The Life You Save May Be Your Own

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Boundaries September 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:59 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s been suggested to me that I’m overly boundaried. I’m pretty sure boundaried isn’t actually a word, but the point is still valid.

I guess I feel, on some level, that I’m dangerous and need to protect people from myself. So I enforce upon myself these rigid boundaries, much stricter than what most of the people I’m protecting would set for me. I don’t feel like I have a choice most of the time–often I’d like to ask for more from people, but there are these ironclad rules in my head that some part of me won’t let me break. I’ve mostly given up on trying to circumvent them because, try as I might, I can’t.

I feel like I frustrate people because I can’t break these rules. I know I should be able to take up my therapist on her offer of twice a week sessions, call people on my treatment team when I’m in crisis, or tell my therapist she upset me. I know good and well that these are not socially unacceptable things, and I know it would be for my own benefit. But when people tell me it’s okay, I shoot them down because I know I can’t break my own rules.

Or is it won’t? It feels like can’t, but maybe that’s just the crap I tell myself to justify staying in my comfort zone. How do I even tell?

The only times I’ve been able to break the rules is when I’ve had a therapist who insisted. My Riggs therapist would sometimes get me to come to extra sessions by saying she’d be very worried if I didn’t show up. My Boston therapist told me she needed to hear from me every day when I was in crisis, and she was always the one to call/text/email me first. Right now I don’t have a therapist (or treatment team) who does that, so I can’t break the rules without permission.

How in the world do I get around this?


5 Responses to “Boundaries”

  1. M. Says:

    Here are my thoughts. I have no idea if any of them will be useful or not, so take or leave them as you choose.

    It is your choice what to do, and from what you write it sounds like you expect a raft of uncomfortable feelings either way…either from leaving your comfort zone or from knowing that you chose to stay in it.

    If you get there and decide it’s important to push yourself past the rules to ask for what you want, then you can do that.

    If you feel you can’t, you don’t have to.

    Neither decision will be wrong. Any feelings that arise are all part of the process and not wrong, either. Your communicating them or choosing not to communicate them is all communication in itself, as you mentioned in one of your own replies to someone else. And neither decision has to be permanent. You have the option of changing your mind at any time.

    The way things worked with your old therapist is not necessarily how it needs to or will or even can work with your new therapist. How she responds will be your therapist’s choice….and then you get to decide how to continue and even whether to continue based on that.

    Maybe you’ll discover/decide it’s important to break the rules now. Maybe you’ll discover/decide it’s not.

    It’s okay not to be sure about any of it.


  2. Bourbon Says:

    Would it be possible to share what the rules are? To your treatment team, I mean. Have you been able to share to them how someone inside is stopping you at every turn for reaching out to what you need. I get the impression you are very alone with this, stuck in your head. Keeping things so tightly wound within yourself. If you can just break the secrecy even if just a little bit hopefully it will help those inside be able to watch how the therapist responds and start to contemplate more on whether they want to trust her or not.

    • weordmyndum Says:

      I should try to write down the rules. It’s difficult because they’re nebulous and difficult to in down…but it would probably be helpful for me and potentially other people.

      I may be able to tell my therapist about the rules…maybe. One of the rules is I’m not allowed to bring anything serious up; the other person has to do it. But that’s one that’s easier to get around.

      • Bourbon Says:

        I think I am quite lucky that my system are not absolutely fraught with rules like I know a lot of systems are. I think it would be a huge step to write them down best you can and let your T see so she can help you find ways to work around them. Good luck x

  3. Grainne Says:

    I get stuck between the Can’t vs Won’t often as well. Some things feel impossible for me, like self nurturing. Everyone tells me to stop abandoning myself but I haven’t the foggiest notion how to go stop it because I don’t know when I do it. Or how. Or why…(well, I kind of get the why).
    I hope the idea of writing the rules down will help some. I’ve tried that on other issues and although it didn’t really help me, it helped my therapist in dealing with me.
    The protection thing too…I so much want to text you and say hello sometimes when I’m feeling bad or thinking of you but I never do because I’m afraid to….interrupt? Burden you with me? I don’t know…it’s some weird rule of mine that I don’t understand. So…you’re not alone in this, at least. xx

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