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You've Got to Stand for Something, or You'll Fall for Anything
October 11, 2001
5:35 pm
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Ladeska
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Just wanted to start a thread about absolutes and boundaries. I see so much here on this site that revolves around the fact of people not having absolutes and boundaries - therefore everything around them falls and they become prey to someone and to the consequences of life in general.

So, what are your standards? What are your boundaries, your absolutes? State them here and maybe it will help us all to think about this issue and "build" what's not built and "reinforce" what's already built.

It puts us square in the seat of being the "interviewer" instead of the "interviewee". We need to position ourselves - where we are the ones choosing and examining and the ones asking questions. If we do not have a standard - we will have everything stolen from us a piece at a time and if we look to someone else to write the absolutes for us - guess what? - they will write it to their tune and not yours.....every time. Time to "be in charge" of our own lives and stop waiting for someone else to have our best interests at heart. Nice fairy tale, but it's not reality.

October 12, 2001
2:04 pm
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gypsygirl
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Here's one, I always said that after my sons' father I would never get involved with someone that did drugs or drank alot, well my ex-fiance was a drinker. I only hooked up with him in the beginning as a strickly sexual thing, but eventually got involved emotionally and well... lets leave the rest up to the imagination. I knew that I deserved better and my bad choices caught up with me. I feel so alone sometimes and reach out and settle for the first person who comforts me. I try and make a temporary fix into a long term one. I tend to go for the "fixers" the "problem solvers" when I am a perfectley capabiable woman. anyway.... now that I have rambled on.

October 12, 2001
2:11 pm
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Ladeska
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gypsy....you know - I think people shy away from the word - boundaries - because they think of "prison" - being confined, grounded as a child, less priviledges and so on. Actually - that's the backwards way of thinking about it. It's - protection against bad - "incoming whatever" and it's giving you - the power instead of handing it to whoever walks through the front door of our lives.

What are some other boundaries of yours?

October 12, 2001
2:47 pm
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Cici
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I'm not sure I understand the question. Are we talking about things you say you would never do, the limitations you set for yourself?

October 12, 2001
3:04 pm
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Ladeska
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Cici...just boundaries in general, can be in any category - relationship wise - romantic, friends, family, or it could be about your own health, your finances, etc.

I'm asking the question because - so many of us don't have boundaries - we just sort of make them up as we go along...

Like, let's say someone might have boundaries in dating that go something like this -

I won't tell him all about myself, very personal matters, hurts, dreams -until three months have passed.

I will not allow myself to date him every night, will space it for the first three months - two dates a week - max.

I won't allow him to move in with me or me in with him for at least two years of knowing one another.

I will not give him my financial information, ATM no., bank infor, etc. unless we were married.

***********************

Just absolutes/boundaries like that - which we have spent time in formulating and are willing to stick to because time and experience has proven to us - we need to have a framework that we are accountable to in order to keep us from wandering around studying our navel and out of control following our emotions around.

Sure we might not stick to it exactly, but following it halfway is better than not at all.

October 12, 2001
3:15 pm
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Cici
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You're right, if I ever have had a boundary in my life I've always let it fall by the wayside. Maybe that's why it always feels like I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

Growing up, though, I remember that in terms of my relationship with my mother, she would never tolerate any boundaries whatsoever, which resulted in an inappropriate relationship between her and I. I mean, an 8 year old should not be her mother's confidant.

I've see that affect my relationships with men, too. My new mantra has lately been "I will not be my mother" because I see the same intolerance of boundaries in myself.

It's so strange how you can rationalize a lot of things, but when it comes to something so ingrained, your gut reactions can become so powerful that you give in to the wave as if it were a compulsion.

October 12, 2001
3:26 pm
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Ladeska
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Cici....so, if you could just sit here and write out boundaries - as if talking to your mother - what would they be? As if you could write this and hand it back in time to your younger self and as if - you could "get away with" having boundaries with her....what would you write and tell yourself?

If you write this down, it could help you now to say - I have a right to have boundaries with people like this and believe me - you will be drawn compulsively into relationships with people like your mother. So, it's very good to erect boundaries now and look back and see what was what.

You were helpless them and in quite the web. You're not now though, so you can lay those boundaries in case a like person strolls on the scene.

October 12, 2001
3:47 pm
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Cici
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I have a right to have my own space.

I am allowed to just be by myself sometimes.

Being alone is not scarey.

I have a right to feel good about myself even if I haven't done anything special to merit that feeling.

I am allowed to have my own emotions and emotional reactions; emotions are natural.

I don't have to put your satisfaction first.

I don't have to make you happy: that's your responsibility.

