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BOUNDARIES BOOK STUDY
December 11, 2009
9:50 am
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robbie2007
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my question is - where do you draw the line? When is it time to set a boundary?

If my father asks me to do something for him, and i dont want to or dont have time, I will do it because he's my father and I want to please him. What is wrong with that? Thats what family does, right? If I asked for his help he would.

Right now at my work - since we sell gift items to retailers, we are extremely busy. there are only 4 people here to get it all done. I am overwhelmed by it all. I cant help out the order dpt, and the art dpt. and keep up with all my work too. but EVERYONE is overwhelmed and doing more right now too. so how can I say no when everyone has to pitch in and help. the only difference is when its all done (for the season) and everyone else is relaxing, im scrambling to get caught up on my stuff. and where its very specific things, it would take longer to teach someone my job in order to help out, than it would just to do it myself. so, while i think its a little unfair, i dont think theres really a choice. i dont even know if it has to do with boundaries or not.

December 11, 2009
10:19 am
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Lanigirl
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I appreciate this discussion. I'm answering all of the questions because it's pushing me to review and digest them.

I believe a person can be a loving person and set boundaries. It isn't a selfish thing to do at all. It's giving love and respect to both yourself and the other person. It's teaching yourself to honor yourself and your needs.

Legit boundaries I believe are ones that show where you stand in order to take care of yourself. People that have posted here are learning to give themselves a moment before committing to what someone asks so that they can see if it is comfortable for them.

If the boundaries upset/hurt someone else, that isn't your responsibility. I've found that most times, healthy people will hear your answer and move on. Sick people will work on manipulating, etc. This has shown me that I just need to firmly respect and believe in myself.

If someone wants time, energy, etc. I need to stop and think how much time, etc. I want to invest in this person. Is it a healthy situation and worth investing in? How much is ok to give?

I've often felt guilty about boundaries because like Red, I felt that person would abandon me, etc. I've had low self esteem and I'm working on developing a solid core in myself.

I'm not certain about submission and boundaries question. The only entity I feel submission toward is God.

December 11, 2009
11:00 am
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mamacinnamon
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Sorry I've not had time to comment and this one will be short and will finish up later, but I wanted to address Robbie.

Robbie, I was raised to do what my father told me to do w/o question. I was taught to focus on other folks and not myself. I was taught when someone needs help you jump in and you do it no matter what you had planned or how you feel.

Yes. part of that IS family. If it is crunch time at the business then by all means help out. Where it becomes unfair is when they don't help you. From a business standpoint, somebody should know the job other than just you. Job security for you but what if you get will or have an accident? Who fills in then? Do they bring your work to you at the hospital?

What I learned in boundaries is that it is ok to "help out" to do what it takes as long as you are not giving up yourself and as long as the favor or help is mutual. If you are the one expected to do it all and nobody in return helps you (if they knew your job) then that would be unfair and a boundary should be set.

When my basement flooded my son dropped everything and came to help. My oldest, on the other hand, said no coz they had dinner plans. Now dinner plans shouldn't take precident over a family emergency. Not in my opinion.

When to know if a boundary needs set I think, in my opinion, is if you feel "dumped on" or if you feel resentment or anger over helping the other person out. (jumped a little ahead into the book there, sorry)

Anyway, I'm out the door. Still getting moved and hopefully gonna stay at the new place starting tonight. I'll write my thoughts and about my experiences w/ boundaries soon as I can.

Bitsy, would love to have you interject the study guide part into each chapter if you have the time or care too.

December 11, 2009
11:29 am
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MsGuided
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Hi everyone. First off , apologies for adding another track to this discussion, but this is related to bounderies. Somebody mentioned here there are few books on the subject and i found one that takes it up a level, IF there are some here who can set bounderies, but have a more difficult time with more difficult people.

Boundaries are hard enough under normal circumstances ( a person asking for something in a rational way) but setting boundaries with crazymakers is even harder.

Most people in recovery don't even recognize a crazymaker to the extent they can block their influence.

