by Madeline Laughs

No trespassing!

Around the beginning of this year I decided I needed to finally make some boundaries. I made them, but it wasn’t until much later that I started enforcing them. Making the boundaries was easy. I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t want.

Enforcing them is another story entirely.  

It wasn’t until May that I realized that my whole “boundary making” was more, or less, lip service to myself. Sure I had set some limitations and even toyed with making them stick, sort of, but I had not put my foot down, so to speak. I wasn’t entirely behind them holding them up. In May I realized it was either get behind them, or rinse and repeat.

For many years I thought I had to be nice. I was hard wired to behave in a certain way because of my grandmother. A lady never speaks up and never makes waves. I never claimed to be much of a lady, but many times over the last year I have been quiet, though not that quiet, and I have accepted situations or terms in order to keep a “friend” that I wasn’t really comfortable with. It all leads right back to what I learned as a child.


Even when I’m sitting over here telling myself “I’M THE BIGGER PERSON!” I don’t buy it. Because I’m not the bigger person. I’m the fucking doormat and people have been cleaning their boots on me for years and I let them. In some instances, I even invited them to smear me with mud, shit and other debris. Oh yeah, I was bigger alright. I was fucking massive!

Have I spent my youth drawing people to me that have always had unhealthy agendas? And if that’s true, then how in the world will I ever learn to tell the difference between someone who’s healthy and someone who has an unhealthy agenda? And are people with unhealthy agendas drawn to me because I am just as unhealthy as they are?

When does being the bigger person become unhealthy?

I have struggled with this for months and I have flubbed disconnects with friends that insisted on making me feel ungrateful and unforgiving. In trying to enforce my new walls I had built with spit and toilet paper, I managed to piss a few folks off. At the time, I was kind of distressed over that, but not today. Today, and from here on out, I know that those decisions I made to release a friendship,in a heated and emotional moment, were the right decisions. For the first time in a long time, I followed my gut and my gut was right.

A real friend will openly discuss the problem and want to work it out. Someone who is not your friend merely wants to put you back in your place and the best way to do that is by making you feel small and petty for being upset in the first place. They will remind you just how screwed up they think you are and if you aren’t careful, you’ll start to believe them. Before you fall back into that age old trap, consider what it has cost you already. If it’s not worth the price you’re paying then put it back on the shelf and walk away from it.

A wise woman told me that you can take the walk with someone, but you can’t do the walking for them. She made me realize that this is exactly what I’ve been doing. Instead of walking next to some people, I’ve been dragging them along with me. For the last year I have come to the conclusion that I can not carry all of these people on my back anymore and my recent conviction to eliminate the problems and to enforce boundaries has probably been my way of subconsciously combating the problem without really having a good plan in place before I got started.

It’s been a bumpy year so far, but in the long run I don’t miss the daily anxiety of dealing with these people. It freed me in ways I never imagined even though I wanted nothing more than to hang onto a lot of them. Some out of love and a couple others out of obligation. It was hard to walk away, but I did it and I don’t regret it. If someone doesn’t respect my boundary line, then it makes sense that they really don’t respect me either.

Why did it take me this long to see that?

Another wise woman told me it was more about being smaller. She said that way your world gets that much bigger. Trust me, she’s right. You’re worth more when you make yourself smaller. Bigger is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I think the best advice I got was from yet another wise woman. She said “It’s not about being bigger. It’s about choosing how to spend your time. Clear the decks of the bitches and bastards so all the amazing people have somewhere to stand.”

I think I’ll close on that note. Until next time this is Madeline Laughs and after a brief hiatus I’m back and stronger than ever before.


About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Personal Boundaries Primer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Being BIGGER

  1. Pingback: Drawing a line in the sand | Spread Information

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  5. Pingback: crossing the line of healthy boundaries | Madeline Scribes

  6. Pingback: how do you know when you have Unhealthy Boundaries? | Madeline Scribes

  7. Pingback: Boundaries and Buttons | Madeline Scribes

  8. Pingback: Drawing a line in the sand | Madeline Scribes

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