Old 07-15-2009, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Learning how to set boundaries is a vital part of learning to own yourself, of learning to respect yourself, of learning to love yourself. If you never have to set a boundary, then you will never get in touch with who you really are - will never learn to define yourself in a healthy way.
No one deserves to be treated abusively. No one deserves to be lied to and betrayed.

We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. If you do not respect yourself, if you do not start awakening to your right to be treated with respect and dignity (and your responsibility in creating that in your life) - then you will be more comfortable being involved with people who abuse you then with people who treat you in loving ways.

Learning to set boundaries is vital to learning to love yourself, and to communicating to other's that you have worth.

There are basically three parts to a boundary. The first two are setting the boundary - the third is what you will do to defend that boundary.

Part 1 If you - Is a description of the behavior you find unacceptable [being as descriptive as possible].

Part 2 I will - Is a description of what action you will take to protect and take care of yourself in the event the other person violates the boundary.

Part 3 If you continue this behavior I will - Is a description of what steps you will take to protect the boundary that you have set.

An example of these three parts would be:

"If you ever hit me again, I will call the police and press charges. I will leave this relationship. If you continue to threaten me, I will get a restraining order and prepare to defend myself in whatever manner is necessary."

It is not always necessary or appropriate to share the third part of this formula with the other
person when setting a boundary:

The first two steps are the actual parts of setting the boundary. The third part is something you need to know for yourself, so that you know what action you can take if the other person violates the boundary. If you set a boundary and expect the other person to abide by it automatically - then you are setting yourself up to be a victim of your expectations.

It is not enough to just set boundaries - it is necessary to be willing to do whatever it takes to enforce them. You need to be willing to go to any length, do whatever it takes to protect yourself.

It is also very important to set consequences that you are willing to enforce. If you are setting boundaries in a relationship, and you are not yet at a point where you are ready to leave the relationship - then don't say that you will leave. You can say that you will start considering all of your options, including leaving - but do not state that you will do something that you are not yet ready to do.

If you set boundaries and do not enforce them, it gives the other person an excuse to continue
with the same old behavior.

Setting a boundary is not making a threat - it is communicating clearly what the consequences will be if the other person continues to treat us in an unacceptable manner. It is a consequence of the other person's behavior.

Setting a boundary is not an attempt to control the other person - although some of the people who you set boundaries with will certainly accuse you of that - just as some will interpret it as a threat. Setting a boundary is a part of the process of defining yourself and what is acceptable to you. It is a major step in taking what control you can of how you allow others to treat you. It is a vital responsibility to yourself and your life.

Setting a boundary is not a more sophisticated way of manipulation - although some people will say they are setting boundaries, when in fact they are attempting to manipulate. The difference between setting a boundary in a good healthy way and manipulating is this:

When you set a boundary you let go of the outcome.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
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excellent. thank you.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:31 AM
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Location: Left Coast
Posts: 161
How timely, is this discussion of boundaries.

Our grandchildren just left, after a ten month (actually is was only a ten DAYS) visit.

I feel like the worst grandmother ~ worst human being ~ on the planet.

Our ten year old grandson is autistic. I'm very cognizant of his personality and capabilities; however, the child has no boundaries at all. I don't think there is anything in the house that hasn't been moved, broken, or completely destroyed. After about day five, my husband and I just got worn out chasing him around.

I hate to admit it, but our daughter just abdicated her parental responsibilities while they were here. She said you just don't understand how hard it is to chase him down and discipline constantly ~ she's worn down too. (Actually. I do get it because a week was horrendous ~ but she is his mother).

Anyway, the point of this post is: I truly believe there are more things going on, than the autism. I'm wondering if he might be bi-polar or something, he has some real anger issues also. Our daughter and sil are highly educated and are willing to deal with autism, but I don't think they would ever consider the possibility that there are other issues (the river of denial runs deep).

Sorry for the pity party; I'm just frustrated and exhausted. I truly feel that child is headed for trouble in his later years. And, my guilt is killing me. Thanks for listening.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:41 AM
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To thine own self be true.
Join Date: May 2009
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Repeat after me: "It's not my fault, It's not my fault..."

I know my limits and this is one of the reasons I do not have children-because I know I would not be able to handle anything like this. I am so grateful that I had the foresight and self-awareness not to have kids. Thank you for reminding me of my limitations (reminding me in a good way, so that I can set appropriate boundaries to match with my wants and my limits).

I hope you did get at least a little enjoyment out of seeing your grandkids. Maybe you enjoyed watching him while he was asleep? Please try not to feel guilty. Like me sister says, "NO GUILT! It's POISON!"
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:51 AM
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Posts: 161
Thanks Learn. I will get over the guilt, but it's gonna take a few days.

LOL I did enjoy watching him sleep, but the child sleeps very little. He was up and rummaging through the house around five every morning.

It will get better; I know. Thanks again.
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