Boundaries: The Basics


What a concept!

When I was a kid my mother went through my stuff all the time. She humiliated me and did many other things that all seem like they should be ok in a raging alcoholic household. When I became an adult she would come to my house and go through my stuff too. Holy crap! She’s my mother! Can I tell her to stop? Will I be able to deal with her inevitable wrath? Answer: Absolutely. I’ve also forgiven her for many things, I think most things. However, my training – indoctrination into submission – has never failed me. Somehow along the line, I failed to recognize that things like this were not ok. Over the past several months I finally asked myself “What the hell is wrong with me that I think these things are ok? OH my gods, what is wrong with me??”

We’re gettin’ to the bottom of that. One microscopic bit at a time. It’s not ok. I don’t fully understand the framework that is the illusion of myself just yet (ego) but I think beginning with the basics is a great place to start. Here are a few basics in which I definitely don’t have mad skillz (or any skillz for that matter):

  • People may not go through my personal things.
  • People may not criticize me in ways that are intentionally hurtful and/or punishing.
  • People may not take their anger out on me.
  • People may not humiliate me either in front of others or while alone.
  • People may not invade my personal space, especially when I’ve asked for the courtesy of being able to take space to calm down in a stressful conflict situation.
  • I have a right to ask for privacy.
  • I have a right to peace and quiet, free of interruptions if I’ve requested it, while trying to work from home.
  • I have a right to quiet time to myself.
  • I have a right to not have to be vigilant and tied to my cell phone for constant [non-emergency] texts and phone calls.
  • I have a right to return texts and phone calls when it is appropriate and healthy for me to do so.
  • I have a right to change my mind.
  • I have a right to decline an activity when I do not feel I want participate or that the activity is in conflict with what I need/want.
  • I have a right to reserve a place in my home that is off limits to others.*

These are just statements and were formulated with the help of this link:

Not particularly scientific but useful nonetheless.

* Never gonna happen. Hot button with Greg. He refers to anything like this as an attempt to lead a secret life. This confuses me and what it means to be an individual. Independent. Yet he condescendingly snorts at me when I tell him I feel like I need his permission to do anything. “You don’t need my permission! That’s ridiculous!” Oh really.


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