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Post Info TOPIC: Boundaries


Newbie

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Boundaries


I am relatively new to Alanon and have been focusing on boundaries with my ABF. I am wondering if some of you can share your boundaries that you have implemented?  Thanks!



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~*Service Worker*~

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Hi and welcome. There are some wonderful posts under the thread "Sticking to boundaries can be tiring." I especially liked the post by John. Perhaps you can read there while waiting for other responses here.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hi FunandSun welcome to the board. The first thing I learned in the program is that boundaries are for me and my ability to maintain my wellbeing. At first when I started to set boundaries with my AH I felt as though I had to explicitly tell him the boundaries I was setting for him and draw a line in the sand so to speak. As I progressed in the program I realized that I mostly had to set them in my own mind and for myself.
I'm not sure what you need to set a boundary about but some of mine are as follows.

I will end and disengage with any conversation I feel is not going well and delay our discussion about the issue until he is not intoxicated and or I am feeling calm. I simply use the line "can we talk about this in the morning because I can't talk about this right now". I put this in place because our arguments would get out of control when he was intoxicated or I am really mad. They would spiral in so many unproductive ways. If I delay the discussion to the next morning I am often in a more peaceful place and he is not intoxicated. THe conversations go much better that way.

I will leave any outing or event where I feel uncomfortable with his or anyone else's drinking. I did tell my AH this one as kindly as I could because he would notice it and be prepared if I leave. This has prevented me from feeling like a hostage on outings where he gets too intoxicated and acts out in ridiculous ways. I always felt I had to manage his behaviour but instead I have handed back the responsibility to him (that's how I visualize it) and I can seek out some peace from a stressful situation.

I don't have to sit around and watch him get drunk. I don't really enjoy my AH's company when he has been drinking and to prevent myself from feeling resentful or frustrated when he has been drinking I have simply set a boundary for myself that if I don't feel like sitting around and watching it I will do something else. This was a difficult one at first. Many "Date nights" got canceled and I made other last minute plans to go to a movie alone, go out with a friend, go to a meeting, read a book or sometimes just go to bed. Once I got over the initial frustration that I had to go out and leave MY house because he was drinking this one also brought me the most peace.

Each of us has to decide what boundaries are best for us. I hope this is helpful.

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Senior Member

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Keep coming to alanon... keep sharing... keep believing the truth of what recovery offers...listen to HP when you hear that voice and not the disease, you'll know it when you hear it. It sounds like peace and serenity. He grants it every time we seek it.

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~*Service Worker*~

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For most of my life I have had absolutely no idea what boundaries were for - I always assumed that other people were respectful of people's space and time and wellbeing. For forty years or more I must have been very lucky with the people that I met!! And then someone who had been by my side for most of those years got overly involved with alcohol - I had no tools, no knowledge to cope with all the boundary crossing that ensued!!

These days I do have boundaries and I am learning where they are by listening to my body and thoughts.

If I am being asked to do something that might make me feel resentful then I don't have to do it. However if I can see that whatever it is absolutely has to be done then I gift myself a treat in exchange. Resentments are not welcome in my head!

If I am in need of peace and someone is disturbing me then I am allowed to go somewhere where peace is assured. Making the effort to seek out peace is worth it!

I do not have to feel embarrassed about anyone else's behaviour. It is also not my job to apologise for it or try to explain either. I am allowed to say 'yes, I saw that too.'

If someone is rude to me then I don't want to share my time or space with them - and I'm ok with that!

Other people are as capable of looking after themselves as I am and therefore I don't have to do it for them.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Oh Milkwood I so love that last line I think I need to write it down or tattoo it on my forehead or something lol.

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~*Service Worker*~

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funandsun - hello and welcome to MIP! Glad to here that you've already found Al-Anon and glad that you found MIP also! Perfect topic that for me is not 'ever set in stone'.

My boundaries started out as simple as:

If I feel threatened by your words or actions, I will leave the room/discussion.
If you curse or raise your voice on the phone, I will hang up.
If you need a ride from me, I need one day's notice to put into my schedule.
If I don't answer my phone, please leave a message or I may not call you back.
My phone will be shut down from 10p - 6a.
One and done - I will bail you out of jail one time only.

They've expanded to much, much broader than this.

I had to learn how to detach first with indifference and later with love. Detaching was as important as boundaries. I also had to work the steps. It wasn't fair for me to have an insane moment of anger, erupt all over the room, then leave the room when they responded in kind. I had a habit of dropping land-mines, and then running for cover while the fuse was slowly burning.

Hope this helps - if you want to expand what areas are of most concern, there may be more input from others if they have/had similar situations.

Keep coming back - I agree with what's above me - they are to protect us, our sanity, our peace and joy and not to be punitive.





