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Boundaries & Intimacy
December 6, 1999
11:33 pm
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micromega
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Does anyone have any insight?

I have just come to the realization that
I have a huge issue with boundaries. This issue has caused difficulties in my interpersonal life during the past year.

First: I became very attached to a young
woman. She's very special, warm and caring.
We spoke intimately and we "opened up" to each other. Over time, I found myself thinking of her all the time. I would daydream about her. Once I even ran a red light because I was fantasizing about her.
Now, it seems that my clinginess has driven
her away. This is the first time this has happened to me, but I think it's evidence of a larger issue. I just don't what that larger issue is. Clinginess? Boundaries?
Obsessiveness?

Second: I was recently told by a few office workers that I am too "intimate" with them.
The complaints did not mention anything directly sexual or explicitly sexual. They,
three women, suggested that I tended to invade their personal space during conversations. They suggested that I was "too familiar" and "too intimate." My comments often seemed like "subtle flirtation."

For me, this situation is a bit unsettling
because I didn't "intend" anything inappropriate with the co-workers. I don't feel consciously "attracted" to the co-workers. (Indeed, one of the complaintants is unattractive, twenty-years-older than I,
and has five children) So there must be
something, unrelated to physical attraction
which drives my apparent behavior.

I feel that all of these issues could be connected. I also believe that this might suggest a pattern of behavior that could lead
to even more serious problems. It seems that I need to draw clear and unchangeable
boundaries between myself and women.

Has anyone else experienced this type of
situation?

December 7, 1999
12:14 pm
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Cici
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I was in a relationship with a man who got too close and clingy for me. I ended up treating him badly and breaking up with him because he made me soooooo uncomfortable. I felt bad, but I also felt like I was protecting myself.

The concept of personal space and personal boudaries is a very Western thing. Are you American? I have some friends from Saudi and Iran and many Asian countries who don't have the same ideas of personal space that Americans have. But we need space to survive, to keep ourselves mentally healthy. Have you considered that perhaps you have codependency issues? Invading someone's life like that is not a healthy way to maintain a relationship.

A good, balanced relationship is about two independent individuals coming together out of personal choice. These individuals by necessity must have separate lives, and although they can share common friends, it's also important to have your own friends you can be with.

December 7, 1999
1:07 pm
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micromega
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Thanks Cici,

What exactly do you mean by codependency issues? I tend to throw the word around quite often. But, now that it might apply to me, I'm not exactly certain what it means.

I feel the need to "connect" with more people, to reach out to more people. But it seems that my "reaching out" is what is driving people away. Perhaps I am just trying to hard. Perhaps I have to teach myself to relax and let relationships develop naturally.

I really want to be in a supportive, open community where people really make an effort to understand one another. But, right now, I feel a little bit lonely.
And perhaps it's just my loneliness that drives me to
reach out to others in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

The women in the office, for example, said that my
behavior is "too familiar." They said that since I am new in the office, I shouldn't act "like I've known them for a long time." I've just crossed some boundary here. Quite honestly, I just wanted them to like me and for them to develop a bond with me. I feel terrible at having been misunderstood. And I
feel bad for having caused them to feel uncomfortable.

Let me know if there are any great books on this issue. I can't afford therapy right now and I don't have time.

December 7, 1999
1:16 pm
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Angelwings
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Read Dr Harville Hendrix Phd..he discusses you and describes you to a too. YOu are actually called a "clinger" Your mother basically was not there for you as a child, you felt abandoned and were sometimes literally abandoned and it is your way to find some safety and fill the loneliness within.
You are looking for external love because sadly you do not have it within you. YOur being too intimate too soon with people is you not understanding proper healthy boundary identification which again comes from your own boundaries not being developed as a child.
This is usually when your mother or main caretaker (mother has the greatest impact) did not see you as seperate from herself or was too self absorbed to be there for you emotionally and help you in your own finding of yourself. Therefore you do not know where you leave off and others begin. This is very uncomfortable for other people and pushes them away from you. You need help with this stuff immediately, in the meantime read Dr Harville Hendrix who is one of the best on the subject.
Blessings

December 7, 1999
3:18 pm
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micromega
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Thank you very, very much. I will follow up on
this. It is very important that I deal with this issue IMMEDIATELY because it can have a profound impact on many of my interpersonal relationships.

Your observations about my background are correct.
I am a victim of severe child abuse. I do not have trust with my biological family. My basic plan was to create a loving, caring, and sharing "family of friends." But I really have pushed too hard and driven others away.

Another question: Is it possible to create a "family of friends" who can join me in a loving, caring relationship? Is it unrealistic to strive to create such an intimate group? My idea was to create
a group of friends who maybe have a similar background
and similar issues.

Thanks again and I'll go to Amazon.com to order the book ASAP.

December 7, 1999
4:18 pm
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Angelwings
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I understand your need to fill the emptiness you feel inside with a surrogate family or friends who can perhaps make you feel not so lonely and vulnerable, but if you really want to go somewhere with this it is crucial that you develop your own self, parent your own self and nurture your own self. This is a very hard thing to do, and does take support but from a person trained in such things.
Right now, you are continuing to recreate your abusive, abandoning family of origin through your relationship s and will continue and very sad cycle of repeat rejecting and abuse upon yourself untill the most important element changes......YOU.
My friend, there really is no crutch or no outside element that is going to do this for you, you may have experienced addictions in order to fill the void and dull the pain but this only takes you further away from the work that needs to be done and repeats the painful cycle of emotionial suffering that is etched upon your mind since a child.
If you are free of addiction right now, I commend you, now is the time to do for you what you truly deserve.
Stay still with yourself in meditation, therapy and group. Find out who you really are and feel your inner power and most importantly FEEL........
FEEL, FEEL, FEEL, as painful as it is...if it is too hard, call upon god to give you the strength and comfort and I promise you....god will. Bless you
Merry xmas

December 8, 1999
11:19 am
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Cici
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Hi!

I understand where you're coming from...I can be a little clingy sometimes too. I realized that I have to learn love myself as much as I can before I can have other people love me. How can I lean so heavily on others for support when i can't even support myself?! So I made myself have a long period of solitude, over the summer, for a few weeks I withdrew from all my friends and family. I explored what i wanted and who I was. Afterwards, I came back a much more self-assured person.

then again, I did sort of have to go through detox ha ha ha. I searched for an external source of support, but I turned to drugs...ick. Now I've been clean and sober for a few months. I understand more about myself than ever before and I feel like I can be alone and be happy.

So...I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe it's not so good to look outside of yourself for something that should come from within...

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