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Author Topic: BOUNDARIES: Case studies  (Read 21855 times)
blackandwhite
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« on: November 14, 2010, 09:12:21 AM »

US: Boundaries - Upholding our values and independence

This thread is a split off from bpdfamily.com/topic=61684

You like your house and you are disturbed to find some of houseguests you invited for the weekend wandering into private areas of your home. They eat things out of your refrigerator. They use your toothbrush. They watch the TV in your bedroom. Without asking. It's really distressing, but you don't know how to get them to stop. You're kind of embarrassed by the whole thing, vaguely ashamed. You wonder if you shouldn't be more generous of heart. Maybe they don't have their own toothbrushes or TVs. Maybe there was a misunderstanding about what was okay to use and what not? Maybe you were unclear?

Time passes, far longer than a weekend. The houseguests are still there. Your house falls into some disrepair. The TV breaks. The toothbrush is disgusting, so you throw it away and go without. They leave the water running and flood the bathroom. There are fingerprints on your walls.

You think, all right. People aren't always that neat. Maybe I'm selfish or petty to worry about the fingerprints. I was watching too much TV anyway. Anybody could make a mistake and leave the water on. Overstaying their welcome... .maybe that's just how things are for those folks. I don't want to stand out, be a troublemaker or a bad host. You go to the dentist and discover you need a root canal and also have a serious black mold infection from where water from the bathrooms leaked into the walls, so you get kind of distracted by all the medical care and repairs and don't have time to think about these people who are overwhelming your house.

One night you come home and one of the kids is sleeping in your bed. You have to sleep on the porch swing yourself. You wake up with a terrible backache. You finally decide you can't take it anymore. So you push the houseguests outside and you buy a very strong lock for the front door. You lock it up tight and say, there! Nobody can come in.

But the houseguests come right back in. They rifle through your mail. They take some of your treasured items. They let the dog out.

As you sit on the couch and cry in your dirty, ruined living room, you think, your house was so nice, your health was so good, your front door lock is so strong, what happened? Then you look out the window and there's a sign pointing toward the back, where the door is wide open. It says, "Take what you want. The person who owns this house doesn't care."





In this story, the house represents your values, your code. The front door with the lock is an attempt at a boundary--a failed attempt. Too little, too late.

When we talk about boundaries, we often talk as if the boundary itself were the thing to focus on. How big is your lock? What brand is it? How many locks do you have? We sometimes forget that the boundary is just the thing that protects what we value.

But to know how to use the lock, to protect ourselves effectively, we must know what we value--all of it.  In the story above, how important is fitting in, how important is it to be kind and understanding, how important is it to be a good host, how important is your health, how important is your privacy, how important is a clean home to your family, to you?

We tend to focus on the boundary violation and violator. He or she is outrageous! He or she doesn't treat me right, doesn't give me respect--he or she walks right in and takes what he or she wants!

True. The person is a boundary buster--has bad boundaries him or herself--but how do we get it to stop?

We have to know ourselves and believe enough in ourselves. If we doubt our right to protect ourselves, or are confused about what are values are, how well can we have a clue about boundaries? Sometimes, of course, our values can be very clear and an invasive person will overstep and invade our boundaries anyway. Usually we know how to deal with those types of boundary violations, and our response flows naturally. For example, if someone actually invaded our home, we would call the police and try to assist them in catching the culprit.

Other times, however, our values are less clear. Someone demands something of our time or heart and instead of acting from firm belief that we get to choose how we spend our time and how we express our feelings, we doubt ourselves. The demand may make us furious, but it doesn't fill us with quiet determination. Instead, we have a mix of anger, hurt, and confusion. We brandish our lock and say "Why don't you respect this?" and then open the back door wide.

In this workshop, we will explore the dynamics behind those times when we need focus on our values in order to implement our boundaries. We'll discuss:

1. The clues about ourselves provided by some boundary violations

2. Ways to clarify and strengthen our values (plural)

3. Boundary setting that flows from a firm sense of our values

4. Proactive implementation/communication so that others are involved

As a start, it would be helpful to have a few examples of boundary violations that we can analyze.

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

Question: How what values did it violate?  

Question: What did you do?  

Question: What happened?

Question: How do you feel about it?
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Randi Kreger
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 03:12:19 PM »

What I find interesting is that non-BPs value putting others first--but marry people who seem to always put themselves first. This creates a core conflict.
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I had a borderline mother and narcissistic father. Author of stop walking on eggshells, The stop walking on eggshells workbook, the essential family guide to borderline personality disorder, and the upcoming book stop walking on egg shells for partners
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 06:52:46 PM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

This example is from my youth. My mother went into my drawers while I was out and read my journal.

Question: How what values did it violate?

My private writings are mine and I didn't give her permission. I shouldn't be punished for "thought crime" (the result of her reading that I wanted to be sexually active with a boy I liked at the time.)

Question: What did you do?

Since I lived at home still I could not do much. I simply stopped writing about my feelings. When I moved out the following year I resumed.


Question: What happened?

She searched my room even more often and thoroughly. She was furious that she could not find more "evidence" of my "bad behavior" (note: I had not had sex at all. Had just written that I was curious. Pretty normal for a young teenager I think.)

Question: How do you feel about it?

To this day I have a hard time writing honestly about my feelings. To follow your metaphor it's like I moved out because I learned that locks don't protect my home.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 06:53:50 PM »

Also, angry.
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blackandwhite
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 09:57:07 PM »

I'm sorry that happened to you, anker.

Excerpt
Also, angry.



That's very understandable.    Obviously, as a child, our options are greatly limited in how we maintain our boundaries.

Excerpt
To this day I have a hard time writing honestly about my feelings.

It sounds like you responded by forming a very rigid boundary, along the lines of, "If my feelings are a thought crime, I just won't express any feelings in writing"--is that about right?

So your feelings are protected this way. That's a benefit for you. Are there costs, as well? If so, what are they?

When you think about your values today around feelings and expressing them, what are they? What is important to you in this arena?

B&W

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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 11:29:56 PM »

Because of this and other similar boundary violations from that time, I still have a very hard time expressing my emotions. I often feel fearful or embarrassed. Nervous laughs. I rarely write about my feelings. Therapy has made this easier. But I feel like asking for anything in a relationship will end in disaster- so I find it very hard to even ask someone to listen to me or take my feelings into account. It's much easier just to say nothing

I really do still feel muted by this. Silence andsilencing and neglect was my mother's style and I still have deep wounds related to speaking up.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 08:07:36 AM »

Anker, I'm glad therapy has helped some. Those wounds from childhood boundary violations can run deep and need time and work to heal.   

