Dignity and Boundaries.

Through reading others’ blogs and writing my own, I’ve come to the conclusion that my worries of being looked down on was mostly from me looking down on myself.  I believe some other people might take advantage of that, like chickens who peck on another chicken they see bleeding, but for the most part I’m thinking maybe some others would be willing to give me a chance if I can just come across confident enough.

I’m going to use the word dignity in this post, although I’m aware that what I call dignity is what normal people call, well, normal.  It’s really just expecting that their basic value as a person by others is a given.  They may be used to the idea that they are to be treated in a respectful fashion, to be heard when they speak, and have the sense they belong in the space where they are without apologies (like at work, church, grocery store, the normal stuff).

I call it dignity because that’s the word that wants to be used.  It’s actually just basic decency, and I find that as an adult I have developed habits where I don’t afford myself the decency that others move in.

Here’s the thing, and this is the main point of the post – I’ve been aware for so long that others may not afford me dignity and respect boundaries that I didn’t consider that I don’t afford myself dignity and respect my own boundaries.

That was another revelation to me among others of late.  I have been so concerned with how others perceive me that I didn’t stop to see how I perceive myself.  I took the nervous girl I was who was constantly looking over her shoulder, feeling like her presence in any place was intrusive, constantly feeling tense and that I should be apologizing for my showing up, and I made her my adult self as well.  It hit me – I don’t have to apologize anymore.  This is my house, this is my body and soul, this is my life and I’m the only one who ends up living out the consequences for the choices I make, not my parents and siblings, or any given random acquaintance.

Here’s the things I do, and they are now finally seeming strange to me:

I walk quietly in my own house, walking on the balls of my feet instead of my heels.  This is because when I was young I wanted to stay under my mother’s radar and I moved quietly to hide in my room.  Ever since I’ve always moved with a nervous sense of “I’m not here”.

I talk very quietly even when feeling chatty and it’s so ingrained that people sometimes don’t hear me even though I thought I had lifted my voice a little.  That’s also part of a “I’m sorry I’m here” feeling, that’s akin to the “I’m not here” feeling for the times I don’t feel a need to completely be hidden or when forced to interact.  I’m going to work on that.  I think I’ll be more selective with intentionally speaking only as much as I wish to and, when I do, I’ll try being clear when I say it.  This one is going to be hard but will truly aid my confidence.

I don’t look at others well when I’m speaking with them.  I’m looking away more than a confident person would.  It’s also part of the wanting to be hidden/apologizing for being here thing.  I want to gain the sense of presence enough that I’m looking at the person I’m speaking to because I’ve suitably forgotten myself and am interested in taking in the other person and showing interest in what they’re saying.

I have come to understand of late that my ability to correct all of the above habits may not come from me concentrating on each but rather it will come from becoming more peaceful within myself.  I think as I continue learning ways to feel more peace then I’ll become more deliberate in all things I do.  They’ll increasingly be only the things I want to do, and in the manner in which feels good to do them.

It turns out others didn’t need to respect my boundaries as much as I needed to respect them myself. pink-tulips-1215059

 

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12 thoughts on “Dignity and Boundaries.

  1. I left a comment yesterday but I dont see it, perhaps something went wrong. Or its that I changed my email address and the comment is waiting to be approved by you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no, that’s terrible! How frustrating for you, and I would have loved to have received it.

      I did notice that your comments lately almost always ask for my approval, although your comments today haven’t. So I guess if you’re not logged in first then you lose your comment when you’re prompted to do so? That’s a good note to myself in case I ever do that.

