Moreover, I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time — everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else. — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
I know her. She has been in most of my relationships to some degree or another. Unfortunately, in some cases, to a huge degree. I am not her right now, in whole, but there are always parts of her present and functioning in me. And if I stopped being vigilant, she’d be back in full force, buying presents, projecting idealism, and burning herself to a cinder.
Seems kinda like being an alcoholic. Alcoholism has no past tense. You are an alcoholic, or, with luck and hard work, a recovering alcoholic. But there is no such thing as a recovered alcoholic.
There is no recovered Woman Without Boundaries. Turning back into her is always possible. Strange how easy it is to unleash her, given how thoroughly she ruins things. Strange how to get more, remain stable, be happy… you have to give less.