. He is. I will not ‘tie’ myself to you in friendship. You do not know what that word means. Nor do I think you even care. In my opinion you are a Narcissist. All about you, all the time. They have real counselors that may be able to help you with that. Not me. Not my job.

I tried to help, but you only used that as an opportunity to attack. I will protect myself and my family from Predators. And I respect myself  and my family enough to say NO. 

Stop harassing me. No more emails, no more friend requests to me or my children, no more stopping by to damage anything where I live. Go live your life and leave me and my family out of it. 

  
  

(Image credits- simple reminders.com, ilovemylsi.com, Pinterst)

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12 Steps to Keeping Your Sanity When You Are Sleeping With the Enemy

Keeping your sanity – when you are sleeping with the enemy. Let me share a story. I came to the Lord during a time of crisis in my life. Isn’t that how it goes? Anyway, I was charmed by the ‘snake’ just like Eve in the garden. His talk was smooth, he was absolutely charming, but underneath he was a snake.  I lived many years in Domestic Abuse and little did I know that this was the start of a very destructive relationship. And, it has happened to me more than once  – more than one relationship.

The World calls him the Abuser,

the Doctors call him the Narcissist,

and the Church calls him the Jezebel Spirit.  

It’s all about deception, and ultimately power and control.

And you my friend are the target if you fall for his lies.

dont fall for it

 

Recently I got an email from a follower asking for action steps on how to keep your sanity in the middle of the mess. Thank you my friend for the inspiration.  Here is my experience.

 

12 STEPS TO KEEPING YOUR SANITY

WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

 

  1. Accept the fact that you have been deceived. The dream was a nightmare. It was not what you thought, and that’s ok. The truth will set you free.

  2. Ask God to help you and read His Word. Only the Truth will cut through the lies.

  3. Ask God to reveal where you have been lied to. And get ready for tears as God shows you.

  4. Once the Holy Spirit shows you, give yourself permission NOT to confront the Abuser/Narcissist/Enemy. You don’t have to prove yourself right. God is showing you, not him. And seriously, he doesn’t care – he doesn’t want to.

  5. Start a journal. Write down what happens. Find a scripture verse to hold onto for the situation and write that down too. I had a tendency to forget what happened with living from crisis to crisis. Seeing it down on paper over time made it real for me.

  6. Give yourself permission to NOT change him. It is not your job. And he probably doesn’t even want to change. He thinks he is right – all the time.

  7. Give yourself some space and time. Not everything has to be decided today.

  8. Seek out professional support. I had help from the Pastor, church friends, Counselors, and a few friends.

  9. Start to reestablish your independence – quietly if you are still living in the same house. Start looking for a job, call someone, read a motivational book. Reignite the flame that he has blown out. You can do it.

  10. Ask God to put a barrier between you and the Abuser/Narcissist/Enemy. Every time I saw the Abuser I pictured mirrors all around me. That way anything he said bounced right back to him.

  11. If you are married, ask God for wisdom. God did not create you to be abused. Spiritual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, or physical abuse are NOT what marriage is. I had to separate with my ex. And he still did not want to change. With his repeated unfaithfulness we eventually divorced. It was messy, yes, but today I live in peace.

  12. Yes, pray for him. Whether he changes or not, it will free you. Forgiveness does not mean what he did was right, but it frees you from the baggage and allows God to deal with him. There is such freedom in letting go of trying to change him. Let go of the strings my friends, God will take it from here.

I found a wonderful image of what this looks like from The Narcissists Wife.

 

Source - http://www.narcissistswife.com/19-signs-married-to-a-narcissist/
Source – http://www.narcissistswife.com/19-signs-married-to-a-narcissist/

 

(Other images from Pinterest)

Sweetie, It’s Not You, Your Dad is a Narcissist

This blog is a letter to my children. I have been married to 2 Narcissists in my life. The Church calls them Jezebel Spirits. Here is my life lesson. In my opinion a Narcissist does not know what love is. It is always all about them. We are not people – we are possessions. And in his eyes, we are here to bow down and worship him.  (sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.)

NARCISSIST

1. a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.
2. Psychoanalysis. a person who suffers from narcissism, deriving erotic gratification from admiration of his or her own physical or mental
attributes.

To all the children with a Narcissistic Parent:

You are old enough where we can have this conversation. I am so tired of the way he breaks your heart time and time again. Your tears break my heart. Every empty promise that brings you pain gives me pain too.

Can I share something with you? It’s not you. It’s not about anything you did or didn’t do. Sweetie, your father is a Narcissist.

