Boundaries Anyone???

Lionheart

MyPTSD Pro
When and how did you learn about boundaries? Are you able to establish and maintain boundaries with others? Why or why not???

I was sharing with someone about my experiences with boundaries, and this is what I wrote...

"Growing up, I had no boundaries...I had no idea where I stopped and you began. I didn't even know what boundaries were until my mom started getting into personal things of mine. I was yelled at for trying to place boundaries and I have had a difficult time as an adult because of not having good boundaries... If I tried to take a stand I was punished for it and I don't mean made to stand in the corner."

"Talk therapy is great, but some things have to be learned by experience I suppose. At any rate, when I went through my initial stage of therapy it felt as if I had been sliced up the middle from my root chakra to my crown, with my mind, heart, and solar plexus taking the brunt of the pain. I not only had no boundaries I didn't have a clue about my human rights. Not until I was in my late 30's (38 to be exact) because that is when I began therapy. (A counselor told me that I had been through severe, prolonged child abuse)."

"I have a difficult time establishing boundaries with people because I fear retribution and I have overstepped others' boundaries more than once. But I am learning to stand up for myself and to be mindful of other people's boundaries as well. It sure is not fun and I'm still very afraid of other people's anger."

"Fortunately, by reading a few books I learned about ethics and that was helpful in learning respect for others and placing some boundaries in my behaviors

"Anyway, I am making good progress and am proud of myself but I still find it embarrassing to be learning things as an adult that I should've learned as a child."

"I am getting a new therapist soon and I am gonna work on setting and maintaining boundaries, being mindful of others' boundaries, and how to handle boundary intrusions, along with others' anger."

What was your experience?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I relate so much to not knowing where I end and someone else begins.
Someone's upset? Means I'm upset and I have to make it better.
Me expressing a need or a boundary with my parent? Also resulted/results in rage/outrage that I dare say something. One of the recent things was me saying I was happy and my dad shouting back "you can't say you are happy because I said I was unhappy". I'm 43.

I'm learning what a boundary is with my family.
I'm learning how to hold it.
I'm no where near putting in a boundary without anger. It's like I need to be in an angry state before I can hold my own. Which isn't healthy. Idk.
It's hard.

So thanks for posting this. I'm keen to see replies.
 

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
It's difficult for me. I generally tend to put up but having a little lookahead time to know before I explode. I am very preoccupied with others' moods and try to light them up or reversingly I shut down or get fully attacking. It's like a dice to be fair.

The whole concept of boundaries is super new for me and it seems alien and very rigid. I'm always wary of crossing someone's boundaries however I tend to do it too because I want to be closer than what I am and this because no one taught me how to build rapport. So I skip a lot of this phase and while with certain people it goes just okay, with others it's really something that can be scary for them and I can understand. It makes my heart sting though when that happens.

It also has led me to choose oblique ways to obtain someone consent and being slightly manipulative because obtaining things straight by asking just never worked. So o hint and hint and hint and obviously plenty of times it doesn't work because most people aren't there to second guess your behaviours all the f*cking time.

It's really hard to get rid of the habit of reading people, isolating and calculating because that has been crucial for me to keep safe. My readings still are pretty accurate though, and it makes me hypersensitive to any micro change of mood and feeling like it's my fault. Which also leads me to forget it when I'm in an interaction because something it's too hard to maintain a rapport with this discomfort.

Basically I just feel like relationships are like a scratching paper.
 

Teasel

Not Active
Learned more about healthy boundaries in the past decade. I think largely driven by how unbearable things became with the consequences of not having them.

Ie the abusive relationships I was in.

Also a handy sentence from @Friday saying boundaries are about what you do, not others

"Trying to use boundaries to change others. Boundaries don't change other people's behaviors. They change our own."

yeah, so if someone violate my boundary I can choose to leave instead of trying to make them not violate my boundary.

It's still something I'm learning but am much batter at it than I was.

I grew up feeling less important than everyone else, wasn't allowed to express needs etc. So tended to be ultra passive.

Also desperately wanted to be liked, by someone at least, so being "disagreeable" just wasn't an option.

Also as I was bullied I made a decision never to be like the bullies, and without knowing about healthy boundaries I kind of sentenced myself to a lifetime of abuse.

What's that saying

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

It took things getting really bad before I began to learn how to stand up for myself.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I think boundaries are great and necessary and flexible as warranted is the healthiest. But when met by great anger etc and no escape route it is tricky if not impossible, but the boundary starts to become only, "Am I able to not internalize the abuse?" . (JMHE, as Idk what else to try).

