You’ve tried getting the courage to use your voice. To hold boundaries. To speak up for your needs. But it’s not working. People continue dismissing you and treading past your comfort zone. You’re tired of this kind of treatment, but it feels like a lost cause. You feel like you’re at a loss. At this point, you may have even started to seek out counseling for women in Orange County, CA.
For so long, you’ve taken care of everyone else
That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? As a daughter, sister, partner, friend, and mother, that’s been the expectation of you. But at times, it doesn’t feel like enough. Being the friend that saves the day or the daughter who can always help mom with bills makes you feel good. It fills you up because it makes you feel needed, right?
This might be so. But at the end of the day, where are those people for you? Do they reciprocate the same time and attention you give them? Are they there in a pinch when you need them? Or, it might be the people in your life won’t leave you alone. Every week, it seems they need you to do something to help out. And they don’t take into account that you’ve got your own crazy life to manage. But you’ve been helping for so long that you don’t know how to get out of this situation. Their emotional, physical and financial needs have moved in on your life so much. Now, it seems there’s no way to create space in the relationship. You fear that if you try to create space, you’ll upset them. Then, this leads to a spiral of fear and distress about being alone.
Boundaries are relational limits that create space between two people. They help maintain personal identity in emotions, beliefs, bodily autonomy, and other parts of a relationship. With that said, crossing boundaries occurs in many areas of our lives. They might be physical, emotional, sexual, mental, and even material. Often, we don’t know we have a boundary until we have that internal sensation that something isn’t right.
When you have that feeling to distance yourself from someone, they may have crossed a boundary. So, when you feel discomfort due to something you’ve seen or done with another person, a boundary could be set. This may be something that is addressed during counseling for women in Orange County, CA.
Codependency Makes Setting Boundaries Hard
Many people who struggle with codependency have trouble holding boundaries. Now, notice that I did not say they struggle with setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is challenging enough. But, ensuring that people respect them is a very different obstacle.
Once you have identified your boundaries, the next step is communicating them. This can be intimidating and even frightening. How will the people in your life respond? What if they get upset or angry? And even worse… what if they leave? Will they tell everyone else that you’re a horrible person? The thoughts start racing and you can’t stop them. It’s exhausting to ponder the possibilities. So, you consider throwing out the idea altogether.
Boundaries Are Worth It
You deserve to have your voice heard. Haven’t you been the one always “on-call” for your loved ones because you care so damn much? It is not too much to ask for the same care in return. And yes, they don’t need to drop everything for you in the same way you have done time and time again. If that was the expectation, you’d be setting a double standard. If we are going to work toward healthy relationships, we want to expect from others what we can ask of ourselves.
When you set boundaries, you are standing up for yourself. You’re standing firm in who you are and your values. And this is SO worth it. It can be so empowering to say “this is who I am and those who choose to be in my life should treat me this way.” When you set boundaries, you get to reclaim control over the power you may have lost along the way.
Counseling for Women Can Help You Set and Hold Boundaries
Setting boundaries is one of the first steps to addressing codependency. And to set boundaries, you first have to identify what those are for you. To get in touch with what you need from relationships, you need to do some self-exploration first. If you are codependent, you are likely struggling with low self-esteem. Or, even people-pleasing tendencies.
But to begin the challenging task of boundary work, you have to be confident in who you are. You need to have conviction in your intuition. And you have to believe in yourself. If you are ready to start exploring yourself and your true needs, meeting with a therapist can help. You don’t have to do this work alone. Instead, you should receive support and validation.
When People Don’t Respect Boundaries
One of the hardest parts of boundaries as a codependent is the fear of people not respecting boundaries. When you set boundaries, you run the risk of getting a negative reaction. They may get angry, feel disappointed, or cut you off. But you need to keep in mind, this may be the first time anyone has set a boundary with this person. They’ve been engaging in dynamics that allow them to get their way. So when you bring up a boundary, they are likely going to be a bit defensive.
People may push back on your boundaries and try to engage in the same dynamics that make you give in to their wants. And it can be hard to stand firm and hold your boundaries when you may usually conform to the desires of others. Setting and keeping boundaries is a muscle you need to exercise. And it’s a hard skill to put into practice without support. Setting boundaries with friends and family members can be isolating at times. But have a support network can make all the difference in addressing codependency.
Begin Codependency Therapy in Orange County, CA
Meeting with a caring therapist for codependency therapy can help you set boundaries. It can also help you work toward holding firm boundaries, too. Through self-exploration and reflection, you can learn more about your unique needs than ever before. Then, you’ll be able to make changes in your relationships to move from people-pleasing to living a more independent life. Our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice would be honored to support you. To start your therapy journey, follow these simple steps:
- Click here to schedule your first session or set up a free consultation
- Meet with a member of our team
- Start counseling for women and live more independently
Other services offered at Moxie Family Therapy
Codependency therapy is not the only service we offer from our Orange County, CA-based counseling clinic or through online therapy. Other services offered by Moxie Family Therapy include anxiety treatment, therapy for women, counseling for young adults, counseling for college students, couples counseling, counseling for teen girls, counseling for children, play therapy, art therapy, and family therapy.