Boundaries - such a bad word to so many.

kind of a joke word for some people. Yet not really. Most of the people I deal with have very poor boundaries and that makes their life so much harder than it needs to be. At every turn. Health is hard to find because stress keeps it in a poor place. Crisis and lack of time are the driving force. The boundaries they do create are not boundaries at all, they are shields against greater stress.

Most people are raised in boundary-less homes. That generally means that people are taught to give up all their needs for the people around them or the greater good. It is generally considered selfish to think of one’s own needs. That ends up becoming self-talk of worthlessness and undeserving later on.

Therefore, when parents come to me stressed out and wanting me to fix their kids and all the destructive behaviors and out of control fits, I can almost guarantee I know how their home is run. The kids are forced to share and be polite and they have way too many toys and nothing that belongs to them that they are allowed to control. The focus is on being kind and sharing and saying please and thank you. But no order really.

Learning how to negotiate or pointing out bad behaviors that are unacceptable or teaching better options and life skills is not even considered. Just share and be nice.

I watch parents talk until they are blue in the face speaking a foreign language and negotiating with humans that barely know how to not poop their pants and still throw food and scream to get their way (they are not taught table manners frequently because they eat in cars and on the run). Its mind boggling to think that adults think they can reason with unformed brains. But they do. So, they teach them what they know. Which is no boundaries. The stress grows for everyone. Exhaustion, rage and fits are the result. Sometimes parents resort to drugs, alcohol, sugar, TV or video games (addictions) are ways for these families to find peace. They check out or numb their emotions.

Not offering clear (yes, no, acceptable and unacceptable) leads a person to believe everything is negotiable. Even the current financial gurus of Christian churches teach that all things can be negotiated down. which is not true.

Safety comes from clarity not from negotiating. So does value.

Later in life that internal voice gets loud. Unworthy. Unworthy …My needs are not important. Love, respect are conditions of conformity. Not only is that the internal talk but those become the relationships that the person seeks to keep the status quo and feel normal. Unworthy, but normal. It feels comfortable because its familiar. Yet unsettling because it hurts the soul.

One of the biggest things I must ask is why do you allow people to speak to you the way they do.? Do you accept the version of disrespect they are projecting on you ?

When you lack boundaries there is nothing worth protecting. All things are negotiable and have no value. I always know a person raised with no boundaries based on how they treat other people’s things. For my mom it was people looking through her cabinets (she despised that- she taught me to never do that and if I had friends that got in places that were private, she called their parents to explain they were welcome, but this needed to be addressed) Her boundaries were very clear. I watch people that allow their kids play on adult musical instruments (my pet peeve- they are expensive and delicate) with no respect, I know the adults have no boundaries if they allow their kids to have none. The kids are unaware of their lines. Because the adults have none.

Those people generally do not see the value of things that belong to other people. They treat their things the same way and they teach their kids that respect is unnecessary. Its only things, is a common phrase out of boundaries peoples mouths. Have some Grace is another thing I hear. YIKES!!!