Boundaries – The Great Wall

Image of the Great Wall

One of the best way to hold your boundaries with the narcissist in your life is to go No Contact. However, when you have children with the this beast, as I do, No Contact is not really an option. I have found that establishing boundaries with the Narcissist is not building one great wall; like the Chinese states used to protect themselves from the nomads. But rather it is more like building a fortification, with multiple smaller defenses.

Before I went to get counselling specialized in narcissist recovery, which I highly recommend, I was working tirelessly on keeping the Narcissist out. I did everything I could to keep everything in my life from my X-wife, and I would go out of my way to avoid her. When she would break a boundary, whether it was via email, via text, or in person, I would crumble. I found myself completely reverting back to the day she walked out on me. Asking myself why I was not good enough, what did I do wrong. Moments later I would become angry with myself for letting my boundary be broken. Each time it happened the depression afterwards was shorter than the time before. However, it was still there each time.

This went on for the first couple years, until I finally got tired of it and said something has to change. I sought out a therapist specializing in working with those with N.P.D. and victims of narcissistic abuse. At my first meeting I told him my goal was to no longer be emotionally effected by this person. I was determined to not let the narcissist enter my world anymore. To build a great boundary wall that was impenetrable to her ways. Over the coarse of many sessions the therapist helped me realize that the very want to hold my boundaries was causing the majority of my angst. It was something I had to work at so hard, that I would loose myself when it was broken. 

The result of that discovery was to build little boundary walls, instead of one great one. Let the narcissist past one or two boundaries, but maybe not the third. I had to define boundaries in my mind that are absolutely not to be crossed and then surround those with ones that are not as important and could be ignored now and then. In doing so the Narc gets supply from crossing a boundary, but I was able to stay indifferent, knowing my most prized boundary was secure. For instance, I am holding a boundary of no contact while I have my children, because there is no need for her to contact me. If I get contact from her, I do not read it at that moment. I wait until a time I feel I want to review the contact, and maybe respond to it. If no response is warranted,  I file it away, and provide no response. My minor boundary of no contact may have been broken, but my major boundary of not interacting, or returning contact stays maintained. This little exercise has prevented most, if not all, of my episodes of depression after an encounter with my X-wife. 

Build little walls, not grand ones. Let the minor things be, protect the major boundaries! This little epiphany, along with setting the stage, which I will get to in another article, has done wonders for me. 

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