I am not always right.

It is ok to make mistakes; it is ok to admit to making mistakes.

I don't have to feel guilty about sitting still; I don't always have to be Doing.

October 12, 2001
3:48 pm
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Cici
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WOW. That felt REALLY GOOD! I just imagined my Mother strapped to a chair with a gag on so she couldn't interrupt me and I let loose. AAaaaaaaaaah. Oh my God Ladeska, what a good idea!!!!!!!

October 12, 2001
5:05 pm
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Ladeska
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...keep going, Cici...you're not done....

October 12, 2001
5:15 pm
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gypsygirl
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More of mine,
I will always talk to my son about him, How he is feeling, how his day was, etc

I wont lie about myself or to myself.

I wont put other peoples happiness before my own except for my son.

I wont let other people talk me out of doing what I know is right

I will not move in with another man unless we are married.

I will not settle for a man just because I do not want to be alone.

I will not let fear overcome me

I will keep on keeping on no matter how much I want to quit.

I will strive every day to move out of my "comfort Zone" because my Zone is unhealthy.

I wont continue to thrive on suffering(seeking out reasons to quit or to be unhappy)

Thank-you I needed to be reminded of my boundaries. I am going to print this and hang it up where I can see it everyday.

October 12, 2001
5:24 pm
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Ladeska
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How funny, Gypsygirl, I was just going to say - print these puppies and put them on the wall, you guys.

I definitely believe in writing things down, because we all get going down these strange little paths, knowing we're careening off course but justifying it the whole nine yards. blah, blah, blah.

So, if you've got "your own writing" staring you in the face - it's rather hard to bypass! It's like HELLO! Knock, knock, ya dumb-butt, put it in reverse, lock all the doors, sit down and shut up and listen to your saner self! (smile)

October 12, 2001
6:41 pm
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Ladeska
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Check out the website -

http://www.drirene.com/boundari.htm

October 12, 2001
6:53 pm
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gingerleigh
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I'd like to add some of mine...

I refuse to live with someone unless I have an engagement ring on my finger.

I will not take responsibility for someone else's problems.

I will not do things that feel wrong to me just because I think that it will make someone else happy.

October 13, 2001
4:30 pm
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wallace
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I printed of a load of boundaries etc and stuck them to the wall. Things like you can't control the way someone acts or feels towards you but you can control the way you react. That I was going to run after no man. That if a guy didn't call when he said he would - his loss. That I wouldn't let anyone treat me badly. Then this guy came into my life and I'm breaking every one of them. I run after him, call him, wait for his calls, the way he acts towards me affects me deeply. It seemed so easy before he came to have boundaries and stick to them. But this guy means so much to me. Deep down I know that if I treated him the way he treated me, he'd be gone. But I can't bear the thought of loosing him. Stick to my boundaries or keep him....he keeps winning.

October 14, 2001
12:02 am
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suds
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gypsygirl and cici...your oct 12 postings are very inspiring.and some of your boundaries are the same as mine.
I'd like add some more (which i want to learn to set now and stick to it)
-I once read,"I have control of my thoughts. Nothing can upset me today unless I choose to let it." I am setting this kind of boundary.
-I am very particular with my privacy, my boundaries in my own room in the house, my personal belongings, etc.
-If somebody borrows something from me (personal things, money, etc.) i expect to have those returned cuz i do the same.
-I detach myself from my parents' problems. not necessarily to stop caring for and loving them but to allow them to settle their problems by themselves and i should not feel guity about it cuz I CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH
-I want to enjoy my every single day, be intimate with myself, understand that my longings are not bad and that their being there has a purpose.
-I will not compromise my values and principles especially with people who dont have a very good influence on me.
-I dont want to do things so i will fit in or just to belong to a group or some peers.
-I refuse to be a sucker for suffering
-I want to stay healthy and fit, stay attractive for myself not bcuz i want to please anybody
-feel good about myself
-love truly and deeply without losing myself

October 14, 2001
12:04 am
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suds
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some of my boundaries are actually in place already and some i am just learning and applying. there are more but just dont have time to put them all. just wanna share some.:-)

October 15, 2001
12:12 pm
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Ladeska
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Yeah Buddy - aren't those boundaries wonderful "in print"?! (grin) They just look sooo good, magnificent pieces of writing. If we hand write them we probably make sure it's our very best cursive ever. May even do a few fancy doodles on them. Center them just right on the wall, refridge - and flit around them in our butterfly wings, adoring our idealism....then reality hits and we too often crumble and go Oh My, woe is me, woe is me....

