My friend, Mary, reintroduced the concept of boundaries to me sometime in 2012. Of course I had heard of, and understood the idea of boundaries, I had never actually worked out how to define or apply any.
Thinking back, I believe the only boundary I maintained was my skin. Literally, and perhaps metaphorically. No one would be allowed to physically trespass beyond the surface of my flesh, or know what I thought or felt.
External boundaries didn’t exist before. There seems to have been nothing that I didn’t tolerate or endure up to this point. But now, the idea of establishing protective ‘no-go’ zones was intriguing. This new tool could arm me with protective powers. Boundaries could provide some control over my environment and experiences.
I decided to use my new power to avoid two somewhat specific types of behavior… ‘undependability, and craziness’. In my thoughts, I imagined a road with ditches along either side, with undependability being the ditch to the left, and craziness to the right.
The dependability part is obviously a desire for stability in my life. Violations include lies, deception, and just not being able to show up at an appointed time.
Craziness might be a subset of dependability. Erratic, inappropriate, and non-contextual behavior was the hallmark of my mother.
Since creating these boundaries I’ve encountered a woman that exhibited well-developed traits of both. Prompting me to abandon the road/ditch analogy in favor of something more abstract.
It has been documented that people with backgrounds similar to mine tend to maintain quite rigid boundaries. And I’ve noticed that the same is true of my experiences since defining my foul-lines. As a rule, I typically jettison the relationship. There are over seven billion people in the world, You’ve had your chance. Next!