      I hope you try again but I totally understand if you don’t want to at this point. 🙂

      Like

  2. Ok Im back again lol. Im logged in and things look different so maybe a change in the format was made. I was saying that you must have been so awfully abused my your narc mother to find yourself tiptoeing around your own home all these years later. You have to have a real respect for yourself and you should. I can tell by the words that you write that you are this awesome person and we scapegoats are the true survivors to be around telling out stories when we didnt have the same advantages that most other people did. I want to tell you about a narc bf I once had. He was a landlord too and he was not only collecting rent from his tenants but stealing their cash from them too and then blaming it on another tenant who happened to be nearby when it happened. And the stolen from tenant believed him because he fully trusted him. Thats what really bad narcs do, they gain full trust(which I dont think you should ever really give to any one person), and then take advantage of it. This landlord would also run his tenants out of his home so they would leave behind their belongings for him and then he would tell his parents that his tenants just left stuff there and they believed that even though they knew there was evil in their son. This same bf would call me confrontational when I would speak up to him about his wrong doings. So therefore you see, the problem wasnt his, it was mine for letting him know what he was doing was wrong. The narcs sin twice if you ask me. The first original sin and then they sin again to get away with it. He had been abusing me and I called the police on him when my eyes were blackened and he told me to cancel the call saying, “You dont do that.” So I cancelled it and they never came when they are in fact supposed to. A month later he put a scratch on his face and called the police on me and one of the two police believed him and the other believed me that I didnt do it. I ended up being removed but didnt go to jail thank God. So he was really the abuser but tried to make me look like the abusive one in the end. He might have been a psychopath. No less than a sociopath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you got that comment in!
      Wow, your boyfriend was a piece of work. Yeah, the police were supposed to come anyway, like when I had cancelled a call to 911 many years ago on an abusive boyfriend but the dispatcher said the police were coming anyway, which they did. That’s sad that they didn’t.

      All the things you said he did puts to my mind how the Bible says there are those of the darkness and they are very happy there. They dress themselves in evil deeds and LOVE it, never coming to repentance. It’s sad that we as scapegoats felt an obligation to look past their ‘shortcomings’ like we were doing something selfish if we broke up with them and not keep giving them more chances. Normal people would’ve ran like the dickens if they had met these same guys.

      What a shame that we were raised to find cruelty normal and that we felt we were asking too much if we wanted a good and kind man.

      That’s why I’m committed to learning to be happy and love myself this year, no matter what it takes. Only through that will I be healed enough to properly gauge if I want to bring anyone knew in my life. You seem on that track as well. I love hearing of your views on things as you go through deliberate changes in your life.

      Love to your puppy and cat! Pets make a happy home. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I learn so much from you Prarie Girl. I really like that committed to loving and being happy with yourself no matter what. That sounds like a good idea for me as well. I was always somewhat picked on in life but it got really bad after my divorce and met men from the online world. I wouldn’t recommend it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha. Yeah, I ventured there a little myself because I live rural and needed to reach out into nearby cities, etc. It eventually dawned on me that there’s a reason these guys online find they have better chances for a date if they don’t present themselves to women physically right off the bat where the women can pick up their weird/bitter/creepy vibes off of them and immediately reject them. lol I wouldn’t recommend it either.

          I pray and trust that the right man will come along when I’m ready and out just doing the things I like doing anyway. Other people have had success with it but I think I’d just prefer the more natural way for myself.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Im so glad to hear you say that. The online world usually is bad, I say usually because some people do meet good partners there. You know, I met my former husband of 17 years and he was good on a telephone dating service that had pre-recorded messages(This was before the internet). So I guess I was lucky because he wasnt a bad guy. But Im at the point in life at 51 where my luck HAS to improve so Im going to do the in-person technique myself. Churches often have singles groups and thats what Ive been doing to try and meet someone. I figure a man who believes in and respects God is a good place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, for a man to be a Christian is non-negotiable for me but there’s no better pickings at the churches around here.. lol
      I’m sure you will meet someone there! If not in your church itself then maybe even by someone from your church who knows someone going to another church. All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Progress right now means I get to feel more sad because I’m learning how to be more happy. lol I’ve had a stretch of 3 days so far being flooded with terrible memories, but I think this is part of learning to be happier in the long run. Blessings to you.

      Like

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