When installing a functioning adult, I often ask my client if they can think of a time where they have set a healthy boundary; whether with a partner, child, friend or maybe a work colleague, boss or someone random.
A boundary that includes my client asking for space, time, saying no or not participating. A boundary that is void of selfless acts, in which my client gives too much of themselves regardless of his or her own needs; or self-centred behaviour, in which my client is unable to feel for, care about or hear another.
I am asking my client to describe a situation of self-concern, in which they have been available to listen, aid, empathise or just be present with another, for another, but not at the expense of themselves.
For us that have suffered adverse childhood experiences (trauma), whether it be physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect, boundaries are an unknown entity, as they have not been presented by the abuser/s thus we have not been shown how to implement them, in addition, had ours breached, distorting the idea that they need to exist throughout the relationships we have with others and importantly self; what you will allow others’ to do too and for you and what you will do too and for others respectively.