The application part of boundaries is quite separate from our idealism. The place where fairies hang out and the moon is actually sharp cheddar. But, why is it separate? Well, your ideas on that are as good as mine, but from what I've seen - I surmise it's like this...

We have to truly believe that - there is a need to act on a boundary. That need may be bypassed with the stamp of approval because we are getting something very poisonous and negative - and yet we very much "approve of that" instead. Because if we didn't.....we wouldn't allow it... However, this little thing we do - isn't something we want to look at. Thus the reason for the medicating idealism ritual we go through that makes "us look good - TO US". We take a pill for the self hypocrisy....and feel better for it - temporarily.

True honesty with ourselves - is a very tough job and we have to be committed to really - going to the wall in that respect or else - we will continue to play these very childish games with ourselves.

We're great writers, most of us. And we do a good job of charming ourselves as well as others, but to what end? Is the temporary "fix" worth what we experience as a consequence? And....why do we fear truly being honest with ourselves? Something to examine....

Boundaries should come from a place of - I'm stating them.....because I am.....ready to rigidly apply them and enforce them anytime someone storms them and if I fall down - I get back up. Why? Because I know for a FACT - that my life depends on it and I am worth it.

I think another thing that may enter is ....we like to cheat. Thus we lose our integrity in a most crucial place - within ourselves, on our own behalf. We betray.....our self.

Guess there's a thrill in cheating, taking the easy way out - getting away with breaking a rule - even if it is our own and for our own good. We preach to others about how to take care of themselves - but what do we do - when it comes to us?

So, what I challenge all of us to do - is to really think about the "integrity" issue. I'm not talking about an outward integrity - but an inward one - that will eventually reflect outward later... But, we so seldom really hold ourselves accountable to what is good for us - just because - it is. We want someone to come along and spank us, put our nose in the corner and make us do whatever. Be our enforcer kind of thing.

So, to you Wallace - I say this...you do what you do because you are getting a cookie and reward from it. Something about the trauma this man brings to you - enforces a belief system you have about yourself - however erroneous - you have some beliefs that you seek to get affirmed constantly- thus the reason for picking an illicit person. They will affirm the lies you've believed as truth about "you". And until you pluck those lies out of yourself - you will always seek this. You have to seek this affirmation "you know" it's lies....and lies have to be fed because - "lies take life"....they have no life of their own. They are scavengers inside you demanding food, demanding life. Integrity is self sufficent because - it is alive. It does not take - it gives.

It really does take less from you in the way of energy - to deal in truth than the energy you will use - trying to feed the webwork of lies.

So - who are we really? And what do we absolutely need in order to protect ourselves?

Great input here, btw!!! (smile)

October 15, 2001
1:54 pm
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malaikau
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Ladeska,
I love the idea of this thread, and just have to say that I find your ideas and philosphies that you offer all over this site to be very insightful and helpful.
I'm always trying to establish this boundary where I put myself first, take care of me the best I can and then worry about everyone else because I figure if I don't take good care of me then I won't have anything of quality to offer to those around me. Unfortunately, I usually screw this up. One thing I have learned to do pretty well is to leave work at work and leave home at home. This has helped me more times than I can count.
Thanks again for the way you do things here and the support you offer to everyone who visits.
Sincerely,
Malaika

October 15, 2001
6:25 pm
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Ladeska
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Malaika...thanks for your words. The way I look at it is - if you can "apply" one boundary consistently - you've done alot because that one boundary is far reaching. It's hard to set up alot of boundaries at once and then go Alrighty Then - Ten Hup!! Doesn't work that way. One reason we fail is because of "how" we go about it.

So, IF we do the "honesty" thing and the boundaries we put up on the wall are sincere ones - then we need to work at it, take it slow, be aware, and know that - we might not be able to go at warp speed. And it might be better for some people to put up one, or two, or three and say - that's it for now. Will see how I do with consistently incorporating these "or this one" into my life - and after that's got a good track history - then we add another one to our list.

So maybe it's that we should have two lists....one that is - Oh I wish I could and really want to - and then the list that says - ready to commit to.

In reference to us not taking care of ourselves...I think that might also go back to - am I worthy? Probably alot of things wrapped in why we don't do that. I think we are relatively smart...so to not get this one is just not logical to me. We do what we do for reasons. We get something - from not taking care of ourselves.....I think sometimes it might boil down to - if I take care of me - then where does all the negative attention go to - someone else? (smile) What would I have to complain about? What would I do when I have slim to none doctor visits? And I LIKE my medications, thank you very much! (snort!) I have to laugh at this because it's kinda funny in a twisted way. We're getting a "cookie" from what we do, just have to see if being healthy is something we really, really "want" - or if - we like the condition we're in and willing to "commit" to that. The answer lies in - where we put our energies. If....we get to the point of not liking whatever negative/destructive thing going on in our life - then and only then will reach out and "apply". If we do anything else - we're still at the point of being somewhat okay with "spin" and the pain of it.