According to Mythology:

Source:Wikpedia
Source:Wikpedia

In Greek mythology, Narcissus (/nɑrˈsɪsəs/; Greek: Νάρκισσος, Narkissos) was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was the son of a river god named Cephissus and a nymph named Liriope.

He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus drowned. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself.
2014/12/img_0922.jpg

 

I am here to let you know that I love you. And I support you. I give you freedom to make your own choices and learn from your mistakes. I will be here to pick up the pieces when he degrades you and belittles you. I know what it feels like because he did it to me first.

 

I love you, and I will shelter you under the shadow of my wings just like God does for all of us. Put up the mirror around your heart and let his harsh words bounce off you as they are not true.  You are beautiful. You matter. You are smart. And I love you,

Mom

 

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

 

(All images from breakingupwithyournarcissist.com, Pinterest, brainwashingchildren.com, lattuera.com, Wikpedia, quotepixel.com, LaHuera.com)

Doors and Tokens

Today I would like to share my experience with doors and tokens.  This is a true story of how I learned to protect myself, my family and my home from the enemy. Thank you Lord

Doors open from both sides.

One side is good and one side is bad.

And unfortunately when we open the doors of our homes to others, they bring things with them – both good and bad.

Recently I believed a liar. Yes, I fell for it.  There was a girl I knew that lied to me. She said she had been raped.  Being a former teacher I took this very seriously. And of course, because I had been raped as a teenager it was an open doorway for the enemy to enter.

Now I thought this door was shut.

But when this girl knocked on the closed door – I was the one who opened it.

And I let her in.

She lived with us for a while. We fed her, I played taxi driver, and I took her to all her appointments. I did her laundry. She is definitely a Jezebel Spirit. I am learning more and more about that. And then the truth was revealed.

She had used the ‘rape’ story to go from house to house for years.  I caught her in lie after lie and finally told her to move out. She was very promiscuous and tried flirting with my husband, my son, and all the men at our church. I helped her get an apartment and food and helped her enroll in college.  Despite the enemy, I did and still do want her to be delivered from the demons that are inside her.  She seems devoted to destruction.

When she left there were still some of her things in the room we let her use.  I removed them and returned them to her.  While I was cleaning this room I felt something jump off the curtains and onto my back. Yes, a bad spirit.  I rebuked it in Jesus Name, and anointed the room with oil.  God uses oil all the time for His Spirit.

Anyway I also closed the bank account that we had for her and gave her the money.  But she still kept calling.  I didn’t answer and I unfriended her on FaceBook. Can I tell you that since I started helping her our finances took a nose dive? And I had thing after thing break – lawnmower, coffee pot, outlets, lights, dryer, cell phones, grill, flat tires, etc.  It was like a tornado went through our house. My daughter was in a car accident. My son had a really bad bout with depression. My old ways of self-harm surfaced, and my husband took a bad trip. Very strange things happened. We were not our normal fun selves.  All of us were affected by the spirits she brought into our home.

Then when I dropped off the last piece of stuff I had of hers at her new place she gave me this card that said “I love you”. The next week things went haywire here. It was then that God said to get rid of that card – there were bad spirits attached to it and they were infiltrating.  I threw it out on the highway and cursed any and all demons that came to me and my home and family because of it.

It was a token and the enemy was using it as a doorway.

My Pastor gave me some Queen Esther oil. I anointed every doorway and window in our home pleading the Blood of Jesus for protection. God promised the enemy would pass over us if we are under the blood of Jesus.

She is still knocking at the door. But today I am not opening it. I do not pick her up for church anymore. I do not entertain the spirit of the enemy. I will not coddle it, feed it, or enable it to hurt me or my family.  I cast it out in Jesus Name. No more valley of trouble for our family.

Would you believe that since I got rid of the tokens and kicked her out the door has shut. I opened it so I had to shut it. Our finances are back on track. Our business is doing great. My music is taking off. And all is well. Thank you Lord, for protection, and wisdom, and Truth!

