isn't it about knowing your bottom line? i mean staying safe, as an adult, from controlling people. easier said than done, but isn't that what it comes down to?
like my colleague and her new partner, like me and relationship and friendship situations which i haven't figured out how to write about in this public forum..
i don't think any of us are safe from being controlled until we know ourselves and like ourselves enough to defend ourselves. til we know how far we will compromise in a relationship (and i include friendships here), and where the immovable line is where we'll stand and defend ourselves, bottom line. and by that i simply mean telling someone i don't want to see them for a while, recognising my need for mental space. being able to stand on my own two feet and state my boundaries, even at the risk of that person fucking off as a result.
even if we achieve this it's difficult to maintain in the face of all the things that can get us down. and it's so difficult to find a balance where connection, communication, love, negotiation, is happening but where control and domination is avoided. after bad experiences it feels best just not to get too close to anyone - and of course a healing, defensive period is always necessary but i want to find ways to describe how to connect again, in safer ways.
it's about resources too, of course. having the material and psychological resources to be able to cope on one's own if you find you need to extricate yourself from a partnership situation. having the resources to have the strength to fight to defend ourselves. far, far easier said than done. but this involves communities too, right. communities that are able to support someone materially and emotionally while they sort out a situation of crossed boundaries. communities that make it possible for someone to leave a controlling or abusive situation by sharing resources.
i have thought i was strong enough to avoid the bad end of compromise (or is all compromise bad anyway, while negotiation is the good version? i don't chuffing know!) but it turned out again that i didn't know or like who i was enough and let it slide. i feel pretty strong again these days but who knows. that's part of why i'm writing about it, "learning to leave a paper trail": being accountable to my own words can make me safer and perhaps what i write is useful to other people too.
and also i mean to say that control is normal. i just hope for other things, hope for other ways of relating. i need to find other ways of relating.