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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Its always a good topic. Boundaries for me are about me. They link in with step 1. I cant control or change another human being, im powerless so my boundaries arent about stopping or changing or punishing another person, for me its more about doing whats right for me. I no longer tolerate any verbal abuse, its my own rule so i remove my body from anyones presence where there is verbal abuse. I do with few words, its just a case of stating once that i wont listen to name calling or shouting etc and i leave. Simple really, its amazing. Thats my boundary, belongs to me, is mine to defend.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Ps iam i love your list, thanks for sharing itx

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~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks El-Cee! I meant to add and completely forgot that I was taught to use I statements vs. You. I also, in many/most instances did not communicate the boundary. I just put it into place. When asked what was different or why I was ....... now, I just then would state my boundary.

Giving a list of boundaries to my qualifiers would not have been received. I followed the actions speak louder than words route allowing them to inquire if/when they wanted to.



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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Warm welcome, Funandsun.

I had no boundaries at all. No idea that we were meant to have them!

Big life improver for me when I learnt to put them in place.

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Thank you for sharing your list, Iamhere. Very interesting.

I also have zero tolerance on verbal abuse, shouting, swearing etc. I remove myself from the room or hang up. I also have zero tolerence on me acting that way towards others. If I feel tempted, again I remove myself.



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That goes for me too, zero intolerance on verbal abuse, shouting, swearing ... that's when I'm finding a hard time to implement boundaries on me. Most of the time I find that I have to point out to the bad behavior before leaving the scene. Maybe I should say "I don't like being (insert behavior) at, instead of why are you (insert behavior)", do you think that will make a difference?

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~*Service Worker*~

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Jocel - my experience is any statements that start with I vs. You have a better chance of being heard. Part of detaching for me was to stop fighting everything and everyone - including myself. I was so certain that they MUST understand WHY I was hurt that I too used to point out bad behavior. My sponsor suggested that was another form of trying to control, and that if they truly wanted to understand why I was leaving the room, walking away, etc. - they would ask.

I no longer JADE - Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain my actions related to my boundaries. I don't have to, and my focus and goal is serenity. In my home, the less words I spoke and the more mature action I took, the more changes that happened. We are dealing with sick people - not ignorant. My qualifiers actually have come and apologized to me since Al-Anon because they had the opportunity to look at the situation with no provocation or engagement from me and SEE their side of it.

We have tools and choices in recovery. Each scenario is different. In mine, I am finding that program actions I've implemented speak volumes more than any words I ever spoke, screamed or hurled.

(((Hugs)))

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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This is a great topic. I grew up in a home without boundaries. Tremendous abuse and neglect. Now I have them. There are no absolutes. I.find non verbal boundaries really helpful. I pretend not to know people who are ride and obnoxious. I.walk the other way when I see them. There are no maxims. There are what works. My childhood left me without any. I found it a real long slug for a long time. Now I don't as much. But it took years. The more self examination I do the better Maresie

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Maresie


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Thanks, "Iamhere" for pointing out that if someone wants to know "why" I'm doing something or what I'm thinking, they can come and ask me. That desire to be understood (because of course I was always right) is a big character trait/default thought pattern for me, too. And I definitely know that it's a control thing -- now I do, I didn't before al-aon.

For boundary tools, I also like "no is a complete sentence." And I like the tool of saying "I"ll think about that and get back to you" rather than feeling like I have to answer every request immediately. 

I always knew what I didn't like -- before al-anon, I would do things I wasn't comfortable with and then feel a pit of regret, resentment and unease in my soul. Since al-anon, I have the tools to make different choices -- I can say no in advance and spare myself the discomfort, I can do the thing and practice acceptance of my reaction (and maybe change it), or I can do something totally different. I have a lot of power over my own state of mind (none over others) and I like to make choices that bring me peace. I think those choices are good for everyone around me, even if they aren't always easy. And let's be frank, I don't always do the right thing, but I do it way more now than before al-anon.



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I thought I had to explain things to people too. What a relief to know that I don't have to.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Amen.....I think my patterns were such that -

When my AH was acting the fool, I did some major eye-rolls, as my value system told me that as an adult, he should just know better. Because we are married, he should know what I want, when I want it and of course work his tail end off to exceed my (often unspoken) expectations. That's a mighty tall order that my own insanity planted in my brain and I had a lot of processing to do about/on this. The reality is:

- How can anyone - adult or other ever truly know what's in my head?
- Even if/when I share what I want/need, why do I expect them to hear it and understand it - no matter how clearly I state it? I mean - we each apply our own filters - no two are the same.
- Even if/when I worked my tail off to anticipate anothers' wants/needs and to exceed them, who suggested my way was the best way?
- Do I treat him always as I expect him to treat me? I really had to look at this as I often blamed him, his choices, his attitudes for everything and reacted as such. Holier than though got me no where....