 

7 Lessons Learned from Doors and Tokens:Jesus is the Door

1.  Get rid of all tokens no matter what they are. Curse them, burn them, and send them back to the pit where they came from in Jesus Name.
2.  Don’t invite the enemy in. Jesus is the Savior, not me.  I can’t change someone, He can. Not everyone wants to change. Some people are perfectly content spreading chaos and confusion everywhere they go. Some people are devoted to destruction. Don’t let them in.
3. Be wise – test the spirits.  Often a wounded person will carry with them the spirits of division, destruction, and desolation.  When you invite them in you also let those things in.
4.  Evaluate relationships and be cautious.  Be careful who you share your personal life with. Not everyone is looking out for your best interests. Not everyone wants to see you succeed. Many want to kick you when you are down and laugh at you due to their own insecurities.
5. Just ‘going to church’ does not mean that a person is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The enemy goes to church all the time. That’s where the battle is. Even the demons know the Word.
6. God is greater and He will restore all things. Nobody can take us from His hand. His arm is mighty to save.
7.  Clean house today.  Close the door to the enemy, and don’t answer if he knocks.  That’s why Jesus says He is the door. Let Him guide us as to who can come in and who needs to stay out. And let go of the garbage!

GOD’S WORD

Joshua 7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 But the Israelites committed a trespass in regard to the devoted things; for Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the things devoted [for destruction]. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel.
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, Go up and spy out the land. So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, Let not all the men go up; but let about two thousand or three thousand go up and attack Ai; do not make the whole army toil up there, for they of Ai are few.
4 So about three thousand Israelites went up there, but they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of them, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and slew them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
6 Then Joshua rent his clothes and lay on the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
7 Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all only to give us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan!
8 O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned to flee before their enemies!
9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?
10 The Lord said to Joshua, Get up! Why do you lie thus upon your face?
11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. They have taken some of the things devoted [for destruction]; they have stolen, and lied, and put them among their own baggage.
12 That is why the Israelites could not stand before their enemies, but fled before them; they are accursed and have become devoted [for destruction]. I will cease to be with you unless you destroy the accursed [devoted] things among you.
13 Up, sanctify (set apart for a holy purpose) the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: There are accursed things in the midst of you, O Israel. You can not stand before your enemies until you take away from among you the things devoted [to destruction].
14 In the morning therefore, you shall present your tribes. And the tribe which the Lord takes shall come by families; and the family which the Lord takes shall come by households; and the household which the Lord takes shall come by persons.
15 And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be [killed and his body] burned with fire, he and all he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord and because he has done a shameful and wicked thing in Israel.
16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken.
17 He brought near the family of Judah, and the family of the Zerahites was taken; and he brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken.
18 He brought near his household man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
19 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make confession to Him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.
20 And Achan answered Joshua, In truth, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this have I done:
21 When I saw among the spoils an attractive mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.
22 So Joshua sent messengers, who ran to the tent, and behold, the spoil was hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.
23 And they took them from the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and laid them out before the Lord.
24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, and the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.
25 And Joshua said, Why have you brought trouble on us? The Lord will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned him and those with him with stones, and afterward burned their bodies with fire.
26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor or Troubling to this day.

 

source: wallpaper4God.com
source: wallpaper4God.com

 

 

Here is Your Sign – No Narcissists Allowed!

Here is your sign – No Narcissists Allowed!

What is a narcissist you ask? I wish I would have asked – years ago! Wow, that would have saved a lot of heartache.  I was married to one – well ok, two -before I found out what was really going on. I thought I was crazy. I thought I was losing my mind – seriously.  After all, they said I was crazy. They said I didn’t know anything. They said I couldn’t remember the truth…you know right?

Ok, so 2 divorces later here I am to share with you the “wisdom” I gleaned on the way. I’m sure you have some too – feel free to leave me a comment!

Guess what – we are not crazy!

They are! Hahahahahaha!

 

Seriously – NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is a mental condition. And requires psychotherapy. All those years I spent in therapy thinking it was ALL my fault! Honestly, you have to laugh or cry!

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you’re better than others
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Being easily hurt and rejected
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

 

 

More Signs of a Narcissit

1. It’s all about them. You don’t exist – except to listen to them brag about how important they are. They have very over-inflated egos. They are arrogant and prideful. Yes, they really do believe their s#*t does not stink!

2. Your feelings really don’t matter to them. You could talk until you are blue in the face and they still would not understand. And most of the time they really don’t care anyway.

3. They refuse to take responsibility for anything – ever. Even if they are caught red-handed. It is always somebody else’s fault for everything bad that happens to them.

4. They lie – a lot. They really have no sense of what is true and what is false. And their lies get bigger and more grandiose every time they tell the same story.

5.  They really do believe that they are superior and better than you. That’s why they take every opportunity to point out all of your flaws. They will cut you down and humiliate you in public just to make themselves feel better. Abusers are usually narcissistic.