The issues your story raises are very common and apply to many. In Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families, the authors say, "Boundary violations teach us to be victims." Boundary violations over time that we allow as adults also teach us to be victims. Learning not to be a victim requires recognizing our patterns, clarifying our values, and acting firmly from those values to protect ourselves.

Responding to significant boundary violations by not expressing your needs or creating a wall rather than a flexible boundary is not at all unusual. It's an aspect of the relationship pattern we sometimes call codependence. From US: Dealing with Enmeshment and Codependence we get some definitions. The pattern you're describing is disengagement, which is very protective, but is an approach that can cut you off from intimacy in your relationships and getting your own needs met. As anker said, "But I feel like asking for anything in a relationship will end in disaster- so I find it very hard to even ask someone to listen to me or take my feelings into account. It's much easier just to say nothing." This is an "antidependent" style of approaching relationships--take a poll on your style at POLL: Are you in touch with your needs and wants?

Some definitions that may help... .

Interdependence It is what everyone wants.  Interdependence is two whole people who are capable of giving, being vulnerable and connected.

Cohesion is a measure of supportive interaction (including warmth, time together, nurturance, physical intimacy, and consistency).

Enmeshment is a measure of psychological control (including coercive control, separation anxiety, possessiveness/jealousy, emotional reactivity, and projective mystification). In an enmeshed family everyone shares the other's life-system. One learns not to look within one's self for awareness of what one is about, but to the other members of the family. The husband who is happy when his wife is happy and sad when wife is depressed is an example of enmeshment. This is also referred to as co-dependence.

Disengagement is the extreme opposite of both cohesion and enmeshment.

We want Interdependence.  We generally counterbalance the enmeshment with some level of disengagement - hopefully not too much because it also affects the cohesion. 

If we are in an enmeshing environment, it's hard not to become enmeshed.  It's not likely we will change the others, so ultimately it comes down to how we process the enmeshing environment as to how it affects our quality of life. 

The starting is point is to realize that this is a problem that we face and the goal we want to achieve.

Let's imagine anker or another person were an adult in the situation she described, as an adult. Or introduce your own example. How might we:

1. Clarify the value being violated?

2. Cope with the boundary violation?

3. Communicate with the boundary buster?
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 09:48:59 PM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

After my SO was out of her first stay in the Psych ward (probably 4 months ago now) she was exhausted and wanted to just get home and get to bed. I took her home, switched on her phone to charge (it was held by the staff whilst she was in there) and 2 messages popped up. I went to clear them thinking it was her employer whom she'd had a falling out with thinking she can deal with this later (her boss was what initially triggered her OD). To my shock I saw that they were both from a man she knew from years back arranging a visit with him in a hotel on the coming weekend.

Question: How what values did it violate? 

Fidelity, trust, the sacred nature of a relationship.

Question: What did you do?   

I said I needed time alone and I would take her back to the hospital (she was released on the proviso she would be watched for the next 48 hours). I also gave her an easy out, told her I was very ready to part ways for good and if she wanted to not waste this opportunity with this guy for her to take it - at the time I was beyond caring. She ended up texting him and asked me to watch and told him she was sorry she strung him on but she was in hospital and didn't want any further contact as she was in a relationship. That act meant nothing to me at the time - an empty gesture of someone who wasn't sorry, but was upset at getting caught... .again.

Question: What happened?

She agreed to go back to the hospital. She didn't want to face her actions and I didn't want to explode. I took her back, left her in the waiting room, rang the hospital later that night to check she'd been admitted and didn't see her for the next 2 days. I visited her in hospital after that and told her that we needed to see a psych together before she was released as I wasn't going to have her released under my watch.

Question: How do you feel about it?

Now? I pity her. But I respect the fact that she has undertaken therapy and medication and is attempting to break the cycle. If I actually think about the situation and recall it in my mind, of course I feel anger and sadness.

At the time? I felt let down, disappointed. But all in all I saw her for what she was, a very very sick individual. It hurt and it made me mad. I saw her mother in her - a very scary thing to see. It also made me reflect on myself and really ask myself what on earth I was staying around for.
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 11:13:59 PM »

All my life i was having poor boundaries yes i was using a lock but keeping the back gate widely open. Recently, after i joined the BPDF and other forum i learned about boundaries violation and how to protect my boundaries and started working on my priorities in life and setting my goals and values.

Thank you for this valuable work shop.

A story where my sexual boundaries were violated:

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

I was 18 years old and newly married. We were hosting my father in law for couple days. My H use to work the night shift. We had only one bedroom so my father in law was sleeping in the same room with me. I woke up at night when he was touching me and trying to get to my private parts. I FROZE only my mind was working . I was Shocked. Crying in silence. Calling God to help me to make him stop and not go farther. But DAMN i couldn't say anything I couldn't say NO STOP!

The next day i was begging him to not do that again i told him i don't know how to say no i don't want what happened but i don't have strong personality to stop what you did, please don't do that again i am your son's wife you are LIKE MY FATHER. He promised to not do it again and hugged me and i believed him and  forgave him. hehh!

The second night he did it again and also I COULDNT SAY NO

Question: How what values did it violate?  

Most my values were violated my all well being crashed down my self respect, the respect of others (the father image), my privacy,my commitment to my marriage, my inner peace, my security... .

Question: What did you do?  

I did NOTHING he left the other day and after a while our circumstances changed and we had to go live in his house. I was scared to tell my H and i thought maybe he regretted what happen and won't try again

But he was sexually harassing me so i found the strength to tell my H and it was the disaster... .My H had the shock of his life and this affected all our marriage for years because his dad was the reason of all his problems

Question: What happened?

We had to live with him for years because of financial problems and with the passing years he kept sexually harassing me every once in a while i was lying to my H scared to tell him the truth to not make him suffer i was suffering alone because we can't go nowhere else but i was stopping him not to protect my boundaries that i don't know how to protect but to protect my H's well being so i don't have to tell him one more time and hurt him like i did before.

But the way i was stopping my father in law was weak because i don't want him to get upset with me and i was trying to find excuses to his behavior. In other meaning i was using the lock but keeping the back gate open then running to close it when he tries to use it.

It is true he wasn't getting anything but i was exhausted from running back and forth to keep my doors closed

The priority in my mind was the well being of the others

Question: How do you feel about it?

I hated myself and my weakness i felt guilty i lost more my self confidence and security i lost my self respect and my H's trust to be able to stand up for myself and i lost my peace of mind i felt ugly i felt angry and hurt and suffering like a prisoner my life was hell... .

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 05:56:30 AM »

This is interesting, and there are many instances of both protecting my boundaries/values as well as allowing the boundary buster to waltz on in.

The incident that stands out in my mind happened when I was 17.

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

Mother became enraged and started close-fisted beating me, this was not the first time.

Question: How what values did it violate?  

