Hi everyone. Just thought I'd post something about my own progress trying to assert my boundaries with people in my life. Through therapy, I've discovered I have low boundary assertion which has made me vulnerable to Ns and others who like to trample on them. As Barbara and others have said, asserting and sticking to your boundaries will go a long way to keeping Ns out of our lives.
I've mentioned before but since I'm not here as often as I used to be (16 months NC on Monday!!) I'll tell this again. Finding out about Ns and being involved romantically with 2 of them really opened my eyes to the number of N and narcissistic people in my life. They really were everywhere. And I think (as does my therapist) that my inability to assert my boundaries (even over seemingly small things) probably was the reason for this. Not having my needs and feelings seen since childhood (raised by an N), I turned into a people pleasure/assimilator who puts everyone else's needs above my own.
So, I've even had to widdle down the number of family I associate with in this process. I'm really only close anymore to an aunt and a cousin. The rest of them, adios! So, one of my male cousins has a new job and has been calling me at work to try to do business with our company. So, typical...doesn't call or inquire about my well-being until I could potentially do something for him ($$$), ring-a-ling! So, I haven't picked up when I see it's him and I just let him leave a voicemail. So the other day, he leaves a voicemail wishing me happy birthday and say he hopes I'm doing something special to celebrate that night. Well, my birthday was a month ago. I just shook my head. So typical. I shared this with the aunt I'm close to and she brushed it off as "well, at least he's trying to wish you happy birthday." He's an apologist who doesn't want to see the selfishness in our family (although I know she does see it). So she calls me a couple nights ago, after talking to this particular cousin, and informs me he says he was misinformed by his sister as to my birth date. And then she says, "I'll just tell him you thought it was funny and everything's fine." And I lost it. I firmly told her: "Don't you dare tell him that. It wasn't funny. It wasn't okay. and most of all it wasn't surprising. You don't need to tell him anything about me."
s It felt very good to make my feelings clear and not give him a "free pass" as I've done all my life. Now, it's not that I expect everyone to honor me on my birthday. It's not that big of a deal to me in the scheme of things. It just punctuates how these people have been in my life...nowhere to be found unless they want something. And I'm done with that.