6.  They really are two-faced.  In the beginning they are charming, and flattering. They entice you into their web of lies. And most people who don’t know them fall for it too. But behind closed doors the ‘snake’ comes out.

7.  They are vindictive.  They never forget who hurt them and will not miss an opportunity to retaliate. It might even be years later, yet they still hang onto anger and absolutely refuse to forgive anyone for anything. If you make them look bad ever, you will get clobbered.

8. They are masters at turning the tables. They will take something they are doing, and accuse you of the same thing. For ex. My ex was lying, so he accused me of lying. They will be having an affair, and then turn around and accuse you of having an affair. When they do something it is ok, but if you do it – you are wrong and stupid, and get humiliated.

And now, some perfect narcissist songs!

“I WANT TO TALK ABOUT ME!”

“ITS ALL ABOUT YOU”

When is it Stalking?

I know I am sensitive with this issue. I have been stalked. I have had people chase me with cars, on foot, on the phone, in person, and even show up outside my glass sliding door. I have had things outside destroyed. I have had nails in my driveway, cars vandalized, broken windows, etc. I have had people sneak into my apartment. I know the terror that comes with being stalked.

However, now I am finding stalking in a new arena – online. Has this happened to you? I find myself ‘hiding’ and not wanting to come online. All because someone wouldn’t be respectful. I have had ex’s stalk my Linkedin. I have had old High School people I know nothing about try to message and contact and put something on my FaceBook page everyday. And then when I deny a friend request – they ‘friend’ my brother just so they can post on my page. Did you know that ‘friends of friends’ can see everything on your FaceBook Page? I tried to change it and it went back. I am seriously thinking of deleting the whole thing.

I have had many, many people post negative things – all on my space. I get weary sometimes of monitoring all the online stuff.  Yes, I have reached many – but with a cost.  There are haters, there are trolls – those who hunt you down just to try to pull you under the bridge. And then there are some who will not take “NO” for an answer in this ‘instant’ age.  P.S. I am not your ‘fix’. I am not your ‘drug’. I am not your ‘instant messenger’.

If you text me and I don’t answer – I am busy.

If you call me next and I don’t answer – perhaps I do not want to talk.

If you e-mail me next –  I will not answer.

So why do you send another text?

And then post something on my FaceBook page?  Post on your own page.

And then when I still do not answer why do you message me on FaceBook?

And then when I do not answer you instantly you start calling other people to bad mouth me – really?

Seriously? I didn’t answer.  I am busy, or not available, or I DO NOT want to talk right now.  I get to choose who and when I want to talk to.  Please – respect  my privacy.  Respect my boundaries.  No means No.  I have choices too – it’s not always about YOU!

And the more you do it – the less I will answer.

In my opinion that is rude – and stalking. Knock it off!

What is Self Sabotage?

They say misery loves company. Right? The more you talk negative about yourself, the worse you feel. Right? Came accross this list and wow, so true! Self sabotage is deadly. It hurts everyone who is trying to help you. It hurts yourself. You become so addicted to people treating you badly that if nobody does it, you do it to yourself. Self-sabotage. Get help today for this self destructive behavior. Learn how to receive good things and get help today.

When Misery is Company

Source: When Misery is Company, page 117

How many of these statements can you answer in the affirmative?

  1. I often self-sabotage relationships, school, work and other positive opportunities and events.
  2. I avoid feeling or experiencing life fully.
  3. I often get side-tracked or distracted from the most important things.
  4. It is not uncommon for me to find or inject the negative into positive situations.
  5. I often derail positive momentum in my life or circumstances.
  6. I fear feeling too good, too happy or being too successful.
  7. I often procrastinate or delay rather than take required action.
  8. I am often indecisive.
  9. I am rarely sure how I feel about people, places, or things.
  10. I have goals and ambitions but don’t do the work required to attain them.
  11. I feel like I don’t get any breaks.
  12. I often feel incompetent and unworthy.
  13. I have difficulty changing my behaviors even in the face of repeated negative consequences.
  14. I don’t avoid situations that I know will cause me problems.
  15. I too often act on assumptions rather than facts.
  16. I resist change of any type.
  17. I get tied up in the details rather than looking at the big picture (I can’t see the forest for the trees.)
  18. I refuse (or “forget”) to take medications that are helpful.
  19. I often isolate.
  20. I find it difficult to ask for help or accept help if offered.
  21. I tend to push away or reject the people who care the most for me.
  22. I sacrifice my own desires and well-being for those of others.
  23. I am attracted to unavailable people.
  24. I rarely feel like I fit in or belong.
  25. I desire closer relationship but avoid the intimacy that ‘closeness’ requires.
  26. I am easily addicted to substances or behaviors.