I too have found no solace in expressing needs as they are ridiculed, demeaned, or ignored/ dismissed. Which is hard to not internalize as further proof of my lack of worth or even stupidity or failure to stand up for myself, or disappointment in questioning what I thought was shared values or beliefs or even a basic semblance of caring (for me and what I ask, not just what they ask or expect or want. Especially if my asks are simple).

I think it is complicated. It shouldn't be, it's simple on paper, but in practise it can be difficult because we have only so many options. Though it's easy with some people. Perhaps it's an element of respect or caring, present or absent, Idk.
 
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HealingMama

Sponsor
I struggle with boundaries badly. I wasn't allowed to have them growing up so I don't know how to create them for myself and do not do a good job of respecting the ones set by other people sometimes.

Because I struggle with boundaries and my personal body boundaries are automatically porous, I get overstimulated around others a lot. Aka "empath" problems. I cope by having overly rigid boundaries like not answering my phone, not going out much.

Even when I do set a boundary I struggle to act on it. Some of that is probably because I am a dissociative system and we have varying levels of interest in enforcing a specific boundary that may be communicated.

I think life would be much easier if I were better with both setting and hearing boundaries.
 

Lionheart

MyPTSD Pro
My problem is setting boundaries with my roomies because I have to live in close contact with them and I don't want to experience their anger or be ignored by them, as both things would cause me to have a level of anger that I would have trouble not acting upon.... so I usually let stuff slide until I am boiling mad and then I write or tell someone else about it, but never take any positive action.

They are passive-aggressive and although they think they are perceived as being nice people, I know them better after three years and they are anything but nice.

I may be guilty of a bit of passive aggressiveness myself as I am avoiding setting boundaries to prevent arguments and loud verbally abusive disagreements. My mom and day fought the entire time I was growing up and it cut me like a knife to the point of causing physical pain.. I remember getting under the cover with a pillow over my head so I didn't have to hear them fight and now I am super sensitive to loud arguments, disagreements etc. They could cuss me all day long and I'd be fine but the second they raise their voice at me, it is on!!!

There are also certain types of anger that I don't trust myself to handle. For example, if I think someone is trying to harm me, abuse me, or a loved one in some way, ...I will pull out all the stops and go berserk on them. This scares me because I lose control and that is a very dangerous thing for everyone involved.

Had I set boundaries with them earlier in our relationships and shared space with one another, I believe I could have avoided a lot of this, but I don't like letting people know what ticks me off because they will use it against me, it is just a matter of when. Perhaps I am jaded.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
So, have you considered finding a different set of roomies? In the meantime, when people's voices bothered me in an art class, I put on headphones......walk around with the noiseproof headphones and you look like you are listening to music....but they really do muffle the noise....and if you are piping music in your ears when you go out of your room......focus on that.

About boundaries. If you agree to boundaries.....and they don't stick to them.....then you are entitled to say no politely....if they forgot the boundary. They don't sound like friends.....but being ignored by them bothers you....why? They don't sound like they rate in the "friends" category. That's why I suggested looking for another set of roomies, who might like a roommate who follows through and keeps her word.
 

Lionheart

MyPTSD Pro
They don't sound like friends.....but being ignored by them bothers you....why? They don't sound like they rate in the "friends" category.
They are supposed to be "extended family"...a step above friends. The whole point of them being here was that they would pitch in and help me with things, (because I am twice their age and in poor health), which they have never done for me at all. It is a disappointment and I feel they are also rude, so it bothers me.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
They are supposed to be "extended family"...a step above friends. The whole point of them being here was that they would pitch in and help me with things, (because I am twice their age and in poor health), which they have never done for me at all. It is a disappointment and I feel they are also rude, so it bothers me.
Yeah.....that "extended family situation didn't work out for me. I worked my tail off and they just sat around doing very little and were irritated when I asked them to help a little. I'd be irritated too if the intention was set for them to help out and they didn't. You have good cause to be angry. I don't do rude or disrespectful either. I'm sorry your extended family let you down.
 

Lionheart

MyPTSD Pro
You have good cause to be angry. I don't do rude or disrespectful either. I'm sorry your extended family let you down.
Thank you so much @TruthSeeker I appreciate the validation!!! I will soon be out of this predicament as I am moving out in a little over a week and will enjoy the peaceful happiness of my own home.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you so much @TruthSeeker I appreciate the validation!!! I will soon be out of this predicament as I am moving out in a little over a week and will enjoy the peaceful happiness of my own home.
You go @Lionheart . Living alone has it's advantages......quiet and no criticism when you walk though the door. Just drama caused by a leaky faucet or a broken washing machine....I'd rather deal with those kinds of drama. Hoping your change will bring you happiness.
 
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