They're not respecting my boundaries!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2005
They're not respecting my boundaries!
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 1:17pm

I wrote a while ago about my situation with my family of origin. There was a blow-up a while ago where essentially I was mistreated by them. I was so devastated, I decided I needed to take time away from them (for who knows how long), to try to process the whole dysfunctional family thing and to grow and heal. I am working with a counselor on these things, which has been very helpful.

When another family member found out about the blow-up, they inserted themselves into the situation and are trying to "fix" things in a codependent kind of way.

Recently, that person barged through my boundaries by showing up at my house on a seemingly benign errand. Well, I feel very violated and angry that they would do this! They could have called ahead of time to see if it was okay with me for them to come here. I think they are just trying to pressure me to rejoin the dysfunctional family system so everything can get swept under the rug and appear "normal" again. They show no concern for my feelings, they're just trying to get me to behave the way they want.

Plus, the family keeps asking me to come to various family functions. I told them quite some time ago that I need time away. It really bothers me that they seem to not understand this, or don't respect my needs and feelings.

I get the feeling that they just want me to be compliant and act like a child! It's like I don't have permission to be an adult, live my own life, have my own wishes, spend the holidays how I want, take care of myself the way I see fit, to set boundaries etc.!!! They only seem to care about what they want, and about doing outward behaviors that make it look like we're all a happy family (when we're not).

What do I do about this boundary invasion by the one family member? What do I do about the rest of them bugging me to join the family get-togethers? If I just keep my distance like I've been doing, will they get the hint that no I'm no going along with their wishes? If I do explain it again, will it even make any difference? Why don't they respect my need for time away from them?

Have any of you had similar problems in setting boundaries and keeping them firm? What do you do if people push past them? Will I have to get a security cam for the front door?

I'd appreciate any comments. Thanks!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2004
Sat, 11-05-2011 - 6:53pm

Oh yes it will get worse before it gets better. Google "NPD" and "flying monkeys" Basically the family member that showed up

is acting like a flying monkey to get you 'back in the fold' They want control back. When people start putting up boundaries with

misbehaving relatives or friends they increase and ramp up the behaviour. They want you back under their thumb jumping to their tune. The guilt trips will increase and they will try and put more and more pressure on you. Don't let them get to you.

Create a folder and set it so their emails go directly in it without you having to see them. But if you need them down the road for

anon for this one
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Mon, 11-07-2011 - 4:44am

Maybe it's time to change your phone numbers & email address. Or even think about moving? Just a ideal.

~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2005
Mon, 11-07-2011 - 12:34pm

Thanks, I needed a reality check! Flying monkeys--very funny and a good description! It's like they go out to locate and spy and bring messages, and carry you back to the dysfunction.

Yes, I have most of those safeguards in place.

I have been feeling a bit of the "guilt-ies." I know I have nothing to feel guilty about. It's just that way that they can "hook" you and your guilt or good nature, and make you feel like somehow you are being the bad person. I need to stay strong and fight that!

It doesn't help that my husband doesn't really understand the whole dysfunctional family thing. He's like, "Don't you think you should explain to them how they are dysfunctional? Maybe you should tell them how you're feeling so they can understand why you're wanting no contact with them? After all, they're your family." He does care and understands my hurt, he just doesn't understand they dynamics of dysfunction.

And it's hard to comprehend, as a "normal" person, that family may just want you around so they can make you the scapegoat and continue on in their delusion and denial (even if they say they care, etc.).

I'm so much more at peace when those people are leaving me alone!