How to recover? The first step is recognizing you have a problem and you are listening to the wrong voices. That critical voice in your head is not of God. It is the enemy and he is trying to kill, steal, and destroy. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.

Replace those old tapes with the Word of God. Jesus has come to give you life, and life more abundantly.

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Every Woman Should Know – Inspiration from Maya Angelou

I got this an email from my sister-in-law Kris today. It really blessed me, so I would like to share it with you.

Maya Angelou is an inspiration, an Author, a Poet, and a Civil Rights Leader. You may have read her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to…
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a youth she’s content to leave behind….
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to
retelling it in her old age….
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a feeling of control over her destiny….
how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship….

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

when to try harder…
and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…..
how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

whom she can trust,
whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

where to go…
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table..
or a charming Inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year…

(All Images below from Pinterest)

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Fences, Boundaries, and Relationships

When I say todays Daily Prompt I remembered this wonderful series on boundaries.  I had to learn what a healthy relationship looked like as I was always the one  getting walked on. I seemed to say yes to everyone and everything.

“Yes, I would love to get that for you…

Yes, of course I want to do that…

Yes, I would love to take you to the store…

Yes, I would love to make that….

Yes, I would love to head that project…”

Meanwhile, in my head I wanted to shoot them!

Not today.  I have no problem saying “no” today.  This series helped me do that.Not a doormat for anyone today!

Daily Prompt: Good Fences?

Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point). Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEXT DOOR.

Boundaries – When to Say Yes and When to Say No (part 1) (via Prayers and Promises)

So, you wonder, if you used to live in abuse and domestic violence, how did you get out Ms. D?  Funny you should ask.  I recently came across a book/teaching/bible study that was planted in me about 10 years ago.  This particular way of looking at…

Guard Your Heart (Boundaries – Part 5)

More from “Boundaries”.  This lesson was the one that did it for me.  After reading/hearing this lesson, I finally understood what I was doing  that attracted the “thieves, robbers, and abusers”.  But, there is hope, thank you God, I can be taught!  Today I can say NO, today I can enforce consequences and protect myself! Today I know what to look for, and what to avoid, thank you Jesus!

Proverbs 4:23boundariescover

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. NKJV

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life. NLT

Keep your heart pure for out of it are the important things of life. (NLV)

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)

4 TYPES OF BOUNDARY PROBLEMS 

1. COMPLIANTS – SAYING YES TO THE BAD

The inability to say NO to the BAD is pervasive.  Not only does it keep us from refusing evil in our lives, it often keeps us from recognizing evil.  Many complaint people realize too late that they’re in a dangerous or abusive relationship.  Their spiritual and emotional “radar” is broken; they have no ability to guard their hearts. (Proverbs 4:23)

This type of boundary problem paralyzes people’s “NO” muscles. Whenever they need to protect themselves by saying NO, the word catches in their throats.  This happens for a number of different reasons:

  • Fear of hurting the other person’s feelings
  • Fear of abandonment and separateness
  • A wish to be totally dependent on another
  • Fear of someone else’s anger
  • Fear of being shamed
  • Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
  • Fear of being unspiritual
  • Fear ones one’s overstrict, critical conscience (God will never forgive me…)

This las fear is actually experienced as GUILT.  People who have overstrict, critical consciences will condemn themselves for things God himself doesn’t condemn them for.  When we give in to guilt feelings, we are complying with a harsh conscience.  This fear of disobeying the harsh conscience translates into an inability to confront others – a saying YES TO THE BAD because it would cause more guilt.

2. AVOIDANTS – SAYING NO TO THE GOOD

This boundary problem is called avoidance – saying no to the good.  It’s the inability to ask for help, to recognize one’s own needs, to let others in.  Avoidants withdraw when they are in need; they do not ask for the support of others.

Why is avoidance a boundary problem? At the heart of the struggle is a confusion of boundaries as walls.  Boundaries are supposed to be able to “breathe”, to be like fences with a gate that can let the good in and the bad out.  Individuals with walls for boundaries can let in neither bad nor good.  No one touches them.

God designed our personal boundaries to have gates.  We should have the freedom to enjoy safe relationships and to avoid destructive ones.  God even allows us the freedom to let him in or to close him off.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come inand eat with that person, and they with me. (Revealtion 3:20 NIV)

God has no interest in violating our boundaries so that he can relate to us.  He understands that this would cause injuries of trust.  It is our responsibility to open up to him in need and repentance.  Yet, for avoidants, opening up to both God and people is almost impossible.