This violated my value of self.  Self respect.  :)esire to protect myself.  My body is my body, nobody has the right to touch it in ANY way that I do not want.

Question: What did you do?  

I caught her wrists and just held them. I don't know if I said it, but I remember thinking, ":)on't ever lay a hand on me again."

Question: What happened?

Immediately she began crying because I’d hurt her. She wanted sympathy, which I did not give.  I do not recall much after that.  

Long TERM, she never struck me again.

Question: How do you feel about it?

As with any other times, I felt more emotionally hurt than physically - I felt unloved.  After all, how can you hurt someone intentionally and say you love them?  But due to my ability to stand up for my boundaries, I felt empowered.

Oddly, that was the last time for 10 years or so that I defended my boundaries…

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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 07:59:13 AM »

Thank you CaptainM, LVS, and MyNascence for sharing your stories and examples. Those experiences were all very tough--as boundary violations tend to be. Sometimes they're small but you all described ones that are very profound.  x

In each of your stories, I'd like to highlight some of the themes related to boundaries and values that I see. As an outsider, of course, I can only speculate. You know yourself and your situation best. Starting with CaptainM:

CaptainM, you describe your SO's boundary busting as violating the following values that you hold:

Excerpt
Fidelity, trust, the sacred nature of a relationship.

You also mention your reaction to the incident:

Excerpt
It also made me reflect on myself and really ask myself what on earth I was staying around for.

You were clearly in a caretaker role with your SO at that point in your relationship, as she had just gotten out of the hospital. You recognized that she was sick. You also seem to hold as a value taking care of someone who is in need.

In this situation, you had two sets of values--both yours--to weigh. If you followed one entirely and rigidly, you would take one course of action (fidelity--push her out and leave her to fend for herself). If you followed the other entirely and rigidly, you would take another (taking care--say "she is sick" and let the boundary violation pass).

Fidelity, trust, sacred nature of a relationship                     <-->                               taking care of someone who is in need

What you chose to do was to make sure she was cared for by returning her to the hospital and at the same time, starting to change the nature of the relationship as the lack of fidelity was not acceptable to you. CaptainM's response represents a balance of two sets of values.

Often we get into trouble in boundary setting because we have conflicting values at stake and we can only see extreme reactions as options. Example: Boyfriend is usually very attentive to you but one night, he shows a bit too much interest in another woman at a party. We think we have two options only: I pretend nothing has happened and nothing is bothering me, because I believe in sticking with a relationship through thick and thin OR without discussion I put boyfriend out on his ear because I believe any sign of attraction to another is a violation of fidelity and any violation ends the relationship.

Pretend nothing has happened = enmeshed response, boundaries too flexible

End relationship immediately = disengaged response, boundaries too rigid

Either response comes from the notion that we cannot balance values, but instead must act completely from one.

Follow up questions: CaptainM, what are your value now around fidelity and caretaking in the relationship?

"I believe... .[values]

Have you continued to work on clarify and strengthening your values around fidelity and caretaking?

How and how have you communicated those with your SO, if you have?

Thank you again for sharing this very helpful example. LVS and MyNascence, I'd like to look at your examples next.

Comments from workshop participants on any aspects of the information or stories here are very welcome! What are your thoughts and reactions as you read this material?

B&W
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 10:51:31 AM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

I do not wish to have myself nor my children photographed.I have said this since they each were born (oldest is 8). My uNPD/BPDm has taken photos of each of them when she came to visit ( now NC). Thise photos are also blown up and put on her walls in her house, and she made and sent me a CD of all the photos with the first child!

Question: How what values did it violate? 

I'm not sure how to phrase this. Its that feeling that my wants are unimportant and are to be disrespected. She was in retrospect "baiting me" also and in order not to rise to it, i swallowed down my own wants, in effect reinforcing the "my wants arent important" thing myself   

Question: What did you do?  What happened?

This went on over years. Initially i was too scared to do anything, then over time started telling her. This resulted in a huge guilt trip "we live so far away we dont get too see them/ the photos arent for me but elderly relatives who cant come to visit" etc. As i started to verbally repeat my boundary, she became more and more sneaky in an effort to "prove" I would not give her a boundary... .she'd say she'd take the kids to the park... .a few days later one of the kids would say "how come she took my photo at the top of the slide when we dont do photos?" - or wait till i out of the room and whip a damn camcorder/camera thing out of her handbag - then a couple days later play it too me trying to get me to agree it was cute - then i didnt agree but felt i'd betrayed myself for not speaking up stronger


Question: How do you feel about it?

Angry at her for not repecting the boundary. Angry at myself for not being stronger - just telling her not to do it would make me shake literally. Sickened i betrayed my own values. I also know she was hooking me in to her passive agressive power game an unsaid "i dare you to stand up to me" - that just makes me feel defeated - like no matter what i try to keep out of her mind games, she will suck me back in
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 02:24:26 PM »

Thanks for the headsup!  Here's my contribution:

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

Before my wife was formally diagnosed, she had a habit of going through my email and IM archives to "see how I really felt".  It turns out she was looking for signs that I was going to abandon her, either because I mentioned her and our problems to someone or because I was too friendly with people.

Question: How what values did it violate?

My right to privacy

Question: What did you do?   



I banned her from going on my computer or entering my computer room unless she has an explicit reason to, and even then, I make sure she's on and off as quickly as possible.


Question: What happened?



Thankfully, she's respected the boundary.  It hasn't been without protest, mind you, but she's stuck to it.


Question: How do you feel about it?

It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my mom had a nasty habit of barging in on me without knocking.  It's so not a good thing.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 04:08:48 PM »

Here is my example (actually a conglomeration of many individual incidents):

What happened?

This happened after I reached adulthood. My parents would talk disparagingly to me as if I was a child, giving me intrusive advice, using a tone and approach that made it clear they thought I was stupid and wrong, and be completely disrespectful of me as an adult. Often the issue was something very minute, almost to the point of being nonsensical. Once my dad made a scene because when I was in college I refused to wear rubber boots to a college conference (he thought I should because it was snowing, I was more concerned with my appearance). Another time when I was big-pregnant with my fourth child and already terribly depressed, he tore into me about a meal I made that he didn't like. Whenever these things happened, my mother would support him and double-team me.



1. Clarify the value being violated?


The value that adults deserve to be treated as equals, with respect. The value that I have the right to make my own decisions. And the value that truly loving someone means supporting them (and NOT denigrating them) even if they don't agree with you or do what you think they should. The value that there are a very few things that are worth causing a scene over.

