18 Comments
  1. Jackie Derham 3 years ago

    My mother was pretty relaxed about what we did, as long as we told her where we were going to be. I could go off for hours and experience life, friends and solitude. My father was always working, loved his business and when we started work we were to work hard and commit 100%. I eventually learnt my own boundaries in regard to that and we would have arguments when he would come to me at 10 o’clock at night to talk about work. Life experiences have taught me plenty of boundaries and now feel I am very good with these.

  2. Jennifer 3 years ago

    So, this boundaries thing is really giving me fits. I’m having like inner temper tantrums over it. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to have boundaries – my mother, in particular, was into every single aspect of my life. I wasn’t allowed to have secrets or anything that resembled privacy, and when she called, we were expected to drop everything and answer. Now as an adult, I find that I swing to polar opposites: either I keep everybody out, or I allow people to just walk all over me and I’m “okay” with it. And I KNOW this isn’t healthy. My mother had all of her relationships at arm’s length: she had no friends, spent most of her days in her room alone, watching pointless daytime t.v. and working. She never went anywhere socially, and I can only remember her ever talking on the phone or writing letters (back before the internet and email) to her “friends”. My father had no boundaries at all – he just let my mother keep him isolated from his friends and family. My mother kept my sister and me isolated from our friends and other family members, except for her family.

    I also struggle with my relationship with my husband now. We’re coming out of a period of the last 10+ years where my husband was mentally, emotionally, and verbally abusive to me. He tried to keep me isolated from my friends and my social circle, he expected me to drop everything to spend time with him… So now I have this boundary with him where I won’t let him in, I get angry when he says he wants me to spend time with him. And I have no idea how to navigate that boundary and shift it into something healthy. He’s aware now of the things he did over the last 10+ years, and I’m working on shifting out of those old patterns, but I still don’t feel comfortable asserting my boundaries with him because I’m still afraid that he’s going to blow up on me again.

    I’m aware of what I need to do, but I’m struggling.

  3. Cheyanne 3 years ago

    Lately I’ve had very little boundaries. Growing up I had too many boundaries and now, in a desperation to make friends my boundaries are too loose. For example I’ll go out sometimes and drink too much cause that’s what everyone else is doing and at some level I want to fit in. I’ve always wanted to fit in. I’m just trying to find my place in the world. Gotta find that sweet spot and always, always stay true to who I am.

  4. Christina 3 years ago

    My boundaries for sure change in relation to my relationships I have for sure. Being vulnerable and trusting others has been a huge thing for me this past year. While listening to the teaching I remembered that as a child I was always told to scratch my grandpas or dads back. I didn’t want to but was pushed to do it. I was scratching my dads and while doing it I had such a feeling of being trapped I guess? But I was so frusterated cause I wanted to stop and so I scratched it so hard it bled. I don’t remember how old I was but I feel aweful for doing it. As an adult I can see that I didn’t have the knowing to say “no I don’t want to”

  5. PhyllisEagleDancing 4 years ago

    Thinking back to traumatic boundary-breaking incidences…
    Every time I was spanked by my mother with her shoe, a tree switch, belt, or slapped in the face.
    Every time I was grounded (for months sometimes).
    My mother threw away all of my beloved stuffed animals and dance costumes when I was away for the summer visiting my dad.
    When my uncle crawled into bed with me (9 years old-he was 16).
    When I was almost raped by a stranger at knife-point to my throat. I outsmarted him and ran.
    When my mother divorced my father and married my best friend’s father. She became a step-sister and I had to share a room with her.

    I had no role models growing up. My mother was overwhelmed with 4 children before she was 22, I being the eldest and the only girl. She became severely depressed and started drinking. I became the “baby sitter” of my 3 younger brothers. My childhood ended then. No more play. I was expected to take care of my brothers. I was about 7.

    When she married my friend’s father, we were subjected to their heavy drinking and subsequent violent arguments. I reacted by rebelling. I ran away at one point. I did drugs, had indiscriminate sex, drank, The more of this behavior I did, the more my mother tried to impose her boundaries by grounding. I married the boy she hated at age 19 to get away…following in her footsteps of marrying at age 15 to escape an abusive home. She was only 16 when I was born. She had nothing to teach me. She had not been taught. She knew nothing of taking care of herself…and still doesn’t.

    I have done heavy-duty work on my boundary issues in Alanon for the last 27 years. My second marriage of 21 years was to an alcoholic. His alcoholism kicked me into my own recovery (thank God). I am happy to report that I have broken the cycle of abuse. My children were never subjected to it and are stable, loving people and parents themselves.

