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Old 09-20-2018, 10:00 AM  
lilacsnow
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Member Since: Jul 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 65
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Default struggling with boundaries with spiritual elder

I've had mental health issues for over 20 years, but in the past couple of years since attending a new congregation I've been more stable.

However, lately I have felt that an elder/ leader there has been crossing my boundaries and because I find it difficult to process information quickly enough to respond there and then I am not sure what to do.

For example, yesterday she suggested to me that I could go on prayer walks on my own because I don't get enough exercise and when she asked me about exercise before, I explained that I don't feel comfortable walking out alone. So now I feel doubly guilty about not going out for walks - not only am I not exercising but I am neglecting to pray too!

I know she is well meaning and trying to be helpful, but I am feeling pressured by her. Another example is monetary giving to the congregation - I have been in debt because of cuts in welfare payments but she is saying to still keep giving something.

It has been in my nature to want to please where I can, but I have been feeling a knee jerk reaction of wanting to leave because I don't know how to handle this because basically I am being 'out thought/ out manouvred' if I try and explain where I am coming from or my point of view. It just seems to give her more ammunition to ponder on and for her to come back to me with an even better idea for her to change me.

I know she's doing this with the intention of helping me but I don't think I'm on the same page as her, so to speak, with regard to how I would like to move forwards, and I don't want to run her down because its been my lack of assertiveness that has contributed to this situation.

For example, I'm now volunteering in a job I dislike primarily because I felt pressured and I wanted to do a course purely for enjoyment because I thought it would get my brain working better, and she discouraged me from doing it because she didn't think it would lead to employment.

Can anyone relate to this? I want to say something but not something I regret.

Edit: It's just occurred to me that maybe I ought to have posted in the relationships forum - I wasn't sure....
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