Then with my boys, as a parent trying to teach, I would get on a soap box and explain, over-explain and coach/counsel until the cows came home. What's funny is that I had repeated myself so often as to what I expected, what the rules/laws were, why behaviors were wrong, etc. that right before I found Al-Anon, I would just say, "Play the Tapes....I can't think of anything new to say."

For me, my tendency to over-explain or justify/rationalize applied beyond my qualifiers. I loved that Al-Anon taught me early on that Yes and No were complete answers. I agree too Calm Lady - I need to vacate any situation where I might react instead of respond. That gives me time to remember what's important for me and that I no longer have to J-A-D-E.

Make it a great day all! Boundaries change as we grow and since they are for us instead of punitive, we do get to make changes as necessary for our truth and serenity.

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

2HP


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What a concept! No one in my family has boundaries, it's a free-for-all, lol

In Al-Anon, I heard I could take care of myself and have boundaries to protect myself, that was music to my ears!

But then they told me it works BOTH ways (boundaries are for everyone.) They told me there are 3 types of business. Mine. Yours. and God's. I had to learn to get out of his business and stay on my side of the street which meant it was his business if he wanted to drink. Detachment had to come right along with boundaries.




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Amen. I have boundaries on myself too. No more yelling, swearing, vulgarity to AH or anyone else by me. I cannot expect from others what I won't do myself.

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El


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I think I wrote he book on over-explaining. However, I am doing less of that these days and am very conscious of it. 

Calm Lady, I like the concept on setting  boundaries for you on your behavior towards others. Great awareness! 

BTY - wouldn't it be great to all meet for tea?aww

 

 



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It absolutely would be lovely to have tea together.

I live in south west England.

Currently listening to a very uplifting AA speaker. Amazing as I listen, little lights come on in my mind. Things make sense. Well, make sense in an alkie way!

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~*Service Worker*~

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I am smack dab in the middle of the USA.....long trip for tea - ha.ha.ha.ha.....but - never say never!!! Right?

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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I am very new to this program and am still mired in a lot of confusion about boundaries. I'm beginning to hope that if I listen and read the wisdom will gradually soak in.

I am also just beginning to realize that a great burden that I've been carrying the last few years has been due to a boundary crossing. Being made responsible for something that was not in my realm.

An adult adopted son married a girl that had insecurity issues. We all have some insecurity issues, so I tried to overlook this and be as welcoming as I could to her. She was very uncomfortable at our home, so no holidays could be had here. Over time the visits and phone calls from our son became almost non-existant. Four months ago our son called and asked if her brother could stay with us for a summer session at school. We thought this might help bridge the gap between our families and agreed. No $$ was discussed. The 21 year old brother never contributed any money toward room and board, and neither his parents or our son or his wife ever called us to ask how things were going. When the Fall semester started and it became clear that he would stay with us through that semester as well (and however long after that), I started complaining. Relaying to my son that we needed to know an end date, and someone should be contributing toward his room & board. I asked for $100 a month for food and $50 for board.

Well, the sh** hit the fan. Within hours of my complaining to our son that we felt we were being taken advantage of, the daughter-in-law and her mother appeared at our home and moved the boy out, claiming that we would do damage to him by unwelcoming him. Good grief. It was a dramatic and traumatic scene for all of us.

With time (and a lot of hurt and angry feelings) I am coming around to seeing that we (my husband and I) had allowed our boundaries to be violated by agreeing to let this boy stay with us without talking to his parents and making some kind of financial arrangement.

My son claims that the basic problem is that I do not like his wife. So I was feeling very bad and thinking that this whole thing was my fault because of my "feelings" and my expressing them.

There are layers of dysfunction in this whole saga, my own included. I'm learning to not carry the responsibility for everyone, though, and to protect myself from other peoples problems.

I think this is the beginning of my learning about boundaries.

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"put yourself in the place where grace can flow to you." - robert lax



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Iamhere wrote:

I am smack dab in the middle of the USA.....long trip for tea - ha.ha.ha.ha.....but - never say never!!! Right?


 Lol. Yes, long way. But you never know what will happen in our futures. 



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virtual cups of tea for all \-/ \-/ and cinnamon rolls @@@

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ALYCE R KINIKIN
2HP


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Dear Tucker, I so relate to what happened to you. Good for you, for looking at your part in your own unhappiness, that is what I learned to do in Al-Anon too because that's all we can control. You are doing great.

Reading your story, reminds me of how I had gotten myself into things (jobs especially) without communicating up front (or even knowing) what I needed to keep me happy in the partnership. This, of course, left me wide open for abuse.

