My question today is how I keep coming up with people with no boundaries in my life? My mother-in-law is visiting this week and apparently has a real lack of boundaries. I nap on my couch every single day. I can’t live my life without my daily nap and I cannot nap in my bed or I will never get up. My mother-in-law sits in the living room while I nap…there are other places to be, but she chooses to sit there and watch me and look up every time I move. Ugh. I have at this time moved my nap to my bed, but it really is hard to nap there and get up when I need to because I fall more deeply asleep. This morning, my mother-in-law was downstairs, ready for her day while I was getting dressed. My children were in their bedrooms, playing. And as our usual routine, they knew not to come out of their rooms because my door was open so I could monitor them. I heard MIL coming up the stairs and yelled, hey, give me a minute. I’m not dressed. And she kept coming, saying my name like she was playing a game and trying to sneak up on me. I shrieked, hey, do not come any further. Give me a minute. I AM NOT DRESSED! (And I was not covered in the least. I had just come into my room from the shower and no longer had my towel wrapped around me and I was looking for a freaking pair of underpants.) She replies, and keeps coming, “I have seen lots of naked bodies in my life. I don’t mind.” Hello? WTF? I don’t think that I’m ugly enough that somebody should mind seeing me in my birthday suit! However, I have a real aversion to anybody besides my wife seeing me in the buff! No boundaries. No freaking boundaries! I went leaping across the room (no small feat for my extra large and arthritic body) and slammed the door right as she came around the corner. Really, I was in panic attack mode. Anybody in a parental role crossing my boundaries freaks me out in a major way.
Speaking of boundaries, sometimes they make me nuts. Like MT’s (my therapist) boundaries. I can’t text her and I don’t have a cell phone number for her. I can email her, but she does not check it every day. I can call and leave a message on her office phone, but she does not listen to it more than once a day (I think). That has caused a few problems in the recent past with last minute scheduling and cancellations. I told her in the beginning not to let me text her because I think I abused that in the past with another therapist. However, I think that enough time has gone by that it is time to change that. Our relationship is not the codependent kind where she has worked to make herself indispensable to me. I would have no reason or inclination to abuse that at this point.
My abusers have no freaking boundaries. There was a time, not too long ago, that the possibility of continuing inappropiateness was insinuated by one of them. There is no possibility of that. That stuff ended decades ago. But, by golly, let’s just bully the woman who is still healing from what they’ve already done. Obviously, they had no boundaries then and I think that there is no way that has really changed. I will not allow them to physically cross any boundaries, but at times it seems that they are determined to keep me small and defenseless by trying to cross emotional boundaries. I am working on cutting the ties with a machete. But it is difficult. I wish I could build impermeable boundaries around myself, but the only way to really do that is by completely cutting ties. I am not in a place where I can imagine that. There are personal values, religious values, my belief that all human beings deserve dignity and compassion getting in the way. And this is really strange, because lots of times if somebody crosses my boundaries at all, I just cut them right off. No questions asked. No second chances. Usually not even an explanation. I don’t respond to the person. I avoid the person. I confuse the person because, obviously, I have not told them that they crossed the boundary. I’m really pretty not emotionally mature in that way. I have told MT once when she crossed one of my boundaries. She seemed pretty determined that I feel a certain way about her going on vacation, and was not very happy with my immediate negative, crying hysterically reaction. I told her the next session that I think I get to have my feelings, no matter what they are, and she agreed. Maybe, I will be able to start telling people instead of cutting them off. But the people I really need to cut off, I cannot seem to do. Well, I guess it’s a work in progress.