I keep a casual eye on my horoscope just for the entertainment value, but even I can’t help but notice how the latest trend seems to be underscoring my own independent observation that there is a very strong need for boundaries in my life right now.
Not just with other people, but with myself as well.
It’s quite typical for children who suffered sexual abuse to have poor boundary setting skills, and my textbook example of this behavior would lead me through a turbulent adolescence where everything seemed to happen “to” me. I could easily play off the victim, but the fact is I refused to set standards in how I was treated by other people.
I figured I was lucky enough to have a friend, even when they would betray me, or a lover, even when they would use me.
I didn’t think I had enough value to stand up for myself and say when something done to me was wrong.
This is especially true in how I treat myself.
To this day I refuse to set boundaries that would remove me from the victim stage over to the victor stage. I victimize myself so that I can be protected from my abusers, rather than just stand up to the abusers.
Aside from a few scant examples, I’ve allowed myself to be used and abused by most of the people in my life. Including my family.
I have to take responsibility for that. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, mind you… but what Dr. Phil has said remains a very true, very painful echo in my ear. “You teach people how to treat you.”
And if I refuse to set boundaries in how I treat myself, ultimately abusing myself, how in the world am I going to attract those who will respect me?
Therefore I think the first step is to set these boundaries with myself. I’m raising the standard in my own behavior so that I will begin to attract those who can appreciate that strength, rather than those who would exploit the weaknesses.
In doing so, the old users will ultimately shake themselves free. They’ll no longer get what they want because I’ll no longer allow them to take it.
Like a ripple in the stream, boundaries start at one and move outward.