    I have recovered my inner child through my past work teaching others “The Power of Play” in conference workshops, preschools, and colleges.

    I am very protective of my time and am clear about what I will and won’t do. My time is precious. My daughter is expecting a second baby in Nov. I babysit the first one (19 mos old). She was expecting me to babysit both babies. When I told her it was too much, she understood and we came up with an alternative plan. I like that. I like that she gets it. She is a reflection of the job I did as a parent raising her. And that feels real good!

  6. blpark55 4 years ago

    digging deep… as a child I was the only girl with two older brothers. Then after my aunt committed suicide my dad took in my two male cousins to live with us. I had no privacy. So, I escaped to the fields, the hay stacks the barn…anywhere not to be tormented by their teasing and bullying. My mother favored the boys and I was my daddy’s girl. I loved him dearly as he protected me. I was molested by my older brother as a young child… when I came to my parents and told them my father beat my brother. This added a deeper connection between my mother and brother and distance between she and I. My grandmother was my savior. she lived across from us…so I would run to her home. we made cookies, gardened. I believe my mother was clinically depressed and still is today. I was very lonely as a child. I masked it by appearing loud. Most people don’t know I am a loner and very shy. I am thankful for the relationship I had with my father. through him I was lucky enough to find my life partner who embraces me. I am healer, want everyone happy…I’m drawn to those who are lost, depressed, low self esteem etc. A few years back I was working in a hostile work environment. I was almost lost in my emotional battle. Thankfully I found support, started embracing my intuitiveness….learning boundaries and embracing them. I find myself still at times reaching out to those that are still not ready to work at growing. I do step back, and I have walked away from many. I am growing.

  7. Betty 4 years ago

    As a child, I was always told to “be nice”, “don’t upset any one”, “just do what they say.” Needless to say, as I matured, those “non-boundaries” became a real problem. I lost myself in trying to please everyone else and not upset anyone. Even my two suicide attempts were virtually ignored because “we” (my adoptive mother) didn’t want “people to talk”. It took being a mother myself, watching my children grow, for me to realize that the way I was told to think and act was not at all healthy. After counseling and learning to mother myself and the little girl inside of me, I learned to set some boundaries and stand up for myself. I still have trouble with people who are very close to me….I find that I’ll sacrifice myself instead of hurt them. Then, of course, I resent them and am disappointed in myself, every time. I realize that this, as with so many other things, is a process One step at a time….when I speak my truth to my birth-mother or my boyfriend, it’s a triumph for me and I try to celebrate it as such, even if it was a painful truth to speak.

  8. Joy Little Mountain Richards 4 years ago

    Should read, I include not exclude everybody now…
    Don’t want folk feeling left out…

