Boundaries: Like so many WSers I have very few boundaries. The boundaries I do have are not necessarily healthy, and are very likely misapplied. In early November I set out some of the few healthy, and properly applied boundaries I have. Itís been difficult, but at the same time it is liberating, and I feel some encouragement from the slight success. (yes I am tooting my own horn here. I was recently reminded by a very angry BH that I cannot expect anyone else to recognize my tiny baby successes.)
Iíve realized through reading, self reflection, and IC that my lack of boundaries applies in almost universal equality throughout my life. Iíve allowed ďfriendsĒ to disrespect my time, care, friendship, and me. Iíve stayed devoutly loyal to people (mother, friends, brother) who have consistently behaved in ways that should have sent me screaming in the other direction. I continue to allow people to step across my comfort threshold. My primary romantic relationship (eg. my BH) is not immune to this symptom.
The causes are listed in my two ďwhyĒ posts. I fall into the spectrum of a personality disorder that predisposes me to allow others to set all boundaries, FOO issues, several forms of abuse... SO - healing, and taking responsibility for myself begins with the tiny baby steps of creating healthy boundaries. As I said, Iíve set some clear boundaries with my NPD/HPD mother, and am still being successful at enforcing them. Right now I am struggling with, and working on (in IC) created a set of healthy boundaries with BH. But every time I sit down to write them out I go blank.
I have several stumbling blocks that I can identify. One, Iím really struggling with the feeling that I do not deserve (or rather do not have the right) to set boundaries. Iíve done the worst thing a person can to someone they love. I took everything either of us cared about and I demolished it, and am now sifting through the ashes trying to find something salvageable to begin rebuilding. I read threads here, and on other sites and I find a lot of scorn for and against a WS who recognizes a boundary and states it. But Iím learning, and am really beginning to believe that a WS who recognizes a boundary and states it should receive some support in taking a very healthy step in healing. Iím not saying that a BS should throw a party. Nor am I saying that they have to like the boundary set, just that it should be acknowledged for what it is: progress.
All of this was inspired by picking up the book Shame and Guilt: Masters of Disguise. It has been recommended on a number of threads on SI, and my BH and I now have a copy of it. I am 4 pages in. Iíve put the book down 3x in the first 4 pages of the introduction to the book. 2x I put the book down to cry, the third I put it down to think, write and process. Rage has been a stumbling block for me. Iím working with my IC very hard to uncover what my fears are, and what is driving the anger. But I read this ďAdults shamed as children have little sense of emotional boundaries. They feel constantly violated by others. They frequently build false boundaries through walls, rage, pleasing, or isolation.Ē And I had that awful gut-punch of an aha that I wish I didnít have to own.
My rage is a maladaptive way I have for building boundaries. Not real boundaries, because I am only now learning how to do that. But I rage to silence the person I perceive as attacking me. I rage to protect the vulnerable afraid person who no one gets to see. This book is going to be difficult to read. It is clearly a book I need to read, and process, and learn from.
So hereís what I am wondering: What have you done to build healthy boundaries, and how did you begin to do so amongst the wreckage you created within your marriage?