I had a little text exchange earlier today.
My sister sent me a picture and two videos of the kitten she is giving me in the fall. I did not want a new cat as I have three and that is enough. But my sister cleverly sent a picture first and then asked me if I would like to have a new kitten. She would pay for all the shots, the spaying, and bring her to me from N. Carolina since they were coming up anyway. It was a cute cat, and my sister always gets her way, and one of my cats is 19, so how long would I have to wait to be back down to three cats anyway. So, I said yes.
Now my sister sends regular updates via text, which is considerate, I suppose.
Today I felt compelled to thank her for her efforts which are allowing me to see my kitten grow up even though she is hundreds of miles away.
Instead of responding with a “you’re welcome” she texted back with “You’re welcome to come down and see her and bring her back with you.”
Why would I want to drive myself all the way down to Asheville, NC to pick up a cat (that I probably shouldn’t have said yes to) when you’re coming up to New York anyway in September??? In fact, all of this was your idea to begin with. In fact, about a hundred whyshouldI’s raced through my mind when she responded the way she did.
The safest answer I could come up with was, it wasn’t in the budget to make a big trip this year.
Her answer: Budget? It’s a couple of tanks of gas! We have plenty of room for you.
This convo was exactly like nearly every exchange with my mother. No matter what I say in answer to any question, large or small, my answer is up for grabs, correction, improvement. How did these people get so far into my brain? Why do I have to defend everything all the time????
It’s the boundaries again. I never learned good boundaries. Neither did they. But they are okay with it and I am not.
I can not be okay with poor boundaries. I will never get better if I don’t firm up the boundaries.
And why am I still thinking about it and turning it over and over in my mind an hour later?
I get so stuck sometimes.
I probably should have sucked it up weeks ago and turned down the kitten even though she is super cute. But I didn’t and now I am entangled.
My answer that shut down the exchange: I would have to fly. That’s a hell of a drive and I’m not up to it these days.
She had nothing but an “oh, okay” for that one.
Such small successes in this journey, but I’ll take it.