When I did inventory work, (looking at my part in it,) I realized I had no boundaries in place, I didn't even know that I could... it's easy to see why such people (like me) are abused by others.

Boundaries could be defined as "my personal limits." And I had none.   I just blew about in the wind... never did any research on what I was getting myself into, just jumped right in with rose-colored glasses. I also had no idea how to communicate my needs (after I realized I had some,) all I knew was I was ANGRY and expected everyone to guess why.

Alas, none of us come with crystal balls. I do the people-pleasing thing, act like the go-along to get-along girl, and then I get mad when people take advantage, and I stew in resentment that there are such "terrible people" in the world who can't be nice.

In Al-Anon, I've learned to know my rights as a human being, and to communicate better, to be assertive without being aggressive. In a nutshell to me, being assertive means to be "for" myself but not "against" others... respectful of everyone in the misunderstanding.

Boundaries are flexible and changeable and removable. In your case, you could communicate that you have changed your mind (we have the right to change our minds) and moving forward, it will need to look like this (whatever will meet your needs as well.) If they don't like the new arrangement, they are free to take care of themselves as they must, just as you are doing.

In making amends, (after I realized what I had done wrong) I wanted to fix it right NOW, today!!! But my sponsor pointed out that the spiritual principle is not about causing harm now that I see more clearly. So I had to wait until...  long story... but, I had to wait a few months until they could find a new replacement for me, I had to be reasonable and fair realizing that I was the one who set it up like this.

Hope this helps  (((peace)))



-- Edited by 2HP on Tuesday 13th of September 2016 12:22:46 PM

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YARNCRAZY wrote:

virtual cups of tea for all \-/ \-/ and cinnamon rolls @@@


 Lovely.



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~*Service Worker*~

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What a great post to wake up to and read thru.  So many lesson memories and change memories on the subject...    I'm smiling and remembering my own journey into and thru this recovery and can hear again the words and voices from the old timers on many subjects having to do with change.  "Keep it Simple" was just one of them which included the voice of my HP.  Who ever mentioned that we can hear HP's voice is right on cause I can.

Keeping it simple for me regarding boundaries came to me inventorying and inspecting my value system...the good and bad and right and wrong of me.  I realized that following my value system was very centering ...mind, body, spirit and emotions and so I went with that and still do.  When I violate that way of doing my life I will usually get a very sharp indication that I have messed up and need to make amends.

I also was taught in early program that the program was about correcting my own life, thoughts, feelings and behaviors and I had certainly the right people in my life to lead me thru it.  They always called my attention to situations I chose to allow in my life and how I dealt with them.    Sooooo Grateful and Noooooot perfect.

Mahalo Piha for the morning meeting.    (((((hugs))))) smile



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~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks for the virtual tea Alyce! Made my day!

Great share Jerry - love the keep it simple....I practice that when I remember it - life is easier that way!

(((Hugs))) to all - and agree....what a great topic/discussion.

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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It helps a lot, 2HP. Thanks. I too want to make amends RIGHT AWAY, but realize that I need to wait and to learn some more, and practice boundaries and detachment more. I've still got a lot of angry and resentful feelings that need to somehow be worked out.

I'm also realizing that there is a time for DOING NOTHING, letting things be. This seems to be one of those times. I don't have to fix anybody or blame anybody or apologize for things that I'm not sure about. I can step back and trust that Life has a way of helping me and working things out if I keep an open mind.

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"put yourself in the place where grace can flow to you." - robert lax



~*Service Worker*~

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Let's all visit Jerry F. No invite needed. Screw boundaries. Let's all go to Hawaii. Thx.

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Can I join you for tea... and Hawaii... need to take a break :)

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~*Service Worker*~

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I'm down for a trip to Hawaii! Jerry - we're planning to head your way - will you make tea for us? When we going folks?

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

El


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WooHoo - Hawaii!

Actually, it is so cool that we can communicate from all over the globe; we have experienced so much of the same no matter where we live. 

Now, where did I pack that grass skirt......



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Hey, just let me know when... I have my US Visa, 10 years, LOL!!!
I'm really grateful to have found you guys :)

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~*Service Worker*~

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I'm excited at the idea of MIP roaming around my island and front yard...Tea yes!! and other "wet your whistles without and mind and mood altering additives.   WaaaaHoo (((hugs))) smile



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Lol. Packing my suitcase. On my way!!! Will bring English tea.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Tea in Hawaii with Jerry and MIP friends? Yayyyy! Green tea and camomile packed and waiting at departures.


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~*Service Worker*~

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Jerry does not yet know we are coming - or he's ignoring us in the hopes we won't show up on his doorstep!!!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

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