Strong boundaries/weak boundaries

Joy called me and asked how I am doing and then all of a sudden I realized I was talking about how my daughter Ranna is doing. Why did I feel uneasy?

Because I was not honoring the boundaries between myself and my adult daughter.

Ranna was listening to my phone conversation, and she understood immediately what was happening. “Mom,” she said, “you need to let me tell Joy how I am doing.”

As many of you know, Ranna is recovering from breast cancer. For many months, I have been focused on helping her get through the trauma of cancer treatments.  While she was ill, it was appropriate for me to take care of her emotionally and physically. She was very sick.

Now that Ranna is much better and starting to get her life in order, it’s time for me to return to the relationship we had before she became ill. I am her mother, but she is an adult. It is important that I treat Ranna like an adult and also like a separate, independent person.

I felt uneasy when I was telling Joy how Ranna was feeling because I was assuming that I knew how Ranna was feeling. I was encroaching into Ranna’s boundaries. I need to let Ranna speak for herself. I can tell Joy how I am feeling, but Ranna needs to tell Joy how she is feeling.

I slipped temporarily, but my slip was a reminder and I am now back on track.

Ranna and I are mother and daughter, but we also are two independent, separate human beings. We each have our own life and feelings. I can’t read Ranna’s mind or think for her or speak for her. I am still ready to help her if she needs help, but now it’s time for me to wait until she asks for help.

I’ve learned that having strong boundaries is very important. I’ll talk more about boundaries in our next blog post.

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  1. Building better boundaries | The Resolute Woman - April 17, 2012

    […] You can read more about boundaries in this blog post. […]