Help with boundaries

pacman404

New Here
I (19M) have a friend (43?F) who is really important to me. She’s like a mom figure and because of that it seems to throw up all kinds of problems over small stuff. So for example I text her something the other day about how I was feeling (just a short thing because she asked- I wasn’t doing a big depression dump but it was personal to me). She hasn’t responded to that part which I think is what triggered me but what is making me have anger about the situation is that I regularly drop things for her to text and she (I don’t think) does the same or even reads them outside of the specific times. I honestly feel like if I text her that I was on fire and it was before lunchtime she wouldn’t even know until later because she wouldn’t open it.

She has ‘boundaries’ about texting with other people which I think is what I’m experiencing. So I guess what I need to do is have boundaries myself so I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage? Partly it seems like passive aggression to me though to be like ‘oh you’ll only text me at certain times of the day? Well 2 can play at that game’.

It does affect my sleep though that I stay up late because that’s when she wants to talk. I do really like routine and things being the same but that’s another issue that she’s not always consistent with that. I know that’s her business and it’s completely up to her what she does but I feel like the inconsistency is also a trigger and I don’t know what to do about that one.

I’m sorry I know this all sounds really stupid.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
no, pacman, it does not sound stupid. boundaries are confusing business, even without the social confusions of mental illness on top of the vague nature of social boundaries, in general. sort freely. sort often.

buttttttaaaaaa. . .

i;m wondering if you have some transference going on in this relationship. a mother figure is not the same as, "mom." how is your relationship with your bio-mom? are unfulfilled expectations there bleeding into the newer relationship with this mother figure?

just wondering and offering gentle support while you sort the possibilities. for sure, the confusion is not stupid. keep sorting. you are not alone.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Something my T said to me recently, which you might find helpful: was I reducing a relationship to specific 'transactions', rather than looking at the relationship as a whole? And something about building trust on that relationship.

She's your friend. She will care about you.
Her not responding within a certain time is not a reflection of her care for you. But a reflection of where things are at for her.

I haven't responded to a friend for a couple of days. Not because I don't care for her or don't have her in mind. But because of where my head is at about me.

Is there a way you can build confidence and trust in your friendship with her?
Maybe counter balance the negative thoughts with positive and reality based ones?
 

pacman404

New Here
no, pacman, it does not sound stupid. boundaries are confusing business, even without the social confusions of mental illness on top of the vague nature of social boundaries, in general. sort freely. sort often.

buttttttaaaaaa. . .

i;m wondering if you have some transference going on in this relationship. a mother figure is not the same as, "mom." how is your relationship with your bio-mom? are unfulfilled expectations there bleeding into the newer relationship with this mother figure?

just wondering and offering gentle support while you sort the possibilities. for sure, the confusion is not stupid. keep sorting. you are not alone.
She did say that I could call her that though but I try not to even though I do want to. I’m sorry I’m not completely sure what you mean about the expectations. Do you mean that the issues I have might really be to do with my bio-mom? I do have issues with my bio-mom but these specific issues seem unrelated to those. Maybe they’re not though. My issues with my bio-mum are more related to not protecting me and not taking responsibility and being passive aggressive. Okay….maybe that’s what it is. I feel like she’s doing it on purpose. Thanks for your help

Something my T said to me recently, which you might find helpful: was I reducing a relationship to specific 'transactions', rather than looking at the relationship as a whole? And something about building trust on that relationship.

She's your friend. She will care about you.
Her not responding within a certain time is not a reflection of her care for you. But a reflection of where things are at for her.

I haven't responded to a friend for a couple of days. Not because I don't care for her or don't have her in mind. But because of where my head is at about me.

Is there a way you can build confidence and trust in your friendship with her?
Maybe counter balance the negative thoughts with positive and reality based ones?

The thing that’s hard about it is I don’t get like this about other people. With other people it’s fine if they don’t get back to me for a couple of days. Everything with her is like my sensitivity is cranked up to a million.

