Chapter Five

Chapter by chapter discussion of the book Boundaries.
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Seekryt
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Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:00 pm

:)
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:15 am

This one is about the ten laws of boundaries. It will be a long chat.
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“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:41 pm

I've been finding it a little hard to absorb this one. It's like I can absorb a certain amount, and then my brain gets kinda full. Anyone else? :oops:

I'm considering that perhaps I need to continue to read it on the treadmill, (which is what I've been doing) but then read through it again later and take notes so that I can process it.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:02 pm

What's not to understand about sowing and reaping?
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:57 pm

Leah in Mid-South wrote:What's not to understand about sowing and reaping?


Point taken :D

I think, as they point out, I'm so used to seeing it interrupted that I have a hard time intuitively seeing what the results are supposed to be.

For instance, when I would shield DH from a consequences, and instead received it on myself, the result of sowing what I THOUGHT was kindness and love was pain and anger and humiliation.

Also, when I do NOT step in, and enforce my boundaries instead, the result can still be anger, pain and humiliation. Even if he takes the consequences, it often leads to BOTH of us bearing it, because we're a family. KWIM?

I know I'll get this eventually, as I practice healthy living, but I still have to put a lot of effort into it. Sometimes I feel like my brain is a very salty pretzel.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:00 pm

That's really part of it, Seek. If there is blowback from a wrong action or decision, it might well be on both spouses. But think about it: Before it was just on you. At least you're only getting half the ::xx . Sure, there will be anger and disappointment, but when I act within my boundaries, I'm processing a lot better, and I don't act out in a way to pile on the pain.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:35 pm

Hmm, I guess we should go a little more in-depth here.

The chapter opens with an example of an alien trying to figure out Earth rules. The point is that someone with few or no boundaries enters adult life with little understanding of how the world works.

This is almost me - my FOO essentially taught me a warped version of boundaries. x is ok, y is not, and there's no reason for that, that's just the way it is. Some things we're really strict about, but then we stop being strict, and you can do whatever you want, and we'll just pile on the guilt or ignore what you're doing. Any kind of pushback against the rules would either result in a major-freak out, or complete collapse, and it was impossible to tell which you'd get. Rules were subject to change without notice.

That's something I'm trying to avoid in my own little family, that's for sure.

So, the first law is Sowing and Reaping, or cause and effect.

Wow, interrrupted consequences just about defines my whole relationship with DH up to this point, with me being the interruptor. It's certainly taken place in the rest of my life too - I'm always been the "rescuer". Um, whooops. :oops:

Hi, my name is Seek, and I'm a chronic enabler.

What I've found interesting is that it doesn't matter if I interrupt the consequences or not - the response has traditionally been bitterness from DH. He's not here to share his side of it, but in a nutshell - he's been so shielded from consequences that he never expected there would be any, but he's also ticked if the consequences he expects don't happen. Interesting, huh?

So, what's a girl to do? Well, I'm going to go with the Bible on this one. I'm actively trying to stop shielding people from consequences, but it's HARD. My instinct says to step in and help, and it's hard to figure out sometimes if I'm helping or hindering. I have to be very deliberate about it, and sometimes I just get tired of it. :oops:

Sometimes, I've been quite confrontational about it, and sometimes I've just been blunt. Neither one seems to work all that well, and I end up just being ham-fisted about it. I'm learning, I hope.

Also interesting - we are becoming more receptive to respecting each other's boundaries as well as our own. The other night, I quietly enforced a boundary, and DH's response was to quietly accept it instead of pushing back. That's a good sign, right?

Anyone else struggling to keep from enabling, and trying to figure out the line?
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:13 pm

Seekryt wrote:Also interesting - we are becoming more receptive to respecting each other's boundaries as well as our own. The other night, I quietly enforced a boundary, and DH's response was to quietly accept it instead of pushing back. That's a good sign, right?


Yes. It's a very good sign.

Anyone else struggling to keep from enabling, and trying to figure out the line?


At times, yes. My job is all about enabling. But it also helps me see what was "our" fault and what wasn't. It's not so much of a leap to look at my real-life situations and see the same thing.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:57 pm

I was thinking more about enabling today.

I realized that even when I was gathered with those ladies, I was struggling not to enable them. They kept asking me questions, (I have NO idea why they think I'm some sort of "expert" on boundaries) or telling stories about their situations, and I was struggling to validate them and acknowledge their feelings without jumping all over them with advice.

:roll:
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:00 pm

Seekryt, the best thing about having boundaries is now I have freedom not to have all the answers. ::praise
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Seekryt » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:27 pm

Thi is so frustrating. I had all these notes, and I lost them.

OK, Law 2 - The Law of Responsibility

I'll just touch on this phrase, and then go regroup and work up another set of notes.

I love this line:

Anytime you are not loving others, you are not taking full responsibility for yourself; you have disowned your heart.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby ukFred » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:13 am

Seekryt wrote:This is almost me - my FOO essentially taught me a warped version of boundaries. x is ok, y is not, and there's no reason for that, that's just the way it is. Some things we're really strict about, but then we stop being strict, and you can do whatever you want, and we'll just pile on the guilt or ignore what you're doing. Any kind of pushback against the rules would either result in a major-freak out, or complete collapse, and it was impossible to tell which you'd get. Rules were subject to change without notice.


