A South Austin holistic acupuncture and wellness practice

How I survived 9 days with my family

I survived nine days with my family. Why is that such a feat? Well, after 2.5 days, I start reverting back to being a teenager, and we all know how much fun that was. Well, maybe you had an amazing teenage experience, but those were probably the hardest and loneliest years of my life.

The first few days with my family are good, catching up, grocery shopping, and present wrapping. Then Day 4, which was Christmas day, I start getting really antsy. The house is closing in on me like everything is shrinking. Even the city is getting smaller and it feels like there is nowhere I can go to escape this suffocating feeling. Everything anyone says irritates me. I want to hide but there’s no place to escape in this shrinking house with too many people in it. I wake up the next morning on a thick layer of memory foam that seems to be closing in on me and I can’t breath. I’m suffocating and I’m trapped. There’s nowhere to go and I’m only half way through the week and a half of death. I’m not going to make it. Five more days seems endless. I’m going to implode. I can’t go on like this.

Oh, I don’t have to (it suddenly dawns on me). I can actually leave right now. I can! I’m an adult! I’m not really trapped. I can go when I want to. Something lifts off me. I feel lighter and can breath again. I actually don’t want to go, I realized. But I have to make some changes. And I can. I’m no longer sleeping on the claustrophobic memory foam bed; I’m turning off all my mom’s cancer sprays (these dispensers that shoot out scented chemicals every 30 minutes which makes a strange noise when they “dispense” scaring the crap out of me; and really they’re probably carcinogenic); and I’m taking my space back. My internal space. My peace. Time to create boundaries.

So I do. I separate myself (even more) from my parents. If my dad gets disappointed, that’s his disappointment. He’s responsible for his feelings and I am responsible for mine. If my mom is badgering me with her incessant questions, I tell her I don’t want to answer. It’s actually very simple. I create these boundaries that I don’t allow them to cross and as a result I am at peace. I can open.

The rest of the week was great! Even now, I feel light and free. Knowing I have a choice. I don’t have to do anything or say anything that infringes on my soul. And I can act and speak free from the burden of disappointing others. I shifted something at the source and it changes my entire life. I can go forward with more confidence and ease knowing I can protect myself in a way that allows me to be more open. I can give more to my friends, my loved ones, and my patients knowing that I can draw the line when I need to. And that it’s ok to draw the line. Even necessary.

And that’s very satisfying.

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