Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bumpy Ride

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. 
Abraham Maslow

My study in the books on boundaries is not smooth.  I keep running into snags that keep tripping me up.  My first assumption is that some how there is something wrong with me that I don't understand.  Then I realize that words used by the authors don't always mean the same to me.  I am drowning in vocabulary and concepts that were thoroughly twisted in my childhood.   I decided to push through and finish both books this month.  The challenge will be to not short circuit my progress.  I am starting to grasp that I have boundaries and used them all along in between my personalities.  Each one had separate responsibilities and task.  Integration eliminated those boundaries.  In a sense, I released all the old unhealthy boundaries; in their place I need to place new healthy boundaries between me and people that I interact with.  My session today with New Counselor was me asking questions about what the author means on several key points in the book.  New Counselor explained to me that I  already did a lot of the work they are referring to in the book.  I am going to read the section again but this time take into account all my years in counseling.  I really feel like an emotional moron.  Yea, someone called me that once and I am starting to see why.  I don't think it was just to tick me off, I think they were expressing their frustration that I really do not understand why people do what they do.   Then I think about some people, I don't want to understand.  


mulderfan said...

There are people in my life I no longer WANT to understand. I've struggled for so long to understand that I'm just exhausted by the effort. I hate to give up on anything but am beginning to accept that there are times when it's the only option available.

There are a lot of boundaries that are unspoken, just sort of "a given". For instance, we all have an invisible line around us and it is just understood that people don't get too (physically) close when speaking to us unless they are a partner or FOO. Someone stepping over the "line" makes us feel uncomfortable or threatened. Having worked with kids at both extremes of the intellect spectrum, I found that both the gifted and the challenged had to be taught about this boundary to keep them from getting into trouble socially.

The Ns in my life don't "get" a boundary as simple as, "Don't shout at me or call me nasty names." Funny though, they know enough not to do this to friends, store clerks etc.

This is where my doubt comes in. With my students they didn't apply the "personal space" boundary to ANYONE, so I could accept they simply didn't understand it. Since my NPs can apply boundaries selectively, they must understand them but CHOOSE to ignore them!

A bit of training was all those kids needed because somewhere there was a gap in their experience. They all wanted to fit in and most were happy to adjust their behaviour accordingly. Funnily enough the "gifted" kids had the most trouble grasping the concept!

I feel a blog post coming on!

Ruth said...

I noticed the same thing. My NM new how to treat me with other people around. The gloves came off when we were alone. Sometime she even checked to make sure we were alone. Now I am never alone with her. I look forward to reading your post.

Shaun said...

When you've dealt with boundary intrusion or lack of sufficient, well-defined boundaries throughout your life, I can see where you'd get caught up (especially if the intruder perverted the lingo for her gain).

I think you're making huge strides, Ruth! I'd be interested in what insights you gain from these books. Knowing how to define boundaries and enforce them is an invaluable skill to have.

Ruth said...

Thanks Shaun, There will be more to come. I hadn't thought about the lingo being twisted on purpose. But thinking on my history that is a real possibility. Thanks for the insight.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say not only possible but probable, but that is being kind. It was definitely twisted, sometimes with that nasty little smile. ~Judy

me said...

i don't think they understand or respect boundaries. i think they just know what 'it looks like' and what you have to do to 'not get in trouble.'
i dont know if i 'really understand' boundaries either abstractly speaking. i just think of it and the moment you feel like youre intruding on someone. boundaries must require empathy then right? and ns dont have that.
and boundaries are always shifting, depending on who youre with and what you want..

Ruth said...

Judy you are probably right. Yeah I know that smile all too well. Ugh.

me, I agree that using empathy we can be aware of others' boundaries. I started researching because I sensed boundaries were important but didn't understand them. So I found some books and started studying. They sure don't teach this in school.

me said...

oh me, is lisa btw.

i was thinking that for me..
i keep thinking that i am encroaching on other people's boundaries when i'm not. i think because my parents reacted so negatively to me whenever i set boundaries, i feel like I'M bothering people whenever i'm just being myself and being honest. so i think i accidentally give people a giiiiiannt berth cause i'm so terrified of 'violating' them and causing them to get upset with me. i remember, i have trouble walking past people's houses when they're on their front lawns, i'm so scared of intruding. that has been an obstacle in standing up for myself.

Ruth said...

Hi Lisa,
I understand the feeling. I tended to give people wide berth because my mother could have such extreme reactions. I enjoy learning that I don't have to be that way with everybody. Learning who is safe and who isn't is an interesting challenge.