The impermeable boundaries of avoidants cause rigidity toward their God-given needs.  They experience their problems and legitimate wants as something bad, destructive, or shameful.

Complain avoidants suffer from what is called ‘REVERSED BOUNDARIES”.  They have no boundaries where they need them, and they have boundaries where they shouldn’t have them.

3. CONTROLLERS – NOT RESPECTING OTHER’S BOUNDARIES

Controllers believe the old jokes about training top sales people: no means maybe, and maybe means yes. While this may be productive in learning to sell a product, it can wreak havoc in a relationship.  Controllers are perceived as bullies, manipulative and aggressive.

The primary problem of individuals who can’t hear NO – which is different from being not able to say NO – is that they tend to project responsibility for their lives onto others.  They use various means of control to motivate others to carry the load intended by God to be theirs alone.

Controllers come in two types:

  1. AGGRESSIVE CONTROLLERS – These people clearly don’t listen to other’s boundaries.  They run over other people’s fences like a tank.  They are sometimes verbally abusive, sometimes physically abusive. Most of the time they aren’t aware that others even have boundaries. It’s as if they live in a world of YES.  There’s no place for someone else’s NO.  They attempt to get others to change, to make the world fit for their idea of the way life should be.  They neglect their own responsibility to accept others as they are.
  2. MANIPULATIVE CONTROLLERS – Less honest than the aggressive controllers, manipulators try to persuade people out of their boundaries.  They talk others into YES. They indirectly manipulate circumstances to get their way. They seduce others into carrying their burdens.  They use guilt messages.

4. NONRESPONSIVES – NOT HEARING THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

Termed ‘nonresponsives’ because of their lack of attention to the responsibilities of love, these individuals exhibit the opposite of the pattern exhorted in  Proverbs 3:27 NIV: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Nonresponsives fall into one of two groups:

  1. Those with a critical spirit towards others’ needs – a projection of our own hatred of our needs onto others.  They hate being incomplete in themselves. As a result they ignore the needs of others.
  2. Those who are so absorbed in their own desires and needs they exclude others – a form of narcissism.

CONTROLLERS AND NONREPONSIVES have a hard time looking past themselves.  They see others as responsible for their struggles and are on the lookout for someone to take care of them.  They gravitate toward someone with blurry boundaries, who will naturally take on too many responsibilities in the relationship and who won’t complain about it.  It’s like the old joke about relationships:

“What happens when a rescuing, enabling person meets a controlling, insensitive person?

Answer – they get married!

(ouch – this was me!)

guard_your_heart_by_rockangel93-d49aao6

What’s Within My Boundaries (part 4)

boundariescoverToday we will look at what is within our boundaries.  What do we have responsibility for?  Seriously, I had to learn this.  I was so busy taking care of others in my life that I did not “own” my own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.  I am grateful that I got this through my thick head!  Life is much easier and more peaceful for me now. Another lesson from Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend’s Book: BOUNDARIES.

WHAT’S WITHIN MY BOUNDARIES?

FEELINGS

Feelings have gotten a bad rap in the Christian world.   They have been called everything from unimportant to fleshly.  At the same time, example after example, shows how our feelings play an enormous role in our motivation and behavior.

Feelings should neither be ignored nor placed in charge.  The Bible says to “own” your feelings and be aware of them. They can often motivate you to do much good.  The Good Samaritan’s pity moved him to go to the injured Israelite.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33 NIV)

The Father was filled with compassion for his lost son and threw his arms around him.

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NIV)

ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS

Attitudes have to do with your orientation toward something, the stance you take toward others, God, life, work, and relationships.  Beliefs are anything that you accept as true.  Often we do not see an attitude or belief as the source of discomfort in our life.  We blame other people as did our first parents, Adam and Eve.  We need to “own” our attitudes and convictions because they fall within our property line.  We are the ones who feel their effect and the only ones who can change them.

The tough thing about our attitudes is that we learn them very early in life.  They play a big part in the map of who we are and how we operate.  People who have never  questioned their attitudes and beliefs can fall prey to the dynamic that Jesus referred to when he described people holding on to the traditions of men instead of the commands of God.

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human tradition. (Mark 7:8 NIV)

 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3 NIV)

BEHAVIORS

Behaviors have consequences.  As Paul says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV).  If we study, we will reap good grades.  If we go to work, we will get a paycheck.  If we exercise, we will be in better health.  If we act lovingly toward others, we will have closer relationships.