2. Cope with the boundary violation?

When I was in college and through my young-adult years I would argue with them and get very angry and yell. This was ineffective. If I got mad then they would tell each other how mistreated they had been. They would go into "we are so mistreated by you" mode. It took til my early thirties (and the instance where I was pregnant and miserable) for me to "just say no to rages" myself. That time I withdrew into the bathroom (and my mother started pounding on the door threatening to go home if I didn't come out --- of course me NOT yelling and enabling them to assume the victim role was intolerable!) and didn't come out until I was calm. Er. And I quit engaging with them. I eventually withdrew from them a lot. They didn't get it --- couldn't understand why I didn't come by to see them more, etc.

3. Communicate with the boundary buster?

I kind of answered this above --- for a long time I communicated very poorly. Mainly because my gut level emotions were telling me I was being mistreated, but I had been so brainwashed not to see the maltreatment that I would just scream in frustration. I didn't feel I had the "right" to disengage from the relationship or even from the bad interaction, but it was intolerable to just sit and take it. Once I seized my right to disengage my need to get angry diminished greatly.

I still get angry with my mother sometimes (my father is now deceased). But the truth is, it gives her some kind of twisted satisfaction to make me angry. It's like, she taunts me etc. when she is feeling angry, and if I get angry, somehow this discharges her anger. It's very weird. For many years I just disengaged when they (or now, she) started their badgering. Now I am working on stopping it in the moment by pointing out when she is being malicious. She really hates it when I do that. But I spent most of my life thinking her maliciousness was normal (and that my dad's condescending talk was normal) and it is really hard to recognize it in the moment with my conscious mind.
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 05:33:10 PM »

Follow up questions: CaptainM, what are your value now around fidelity and caretaking in the relationship?

"I believe... .[values]

Have you continued to work on clarify and strengthening your values around fidelity and caretaking?

How and how have you communicated those with your SO, if you have?

I believe that partners should remain completely faithful to each other (physically and emotionally). I believe partners should do their best to be there for each other in times of need - I'm not referring to catering to self-created mini-emergencies or trying to soften the impact of consequences, more so when it comes to health (emotional and physical) partners should be emotionally and physically available to each other when possible and within reason.

As for communication:

For the fidelity issue, it's a matter of me initially telling her that I will no longer be in a relationship that is not exclusive and letting her know that I am strong enough to defend that boundary now. I think she needed to hear that I was strong enough to defend it this time - and I think the fact that I dropped her back at the hospital last time caught her by surprise. She has reiterated to me that she understands her issues with acceptance and she is working very hard on them (ways of distracting herself, allowing herself pleasure etc). I still remain on the look out for red flags, I know she feels she's changed but I realise she hasn't been truly tempted yet - but my boundary remains firm to protect my values and myself.

For the emotional/physical support - it's been give and take. I have had to realise she has limits and that she isn't as empathetic as I am (probably a good thing or we'd both be sobbing over Oprah episodes) and that she will shut off when overwhelmed. I've had to become more emotionally independent (again, I've found it a good thing). She has realised that mindfulness is one of her weaknesses and she is in therapy to address this. I can see her trying and it's refreshing but there is still a long way to go before I could ever rely on her and I'm not waiting for it. On the other side, I've also had to learn to let her be more emotionally and physically independent and stop trying to be a rescuer.

It's strange, I've never actually thought in depth about my actions that night - but I can see exactly what you said B&W, that interplay of 2 values.

The thing that I still struggle with is how to strengthen my fidelity boundary without "hounding" her or "rubbing salt in the wound". I have previously had a habit of trying to not let her forget about her infidelity - not trying to be cruel, but always feeling like if she forgot about it or it wasn't in the forefront of her mind, she'd do it again. I don't do that anymore but I find it hard to find ways to communicate the boundary. Is once enough?
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2010, 07:06:18 PM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

My dBPDH went into my personal journal on our computer & printed out ALL of my journal. He threatened to use it against me in court. When I changed my password to my journal, he threated to take the computer and lock it in his company car (to which I have no access) and this was in a rage towards me at night when our then 4yo son had a temp of over 104 and I was trying to care for him.

Question: How what values did it violate? 

He violated my RIGHT to privacy. He threatened our son's health and he threatened to take my rights to have access to our computer (which is essential to my work). He was emotionally abusive to me & he frightened our son.

Question: What did you do? 

I tried to reason with him that our son was ill & he needed to calm down. He did not. Finally, I had to scream at him that if he didn't shut up, I would call the police. (this was WAY before I discovered how I need to react).

Question: What happened?

After a horrible confrontation, he finally went to bed and I stayed on the sofa with our son.

Question: How do you feel about it? I feel angry that he put us through that, especially our son. I feel that I was unprepared to deal with his outburst. I feel that since then, I have learned how to defend my boundries better. Mostly because I HAVE called the police on him. I think if I never had done so, he would still cross that boundry.
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2010, 09:05:39 AM »

Thank you Gettingthere, iluminati, Jemima, and onAmission for adding your stories and examples. CaptainM, your follow up is very helpful and raises an important point.

We now have a lot of great instances to work with. Let's look through them and try to identify a few key principles related to boundaries and our values.

First, it can help define what boundaries are. There are many definitions, which is why this can be a squishy topic to explore. One I really like and think helps us move forward is from I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better. The authors, Gary and Joy Lundberg, use this definition:

BOUNDARIES = Your value system in action


In other words, where you set a limit for yourself is exactly where your values tell you your limit is.

We can also turn the formulation around:



YOUR VALUE SYSTEM IN ACTION = Boundaries



So if you repeatedly allow your mother to scream at you on the phone as in an example described in the discussion of this article Article: Family Systems (and yes, she is very wrong to do so), your values are actually this: It's okay for someone to scream at me. I'm not worth protecting myself from abuse. My mother's needs are more important than my own emotional safety.

I want to return shortly to the stories and examples provided, with this definition under our belts.

Any thoughts on the definition?

B&W
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2010, 11:59:03 AM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

At my work i have coworkers and the work should be divided fairly and we always have right to say no but i use to always say yes whatever people ask me always worried about what the others think about me

Question: How what values did it violate?

my right to be treated fairly I was feeling in unfair situation I was asked to do the others chores

my well being I was feeling bad about myself and uncomfortable while doing what i was asked to do

my self confidence i was wondering how can i say no? i can't make them feel that i don't want to do my job. What should i do i can't do anything about it

my self worth i was thinking that i have right to be treated better i am doing everything the right way what's wrong with me to be treated like that why the other co workers are in better situation?

Question: What did you do?

I was doing the tasks without complaining or saying any word even when within myself i didn't want that

Question: What happened?

The senior on the floor got use to only ask me to do chores because they found it much easy to ask someone who never say no

Question: How do you feel about it?[/font]

I started feeling in unfair situation and my senior is not fair with me I was thinking why they don't ask other coworker why only me?



