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SITE : 12 Signs You Lack Boundaries
People who were brought up in a relatively healthy home have what’s called a ‘cohesive or integrated self’, based on consistent, good-enough parenting. They got enough of their needs met early on, which gave them a strong psychological foundation in the form of the internalized Good Introject.
Thrivers have good personal boundaries (Bs) that are self-protective, but which also allow them to be sensitive to the needs of others, making them open to giving & receiving nurture in relationships.
(READ excerpts from: “The Reciprocating Self…“
Healthy Bs can be illustrated as a circle of our personal space – that has gaps, so we’re not walled in – but with a door at each opening, which WE are in control of.
In contrast to Thrivers
• Since boundaries are not inborn, the way we were raised determines the state of our self-protective mechanism as adults. Weak Bs, also called diffuse, are a common result of a traumatic, chaotic childhood – when parents treated us as property, or an extension of themselves, or annoying pest to be swatted away.
PINK – Walls: One unhealthy option is to keep all interpersonal door shut tight, keeping everyone out, so we’re always PMES starving
BLUE – no Bs : we have those same gaps in our personal space BUT without any doors, so the openings indiscriminately let in useful, neutral or damaging info & experiences. EXP: We’re available to absorb :
a. inaccurate, deliberately distorted or outright harmful information
b. the negative, poisonous energy of constant complainers, accusers, blamers, insulters…..
WHICH makes it easy for others to get under our skin or stomp on us!
REVIEW : The family symbiosis shows up as members who ‘understand’, accommodate & over-tolerate bad behavior (spouse – of the drinker / rager… children – of sick, abusive parents….), making them increasingly dependent on each other at the expense of outside relationships.
Many of our parents were over-controlling, sexually abusive, neglectful or attacking, using us as a substitute spouse or substitute parent (role reversal)…, while they disowned or tried to crush the Real us!
Whether totally oblivious, OR too involved in our lives in wrong ways, never leaving us alone — it was extremely hard for us to define who we are.
In some cases the symbiotic connection takes a twisted form of empathy, so that members ‘feel’ each others’ thoughts & emotions, wishes & needs – especially their suffering.
This kind of empathy is engulfing & strangling, which prevents the children from having their own separate thoughts & emotions, AND from getting the comfort, understanding & help they need to develop normally. It stifles personal growth & independence, insuring that outsiders are excluded from having meaningful relationships with anyone within the family.
Wounded ACoAs end up with :
i. a ‘vulnerable self’ with weak boundaries. These are easily hurt by people, places & things (PPT), but without adequate self-protection. Being more subtly needy, we actively connect with exciting narcissistic friends & mates, still looking for love in all the wrong places like the Toxic Introject.
More severely damaged ACoAs have:
ii. a ‘fractured self’, having been subjected to such severely bad parenting that they have almost no internal resources (no strength, resilience, esteem, empowerment, hope…), who are also without Bs, truly fragile – so desperate that they cling, whine, complain, ‘suffer’… OR may compensate by being demanding, controlling, rageful & cruel….but with fragile egos.
•The Co-dependent triangle : When in the Victim Role our weak Bs are more obvious – so when anyone disrespects an important boundary of ours (often that they’re not aware of) we feel discounted, hurt, oppressed, ignored, abused, taken advantage of.
The Victim’s slogan is “Poor me!”, yet we perpetuate it by staying with emotionally unavailable Persecutors OR co-dep Rescuers, trying to get the love & attention we desperately need but don’t feel we deserve.
HOWEVER, we can also turn into Perpetrators by imposing ourselves on others! & then become rageful when too frustrated with anyone who’s not capable of satisfying our demands.
NEXT: Weak Bs (Part 2) – Characteristics