There is an objective set of laws regarding this topic, but I haven't really delved into it as much as I like to before writing about it. Sometimes reading material sends me reeling, and that's how I know I have to pay attention to it. Let's play with some ideas with personal examples.
There are four different kinds of boundary impairment.
1. No boundaries. Open to abuse of all kinds, reduced self-worth. 2. Damaged. Part-time protection. Sometimes powerless, sometimes healthy. 3. Walls. Too much protection, too much isolation. On the sidelines of life and little chance of intimacy. Focus on your own needs and not those of others. 4. Switching between walls and none. Unpredictable.
The style of boundaries and subsequent impairment depends on which context I'm in.
1. With Carrie, sometimes I have no boundary, and I know she wishes we had some, eg. Me not cuddling her when she's trying to fall asleep. 2. I'm a people pleaser, so it's hard to say no to people sometimes. 3. With my family, I'm currently throwing up a Donald Trump-style wall. I didn't have strong and healthy boundaries with them, so now I have to do this. In turn, I have to create a new family. 4. I'm not sure with whom I would be a switcher. Maybe this one doesn't apply to me, or maybe it's so glaringly obvious that I don't realize I'm doing it.
At some not-so-deep level, I probably got punished as a child for setting some boundaries in certain ways, so the ones I learned to make and maintain weren't so healthy for everyone involved the older I got. I've talked at length before about the poor boundaries I set in school and how I'm trying to reset them.
Because of some deep insecurities instilled from being a nerd, I'm a sucker for being invited to hang out. When a friend wants to spend time with me, I drop everything and meet them wherever they want right away. No boundaries. This is a problem when you have other responsibilities. Less friendship time, more house-husbandry.
This has been a really weird month. New rotation at work, relationships being all renegotiated, schedule thrown out of whack. Mostly, I've been trying to wake up earlier since Carrie started a new semester and is waking up at 5 AM now and sleeping around 9 PM, but that hasn't been working so well for me. I hurt myself falling off my bike earlier in January (twice), and my left shoulder has hurt too much to go boxing where I would normally punch my stress in the face and ribs. Ankur moved away, Jackson is leaving, and one couple was possibly moving away too. Luckily they aren't, but that's too much change to handle in such a short time.
One boundary I haven't been able to set lately is with my emotions. I can't really contain them, so I have to play this weird avoidance game. Staring at the 3D printer makes life (and my problems) disappear. I'm staring into the nozzle of a more hopeful future, so maybe that's why I like watching it. As usual, TV puts my emotions on ice. Musically, I'm mellowing out more. Oliver Heldens is guiding me through Heldeep.
I've never really been good at taking care of myself. I was the kid that took toys out to play with but then never put them away. It's kind of adorable as a kid, I guess, but it doesn't help my wife as she's trying to study in our studio but has to pick up after me. I watched all that Barney the Dinosaur and Big Comfy Couch but somehow never learned to clean up when I'm done playing. Is there any hope for me?
I'm already having to restart for the year. New sleep schedule, new hanging out schedule, new exercise regime. I didn't like the boundaries I set last month, so I'm gonna give it another go. Reboot!