My husband heard that a musician he likes was coming to a town nearby. The problem is, it’s an hour away, at night, and the concert will be in a church, and I find churches triggering. I find Christian music triggering at times, too.
But I said I’d go with him. I even suggested he could go by himself and leave the kids at home with me. Then he realized it might not be a good idea or time for several reasons, and i felt the need to push him into going anyways, because he might enjoy it and I was part of the reason he wasn’t going.
But I didn’t pester him into changing his decision, because of boundaries.
I’m learning about boundaries lately. Boundaries are where each of us stops and the rest of the world begins.
There are two big important things about boundaries that I am learning:
Firstly, no one has a right to what is ME – my body, my thoughts, the inside of my spatial and conversational comfort zone. My body is my body. my mind is my mind, and not someone else’s. I can have boundaries to keep me safe, and because it is MY boundary, i can let people in when *I* want to
and the second thing, most pertinent today: I just have responsibility to manage what is ME. Luke’s mind is Luke’s mind.
If Luke is sad because of his decision, that falls within Luke’s boundary, not mine. I don’t have to push him. I offered, he turned down the offer, and then i wash my hands of it because it isn’t within my boundaries. I respect his decision by staying within my boundaries.
To anyone raised with healthy boudaries, this is all very obvious, but to me it has been revolutionary.
I used to believe that I had to let people touch me unwanted, and talk to me about things to make me uncomfortable. I didn’t have boundaries.
I used to believe it was my responsibility to make everyone around me happy, and that their misery or anger was my responsibility to take care of. The way people say ‘you make me angry’ adds to this kind of problem. I went way past my boundaries, trying to take care of inside everyone else’s yard.
I’m trying to stop stepping across emotional boundaries, just as I am learning to keep up my boundaries.
I am me, not more and not less.