When i started working on my boundaries i discovered the secret and i learned that it's ok to say no and i should not be perfect and it won't matter what the others think about me the most important in this equation is me my feelings my well being and how do i think about myself  

So i wrote down all my values, then i learned that boundaries means those values should not be touched

And when i started putting myself ahead, people around me started to change their ways and i was able to set my boundaries anytime i feel uncomfortable or any of my values is touched and what you said blanckandwhite showed it the right way

BOUNDARIES = my value system in action Or

MY VALUE SYSTEM IN ACTION = Boundaries
Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2010, 12:47:56 PM »

LVS, your two examples provide an amazing contrast.

In your first example, you describe your attempts to cope with your FIL's sexual harassment (so sorry you experienced that):

Excerpt
We had to live with him for years because of financial problems and with the passing years he kept sexually harassing me every once in a while i was lying to my H scared to tell him the truth to not make him suffer i was suffering alone because we can't go nowhere else but i was stopping him not to protect my boundaries that i don't know how to protect but to protect my H's well being so i don't have to tell him one more time and hurt him like i did before.

But the way i was stopping my father in law was weak because i don't want him to get upset with me and i was trying to find excuses to his behavior. In other meaning i was using the lock but keeping the back gate open then running to close it when he tries to use it.

It is true he wasn't getting anything but i was exhausted from running back and forth to keep my doors closed

The priority in my mind was the well being of the others

It sounds like you were keeping secrets, using denial, running around trying to take care of everyone but yourself. Generally, suffering and not feeling clear and clean about how you handled yourself, or as you put it, "using the lock but keeping the back gate open then running to close it when he tries to use it... .I was exhausted from running back and forth to keep my doors closed."

That was your Point A.

Your Point B is described in your second example:

Excerpt
When i started working on my boundaries i discovered the secret and i learned that it's ok to say no and i should not be perfect and it won't matter what the others think about me the most important in this equation is me my feelings my well being and how do i think about myself 

So i wrote down all my values, then i learned that boundaries means those values should not be touched

And when i started putting myself ahead, people around me started to change their ways and i was able to set my boundaries anytime i feel uncomfortable or any of my values is touched and what you said blanckandwhite showed it the right way

BOUNDARIES = my value system in action Or

MY VALUE SYSTEM IN ACTION = Boundaries

Somewhere along the way, you learned this principle about boundaries and values:

Excerpt
Learning how to effectively defend yourself against unwanted intrusions is not as simple as it might first seem. It is, of course, necessary that you learn new ways of interacting with intrusive or abusive people which will cause them to back off and leave you alone. Less obviously, however, you also have to learn how to recognize and become aware that you are being intruded upon in the first place, and you must also decide that you are a worthy person who does not deserve to be invaded or treated badly.

From: Setting Boundaries Appropriately

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. and Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 3rd 2006

www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=9777&cn=353


If you or anyone has walked a similar path would care to comment:

How did you get from Point A (not feeling like a worthy person who does not deserve to to invaded) to Point B (feeling firm in your values and self-worth and acting accordingly, including saying no in a reasonable way)?

We now have on the table in this workshop:



  • A number of examples of boundary invasions and comments on those experiences and the values they violated


  • A working definition of boundaries (comments welcome)


  • The idea that effective boundary setting is linked to:




*Feelings of self-worth (LVS's contrasting examples)

*A clear understanding of one's values (many examples yet to be discussed that I hope we can look at in more detail)

*An ability to balance multiple values (CaptainM's example)

*The ability to recognize you are being intruded upon in the first place (Jemima's example is a good one of her learning to do that. She says, "Mainly because my gut level emotions were telling me I was being mistreated, but I had been so brainwashed not to see the maltreatment that I would just scream in frustration. I didn't feel I had the "right" to disengage from the relationship or even from the bad interaction, but it was intolerable to just sit and take it. Once I seized my right to disengage my need to get angry diminished greatly."

Thank you to all for your participation so far. There's a lot more to discuss, so keep the conversation flowing.

B&W

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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2010, 08:02:49 AM »

Thank you for sharing that, Gettingthere.

For reference (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_Freedom_Technique):

Excerpt
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of alternative psychotherapy that uses tapping on acupuncture points while a patient focuses on a specific traumatic memory. This is said to manipulate an energy field practitioners associate with the human body.

I'm also worked on increasing feelings of self-worth, coming at it from several directions, including a cognitive approach. With a therapist, I identified negative core beliefs and reframed them. A key one for me was "I can sacrifice myself," as that was the attitude I took in my family to get through the experience of having two parents with personality disorders who expected me to sacrifice my needs and wants in favor of theirs.

I reframed that to "I am worthy of self-protection." It is amazing how often I would face little decisions on a daily basis in which there would be two paths, one leading toward self-sacrifice and one toward self-protection. Having the mantra of self-protection at the front of my mind helped a great deal when making those small (and big) choices.

We have a workshop that may be helpful, both for those raised in a BPD environment and for others:

US: Positive entitlement--taking the initiative to share in life's riches

We often view entitlement in a negative light, but there's also a positive version--honoring our own self-worth. Many raised in a BPD environment suffer from low self-esteem and fear and anxiety about pursuing our own fulfillment. This workshop explores the concept of positive entitlement, how to evaluate areas of self-esteem to work on, and ways to embrace positive entitlement.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=111984.0




So we're exploring boundaries related to self-worth and getting away from the idea that you focus only on the lock and instead look at the whole house. We've identified some principles of protecting ourselves with boundaries and values:

1. "Feelings of self worth is the foundation to enable a person to start working on boundaries and values" (from Gettingthere and looking at LVS's examples in particular).

2. Boundary invasions especially repeated, severe, and/or from childhood can leave us very self-protective and inclined not to take risks, as anker described. One common reaction is to develop rigid boundaries, a disengaged style to relationships (at least in some cases), and an antidependent approach to needs and wants. We are protected, but perhaps lonely and isolated.

3. The ability to recognize you are being intruded upon in the first place is necessary and then act, or else our boundaries are too flexible, we allow ourselves to be abused, and we likely have an enmeshed style of relationship. This is the opposite of the rigid boundary approach. We are not well protected at all. The doors of the house are wide open, windows too. (Jemima's example before she realized she could assert her right not to be abused, "I didn't feel I had the "right" to disengage from the relationship or even from the bad interaction."

We have examples on this thread of terrible boundary invasions, including physical and sexual abuse and endangerment. LVS describes a sexual assault. MyNascence describes a physical assault. onAmission describes a terrible confrontation that endangered herself and her son. Other examples are emotionally devastating.  LVS initially has trouble saying no. MyNascence was able to halt the physical attack but that encounter took a lot of the energy out of her ability to stand up for herself. onAmission called the police, but clearly had to endure quite a lot before she did. We need to have effective boundaries to protect ourselves or else our house will be ruined.