I think alot of us here had this kind of element in our upbringing. I know i did.

I found this publication that deal specifically with this issue. I don't have problems setting bounderies with adjusted people, but it's the "crazymakers" that give me troubles.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/.....0164830519

>> Dealing With The Crazy Makers in Your Life_ by Dr. David Hawkins

" Written by Dr. David Hawkins, a counselor of more than 30 years' experience, Dealing With the Crazy Makers in Your Life: Setting Boundaries on Unhealthy Relationships is a no-nonsense guide to dealing with the people who literally drive one crazy--whether they are spouses, other family members, co-workers, or anyone else one has to interact with on a regular basis. Chapters cover different individual types with flaws that can induce mind-crunching headaches, including aggressors, egotists, borderlines (those who appear rational but may explode) sufferers/martyrs, and rigid control freaks The true value of Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life lies in its practical, no-nonsense advice for coping with such people: the importance of setting boundaries; how crucial it is to never bluff and always follow through on any rules or promises; the value of letting an irresponsible individual suffer the consequences of his/her irresponsibility, rather than clean up after him/her, and more. Crazymakers LACK BOUNDERIES. They have a way of making us say more than we are comfortable saying, and doing more than we want to do.
We must learn the importance of privacy." Though there are Christian elements within Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life, such as recommendations to pray and spend time in the Word, Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life is primarily a problem-solving self-help guide for readers of all backgrounds and faiths. Highly recommended."

WOW.

As for Helping others. Defining if they have created their problem or it is beyond their control, an accident or random mishap, is the key.

Lots of people struggling here, so i hope i didn't complicate things more!LOL

((((all of us))))

December 12, 2009
1:27 am
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heartache
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hey everyone.

I have been reading I sounded like sherry alot. I was always pleasing everyone but what I realized I wasn't pleasing my husband cause in all my running for everyone else he got the short end of the stick.I had to realize that I liked how it made me feel it made me feel important sometimes and needed. It didn't make me feel good to start telling people no. I at first started telling everyone No just to kinda get used to it. cause I just never did. My thing is certain people in my life always had a emergenceny. I have put up some boundaries and probably will have to keep reinforceing them but sometimes I feel like Im being mean. LOL. and another thing some people will think that of you to. and some of my friends just don't know how to act towards me because of it to. I have kinda slacked here lately and need to get back up..

December 12, 2009
7:24 am
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robbie2007
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mamaC ...the problem with the business is that, when i started, i was working for business #1,2 and 3.... we had sold business 4 to someone else.

it happened to be in the building across the street from me. the people who worked at business #4 when I worked there and we owned it, were still there. but I wasnt. I got laid off and went some place else. I hated the new job and asked my brother if I could work for him. he said yes and i started doing bookkeeping for businesses 1,2,3.

Turns out, the people who bought business 4 couldnt keep it running so we had to buy it back. soon some of the employees were leaving and they asked me to fill in (for example apply checks and go to the bank, pay bills).

Someone else was hired to take care of business 2 last year (Thank God) but i still do stuff for 1 and 3.

so, I cant ask the people (all of 2 others) who work for business 4 to help me with my work load thats getting behind because its for business 1 and 3. infact, i do those on quickbooks and they dont even have that program on their computers.

see, in the end, while I am able to help them, no one can help me. so I feel like its kind of unfair, but what else can i do? This is our money making season. in a few weeks it will all be over and then i begin the task of seeing what slipped by for the other companies. then I will probably get yelled at by my brother because i should had paid attention.

so, i cant tell if boundaries are involved here. if i should have any in this situation or not.

December 12, 2009
7:34 am
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robbie2007
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all they want me to do right now is enter orders....

how do they think the bills are getting paid and checks put in the bank? you can believe if i forgot to do those things because i was so caught up in entering orders i would be in big trouble. In addition I have to pay reps commissions and product makers royalties that no one thinks about this time of year. all they care about is filling orders.

and then theirs this one guy, whenever he screws up, i get stuck doing what he messed up. for example, he was supposed to have the job of locking up but he kept forgetting, so now I have to go down into the cold, creepy warehouse which is miles away from my office and do it. He recently messed something up having to do with a box order, so now I'm in charge of ordering ALL supplies. sorry, kinda got off on a rant. Maybe that kind of stuff has more to do with boundaries.? i feel its unfair to dump everything on me. but then, they must think im more responsible if they are asking me to do it.