  9. Joy Little Mountain Richards 4 years ago

    Been struggling with this., got self in knot, confused mixed signals from parents and grandparents. So learnt to be invisible, look pretty but don’t question., your a girl, you don’t count, no need to educate you, your going to be a mother and have a family, that’s your role. Very Victoria attitude of Granddad and family. Had no say in that, what I’d like, my dreams? So Suppressed emotions totally. Looking back, no memories, only the bad ones, life blank. My brother got all the attention, yet, I didn’t hate him for it back then…. I remember only one occasion when I expressed that jealousy, hurt, being unloved, Auntie bought him kite on family day out, I didn’t get anything..in front of me, in shop, wow, did I finally have that outburst! Parents tried to buy me a gift, but, my oh my, I wanted nothing off them. Refused, just cried…wanted gift off her but didn’t want to ask for it… Just wanted to be loved like she loved my brother… Brother was first child, male child, would carry family name and carry on line… He was worshiped by everybody, cousins too, they’d all had girls, so he was the gift they’d all prayed for! Mum was poorly when she gave birth to me. Transpires, she’d had such bad time having him, had to wait four years before having me on doctors advice ! And I nearly killed her, she’d tell me, ruined her health, my fault… She said don’t have kids, they ruin your health! Ok…I didn’t, too fearful I’d have bad health too and I’d struggled anyway with anemia all teenage years so wasn’t healthy to start with!
    Anyhow, as adult, I Worked too hard, extreme hours and at gym, think I was trying to prove to myself I am just as good ! Clever and healthy…! Unfortunately, ended up with chronic fatigue syndrome …health never been as good. Few more health issues over years. So internalised probably past hurts but also gave up on self. Tried and failed ! As time went bye, too many folk past over, got no children and just two adults left in my life. Both crushed me! Wanted to commit suicide! Didn’t value self and wanted out. Couldn’t figure way forwards, no one left to stay for. Anyway, spirit was with me, I wasn’t allowed to go. Spirit world more real to me now, it’s unconditional love. So escapisum? But found true friends now, feel accept me, finally found something good worth staying for. Sadly those friends, lot passed over too. But got few left, truly valued, their MY family. So happier now, but trying to lay to rest past stuff and move forwards on my terms…
    So role models:- mum. It’s me! Did as told, sensitive, shy, didn’t question, looked pretty and conformed.
    Dad:- worked too hard, killed him, early grave :- me again!
    Boundaries, I went to extreme!
    Too much work, gym!
    Let others walk over me, if helped out with money, thought I might get loved, Made stuff worse! But love giving token gifts and presents, love sharing.
    So felt excluded, too quiet, invisible, unloved..
    Now, exclude everybody, probably too vocal now, finally stopped money flowing away from me ( only last month..). Found what I’m passionate about. However,it’s all spiritual stuff, theology lecture tomorrow but love like minded folk. I need to find fun and laughter again, engage with humans! Enjoy nature again. Got closed down on trying to adventure, have fun! But I’m trying to redress that now, these exercises allowing me to see old habits and beliefs…
    The two remaining humans, still alive, I’m having problems with are partner and sister!
    I love irony! My brother now my sister! Wow! That flawed me!
    Anyhow, helped and supported him through transition, opened both our eyes. Everybody else couldn’t cope, so it was me stood by him, out of duty, then out of love..couldn’t bear witness how unhappy he’d been and never showed it till
    Mum died, last of family. So proud of her, and journey we travelled, nearly finished us both but we made it!
    Partner! Confused boundaries:- 8 years older. On reflection, Victoria attitude, don’t question, do as told….. Still both acting as kids! Hurt, angry, lashing out.
    Grateful for rollercoaster 12 years with them both, my oh my, those emotions definitely got fully out now! I’m definitely not quiet shy anymore!
    Grown spiritually last 12 years than whole life!
    So clearer picture of me today!
    Sorry so long winded, didn’t mean it to be, but best out than festering away on old hurts..
    I will print this out, it’s helped me.
    Once again, deepest gratitude to group and Dakota.
    Love light and plenty of those laughter blessings for us all
    Friday 13th October 2017
    P.s. I love 13. Was born on 13th and told it was unlucky!
    No it’s not, that’s other opinions, not mine!
    I think it’s magical.

  10. Jackie 4 years ago

    I come from a large family of 10 siblings…my mom was a social butterfly, dancing, singing, joking and hostessing. Dad was crippled and hard of hearing and liked the quieter things. I am the 7th child, and I was Extraordinarily . Thinking about this now, I know that my shyness was a boundary…even as a teen, if teachers or other people would talk to me I’d blush crimson…probably made them feel ill at ease as well. I also developed my interests so that I could be alone. I was/am an avid reader, I love to sew and craft…all alone things….My mother wanted me to be like her which I vehemently opposed (verbally) again creating that boundary very clearly. My sister (born same year as me) and my partner are the closest, next are my soul-sistas and my friends…all others I tend to keep at a good distance. I can come across as very friendly, but not share a thing and I have this innate ability to walk away without hurting people’s feelings. Even the closest people to me have learned to wait until I am comfortable in sharing my privacy. I have had I couldn’t tell anyone, and when I did, I was made to feel like I had been the instigator…and so the barriers came up, and the boundaries were enforced. I can be quite rigid, and again quite soft when it comes to my own kids and grandkids…

  11. Christina 4 years ago

    This was an amazing exercise for me as it ties into things that have been coming up the last few weeks. As stated in the previous post I was never really taught boundaries and despite what I intuitively felt was right was forced to do or say otherwise. Truth is a big thing for me because as I realize I was forced by my parent to lie and say it was truth or was punished severely because I spoke the truth. I was ridiculed, criticized, abused, locked in a room, threatened, and eventually abandoned by my mother and told “she didn’t want me” and put into the system all in the name of truth and using my voice. So my boundaries have been off I should say. Then living in survival mode throughout my teens .. no boundaries there. I have had to learn how to say no and that it was okay to stand up for myself and what didn’t feel right. I still have some trouble now and then but can usually catch myself. With circles outside moving in it’s easier the less close I am to you naturally because the less vulnerable I am. I have realized over the last year that despite all the work I have done trust is still very fickle for me as I have been very hurt the last few years by people very close to me, again.