4. An ability to balance multiple values (CaptainM's example) is necessary to keep our boundaries flexible.




I'd like to look toward another principle by posing a question. If we say that boundaries are rules of a sort, who are they rules for? Are boundaries rules for yourself, or for another person?

B&W

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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2010, 01:35:30 PM »

Of course i wasn't seeing my life the way i see it now and blackanwhite you said Somewhere along the way, you learned this principle about boundaries and values yes i learned it in the hard way the price was so high after 28 years of marriage Smiling (click to insert in post)

I can see now how the problem started at my childhood my father was emotionally abuser i've been mollested at the age of 9 and at the age of 17 from adults who represent for me high level of power and social position in other word who are idol in life and i started having low self image and self worth and self respect i felt the guilt and shame and dirtiness for not saying no to the people who were nice to me and gave me candies not knowing that they stole my rights.

The worst was when my father in law did the same and shook the idol image of the father. In my mind fathers do not do mistakes so if it is not his mistake then it is mine

Marrying the man who is like my father made things worst after my FIL incident my H turned from idealizing me to switch me black. Living with one who has BPD traits was not helping my self esteem to see the light at the contrary it dragged me more down he was mistreating me and later our kids.

In all the situations that i went through in my life i wasn't self confident seeking to please the others to avoid being blamed mixing the concept of loving me for who i am and loving me for what i can do... .

I was so good in protecting my kids or anyone who needs me but when it comes to myself I was choosing to sacrifice my needs for the best of my beloved OR the best of the family or... .

All i needed was seeing myself as worthy

And finding a way to justify my actions so i don't feel guilty


The transition from A to B happened when i became totally consumed when i was broken in pieces when my patience reached the edges when no matter what i did or how much i ran back and forth to keep my doors locked didn't help to protect me from the invasion and the harm that resulted from that.

What brought me back was the LOVE OF LIFE i felt my self dying in unfair life i needed to recollect myself and save what is left of me

EVEN THEN i couldn't take the decision until i had this justification:

THE WELL BEING OF MY KIDS Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) this justification gave me the push and the satisfaction that i need and i felt myself not selfish but it is also for my kids well being.

That's how i started improving myself in this point starting from my own life inside my house with my H. Each time i was gaining more confidence and more self esteem... .I was equally gaining more power and my H started to change strategies to attack in different ways but this showed me his weaknesses and empowered me even more because i felt i am doing right things to me and to my beloved (of course reading about boundaries and values and the support of the friends at BPDF and other forum  who were assisting me in my progress helped me a lot to see things clearly)

Anyway i am still in the process of forcing my boundaries and always trying to justify my actions to not guilt myself and i can say i am still doing the baby steps

It is still much easier to force my boundaries with people who doesn't know me than with the people who already knew my weakness as you said blackandwhite it is not this simple as it seems


The main think is i have had uncountable incidents in my life where my boundaries were invaded let's call them A to Z but when i improved in my life with me H in situation A the improvement reached all the places from A to Z because the change wasn't in my house it was in my inside and then all the other situations changed  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2010, 02:44:20 PM »

I'd like to look toward another principle by posing a question. If we say that boundaries are rules of a sort, who are they rules for? Are boundaries rules for yourself, or for another person?

B&W


Boundaries, in my view, serve to regulate future interactions between ourselves and someone else. So, they're applicable to both.

In establishing a boundary - we want someone else to change their behavior. We hope they will, anyway. The act of establishing a reasonable boundary helps to empower us by taking responsibility for ourselves and helps stop setting ourselves up to be victims.

We set boundaries to define our territory and protect our space - physical, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual, financial, etc. We set these boundaries because this is what we need to do for ourselves.

We set them having full knowledge that the other person may not be able or willing to change their behavior - and also that we are fully prepared to take any action we deem necessary when it becomes obvious that they're not going to change. That action may include cutting that person out of our life completely.

I've often been asked if setting boundaries isn't just a sophisticated way of manipulating others. And I suppose the difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulation is when setting a boundary, we let go of the outcome. If we intend to manipulate others, we expect a certain outcome. Big difference.
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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2010, 07:54:54 AM »

Thank you, LVS and CalicoSilver! Great further contributions. We're exploring the question of boundaries as rules and who the rules are for in relation to our formula:



Boundaries = Our value system in action


I'd like to go back to an example Gettingthere provided us:

Quote from Gettingthere

Excerpt
This [mother taking photos of kids without permission] went on over years. Initially i was too scared to do anything, then over time started telling her. This resulted in a huge guilt trip "we live so far away we dont get too see them/ the photos arent for me but elderly relatives who cant come to visit" etc. As i started to verbally repeat my boundary, she became more and more sneaky in an effort to "prove" I would not give her a boundary... .she'd say she'd take the kids to the park... .a few days later one of the kids would say "how come she took my photo at the top of the slide when we dont do photos?" - or wait till i out of the room and whip a damn camcorder/camera thing out of her handbag - then a couple days later play it too me trying to get me to agree it was cute - then i didnt agree but felt i'd betrayed myself for not speaking up stronger

Gettingthere also offered how awful she felt about these incidents. That bad feeling was a sign to her that something was wrong, that her doors were open somewhere and bad things were coming in. Telling her mother not to take photos was her lock (verbal boundary). However, if we look at her actions (and Gettingthere thank you for offering this for us all to learn, it's very instructive  x), we see:

Gettingthere lets Mom take kids to park--take photos

Gettingthere leaves Mom in room with kids--takes photos

Gettingthere allows Mom to discuss why photos are needed (guilt)

Gettingthere would watch video

Since actions speak louder than words, we can weigh these:



LET MOM TAKE AND DISCUSS PHOTOS REPEATEDLY
         versus          ":)on't take photos" verbal statement

In this case, Gettingthere set a rule for her mother, but her mother chose not to follow the rule. It was a rule for another person; unfortunately, this person was a boundary buster. Once her mother broke the rule, she felt powerless (and angry and a lot of other things, I think) to stop it and even more defeated herself. 

The values here are probably something like--Gettingthere please comment or correct, as of course I'm speculating:

I believe in no photos for my kids. (This is what Gettingthere was verbally saying.)

I believe that I need to bow to my mother's wishes. (This is what the action is saying.)

I believe that I am a bad person (guilt) if I don't do what my mother says. (This is what the action is saying.)

I believe that my opinions do not matter. (This is what the action is saying.)

I believe that I can control another person. (This is what the action is saying.)

CalicoSilver said:

Excerpt
We set boundaries to define our territory and protect our space - physical, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual, financial, etc. We set these boundaries because this is what we need to do for ourselves.