December 12, 2009
10:12 am
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Lanigirl
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Robbie,

I'm wondering if responding to the questions posted will help you find answers to your work situation?

December 12, 2009
11:50 am
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Hepburn
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Ok, so I know I'm being tested right now.

Last night my son and I got into a fight because he wants to move back home (I kicked him out in late Sept) and I'm not ready for him to do that yet. Without getting into details, lots of accusations were flung all over the place.

Then I'm fighting with my bf, because he has x wife and children problems and seems to think it's ok to put me on the bottom of the list. Doesn't contribute anything and lives with me. I'm planning on telling him he has until the end of Jan to move out.

So I've got 2 people that mean an awful lot to me fighting me tooth and nail because of the boundaries I've set.

I'm starting to get exhausted. With Christmas just around the corner, my dad's birthday, my son's birthday, work, soccer playoffs, blah, blah, blah.

This is where I'm having problems. I can feel myself starting to falter. Both of them are wearing me down, and I start to second guess myself. I stand my ground, but it feels like I've got 2 people at me all the time and I'm tired.

I keep saying no, and they keep pushing! I'm going to have to just bite the bullet until after Christmas. I'm not going to kick my bf out 2 weeks before Christmas.

I can see now why I didn't have boundaries before. People don't like them and they will fight you because of them. It was easier to just give in.

December 12, 2009
11:56 am
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Oh, I forgot to ask about when the discussion will start for Chapter 2?

December 12, 2009
12:10 pm
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Tumbleweed8
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Just reading the last post and yes, Hepburn, I agree that others dont like us setting boundaries. They got used to how things were for them, but I still think it is in everyones best interest to set boundaries. They will either grow from the boundaries we set or they will just walk away.

December 13, 2009
12:05 am
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mamacinnamon
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HI all:

My counselor told me that when you change things will get worse before they get better. Folks don't like change and will fight it, but eventually they must make a decision. They will either change or they won't, but then you have to decide if you want to keep goin down the road that doesn't work or if you want to move on. That is not saying leaving a person, it is saying you change and do what is right for you. A lot of times when you set boundaries and you stand on them and do not waiver then folks will see you mean business and will change accordingly.

We cannot change others but we can change ourselves.

I will say now that I have started setting boundaries, and yes, it has been hard, that my life has gotten harder but so much better. I have peace; I have contentment; I have a sense of accomplishment and I am not the one left out or behind anymore. I am a person and I am getting my needs met. I think the thing is and I am not sure how to put it so am hoping this makes sense.

When we change others will change too. For the better or worse who knows. But when we change we make the decision as to what we will or will not put up w/. So, thinking along the lines of "I can change but things or my circumstances won't change" is just not true. The reason is when we set boundaries we decide what we will and will not take. So, if they change for the worse or refuse to honor our boundaries is their decision. If they choose to not then our set boundaries tells us this is now how we want to live and we make our decisions accordingly.

Make sense? I think I lost myself in all that, but I do hope it makes some sense.

As for chapter 2... I won't be able to post it till Monday or Tuesday but we will get it on here then.

Do ya'll think a chapter a week or 2 a week? Need input on this one. Thanks.

December 13, 2009
9:51 am
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Lanigirl
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MamaC,

One chapter a week would be great. I appreciate you creating this discussion and posting the questions.

I believe your answer was very clear.

Hep,

It sounds like you can see your situation clearly. People do up the ante when you set boundaries that you don't like. No need to fight with them. Set your boundaries and leave if they start to argue. Peace to you.

December 13, 2009
11:15 am
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red blonde
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Learning that if people do not respect or have any consideration for the boundaries that you set, then they probably do not respect or consider you.

