Our parents--or the people who raised us--are responsible for nurturing us, guiding us through life, giving us healthy models for relationships, friendships, personal boundaries, etc. Ideally, they should be the two most important people in a child's life, acting as emotional anchors, self-esteem builders, unconditional lovers of their children.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many of us grew up in situations that were detrimental to our self-esteem, our emotions, our boundaries. Our parents may have failed to provide us with the right arsenal of tools to tackle the challenges we faced later in life. In some cases, they were our first abusers. Still others may have been passive enablers.
Some of us were fortunate enough to have had great parents who tried their best to create a healthy, nurturing environment for us and who remain supportive pillars in our lives. But even those with supportive parents in their lives face difficult questions.
It is often a challenge to reconcile having a relationship with our parents with our abuse histories and recovery. At some point in time, our boundaries may have been challenged, and we may have had to ask ourselves how to react or respond to that in a way that preserves our best interests.
Questions for this week:
- How did your childhood environment with your parents (or those who raised you) affect the way you developed and maintained personal boundaries?
- What "red flags" and/or "green lights" have you experienced regarding your relationship with your parents?
- How have you ultimately had to change or adapt your boundaries with your parents in order to better aid your own recovery?