Mourning the Loss of Personal Boundaries


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Without a doubt, the worst violation of boundaries is when a person becomes the victim of physical violence or sexual abuse.

The immediate physical harm is eclipsed only by the long-term social and psychological effects this kind of atrocity causes:
Nightmares, anxiety, loss of trust, skewed self-image, skewed perception of the world, loss of hope and self-worth, endless search for acceptance, eternal vigilance.

Simply put: boundaries become too rigid, or too permeable; too thick or too thin for a victim.

Strong personal boundaries are essential for individual wellbeing.

There must be balance between:
Independence/Dependence
Assertiveness/Compliance
Private life/Public life
Acceptance/Denial
Self-critique/Self-assurance
Gratification/Disappointment

There can be so many factors that contribute to poor boundary setting. Being abused is a horrible, very specific example.

Basically, a lack of trust in people to be helpful in meeting needs (altruism), plus a false perception of ones’ worth and abilities as an individual, add up to poor boundary setting. This can show in many ways:

I’ll never be good enough so I might as well quit/not try…
No one cares for me/listens to me
or Everyone’s out to get me…
He/She is just gonna use me, so I might as well get what I can get…

It can be described by words like manipulative, closed-off, distant, people-pleaser, door mat, untrusting, quitter, slacker, socially awkward, or sexually promiscuous.

I mourn for those who feel they must manipulate, work for approval, be someone other than who God made them to be, or separate from relationships. But here is the challenge:

Can I pray for people who lack meaningful relationships due to low boundaries? And can I be genuine with people, modeling the kind of balance that brings happiness within positive relationships?

I hope I can- can you?

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