Crazymaking.....quite the hobby for us sometimes, isn't it?

October 15, 2001
10:34 pm
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tmh
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October 16, 2001
6:48 pm
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wallace
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Ladeska, thanks for your input. I have thought about what you have said. I think you are right about bounderies. One of mine is that this guy shouldn't be allowed to let me down at a drop of a hat, or be so insular. That this relationship should be rewarding to me, not just him. But I have recently learnt (thro this site!-thanks guys) that the reason I hanker after this guy is because he does nothing to make me feel I mean anything special to him. As far as I can see it, he shares no more with me than with the next guy. So there is nothing he does (i.e. sharing emotionally) that makes me any different to him than the next guy. My boundaries would make me distance myself from him. But how can I do this when I don't believe he'd notice?

October 17, 2001
11:52 am
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Ladeska
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Wallace...so...by his actions, the way he treats you - he validates to you - your belief about yourself - which seems to be - I am not special.

What I see you saying here is that - you're identifying you as - one who is not worthy of being loved, treated special, etc. And the person you are positioning in front of you is someone you already know - can't give this to you...and if the truth be known - couldn't give it to anyone.

First thing out of the gate - you need to acknowledge this and look at what you're doing. If you can get this far with your honesty...then it may get real sticky from here on out...

Because from this vantage point - you see that you have an impossible situation and yet - you persist.... and the only way you could persist is knowing full well that it is futile. So I ask you to ask yourself - Why?

You say you want one thing, but know - it's not possible. The only one fooling anyone in this scenario is - you're fooling you. You're playing a very childish game with yourself and that's about it. You are more intelligent than this, aren't you? Then act like it. Being hard on you here because - you need to square off with yourself and stop the self deception.

Are you creating an illusion for yourself by all this so that - you can't see what's going on temporarily or what? Boundaries - should not be formed so that you can hopefully con him back into doing whatever you want. If that's so then - you'll con him and then he'll con you. Is this a comfortable and familiar pattern of living for you? Who modeled this for you? You seemed to have learned it somewhere and associated it with the dance of love. It isn't. Time to unlearn it and find out - why it was formed. We are capable of doing this as human beings, but we have to want to go there. Patterns can be changed, if we're not too lazy.

It would appear......that you can go nowhere with any of this until you figure out - why you consider yourself to be unworthy in the first place. All this other stuff is just noise that distracts you and anyone you speak to about it. The root never gets looked at because too much distraction from that issue is always going on and it's generated - by you.

There may have been many things responsible for this low self esteem that were out of your control, but the controls are in your hands now and you are responsible to get to the bottom of this and live a life of integrity all the way around.

Living a lie - will get you nothing but pain. Then again, some people like pain and abuse, if that is the case, you probably don't want to talk to someone like me because - I celebrate life - not death, slow or otherwise and I certainly don't celebrate it when someone knows what they are doing and does it anyway.

So, if you want to do something healthy for yourself - find out "who you are" and where you got that perception and is it correct? How was it formed and what does it mean? Is it linked to what was expected of you, projected onto you or molded after someone else because you felt you had no real identify of your own. Who are you? If you don't answer this one question and strike out on a path that really answers that "truthfully" - then you will always spin and you will always have a man in your life - just like this - wondering, complaining all the time - why he won't just become an eagle - when it's very obvious to you and everyone else - he's a pigeon. You will live a lie and won't really "live life" at all.

So - Who are you?

October 17, 2001
1:45 pm
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wallace
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Thanks Ladeska. I don't know if you realise it, but you sure do have the ability to see through the sh*t to the core of things. I appreciate your honesty. The bit that really struck me was when you said "And the person you are positioning in front of you is someone you already know - can't give this to you...and if the truth be known - couldn't give it to anyone". You made me feel that maybe it's not me after all. I have gone on believing that if someone else came into his life, he would treat them how I want him to treat me. And I have felt that maybe it's because I'm not a special person. If he is incapable of opening up to anyone, then its him with problem, right?

October 17, 2001
1:48 pm
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wallace
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Ladeska, maybe I should be saying to him - "you are lucky to have me in your life. If you don't treat me right, then walk right on". I think you're right about the self esteem. When I read your reply, I felt angry at him. When I think of the times he's siad "I'll see you if I'm free" as if he's doing ME a favor, when its me doing HIM a favor!

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