Many survivors aren’t sure how to handle people from their past.
They have fears of their abuser:
- Just showing up.
- Calling, texting, emailing …
- Trying to get to them through family and friends.
- Trying to contact their children.
They aren’t sure how to handle it if this happens.
Setting a boundary is how to deal with ANY unwanted person or situation.
A boundary isn’t:
- An ultimatum.
- Something you demand someone else do or don’t do.
- Established in the moment.
A boundary is:
- Something you do for yourself.
- Planned in advance.
When setting a boundary think:
Then I will ____________________
Visualize a boundary like a fenced yard.
If your gate is opened,
You have not set a boundary.
So, if someone enters your yard, they are not violating a boundary.
However, if your gate is closed and locked and …
And someone jumps over the fence your boundary has been violated.
Imagine someone jumps over your fence yelling belligerently at you.
What would you do?
The safe thing would be to:
- Not engage the person.
- Go into your house.
- Lock the door.
- Call the police.
Can you see the boundary is:
- If a belligerent person jumps over my fence and yells at me,
- Then I will go into the house, lock the door and call the police.
Now think of a person or situation where you want to set a boundary.
What is the boundary violation (If _____________________)
What is your plan for yourself? (Then __________________)
Notice a boundary is always about:
- Not issuing an ultimatum (so there is no need to tell anyone in advance).
- Not engaging the other person
- Taking steps to take care of you.
I have a client whose abuser was calling and texting.
She was worried her abuser would also show up at her home or her kids’ school.
- Blocked the number on her phone.
- Made sure the person was on the “cannot pick up my kids” list at school.
- Planned a time to talk to her kids about not going with this person.
- Put a plan together with her partner for if __________________, then ________________
Establishing this boundary:
- Took away her fear.
- Empowered her.
Please note you don’t have to be a survivor to set a boundary.
I know people that set boundaries for:
- Loving, well-meaning in-laws that show up unannounced to see grandkids during nap time.
- Going out with friends that get drunk and turn nasty.
- Co-workers that are overstepping at work.
If you would like help setting boundaries, just click: Schedule My Consultation With Cindy
I will help you!