I would like one chapter a week, it gives us time to think and to discuss and to kind of test out, I think.

December 13, 2009
12:53 pm
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Hepburn
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(((Book Club Peeps)))

Thanks to all who clarified my thoughts for me! And MsG, I went to that web site. That book sounds GREAT. Now if I can just find the time to read it! Have to finish this one first.

I think a chapter a week would be good too. Start the discussion on each new chapter every Wednesday?

Oh and Bitsy, I wanted to say that I can totally relate. I have a 13yr old who critiques my "look" all the time. That is if I'm wearing something other then jeans. Thing is, she has really good taste! LOL

December 13, 2009
1:06 pm
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Oh and MamaC, I understood your post, and I agree!

December 13, 2009
1:14 pm
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MsGuided
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When I did the change, set bounderies, and i got the protestations, escalated abuse...I just dumped them. ( friends, not family)

Almost immediately.

Once i learned the dynamics of what was happening, and found a healthier route i was a "cold Turkey" kindof gal. The realization it is within me, and to continue allowing them to abuse me wasn't their fault at that point.

Give me MORE grief?! Go, Out, Gone.Done.

It hurt alot. Withdrawls happen. But it sure felt better than having people around me, continually taking chunks. The healing shifted from filling those chunks to getting stronger.

December 13, 2009
1:41 pm
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MsG, I think it's easier with friends then family. When it comes to family, that IMO, is where the really hard work comes in.

I've dropped 4 or 5 friends (if you can call them that) in the last year. For me it was easier to drop them. I didn't feel obligated to them. But with family or a significant other that we love and care about, it takes on a whole different dynamic.

But I agree, at a certain point, it's not THEIR fault any more.

December 13, 2009
7:28 pm
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MamaC, Thankyou. What you posted was very helpful to me. I still keep hanging on trying to make things work which I guess are not meant to work and I need to move on. I dont think I even saw it this way before. On the surface it might look like I have walked away from situations which were not working, but it is how I feel inside which makes me realize I really havent totally let go and moved on.

December 14, 2009
3:00 pm
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darkeyes
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mama c, thank you i understand, im following this tread...change is hard but i realize now what it means, ive got alot of disrespect in my lifetime from people that ive loved...setting one boundary at a time now..thank you again..

December 15, 2009
12:16 am
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heartache
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hi all, Yes I agree it takes alot of work to set boundaries and as with me I have had to let go some Friends? but who knows in letting go of those might make room for healthier friends. Just a thought..

December 16, 2009
12:13 pm
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BOUNDARIES, CHAPTER 2 - What Does a Boundary Look Like?

This chapter starts out w/ a family. The son is irresponsible and the folks bail him out of everything. They went to see a counselor so he could "fix" their son. The son had problems w/ drugs, staying in school, choosing a career. The parents had done everything they could to help their son. He had plenty of money so he could focus on school and not have to work. He was still doing drugs and hanging w/ questionable folks. If he flunked or quit school they put him in another school. They asked the counselor to "fix" him. The ones that needed fixed tho were the parents and not the son. They were doing everything for their son and the son had no responsibilities. Mom and dad bailed him out of everything. Mom and dad did all the worrying, planning, paying. The son didn't "have" to do anything. The counselor tells them they need to set boundaries. They need to not give their son a free ride. So the counselor explains boundaries as follows:

Physical Boundaries - These are boundaries such as property lines, fences, walls, hedge lines, etc. They define where one's property begins and ends. The owner of the property is responsible for his own property. No one else is.

Spiritual Boundaries - These are harder to see. These boundaries define your soul and help you maintain and guard it. These boundaries can increase your love and save your life.

These boundaries define what is me and what is not me. These boundaries give you freedom to be who you are. If someone told you to guard your property and didn't tell you where the boundaries are then you would be confused and not know what was yours and what was not. Others also would not know. A lot of times family or past relationships confuse us to what our boundaries are. They come into "our space" and take our freedom to be ourselves away. A lot of times we try to control others overstepping our boundaries and going into theirs. We manipulate and tell them what they are to do, we try to "control" them.

