Friday, March 14, 2008

More on Boundaries

The issue of boundaries is so complicated one literally needs to be aware of every situation in which the line is crossed to be able to fix that behavior. I think there are probably zillions of possibilities to abuse personal boundaries. That's right, I said zillions. And I think this really is NOT an exaggeration.

We human beings are all so different and our experiences are too. The way we think and feel, our reactions to situations. Sure sometimes we agree and sometimes we can relate, but when it comes right down to it each one of is unique. That means that how we have formed our personal boundaries is unique as well. The math to figure out all the possible combinations really suggests that zillions could be accurate.

Things are pretty simple with horses. You step into their space uninvited and it's obvious. People are not that honest. We play all kinds of games so that no one will be able to figure out what we are thinking. Those manipulations make the possibilities go up.

To some the game playing might sound like manipulation. To me, I think that all manipulations are based in boundary issues. I scanned down that list of things to "fix" in Growing Down: Tools for Healing the Inner Child
Building Healthy Boundaries
and my reaction was, work through all of this and therapy would be over! That's right, over, as in this victim would be as healed as victims get. Boundaries are the root of all emotional upheaval.

Because the way we interact with people is pretty much determined by the time we are five, we can have long since forgotten the decisions we made to "protect" ourselves from the hostile environment we grew up in. The choices we make are automatic with little thought.

I think that's one of the reasons that journaling is really an effective tool in dealing with abuse, our feelings and getting to the source of our boundary issues. Journaling allows us to vent and explore in a safe manner what really lies underneath the surface of our daily decisions in life. If we really let loose all that stuff running around in our head, those subconscious messages will spill out.

I can remember being quite surprised at my motivations sometimes as I sat there watching words flow out onto paper. Somehow exposing those childish thoughts to the light of day, really helped to diffuse the power those messages had in my life.

Everything I've found about resolving boundary issues goes into making lists, identifying behaviors, journaling. I just don't know that there is a better way than to be actively journaling. Even when the urge is to shut down and hide, journaling is the key to finding the source of the problem.

It's hard for most people to understand how much power our subconscious has over us. So tomorrow, I'm going to post a story that dramatically shows how much power subconscious messages can have. This example isn't about an abuse situation, but I think it will show how powerful our subconscious really powerful in fact, it can kill us if we are not careful.

To be continued..........

A Story on Boundaries and the Subconscious Mind


Kahless said...

My T goes on about how I should be actively journaling; though I must say that my efforts are pityful. I should try and put some energy into it.

April_optimist said...

Ah, those inner messages!

Journaling is great. Another technique I use is to image the scared child in me telling me how she feels and what she wants and why she's doing what she is. And then I let the adult me help her see--if I can--a way that might work better. Also, I sometimes ask myself: How would I handle this if I fully believed in myself? And then try to do whatever the answer is.

jumpinginpuddles said...

The problem with some boundaries are that you are so sure you are doing yourself/the other persona a favour by not disturbing them that you end up locking yourself into contracts in your mind you cant break.
And journelling for us is a godsend

Lily Strange said...

Game playing was (and still is) a way of life in my family of origin. To this day I have to figure out what sort of "dance" I'm going to do in order to be able to communicate what I want to them. I know this isn't healthy, but in this family, straight up communication is out of the question, unless you happen to LIKE getting your head torn off!