Have you ever considered yourself to be a doormat?
Maybe you've felt like you were being taken advantage of yet you couldn’t say no. Repeatedly.
Or you feel like you have a filter on everything you say.
For me, I used to feel like my words were being blocked somewhere in my throat. Like I was being stifled from some invisible force.
Perhaps you leave convos with friends/coworkers/your boss/mom/ex feeling dissatisfied and think ‘ I should have said xyz.’ Yet in the back of your mind you know you'd never say xyz bc you’re afraid of
Losing the relationship
Being called a b i t c h
This is a common outcome for those of us who have been abused, feeling like and acting as if we're a doormat to other people in our lives, not just our exes.
We may never have learned the skills nor the tools around boundary setting, nor allowed the freedom to speak up and say ‘no’ and stand up for ourselves and our kids without negative consequences.
This was a huge issue for me. I never thought I’d go from a doormat to a boundary queen. Ever. People in my family used to call me “The Peacemaker’ from childhood - which really meant I was the one who didn’t say anything, never spoke up, and ran from conflict. In essence they were calling me The Doormat.
Oftentimes with the ex, we’re trying to buffer, to protect the kids. And trust me, he knows that. He knows we’re unwilling to say no, especially in front of the kids and risk a potential conflict for fear they will be emotionally harmed. I was unwilling at all costs to say no to him, and certainly couldn’t put up a boundary and hold it in front of our kid.
A conflict is not the worst thing that our kids could see. In my experience, the worst thing they could see is us as their moms being doormats because they will very likely become the same thing in their lives.
When I first left the ex, I wouldn’t even let him step foot in my house. I was angry and that fueled my boundaries to be strong and crystal clear. So when he would pick up our child for a visit, I put up a strong boundary. However, I never did the healing work on myself to be able to maintain strong boundaries.
As these toxic dudes do, they wear us down. And mine had 20+ years of history to know I would never stand strong against what he wanted since I'd always backed down from anything he didn't agree with in the past.
First he asked to come into the foyer of my home because it was winter when picking up our kid for his visitation, so I let him come into the foyer.
A week later he popped by unannounced and asked if he could come further into the house, into the basement, to play with our 1 year old for a few minutes. Because I didn’t feel strong enough nor had the tools to say no, I allowed him!
A month later, he came up the steps onto the main level for 'something to drink'. This led to him watching a cartoon with our kid and invading my safe space that I had established apart from his madness and abuse!
I found myself becoming super angry and feeling out of control. In my head it was 'all his fault', and I felt trapped inside of my own home!
I became convinced though, that this was my fault because I let him push me around. My words said one thing, but my actions said another. This was how it had been in our 20 year relationship, and now was no different,
I'd love to tell you I took an immediate stand and ended this cascade of intrusion into my new found freedom. But that wasn't my story. It took me THREE years, yes three years, to understand I had the power to draw a boundary and hold it, no matter what he said or did. Our daughter was being emotionally harmed allowing him to walk all over me, and seeing me turn my anger inward toward myself for not being able to say no.
I am now a Boundary Queen with my ex and with others in my life. I can feel when a boundary is being pushed, when a person is attempting to cross it, or even the slightest bend of it. I take action immediately. I don't second guess my gut, and I am ok if a person is upset with me, or even ends a relationship.
When our boundaries cause others to push them or they walk away because they can’t control us, that is proof that you are healing and growing and showing your kids how to do the same!
I can tell you this with 100% certainty - if I can evolve from being a doormat to a boundary boss, So. Can. You.
I couldn't see myself being this strong and this clear in how people get to treat me when I was a doormat, and I admired many women who had this 'super power'. So this is me, reaching back into the fire that you may be in right now and offering you a hand.
I lead a powerful group of women on Facebook with more advice and training on how to heal from abuse while co parenting with your abuser. Join us HERE.
God made you for this!
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