Boundaries. I hate the very idea of boundaries. Not because I don’t want them but because no one has ever taught me exactly what I am supposed to do to get one. I am not an imbecile, I know what a boundary is; okay I had to spell check it. But I do know. I have screamed louder in the vain hope of finally seeing a boundary and possibly learning how it works than those crying for their very freedom.
We are all a little bit delusional in this world; according to the scientists its to protect our knowledge. We all want to believe that this time is the time we will learn to set a boundary; we all want to have freedom unlike any we have ever deserved. We want to believe those doctors we find ourselves actually trusting.
And why are boundaries so sacred? Because they represent the same freedom others take for granted. To those of us trying desperately to learn about boundaries, they represent the word, ‘no’; it represents the right to state in no uncertain terms anything we need to say. Boundaries for me means being not what everyone else wants but only what I believe. Boundaries for me mean that one day it will be good to be me. Boundaries for me means the hits are finally too far away to reach.
I may have taken what many see as a simple line in the sand and made it a dramatic crisis we are all supposed to be aware of; sort of like knowing who won the Red Sox game. Many can see only that saying no is as simple as saying the word yes. Many believe that walking away from abuse is as easy as taking that first step. Many believe that getting over it is an actual possibility. Many don’t know the power of a two letter word.
But the subject of boundaries is a literal hope. When we find ourselves again accepting a fist, sex, those words; those words that destroy a part of us every time they are said we are being rejected and our boundaries with it. We will say not that it is okay, but rather that we simply have no idea how to say no. We will never admit the tantalizing belief in its existence; to do so would lead to belief that we might learn it. To some this will remain just another word; to some even the idea becomes the last thing you hold on to.
Boundaries are important; when they work it supposed to be like a really large horse farm. You are supposed to stand in the middle, and build structures to keep away anyone you choose. When it isn’t a matter of life and death, it can help you to maintain healthy and normal relationships and it can even help you to find forgiveness in someone else. Boundaries are amazingly important; but it isn’t amazingly easy.
I would love to sit here and tell you all about how I learned to define my boundaries. I would love to sit here and type the golden words to help you walk away from those who purposely can not see your boundaries; but the problem is, I truly don’t know. I don’t know how to tell a person I want this – and be taken with any seriousness. I don’t know how to let people know that arguing literally hurts me; I don’t even know how to tell someone how much I hate to be touched.
I don’t know what to do when a friend calls and asks for a favor. I don’t know what to do when my own mind has created an emergency situation where there is none. I don’t know how to look at my family and tell them that I don’t understand them. I don’t know how to set boundaries with my husband, a man I live with each and every day. I don’t know because no one has ever shown me how.
Building a boundary has to be the equivalent of building a subway through a mountain. It has to be that hard. But is it difficult because of the many explosions that must be detonated before a train can fly through? Is it difficult because there is no real blue print but rather a dream? Do others exist with boundaries? And how do they erect them to finally find the freedom every one of us needs?
I am supposed to be learning about myself these days. I am supposed to be changing and finding within myself the courage to be myself rather a person the rest of the world wants. I am supposed to find the key to my own soul without the destruction of expectations. I am supposed to find the answer my heart has been beating for so many years, but has been drown by the perception of my own reality. I am suppose to finally find my freedom.
And I know the building of boundaries are paramount to this progress. I know that I have look at my family and say no more; I have to look at my husband and say that isn’t how it is going to be. I have to figure out a way to present my own self to the world without listening to their comments whether the ones of kindness or the ones without. I have to figure out a way to be happy while ignoring others happiness. There has to be the courage to find my own self and the courage to finally admit to who that is.
But I don’t know how. I don’t know how to tell my husband – even though he is beside me each day. How do you create a nebulous idea that will selfishly bring your own happiness? How do you look away so that you can survive? How do you ask that your own convictions become more important than theirs?
I don’t know yet. Don’t know when I will know. I don’t know if I will ever be able to walk away from the thirty years of conditioning to finally be the me. Because it isn’t about change, it’s about expectations. Because it isn’t about asking, but demanding. It isn’t about nightmares, but the belief in hope and our own possibilities. The possibilities that few have ever had the guts to ask for. The boundaries lead to the possibility of all I could be; even if that means without the story I have already written.