On the negative side, if we sow idleness, irresponsibility, or out-of-control behavior, we can expect to reap poverty, failure, and the effects of loose living. These are natural consequences of our behavior.

The problem comes when someone interrupts the law of sowing and reaping in another’s life.  A person’s drinking or abuse should have consequences for the drinker or abuser.  “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path.” (Proverbs 15:10 NIV)

To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.

CHOICES

We need to take responsibility for our choices.  This leads to the fruit of “self-control”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

A common boundary problem is disowning our choices and trying to lay the responsibility for them on someone else.  Think for a moment how often we use the phrases, “I had to” or “She/he made me” when explaining why we did or did not do something.  These phrases betray our basic illusion that we are not active agents in many of our dealings.  We think someone else is in control, thus relieving us of our basic responsibility.

Setting boundaries inevitable involves taking responsibility for your choices.  You are the one who makes them.  You are the one who must live with their consequences.  And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. (ouch!)

VALUES

What we value is what we love and assign importance to.  Often we do not take responsibility for what we value.  We are caught up in valuing the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:42-43 NIV)

Because of this misplaced value, we miss out on life  We think that power, riches, and pleasure will satisfy our deepest longing, which is really for love.

LIMITS

Two aspects of limits stand out when it comes to creating better boundaries.  The first is setting limits on others.  This is the component that we most often hear about when we talk about boundaries.  In reality, setting limits on others is a misnomer.  We can’t do that.  What we can do is set limits on our own exposure to people who are behaving poorly; we can’t change them or make them behave right. (another ouch!)

TALENTS

Our talents are clearly within our boundaries and are our responsibility.  Yet taking ownership of them is often frightening and always risky. The parable of the talents says that we are accountable when we are exercising our gifts and being productive. It takes work, practice, learning, prayer, resources, and grace to overcome the fear of failure that the “wicked and lazy” servant gave in to.  He was not chastised for being afraid; we are all afraid when trying something new and difficult.  He was chastised for not confronting his fear and trying the best he could.  Not confronting our fear denies the grace of God and insults both his giving of the gift, and his grace to sustain us as we are learning.

THOUGHTS

Our minds and thought are important reflections of the image of God.  No other creature on earth has our thinking ability.  We are the only creatures who are called to love God with all our mind.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV). 

Paul wrote that he was taking “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:5) Establishing boundaries in thinking involves three things:

  1. We must own our own thoughts.  Many people have not taken ownership of their own thinking process.  They are mechanically thinking the thoughts of others without ever examining them.  They swallow others’ opinions and reasoning’s never questioning and “thinking about their thinking”.
  2. We must grow in knowledge and expand our minds.  One are in which we need to grow is in knowledge of God and His Word.
  3. We must clarify distorted thinking.  We all have a tendency to not see things clearly, to think and perceive in distorted ways.  We rarely see people as they really are; our perceptions are distorted by past relationships and our preconceptions of who we think they are.  We do not see clearly because of the “log” in our own eyes.
DESIRES

Our desire lie within our boundaries.  Each of us has different desires and wants, dreams, and wishes, goals and plans, hungers and thirsts.  We all want to satisfy “me”. Part of the problem lies in the lack of structured boundaries within our personality.  We can’t define who the “real me” is and what we truly desire.  many desires masquerade as the real thing.  They are lusts that come out of now owning our real desires.  For example, many sex addicts are looking for sexual experiences, but what they really desire is love and affection.

We often do not actively seek our desires from God, and those desires are mixed up with things that we do not really need.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) 

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him” (Psalm 145:19)

LOVE

Our ability to give and respond to love is our greatest gift.  The heart that God has fashioned in his image is the center of our being; its abilities to open up to love and to allow love to flow outward are crucial to life. Many people have difficulty giving and receiving love because of hurt and fear.  having closed their heart to others, they feel empty and meaningless.  The Bible is clear about both functions of the heart: the receiving of grace and love inward and the flow outward.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37,39)

And how we should receive love: “we have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.  We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-!3)

Many people do not take ownership for how they RESIST LOVE. They have a lot of love around them, but do not realize that their loneliness is a result of their own lack of responsiveness.  Often the will say, “Others’ love can not ‘get in”.” This statement negates their responsibility to respond.  We manuever subtly to avoid responsibility in love. We need to claim our hearts as our property and work on our weaknesses in that area.  It will open up life to us.