She has said what you said to me before actually about not taking things personally and just because she takes longer getting back to me doesn’t mean she’s angry with me. But at the same time that’s literally what happens if I upset her and she does take ages getting back to me.

You’re right though I should think about it as a whole and not take it personally because she’s having a really hard time
 

Friday

Moderator
She has ‘boundaries’ about texting with other people which I think is what I’m experiencing
Most people have boundaries around texting. Like not texting at work, during family time, at the movies, whilst driving, after they’ve gone to sleep their phone gets set on silent, whilst having sex, at restaurants, etc. Or that they’ll usually return texts within the hour, the day, by tomorrow, sometime during the week, etc.

What those boundaries are? Varies tremendously person to person.

If your expectations for texting and hers don’t line up? They don’t line up. You can accept that the two of you live different lives, with different boundaries & expectations (which is the reasonable, adult thing to do), or you can attempt to negotiate a place where both of you are happy (also adult & reasonable), or you can pitch a fit about it.

What you’re currently doing sounds like pitching a fit. (That she’s not doing what you want, when you want, how you want, so you’re angry… rather than realistic).
 

pacman404

New Here
Most people have boundaries around texting. Like not texting at work, during family time, at the movies, whilst driving, after they’ve gone to sleep their phone gets set on silent, whilst having sex, at restaurants, etc. Or that they’ll usually return texts within the hour, the day, by tomorrow, sometime during the week, etc.

What those boundaries are? Varies tremendously person to person.

If your expectations for texting and hers don’t line up? They don’t line up. You can accept that the two of you live different lives, with different boundaries & expectations (which is the reasonable, adult thing to do), or you can attempt to negotiate a place where both of you are happy (also adult & reasonable), or you can pitch a fit about it.

What you’re currently doing sounds like pitching a fit. (That she’s not doing what you want, when you want, how you want, so you’re angry… rather than realistic).
She used to text me at different times of day just when she was awake and free and then it suddenly switched to what seems like specific clock times only. Obviously that’s fine and her decision but personally if I get a message and I’m not doing anything or sometimes even if I am I will look at it. So you’re right, that’s not aligning.

Although this is making me feel angry because it’s triggering to me (which is out of my control) I would disagree I’m ‘pitching a fit’. Pitching a fit would be telling her off about it and trying to make her do what I want. That’s not at all what I’m doing. I’m just asking here for help to create my own boundaries so I’m not negatively affecting myself
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I’m sorry I’m not completely sure what you mean about the expectations.

i'm not completely sure of what i mean by this, either. transference is a puzzling phenom which i seem to do allot, but still don't fully understand the mechanics of how it keeps happening.

in my personal herstory, i came of age with virtually no functional clarity of healthy parent/child relationships. when caring adults tried to help me fill that horrific void, i had no idea what to expect from them, nor what they expected of me. it turns out that is not what i understood from watching the bill cosby show.

if i'm only confusing you further, i won't be offended if you chose to disregard it, altogether. i'm kinda lost on it, myself.
 

pacman404

New Here
i'm not completely sure of what i mean by this, either. transference is a puzzling phenom which i seem to do allot, but still don't fully understand the mechanics of how it keeps happening.

in my personal herstory, i came of age with virtually no functional clarity of healthy parent/child relationships. when caring adults tried to help me fill that horrific void, i had no idea what to expect from them, nor what they expected of me. it turns out that is not what i understood from watching the bill cosby show.

if i'm only confusing you further, i won't be offended if you chose to disregard it, altogether. i'm kinda lost on it, myself.
I looked it up and one of the first results was a picture that related perfectly. It was a child trying to get the attention of her mom and her mom couldn’t deal with it so then later the child is an adult and feels like other people don’t want to deal with her either. That makes sense and that’s exactly how I feel.

I know what you mean about not knowing what to expect or what you’re supposed to do. It would be helpful if tv showed you what real families are supposed to be like rather than just perfect families and really dysfunctional ones
 
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