Join the club. My parents were nominally Christian and were never able to put a reason on any of the rules they wanted me to comply with. They also did not understand the concept of progressively giving more freedom with age and ability to understand one's own boundaries. Result for them, I went to University and failed big style.

Seekryt wrote:So, the first law is Sowing and Reaping, or cause and effect.

Wow, interrrupted consequences just about defines my whole relationship with DH up to this point, with me being the interruptor. It's certainly taken place in the rest of my life too - I'm always been the "rescuer". Um, whooops. :oops:

Hi, my name is Seek, and I'm a chronic enabler.


Rats! You're just what I've always wanted and you're not available! LOL.

Looking back, my mum was the eldest and was concieved out of wedlock (1920's) and she was made to feel by her father, my grandfather, that she was a mistake. This gave her very low self-esteem and she was always doing for my father and for me. I suffered from a chronic enabler as a parent when I became an adult. Had she insisted that I develop appropriate boundaries when I was a child then I might have learned the law oi sowing and reaping.

Seekryt wrote:Also interesting - we are becoming more receptive to respecting each other's boundaries as well as our own. The other night, I quietly enforced a boundary, and DH's response was to quietly accept it instead of pushing back. That's a good sign, right?


In my case, the failure to learn boundaries as a child was affected by other laws too. I was expected to do (and be) what my father wanted me to do and be and he applied guilt as a weapon to ensure that I complied with his wishes and that had implications for the Laws of Respect and Motivation(4 and 5). I can fullt identify with every entry on the list on pages 93 & 94. I was in my late teens when I started to date a girl who went to a different denominational church from the one my parents had by this time stopped going to. I was faced with the alternative of changing my gf or changing my address. i chose the latter and was not able to cope with life on my own. I decided that I would rather be free to make my own mistakes than be imprisoned in the mistakes my parents (and their parents before them) had made. I did at least learn about the law of evaluation (#6). I am still learning about Proactivity, and this is one reason why I have allowed DW to know my user name on these boards. I am still trying to work out where i am on Envy (#8), but the lack of boundaries has meant that my activity has not been as effective as it ought to have been (#9).

I am looking forward to developing the Law of Exposure (#10) with DW and the children before we 'go public' with outsiders, because I have a lot to learm in this area. If small unidentified male body parts land on your lawn, and I have stopped posting, you might be able to give CSI a hint.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:40 am

I recently attended a simulcast of a Boundaries conference. The Law of Exposure was the one that stood out to me this time. My tendency is to isolate myself from others. I have very few friends, so this is a huge challenge for me. The Law of Exposure says that boundaries must be tested in the light of relationship. These things don't happen in a vacuum.
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“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Chapter Five

Postby ukFred » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:03 pm

Leah in Mid-South wrote:I recently attended a simulcast of a Boundaries conference. The Law of Exposure was the one that stood out to me this time. My tendency is to isolate myself from others. I have very few friends, so this is a huge challenge for me. The Law of Exposure says that boundaries must be tested in the light of relationship. These things don't happen in a vacuum.


I find this interesting.

I once had a psychometric assessment for a job that said that I did not make friends very easily, and that I saw a clear distinction between friends and acquaintances. On reflection, this is part of me. I think that I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of friends that I have, and I know that I can rely on them with and for my life. I suppose that the people I call friends are people that I love (phileo not eros) and that I know love me. My acquaintances might call themselves friends but how far would they move from their chosen paths to help me or anyone else? I don't want to put it to the test. That is why I am private with IRL acquaintances. they see only the parts i want them to see.
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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:26 pm

That's a good evaluation, ukFred. Before I read Boundaries and started putting the principles into practice, I had a hard time making friends, too. Somehow, Cloud and Townsend helped me work to overcome the fear I had about relationships taking me over and being hurtful. As I have experienced growth and maturity, I'm learning how to have healthy relationships. It's not something that came naturally at first, but I'm growing to find it more natural.

There are healthy people in the world. The more of them I get to know, the more examples I have. It becomes easier for me to apply boundary principles when I see them in action.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Ballad » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:10 am

Hi everybody. I know I haven't been on for a while; it turned out there were a lot of other things I needed to work through in my life besides the refusal issues that first got me posting on TMB. While this forum is very supportive and I'm grateful for you folks, I just didn't want to try to process everything non-sexual here, as well. So I have been off learning more about myself but think I might be ready to share some of that now...

There was a huge reality check the first time I attempted to use the law of exposure.

If I remember right, I had just read chapter 5, so it was before I had a full picture of Cloud and Townsend's method, but I thought I knew enough to give it a try. There was something relatively minor in my marriage that I nevertheless felt myself becoming increasingly resentful about. I framed a boundary I could employ in the situation, and at the next appropriate occasion, I clumsily informed my wife of my intentions.