We need to take responsibility for all the above areas of our souls.  These lie within our boundaries.  By taking care of what lies within our boundaries isn’t easy; neither is allowing other people to take care of what lies within their boundaries.  Setting boundaries and maintaining them is hard work, but worth it

(REVELATION IS FOR ME FIRST! I am still learning here too, Diana)

God and Boundaries (part 3)

So far this week we have looked at Boundaries – When to Say Yes and When to Say No and Good in and Bad Out.

Today we are looking at God and Boundaries
boundariescover

The concept of boundaries comes from the very nature of God.  God defines himself as a distinct, separate being, and He is responsible for himself.  He defines and takes responsibility for his nature by telling us what He thinks, feels, plans, allows, will not allow, likes, and dislikes.

He also defines Himself as separate from his Creation and from us.  He differentiates himself from others.  He tells us who He is and who He is not.  For example, he says that He is love and that He is not darkness.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16 NIV)

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5 NIV)

God also limits what He will allow in his yard.  He confronts sin and allows consequences for behavior.  He guards his house and will not allow evil things to go on  there.  He invites people in who will love him, and he lets love flow outward to them at the same time.  The “gates” to his boundaries open and close appropriately.

EXAMPLES OF BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are anything that helps to differentiate you from someone else, or shows where you begin and end.  Here are some examples of boundaries:

1.  WORDS

In the physical world a fence or some other kind of structure usually delineates a boundary.  In the spiritual world, fences are invisible.  Nevertheless, you can create good protective fences with your words.

The most basic boundary-setting word is NO.  It lets others know that you exist apart from them and that you are in control of you.  Being clear about your NO and your YES is a theme that runs throughout the Bible.

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37 NIV)

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. (James 5:12 NIV)

2.  TRUTH

Knowing the truth about God and his property puts limits on you and shows you his boundaries.  Realizing the truth of his unchangeable reality helps you to define yourself in relation to Him.  When He says that “you will reap what you sow,” (Gal 6:7), you either define yourself in relation to that reality, or continue to get injured if you try to go against it.  There is safety in the truth, whether it be knowing God’s truth or knowing the truth about yourself.

3. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTANCE

Proverbs 22:3 says that “the prudent man sees the evil and hides himself.” Sometimes physically removing yourself from a situation will help maintain boundaries.  You can do this to replentish yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually after you have given to your limit, as Jesus often did.

4. TIME

Taking time off from a person, or a project, can be a way of regaining ownership over some out-of-control aspect of your life where boundaries need to be set.

5. EMOTIONAL DISTANCE

Emotional distance is a temporary boundary to give your heart the space it need to be safe; it is never a permanent way of living.  People who have been in abusive relationships need to find a safe place to begin to “thaw out” emotionally.  Sometimes in abusive marriages the abused spouse needs to keep emotionally distant until the abusive partner begins to face his/her problems and become trustworthy.

You should not continue to set yourself up for hurt and disappointment.  If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should wait until it is safe and real patterns of change have been demonstrated before you go back.  Many people are too quick to trust someone in the name of forgiveness and not make sure that the other is producing “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8)

6.  OTHER PEOPLE

You need to depend on others to help you set and keep boundaries.  People subject to another person’s addictions, control, or abuse are finding that after years and years of “loving too much,” they can find the ability to create boundaries only through a support group.  Their support system is giving them the strength to say NO to the abuse and control for the first time in their lives.

7.  CONSEQUENCES

Trespassing on other people’s property carries consequences. “No Trespassing” signs usually carry a threat of prosecution if someone steps over the boundaries.  The Bible teaches this principle over and over, saying that if we walk one way, this will happen, and if we walk another way, something else will happen.

Just as the Bible sets consequences for certain behaviors, we need to back up our boundaries with consequences. How many marriages could have been saved if one spouse had followed through with the threat of “if you don’t stop drinking, (or coming home at midnight, or hitting me, or yelling at the kids), I will leave until you get some treatment!”  Or how many young adults’ lives would have been turned around if their parents had followed through with their threat of “no more money if you quit another job without having further employment” or “no bed if you continue to smoke marijuana in my house.”

Consequences give some good “barbs” to fences.  They let people know the seriousness of the trespass and the seriousness of our respect for ourselves. This teaches them that our commitment to living according to helpful values is something we hold dear and will fight to protect and guard.

from www.moyne.vic.gov.au

Tune in tomorrow for WHAT’S WITHIN MY BOUNDARIES?