  12. Valerie 4 years ago

    I have been raised with no real boundaries. When I was a child I always crawl underneath the diner table or hide myself when people came over to visit. I was a very shy child. My parents let me be and never forced me into anything. When I was a teen I also just did things as I felt like doing, with all the problems and everything else after. This also has brought many defficulties in my relationships, because of me living in my own world. I never realy connected Good to other people, I always felt nerveous while beeing with many people. This started to change when I started working and opening my beauty salon, meeting more people one by one. Learning a lot about their lives and feelings. Opening up more. 4 years after I devorced because by then I learned that my relationship wasn’t healthy for me and my children, since then I had many short relationships but not meaningful. Now I have been single for a year because I choose to, I learned that I first needed to be in a healthy relationship with myself with boundaries before taking on a healthy relationship with a partner, the last year my relationships with all the people I know have changed. Some have gone others stayed and gone too another level. While I was writing this course down it was the first time that I noticed that all my relationships during my live till now has been influenced by not having boundaries as a child. So I am grateful for having this task and that I have been making this changes intuïtieve without realy knowing, Thank you ❤️

  13. Heather Thomas 4 years ago

    I am kind of an all or nothing person…I see now that is a learned behavior. Both parents were that way, I am slowly learning to be otherwise. This relates a lot to my physical surroundings. Nothing was ever clean enough for my parents and still with my mom, every visit is a struggle. I know it has to do with control and that is how she controls her world, I however, don’t have that need, but feel stressed because of all the years of conditioning. And I have always picked up on emotion so as a teenager in particular, I pulled away from people because didn’t understand all that emotion had really nothing to do with me. It is hard even now, certain people overwhelm me, and with what I now know I think it is a type. Getting better at not taking up that kind of energy.

  14. Lee-Ann 4 years ago

    I am really struggling with this West Direction. It is beginning to make the South look easy. I have been thinking on this for a couple of days and I think my boundaries were/are rigid. The first thing that comes to my is the saying “Kids are meant to be seen and not heard”. I don’t remember playing or liking to play with others. I still don’t have a playful personality. I have a very serious personality. I always “blamed” the way I am on being an only child and as I dig into this, the way I am has nothing to do with being an only child. I don’t remember having to hug/kiss relatives or others but I do remember the following, being told not to ask for anything when visiting any one. I could only ask for a glass of water if I was really thirsty. To do as your told, especially if by someone older than you – no matter how much older or what it was. I think this is why I never spoke of my abuse, I had been told not to speak of it by an elder so I didn’t. I grew up with a fear of my parents and always did what I was told too. I didn’t lie, and I don’t know where that fear came as I was never beaten. I don’t recall having a voice of my own, until I was much older then the pendulum swung to the other side for a few years in my early 20’s. I am very vocal at my jobs, but not always vocal in personal relationships or with my dad. I never had a problem being vocal with my mom.

    I have known for a long time, that I don’t like people in my home / space. When Bobby was alive, we would have company because he wanted it but it was never my choice and that stems back to my youth. We never had a lot of company at our apartment growing up. We always went to other peoples houses. My dad was an alcoholic (a funny one not a mean one) but I think that is probably why we didn’t have a lot of company. I now think having that dinner party will help resolve this issue too. It is still on my list, I haven’t forgotten about it.

    My mom and I spent a tremendous amount of time together and I remember a few highlights of them – tho shopping is my biggest memory with her. But I don’t like to be groups and I prefer to be with 1 friend at a time. I have always been like this. When I am with 2 friends, I get funny and don’t function well. Even as an adult, most of my friends do not know each other, they are all singular friends from different times in my life. I do have some from former jobs were there are multiples, but I struggle with group friendships. I didn’t truly realize this until sitting down with this lesson.

    Today, I believe that boundaries with me personally are rigid, but boundaries with my generosity are too porous but I have been working on my generosity with others and I have been getting better at saying no this past year. I have a lot of work to do on not being so isolated and non trusting with humans, that will take longer than learning to say no.
    Though my boundaries are definitely looser with those in my inner circle than with others.

