My DOC happens to work with me and for the past two years has used this factor as an opportunity to continue to reek havoc in my life. WELL, NO MORE.
(1)Decide whether contact is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Be rigorously honest(glossary) with yourself here. Is your sister's upcoming wedding an ordeal that necessitates collaboration with your ex? Hint: The answer here is NO. We're going to talk more about forming a circle of support around you and this is the type of thing you are to utilize them for.
(2)Are you engaging with your DOC to "make a point", "clear the air" or "defend myself?" If so, don't. We've already accepted that we are powerless and that we've lost so attempting to defend yourself is YOU, still fighting. See Step 1 and work it.
(3)If contact is necessary (as discussed in 1) and not self serving (as discussed in 2), make sure you have a plan and little thing I like to call the verbal boundary(glossary).
The verbal boundary is the phrase you've previously chosen that will allow your ex to go no further, in the event he/she tries to rope you in.
The verbal boundary is a neutral/non activating statement or phrase that closes off your ex, and their requests, without starting an argument. It should be one phrase that communicates, without emotion or offense, that you are done engaging in conversation.
My therapist (a willing participate in my circle of support) suggested "I need space." Since my DOC is a boundary violator, I knew that line would only activate him. I wanted something a little more demure and positive. I chose, "no, thank you."
Here is what I did today when I saw my ex at work:
DOC- Hey, Ill wait for you after the meeting. Can I walk you home?
DOC- Please? I just have a quick question, I promise not to bother again.
ME- Whats up?
DOC- Well it had to do with dinner and wine and your idea a while back that I f-ed up. The idea to date casually, without fear or judgement.
NOW, self respecting girl women don't suggest "dating casually" and this is certainly not something I ever suggested. You see, my ex is smart, he knows that his statement will piss me off but, I'm smarter. Instead of getting activated. I just broke out the verbal boundary.
ME-"No, thank you"
ME-"No, thank you"
DOC- What do you mean?
ME- "Thank you for the offer, but no."
Could I have taken this opportunity to give him a lecture about all the reasons I deserve more than "dating casually?" Sure. But I'm on STEP 1 and STEP 1 says "WE admit that we're powerless over our DOC and our lives have become unmanageable." Since I am powerless, fighting him on anything would be futile. Its only caused hurt and continued anguish in the past.
So say it together friends, NO, THANK YOU.