We set them having full knowledge that the other person may not be able or willing to change their behavior - and also that we are fully prepared to take any action we deem necessary when it becomes obvious that they're not going to change.

Boundaries as rules for other people don't work. Other people, especially boundary busters, break rules.

Does this make sense? Can you see this principle playing out in your own life?

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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2010, 09:25:28 AM »

On the whole, i agree with you B&W, and it looks laughable when you put it like that!

I agree boundaries are for us, not trying to control others, however you have put

"I believe that I can control another person. (This is what the action is saying.)"

Now i'm confused, how is the action saying i am trying to control her? In the sense that i dont want her to take the photos, then i guess, but i dont understand how stating that i dont want her to take photos is controlling? Please explain.

As we are NC its not technically an issue, but lets just say we rewind the clock. How do or would others handle this. After the park incident, no i never let her take them out alone again. I never did directly state that it was why neither, and she never directly said she knew, just pouted sulked and acted generally martyrish.

But in the house, its harder. I cant physically be there all the time - need to make meals/tend to baby etc (and no, the queen  doesnt help  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))  I can see now the only consequences were what i took ie bad feelings from myself, and from husband as we both agree with not taking the photos, but never once did i say, if you persist you may not visit or whatever... .

Oh the benefit of the retroscope! This is helpful, thanks
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« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2010, 09:35:01 AM »

Hi Gettingthere. I'm so glad you posted and we can explore more. I have to run now but will reply in more depth later. I love the idea of the "retroscope," LOL! The thing about control is a great topic in relation to boundaries, and I'm not using that word in the way we often do casually to mean pushy or demanding or anything like that. More later... .

B&W
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« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2010, 02:25:04 AM »

BlackandWhite Thank you for this interesting workshop

You said::

Boundaries as rules for other people don't work. Other people, especially boundary busters, break rules.

IMO all of us if we get the chance we can be boundary busters

Who breaks our boundary doesn't do the same thing with other people who keep their boundaries

IMO Boundaries as rules work if they are followed by actions

Gettingthere You asked for others opinion and i like to give mine since i can see for the others better than i see for myself Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

If you rewind time you need to believe that:

You did all what you can or have to do with your mom

You gave her all chances

Most boundaries busters are close people to us could be father mother husband son or daughter... .

So don't fall in the FOG(Fear, Obligation, Guilt)

Tell her when taking pictures will be ok (it could be once a year)

Tell her that enjoying times at the expense of the others' well being is full of selfishness this is not what the mothers are committed to be

We really want you to be with us have fun and enjoy the time together, we love you

Taking pictures is causing an issue if you chose to keep taking them it is like telling us you care for the pictures more than for you care for us

We do love you but you are hurting our love

We need you as a caring mother and if you keep showing us that you care more for material things don't be surprise when you find us not wanting you to be with us

Is this make any sens?
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« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2010, 08:41:17 AM »

Let's get back to the picture taking example, but I wanted to have this information in as a reference... .

Boundaries and Values in Relationships: Scenarios

Our working definition:

Boundaries = your value system in action; they contain and protect your sense of who you are and give you a stable platform from which to relate to others. How does that look in action in different types of relationships? Let's examine some scenarios.

Both Have Good Boundaries

If two people have a healthy sense of self and good self-esteem, and are clear about their values, serious boundary issues aren't too likely to arise. As they get to know each other, there will be exploration and some testing, but they are likely to work things out without a great deal of conflict.

Example: You make a new friend at work. Friend is very warm, but prefers to keep social interactions to a bit of chit chat at work, some lunches, and perhaps a quick happy hour now and then. Friend keeps weekends private and for the family. Although you feel you would enjoy getting to know friend's family and vice versa, you accept this limit. You have other friends you see on weekends and you value the friendship even if it's not as close as it could be.

As LVS pointed out, all of us--as human beings--are boundary busters sometimes. Let's say you have a great boss, but from time to time, he asks too many questions about your personal life for your comfort. Or your neighbor, who is so helpful and nice, peers into your windows when you have visitors. Or you feel a bit shut out of your spouse's life when he/she takes on a new project, and you find yourself reading his/her e-mail when it's left open on the desktop. All of those are boundary busting acts that need some attention; if both parties have good boundaries generally, however, they can usually be discussed or handled in a calm way using some communication techniques we can talk about more later in this workshop.

One Has Good Boundaries, One Has Poor Boundaries

If a person with a healthy sense of self and good self-esteem and a clear sense of personal values encounters someone with none of those qualities, such as a person with BPD, some boundary issues are likely to arise, but be resolved fairly quickly.

Example: A young man meets a young woman and they begin to date. She's extremely taken with him and gives him a lot of attention. He feels flattered at first, and protective when she starts having a hard time with her roommate. However, when she pushes to move in with him as a way to solve her problem and for them to get closer, he realizes he needs to slow things down. He likes this woman, but he knows he's not ready to live together and he's not afraid of being alone. He lets her know, kindly, and she breaks things off with him in a rage. Although he's upset at the turn the relationship took and is bewildered by the intensity, he's generally relieved and senses he's avoided worse by nipping things in the bud.

Of course it's quite possible that a relationship with a person with BPD erodes one's good boundaries (self-esteem, sense of self, values) over time. It's also possible to develop a good sense of these qualities but have an "exception" in your life, such as your BPD sister or boyfriend. The exception is a clue that the the self-esteem, sense of self, and values aren't as firm as they might be. Your values should be consistent across your life, even if applied in different ways in different realms (at work versus with your children, for example).

Both Have Poor Boundaries

In these relationships, there is a degree of enmeshment, with poor delineation between one person and another. One or more of the examples of poor boundaries that Phillip Mitchell describes in Boundaries: Tools of Respect may be present:



  • A poor sense or disregard of personal space—not sensing or knowing how physically close you should be in relation to another


  • Disregarding your personal values in order to please others


  • Ignoring another person’s display of poor boundaries or invasion of your boundaries


  • Sharing too much personal information with someone you don’t know well [Or with someone you know well cannot be trusted not to do harm with personal information.]


  • Accepting food, gifts, touch, or sex that you don’t want


  • Falling in love with a new acquaintance


  • Excessive giving or taking


  • Obsessive thinking about another person


  • Letting others describe you or your reality


  • Acting on the first sexual impulse


  • Expecting others to anticipate and fulfill your needs


  • Being sexual for your partner and not yourself


  • Manipulative behaviors, abusive behaviors, etc.