  15. Marisse Reyes 4 years ago

    My parents virtually had NO boundaries when I was growing up. When reflecting further on this, I remembered how I felt as a young child when I would be paraded around by my mom and her parents whenever we had to go to parties in the Philippines. Me and my sister would have matching  party dresses, frilly socks, perfume, braided hair, sometimes even a touch of lipstick. The people at these parties really made me feel gross. There was just something off about them and I would always hide. It lead me to feel like I couldn’t trust adults and I was horribly shy for most of my childhood. Now, as an adult, I know who these kinds people actually were – a lot of them were crooks, corrupt politicians, abusers, trophy wives, etc. I would have to go around, kiss them on the cheek and sit on their lap if they wanted. Some of the men would look at me in a sexual way. When we would visit, my mom would even have me and my sister sleep in her parent’s bed when we were little. My mom and her sisters were raped by my grandfather, so looking back on it now, it makes me beyond angry and disgusted that she let us sleep next to him. I don’t recall anything happening to me, however. But I do remember when my grandpa came to visit us in Singapore when I was maybe 7 and he looked at me and told my mom that I had nice legs. My mom and him were drinking beer and she agreed with him. Makes me sick to think about. I realize now that my mom felt that her sexuality was the only way she could get love and when we would go to the Philippines, my sister and I served as some sort of extension of her in that regard. 

    There’s a lot about my mom’s family and the culture of the Philippines that treats children in such a disempowering way. Many of the children there are taught to build their self esteem on their looks and how desirable they are. Children are sexualized and it’s acceptable. I was glad that I didn’t grow up in the Philippines and that I went to an American school in another country for my whole life. I’m sure I wouldn’t end up where I am today if that would have been all I had known. 

    It was only when my mom died that I felt I could really start reclaiming my boundaries back in a radical way. Throughout the past seven years, I’ve been doing a lot of that and I’ve cut off ALL of these toxic people. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. But if I look at any remnants that are still there, there are some times that I feel that I have to look or behave in a certain way because I am a woman and the only way to be accepted is to be pleasing. The messaging in the media didn’t help to reinforce the opposing side and I didn’t have any role models… until I found myself. 

  16. Patti 4 years ago

    Wow, this makes me sad. I have been going thru many buried feelings and just cry alot. Hopefully done blaming my family and just feeling the pain. I’m trying to set better boundaries but it’s so hard to stick too. I pretty much block everyone out most of the time but have recently let a few in. Then got hurt after being so open and vulnerable. Now just trying to figure it out so class is right on where I need to be

  17. HillaryBanksSelf 4 years ago

    The first 7 years of my life, I was the youngest and had really no say in the day-to-day growing up. My older sisters dictated any leisure time we might be allowed (which was rare). We had robust chore lists and were expected to work hard every day. Leisure time and play was frowned upon – hard work was admired and completed chore lists meant you were a “good girl”.

    Often, I would escape to the neighbors and climb one of their trees and just sit there quietly with my legs dangling just to have a moment of peace. I’d watch the birds, examine the leaves and flowers that bloomed from the tree and quietly think or sing to myself until I was called back to do something else around the house. That tree was my “gas station” as a child.

    When my boundaries were further violated, physically in my shared bedroom at night, I would lie there completely aware that I had no autonomy over my body and I would go off in some cartoon dreamland and try to escape what was happening to my body. It wasn’t until one of my older sisters set a boundary FOR me by working up the nerve to say, “…I don’t think you are supposed to be doing that,” that the abuse finally stopped.

    Watching the way my parents worked nonstop and how they worried / fretted about money and “making ends meet” further informed my ideas that one must work hard every day – and I see that now as an adult I have very little boundaries professionally. I let work dominate my life. And, because of the abuse I suffered personally as a child, I’ve got too rigid of boundaries, personally, and have isolated myself from having anyone in my “inner circle”.

  18. Hanna Isaksson 4 years ago

    This is a great task for me. I have always had problems with boundaries. My own, but also respecting others (cause mine hasn’t been respected). From my grandmother I have learned that it’s ok to “tell the truth” even if it hurts people (I been hearing comments on my looks, my clothes, my friends etc, since I was young). From my mom I have learned that my house is my castle and not many people get in, only family and a few friends. From my dad I have learned that there are no boundaries when it comes to work and private life. Work is always priority number one and it’s ok if it means that you have no time for family or a private life. From my brother I have learned that it’s ok to cross people’s own boundaries. From that abuse I have learned to be quiet and to follow men’s wishes in my relationship to them.

    I been trying to be more clear with my boundaries for years. But it’s been a slow process and I easily fall back to old behaviour. So now I have made a list of things I have to practice on, to be able to listen to myself and others in a much more respectful way. This is an important challenge for me. And the meditations also help a lot.

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