Collingwood Ponderances

Thursday 8 January 2009

I understand why doing what's wrong feels so right.
But oh, how disorientating it feels when doing what's right feels so wrong.

Unless of course it's wrong and that's why it feels so wrong. Unless some boundaries are really just walls. How do you tell the difference?

How confusing it all is, this weird little life.

And then of course in another entirely different scenario there are the boundaries that are good and wonderful ones to be setting, because your house is not a hostel nor a halfway house, and relatives over 40 are responsible for their own lives. Why then does it carry such a strong, iron pang of abandoning, then? What sort of weird twist is that? Is it a weird twist at all, or is it just compassion, mixed in with the resentment and anger, the recognition of a fellow human being struggling to find their place, struggling to believe that they have the strength to walk forward into unknown places, struggling to understand that you are not the person who can help them right now? What a mix it all is, the chiaroscuro life.

That's all. As you were.


  1. Because love and healthy boundaries are at war with each other. It's a tension we have to cope with. Chiaroscuro.

  2. But that doesn't make seeeeeeeeeense! How can love be at war with anything? Surely it's just healthy boundaries at war with love ... but then ... oh, fucknstuff, I hate these thoughts!!!


  3. No it doesn't make sense. Maybe it's the assumed correct behavior of love that is at war with the boundaries. Theoretically, if you love him you must do anything you can for him. But I don't think that's true, especially if those things are either a) enabling him or b) making you miserable. If it's more loving of yourself to not have him there, and/or if it's more loving of him to make him find his own way, I don't think that is wrong.

    But then there is the guilt trip thing inside you that would say you're being selfish. Not so. I'm sure this is all a product of twisted Christianity that makes us think it's unloving to have boundaries. Or something.

  4. Okay. Now, this makes sense.

    I totally and fulsomely agree with you about all of this. The difficult thing is realising that it is a process, this moving from one way of doing things to another. That's a bit yukky and creepy, but there you have it.

    Actually, you know what? The weird thing is, this giant bubble of grace, this week I have gone from realising I need to forgive him all over again, and when I did that so much stuff lifted. He is actually here at the moment, and while it's defnitely not ideal, and while I would prefer him to be somewhere else, I am totally fine with it. Amazing.

    He's on his way out to South Australia, heading out on Monday. He may be here until then. I'm okay with that. That's very amazing :)

    But yes, having said all of that - maybe I'm okay with having him here because I know firmer boundaries are in place. Maybe firmer boundaries allow us to be more flexible, in that weird paradoxical box-inside-a-box sort of way that seems to be the way of the world so often :)

  5. Five hours later, I don't feel quite as okay with that as I did. But what do you do when the alternative for him staying here is to stay in his car? Yes, I know, it's not my problem. I actually feel that now. It really is not my problem. And yet the irritation and anger remains. He will just stay here if I don't say anything else. He hasn't even asked me if he could stay, it just happened that I was in a good mood and I didn't ask him to leave. How fucked up is that? Why would anyone bother with that? My father has fucked him up so much. He lacks the ability to remove himself from cloggy situations. Which just annoys me even further.

    So right now this minute, I am feeling resentful and angry that it looks like the rest of my holiday is stuck with my brother staying in my fucking house. Is it a comfort to remember that staking your claims and your boundaries is an ongoing process and that I am doing pretty well, but then falling down? Yes.

  6. And I'm sure it's entirely a process, with twists and turns and dead ends and ugly bouts and good days. This is where Papa comes in and he either takes care of you where it's at or he gives you the fortitude to enforce your boundaries. I pray you the ability to know what Papa would have you do and to be able to be strong and have peace with it.

  7. This is the very difficult murky waters, to know in these situations what to do. I have sensed, through the murk, God telling me this week to let him stay if he needs to. A difficult thing, but I have actually coped really amazingly well with it. It's felt like a bit of a life-affirming, grace thing that I can't quite explain.

    And anyway, as it happens, he is going this afternoon :)

  8. Hmm.... The double combo of emotional/mental abuse growing up (yikes when other abuses accompany that) and religious/spiritual abuse can really set up some fucked up mental twists.

    I was reading my journals from the summer & fall of 2007 and something lept out at me. I wrote that even the idea of getting a job and moving out of my dad's house and into my own place felt like abandoning my parents. That is fucked up. that is what children are SUPPOSED to do.

    Learning boundaries - setting them and sticking by them - is not always easy. But it is so worth the peace that comes with it.

    Sue, it is amazing to me that you can even let him stay in your house. Hmm... I think you are doing much better than it feels like. :-)



Newer Older