  • Disregarding your personal values in order to please others




Example: An adult child with a BPD father has moved her elderly father into her home in order to care for him. She feels completely responsible for her father's happiness, and rage and frustration at her father's continual complaints despite making enormous sacrifices to help him. She has remodeled her home to give her father comfortable quarters, let go of the hobbies and friends she used to enjoy in order to transport her father to all of his medical appointments, and has accepted her father's vision of her as incompetent, selfish, and ungrateful, while experiencing at the same time tremendous resentment that her sacrifices are not recognized. The two share a closely entwined life marked by hostility, silent treatments, and wounded feelings.

Both Have Poor Boundaries, But One is Getting Better

This is the situation many of our members here and the focus of this workshop.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
blackandwhite
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« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2010, 09:18:30 AM »

So back to the picture taking example Gettingthere provided!

Quote from Gettingthere

Excerpt
"I believe that I can control another person. (This is what the action is saying.)"

Now i'm confused, how is the action saying i am trying to control her? In the sense that i dont want her to take the photos, then i guess, but i dont understand how stating that i dont want her to take photos is controlling? Please explain.

From what you've said about your mother, she was a clear boundary buster. (This analysis is not to get on your case, but to learn. You were obviously doing the best you could and we all have experienced similar situations here.  x) Using the "retroscope": At the time when you were trying to get her to stop taking pictures, you would say "I don't want pictures taken" but act in ways that allowed the pictures to be taken, as we talked about earlier. There was a degree of magical thinking in it... .if I express my wish (which I know, I know! is brave enough when you have a BPD parent) then my wish will go out into the world and make my mother stop... .my wish will control her bad behavior. In fact, it's possible that you may even have hoped your expressed wish would change her as a person, help her evolve from someone who would disrespect your wishes to someone else, to a mother who is sensitive to you, your values, and your point of view. (Speculating. So many of us long to see our mothers, husbands, brothers, sisters, lovers, etc. change in this way.)

That's what I meant by "I believe I can control another person." Perhaps it's better stated as "I believe I can control another person with my wish alone."

By not backing up your words with sufficient actions within your own control, you undercut your stated value and gave your mom room to bust the boundary. You seem to have been in the position I describe in the scenarios above as someone who had poor boundaries (didn't even used to say anything) but was getting better. So you were trying to figure it out, testing different things, and were able to limit some of the behavior but not stop it.  x

Here's what LVS has to say about how you might redo if you were able to go back in time. What are your thoughts, and those of other participants, on this approach to boundary communications?

Excerpt
If you rewind time you need to believe that:

You did all what you can or have to do with your mom

You gave her all chances

Most boundaries busters are close people to us could be father mother husband son or daughter... .

So don't fall in the FOG(Fear, Obligation, Guilt)

Tell her when taking pictures will be ok (it could be once a year)

Tell her that enjoying times at the expense of the others' well being is full of selfishness this is not what the mothers are committed to be

We really want you to be with us have fun and enjoy the time together, we love you

Taking pictures is causing an issue if you chose to keep taking them it is like telling us you care for the pictures more than for you care for us

We do love you but you are hurting our love

We need you as a caring mother and if you keep showing us that you care more for material things don't be surprise when you find us not wanting you to be with us

B&W
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« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2010, 08:06:04 PM »

Question: Briefly, explain a situation where your boundaries been violated?

My relationship my parents became incredibly strained when they became a "package deal." The combination of the two together was like bleach & ammonia to me--extremely toxic.

Question: How what values did it violate? 

I missed having a unique, individual relationship with each one.

I resented the constant triangulation & drama that surrounded us every time we got together.

Question: What did you do?   

I requested to see them individually.

At first I was told no.  We went for over a year seeing each other only in groups on special occasions (so rarely.)

Question: What happened?

As time passed I was asked to resume a more frequent relationship.

I agreed, as long as I can see them separately.


Question: How do you feel about it?

I'm glad I stuck to my boundary.  I'm able to see them individually & on their best behavior (& not just bringing out the worst in each other.) I'm also more relaxed & enjoy them both much better than I did before  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Thanks for the excellent workshop, B&W  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2010, 07:27:46 AM »

Hi BPDfamfan, hats off to you! That's really impressive that not only you stuck to your boundary, but that your also getting more enjoyable time with your parents  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Yes B&W, i think we can clearly say my mother is a boundary buster!  I had heard of magical thinking, but never applied it in this context, which is really insightful, thanks.  Yes, in some ways i think i did think expressing a wish would make her transform into a sensitive being! In part if you try and point things out to her she gets defensive and victim like "i didnt know" so  i think part of me thinks well i've told you, so now you know to be sensitivie!  ;p

BlackandWhite Thank you for this interesting workshop

You said::

Boundaries as rules for other people don't work. Other people, especially boundary busters, break rules.

IMO all of us if we get the chance we can be boundary busters

Who breaks our boundary doesn't do the same thing with other people who keep their boundaries

IMO Boundaries as rules work if they are followed by actions

Gettingthere You asked for others opinion and i like to give mine since i can see for the others better than i see for myself Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

If you rewind time you need to believe that:

You did all what you can or have to do with your mom

You gave her all chances

Most boundaries busters are close people to us could be father mother husband son or daughter... .

So don't fall in the FOG(Fear, Obligation, Guilt)

Tell her when taking pictures will be ok (it could be once a year)

Tell her that enjoying times at the expense of the others' well being is full of selfishness this is not what the mothers are committed to be

We really want you to be with us have fun and enjoy the time together, we love you

Taking pictures is causing an issue if you chose to keep taking them it is like telling us you care for the pictures more than for you care for us

We do love you but you are hurting our love

We need you as a caring mother and if you keep showing us that you care more for material things don't be surprise when you find us not wanting you to be with us

Is this make any sens?

LVF, you are not alone, ther peoples situations are clearer to me than my own  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Thankyou for taking the time to make suggestions. As i was reading through your suggestions, it struck me how closely this is entwined with being assertive - something until recently i have never been with my mother, its very much a capitol F in FOG for me.

The not taking photos is a boundary for me, so i wouldnt suggest once a year. Also i know that with this particular boundary buster, she would take it as a green light to ignore the boundary anyway.

LVF i think what you have written is "adult" and great for healthy people. My only concern is that if i were to approach it like this with my mother then she would percieve it as nothing but confrontation and critisim. I dont know if thats just her or BPD... .saying her actions were selfish (i'm running to take cover at the thought of it!... .)

B&W you also said "If two people have a healthy sense of self and good self-esteem, and are clear about their values, serious boundary issues aren't too likely to arise"

I agree wholeheartedly with this, and know that i didnmt even think nor feel capable of setting boundaries until i had worked on self esteem and self worth, which again ties into needing self esteem to be able to be assertive... .

I am aware that my example is dominating this workshop and i apologise profusely to the other participants   

When dealing with boundary busters, it can sometimes feel that everything you say is going to be "busted" and its exhausting constantly stipulatng boundaries and consequences. How have other poeple handeled this?
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