We are responsible to ourselves and for others. This means that at times when folks have burdens so heavy they cannot carry them by themselves then we can step in and help carry their burdens. This is love. BUT, we are not to step in and take over their loads. Each person has responsibilities they are responsible for. When we step in and take those over we are overstepping and not letting that person be responsible for themselves. Burdens are things that are too heavy to carry alone. Loads is what we have to be responsible for ourselves on a daily basis and we need to carry those ourselves. The problems arise when we refuse help w/ our burdens or we put the daily load of our lives on others to carry for us.

Boundaries keep good things in and harmful things out. When folks are abused as children or adults the boundaries get reversed and that is why we need the gates. These gates are there so that we can let the bad things inside us out and also let the good things available to us in.

Boundaries have been in place since the beginning of time. It defines who we are, what we like and dislike, what our responsibilities are in our daily lives. Our bodies are a good example of boundaries. We have skin and that keeps the good things inside, the things that give us life as in our organs, blood and bones. It makes us separate from everyone else. There are also holes in the skin so we can nourish our bodies and keep ourselves healthy and let the things out that could cause us harm. Victims of sexual and physical abuse have poor sense of boundaries. They were taught that their property line did not start at their skin. Others came onto their property and took what was not theirs. These victims usually have no boundaries when they grow up coz the abuser took those boundaries away from them.

In the spiritual world where boundaries are invisible we learn to set boundaries w/ our words. The main word is NO. NO sets our boundaries as to what we allow or do not allow, to what we will participate in or not. Many times folks are afraid to say NO because they are afraid they will lose a relationship or not be loved. They will passively agree and hold resentment because they could not say NO. When we stand up for ourselves it gives others a clear picture of where our boundaries are.

Sometimes we have to remove ourselves to keep ourselves from harm. When you have given all you have then you must step back to maintain your boundaries. It gives us the safe place we need to heal or regroup. It can also cause change in others that have overstepped their boundaries. Taking time off from someone can also help us to regain our boundaries in an out-of-control circumstance. Emotional distance is also a boundary we give our heart so it can be safe. It is should never be a permanent way of living. But a person who has experience emotional abuse needs emotional distance to heal. It can also give the abuser time to face his/her own problems and deal w/ them. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should wait until it is safe, or until real changes have taken place before you go back to that relationship. Many go back too soon and the cycle begins again. Sometimes you cannot go back.

You need to depend on others to help you set and keep your boundaries. Folks most basic need in life is for relationship. Sometimes we "love too much", we stay in abusive relationships for fear of being alone, or we are afraid to set boundaries for fear of not being loved. When we are open to support we find that the abuser is not the only person that will love us. We find others can and do love us. We also need to depend of others for new insight and teaching. They help us to not listen to the old "tapes" we repeat in our heads but teach us to stand against the old teachings and guilt we often feel. Creating boundaries always involves a support network.

We need to back our boundaries w/ consequences. Many marriages would have been saved had the boundaries been followed thru w/ the consequences that had been laid down. Many young adults and kids would have had better more responsible lives had their parents followed thru w/ the consequences to their actions. Consequences tell others we are serious and that we have respect for ourselves. It teaches others of our commitment to living life to helpful values is something we hold dear and will fight to protect and guard. This causes others to respect us also.

I am going to stop here. This is a lot of information and I think we need to think on this before adding the rest of the chapter. Also, my hands are tired. lol. The rest of the chapter will be posted tomorrow or later if ok w/ ya'll. I could use some input as to if you think tomorrow is too soon or if we should wait a couple days to let this all sink in. Let me know please.

Also, should we start a new thread per chapter?

December 16, 2009
12:40 pm
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MamaC. I think it would be most helpful to start a new thread for each chapter. That way we can go back and think on things. I will post a few things as well in a moment.

Bitsy

December 17, 2009
10:36 am
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((((mama c))

December 17, 2009
11:18 am
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Thank you, MamaC.

No one had ever really explained boundaries to me nor helped me to set up proper boundaries.

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