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boundaries begin with me

June 1, 2012

… so maybe this is a place where ‘more reading’ isn’t going to help. I am starting to notice places where there should be a boundary, but (so far) I’m not defending it.

Things I Should Have Said (But Chickened Out Because What If This Stranger Thinks I’m Weird). Guy repairing our air conditioner says it wasn’t working because pollen clogged the coils. I offer that I’ve read that global warming is causing pollen to be stronger and more numerous than it used to be. He says he doesn’t think trees should be allowed anywhere near airconditioners, so he’s glad the apartment complex has ‘seen the light’ and are cutting down trees and bushes that are ‘too near’ … I’m not even sure what they’re too near, as all of our AC units are indoors.

He motions to the maple trees beyond our balcony (that I consider my friends), saying they are especially bad for pollen. I do know that — I have seasonal allergies. But I love them anyway. (How can you not like trees? To me, that’s like saying you hate kittens and rainbows – unthinkable.)

Then he asks if we have ‘much trouble’ with bees on our balcony. I say, No, but I do see wasps occasionally. I hastily add, But they don’t bother me. Which they don’t, and I am learning to not freak out when I see them. He makes it clear he doesn’t like bees or wasps. (He doesn’t like bees either? How about butterflies? I suppose flowers are right out.)

Things I Habitually Do That Disrespect or Punish Myself. Like, I know my size 12 jeans are too small. If I really want to just stop wearing jeans at all, fine. But then, stop wearing them! Or else get new ones that fit.

Yesterday, I did get a garbage bag and started filling it with stuff in my studio that I don’t want but couldn’t bring myself to throw away before.

Apologizing For Stuff That Doesn’t Need Apologies, even after I tell myself not to do it. Did it just yesterday, when someone couldn’t remember how to spell my last name. She apologized to me for not remembering!! (And then I apologized to her, for it being ‘hard to spell’, and she told me I shouldn’t apologize.) What she doesn’t know is that people in my family of origin, despite having 20 years to learn how to spell my ‘new’ names, have not bothered to make sure they’re doing it correctly. On a good day, I tell myself that my names aren’t any harder to spell than millions of other names. And I have a right to be called what I want to be called.

I feel like there’s more inside that wants to come out and be written, but I haven’t succeeded in coaxing it to make itself known to me.

Off to bed.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sixwing permalink
    June 1, 2012 12:23

    I am starting to notice places where there should be a boundary, but (so far) I’m not defending it.

    Yes yesyesyes, this was the first step for me. (Well actually, the first step for me was noticing a place I felt impinged upon where a boundary should be, and bewailing it to the skies.)

    I find it difficult to enforce a boundary firmly but politely; the conditioning that says “polite is submission, polite is doing what you’re told” is so hard to break. And being firm, in that framework, is never polite.

    … I think I have to take this to my own blog so as not to get all ME ME ME in your comments. Too late?

    But I think you are on the right path, and hooray for that.

    • June 1, 2012 13:31

      This boundary stuff seems to be 1 step forward, 3 steps back.

      I’m getting better at not needing affirmation that something I wrote resonated for someone, but I do enjoy hearing it!

      • Sixwing permalink
        June 1, 2012 17:29

        It certainly does seem to be a difficult thing to learn; I can only imagine it’s easier early in life, or that more kids are going through this difficulty than I can easily imagine.

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