I have always been The Rock. The Brain. The Go-To Gal. The Researcher. The Get-It-Done Person. The Defuser-of-Situations. The Shoulder. The Ear. Mommy (aka God).
The first thing every therapist says to me is “You are SO STRONG.” Usually followed relatively quickly by what a good wife, mother, friend, etc, that I am. And that’s great. I mean, those things are true. I love to help people. I do my best to support and love and help if I am able to do so without compromising my family’s needs. I am amazing at making a positive difference in the lives of others. Yay!
On the other hand, I, the Rock-Bridge-Brain-Defuser-Mommy-God, have been serving as everyone else’s foundation and support while also quietly trying to handle my own stresses, and the cracks I have been hiding and patching for so long are now glaringly obvious signs that collapse is imminent.
But just as with road construction, people don’t generally react well when you tell them their usual route is closed, even temporarily. They tend to focus on the inconvenience it presents for them in their present lives rather than being thankful for the proactive avoidance of much greater inconvenience and destruction in the future.
But I am setting and defending the boundary; it’s past time. Regardless of others’ irritation at the inconvenience, I need to put my needs first. I am not ok. I need time to repair myself. I cannot be your Bridge-Rock-Shoulder-Ear-Brain-Defuser-Mommy-God right now. I need you to realize that if you want to continue to have one in the future, you need to live without one right this moment. Because if you keep leaning on me instead of allowing me to focus on repairing my damage, I will collapse completely, and there will be no Rock-Bridge-Brain-Defuser-Mommy-God at all.