Setting personal boundaries

sex, relationship, abuse, marriage, single woman, Christian

I’ve been away from the blog for awhile so I apologize for the time it’s taken to post some comments. I’ve enjoyed reading them and thank you for taking the time to write.

I’ve written a little about boundaries and the fact that well into my adulthood I am only now learning how to use them. I actually lived a boundary-less life until now which caused me all kinds of problems. Saying ‘no’ to anyone would create all manner of self-loathing and fear of isolation and abandonment, so I would say ‘yes’ to almost everything and let the resentment grow inside but never release it.

I also lost touch (if I ever had it!) with what I truly wanted or needed which made me a completely inauthentic person with a fake smile and who thought the only thing she had going for her was the way she looked. As long as the outside was perfect I could fool people into thinking I was a person of value. I did not have a sense of self-worth, did not know how to stand up for myself in appropriate ways, did not know how to express anger in healthy ways (only rage and only after I had pushed all my feelings down so much that they finally had to blow).

To help me learn how to set healthy boundaries (excuse the psycho-speak) I’ve been reading a book called “Boundaries”. It explains that learning how to set boundaries begins as a baby and has a lot to do with your parents style of raising you. Well, that makes a lot of sense because I was raised in a way that my opinions or needs and wants were never considered. I did not even contemplate saying ‘no’ or asking for anything. I notice people find that hard to understand. It’s not that I didn’t get what I want it’s that I didn’t even know I could ask for it.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother and a passive father was an awful example of the sickness that occurs when the man of the house relinquishes his power to the woman. I liken the household in which I grew up to Cinderella’s where the mother figure is terrorizing the children and the father stands by and lets it happen.

Children who are not taught to establish boundaries are often victims of sexual abuse and childhood victims of sexual abuse have trouble setting boundaries which sets the stage for even more abuse later on. It’s a sad cycle that I’m happy to know I have a chance of breaking both for myself and for my children. What is your experience with setting boundaries?

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi!
    I used to be a “yes girl” too with the fake smile. Now, as I learn to be good to myself, It doesn’t bothered me to say no but it’s hard to get rid of old habits, I notice I try to please people sometimes. I kwnow it will come slowly because I’m happier when I do think for myself!

    • Some people say “fake it till you make it” and smile even when you don’t feel like it but for women like us I think it might be better to be 100% authentic and only smile when we truly have something worth smiling about.

      • You’re right and I’ve notice I have a lot of reasons to smile. I smile as before but now my smiles are truly joyfull.

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