I think Brittany makes an important point about boundaries in the post below. Most commonly when we talk about setting boundaries we talk about what we won’t accept from other people. That’s important, but it’s also important and healthy to consider how we protect ourselves.
Turns out, we’re all a lot more complicated. If you read the rest of the article, what you’ll see is that none of this is simple, not only is there the line between wanted and unwanted affection, there’s also a point where we’ve simply had enough and don’t want more, and that line is not going to be the same for everyone.
All of this leads me to believe that the best way to navigate this in romantic relationships, or just with family and friends, is to communicate openly about what we want and don’t want.
Believe it or not, abuse survivors, you can do that. You can create your own boundaries, and ask for what you want in any relationship. It just takes some time to learn how.
There is some good advice in the article about how to create, and maintain, healthy boundaries with a variety of toxic parent “types”, but I will always fall back on one fact of life as a survivor of childhood abuse, we came out of childhood with no idea of what a boundary is, let alone why we would create one. We were never given the opportunity to learn or practice this skill.
It’s OK if it takes us a minute to figure it out before we get it right.
The other thing to keep in mind is that no one else is going to set the boundaries for you that you need. They will set the boundaries that they want for you. That includes family, friends, and employers. They won’t know the limits of your mental health, and they may not even care about them. Some will, but you still need to draw them yourself and then communicate them.
And, maybe. most of all, allow everyone to set their boundaries and respect them. Maybe we could all get some improved mental health if we all understood that a little bit better.