The hostility of her reaction was unprecedented--and far outside the scope of the issue. We had several major arguments, where she said she felt I was trying to use these boundaries "against" her--also, that she might have been more receptive if I had posed the concern for discussion and we had aimed for a compromise. Instead, she said, I had made this unilateral decision and she had no say in the matter. I was thinking, "Well, that's kind of the point," but I couldn't explain very well. I couldn't convey why I was convinced better boundaries would ultimately be good for both of us. And we both wound up hurt.

She hasn't yet agreed to read the book and find out for herself what I was talking about.

I was genuinely interested in studying Boundaries as an aid to personal growth, not just to "fix" my marriage or whatever (i.e., make it more like I wanted it to be). And somewhat skeptically, my wife has acknowledged that my more proactive attitude toward some things has been good for me. But some aspects of our relationship also still need to be addressed, yet I'm now wary of how explosive boundary work can be, and have been less quick to "expose" mine. There seemed to be a risk of a two-can-play-this-game stalemate that would have been very damaging.

So I'm wondering, is there any way to mitigate this sort of backlash? Or does it just go with the territory? And if I decide that nothing is worth risking that kind of altercation, can I keep growing within my marriage anyway?
And what is the future, happy one?
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A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
Stretching into infinity.’

--Emily Brontë

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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Leah » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:51 am

That's a good question. I never talked to Jake about boundaries. Never. I would just start working within my boundary. When questioned, I would say, "The old way doesn't work for me. From now on, if you need a chore done, please let me know by 8."

When minimized, I would say, "Please stop trying to define me according to your terms. This is my story, and I'm telling it."

And that's about how these conversations went. I do not do a long explanation with a lot of apologies. I just calmy, reasonably, and briefly state the case and take questions at the end.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Ballad » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:55 pm

Hmm... there is definitely wisdom in that.
And what is the future, happy one?
'A sea beneath a cloudless sun;
A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
Stretching into infinity.’

--Emily Brontë

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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Searcher » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:58 am

Leah in Mid-South wrote:That's a good question. I never talked to Jake about boundaries. Never. I would just start working within my boundary. When questioned, I would say, "The old way doesn't work for me. From now on, if you need a chore done, please let me know by 8."

When minimized, I would say, "Please stop trying to define me according to your terms. This is my story, and I'm telling it."

And that's about how these conversations went. I do not do a long explanation with a lot of apologies. I just calmy, reasonably, and briefly state the case and take questions at the end.


I am finding that this is working well for me, and you know what, its easier!

I used to think that I had to give long explanations and a huge list of what needs to happen. I thought the more information given then the easier it would be to get them on my side or at least trying to cooperate. All it did was drain a large amount of my mental and emotional energy and give them plenty to argue over.

I still feel compelled to give too much information. However I honestly don't have time, and people don't want to listen for that long. They have things they want to say, too. So out of the pressure of these two aspects, and a lack in my ability to organize thoughts well in spoken conversation, things have been coming out short and to the point. I have become more direct out of necessity rather than desire.

I have found that it is not as painful for everyone involved. I am respected more easily (although not as much as I want to be, yet). Also people understand small, direct statements more easily than an overload of thoughts and explanations.

It is still hard because I want to unload everything. I want everyone to understand everything. The reality of it is that this just does not work very well in most situations.

One help that I have in re-training me for this is my pastor. He is a huge Boundaries fan. He is also very busy and very direct. I find that when we are having conversations, he will cut me off, help me get to the point, validate what I'm saying, and then help me think through it. His way of getting to the point and not allowing the details to take away from the main point has been very good for me.

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Re: Chapter Five

Postby Ballad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:22 pm

Searcher wrote:It is still hard because I want to unload everything. I want everyone to understand everything.

Exactly! Because if people hear the whole line of reasoning, they will realize how much sense it makes and won't possibly be able to refute it. :D

As you might guess, I very much sympathize on this one.

It seems like there is some sort of consistency here... in some cases, making boundaries explicit is beneficial (to both people), but in others, it only presents a target. And deep down inside, you know which one it's going to be. I tried the book's recommendation against my instincts--after all, this process is about leaving the familiar patterns behind--yet the result was not good overall. To use Leah's measure, in large part it didn't feel like more freedom.

I've just re-read this section to refresh my memory, and this paragraph (p. 103) gave me a big Yabut:

Because of these fears, we try to have secret boundaries. We withdraw passively and quietly, instead of communicating an honest no to someone we love. We secretly resent instead of telling someone that we are angry about how they have hurt us. Often, we will privately endure the pain of someone's irresponsibility instead of telling them how their behavior affects us and other loved ones, information that would be helpful to their soul.

Yeah, but...

What if there is no buy-in to this notion at all? What if standing up to someone loses respect, rather than gaining it? What if your own needs and priorities are so far off the other person's radar, that they can't even recognize boundaries as an attempt to define oneself, and instead prefer to interpret them as an invasion of their concept of the world?

Is it, perhaps, that in some situations, exposing the boundary focuses the other party's attention on territory that still needs to be controlled?
And what is the future, happy one?
'A sea beneath a cloudless sun;
A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
Stretching into infinity.’

--Emily Brontë


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