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  • 1 Post By IronMamma
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  #1  
April 18th, 2013, 04:15 PM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
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I am a huge boundaries person. I was raised very much without them - I was consistently taught to ignore my personal feelings of violation and comfort, because they were "wrong" some how. Ex: For as long as I can remember I was always very uncomfortable with anyone being in the bathroom with me, or if I was dressing. Whenever I expressed this, my mom would say it was ok because we were both girls. Growing up it was considered funny to "de-pants" someone in front of everybody. Her idea of a fun joke is to chase a child with spiderwebs if they're afraid of spiders, or chase my dog with the hose even though she's terrified of it, to annoy or frighten the cat knowing it will make him aggressive, to spray it with a water bottle for no reason, etc. Even to this day she is constantly violating my clearly stated boundaries, which is a huge point of conflict between us. I have gone as far as slapping her hands away from me because I can politely ask her, and then firmly tell her, not to touch me and she does it anyway. After 20 years of my protests she will still walk into the bathroom and insist that it is ok because she's not looking, or because we're both women, or because she's closing her eyes. She does not comprehend that that isn't the point - I just want to be respected and feel safe! She cannot comprehend boundaries or personal space.

I've only really developed a sense of my right to boundaries in the past year or so, and I'm still very insecure in them. It has taken so much work to get this far. I spent so much of my life not knowing what was ok for other people to do, and that was a source for a lot of pain for me. One thing I absolutely do not want is for my mom to come and wreak this emotional havoc on my child as well. She is huge about holding, hugging, tickling, kissing (really anything), children even if they don't want her to. If they protest she just does it more; she thinks its funny. She does not know how damaging it is to teach a child that what they are comfortable with isn't important, and to be taught not to trust their own perceptions.

It isn't just a matter of emotional health to me. It's about physical safety too. Having been a victim of sexual abuse, I think every child needs to know how incredibly important their comfort is. I want my child to know that she has an undeniable right to say no, I don't like that, and to show her that she should be respected in that. Even if it is just a hug, if she doesn't want it, I want her to know she can say so. I know that the biggest obstacle to this is going to be my mom. Anytime I try to explain it to her, to help her understand, she takes it as a personal attack and heaps emotional blackmail on my head. It becomes, "It doesn't bother them." and, "I'm just having fun." and, "You're too sensitive." and, "You sure hate me don't you?" (her last ditch response to anything I try to talk to her about). Being nice does not work, being firm does not work, being outright mean does not work. Nothing has ever gotten through to her.

Have any of you encountered someone who just did not respect boundaries (yours or your kids)? Have you ever found anything to help them understand?
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  #2  
April 18th, 2013, 06:32 PM
IronMamma's Avatar Intactivist
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First of all, I am SO sorry you have been a victim of such abuse. NO ONE deserves that. I think what you want to teach your baby is exactly right. She CAN say no, and she should not feel bad to say so. I have also gotten the "You are too sensitive" remark too. Drives me insane! My MIL has said that to me numerous times and so has DH on occasion. I am also a victim of abuse, not sexual though. Mental, Emotionally and Physically. If I was you I would stop talking to your Mom about it. My Mom and I do not have a close bond for this reason. I feel like I cannot tell her anything and when I do if she does not agree with the I leave feeling like I did or said something wrong.

I also am very un-comfortable if anyone is in the room while I am un-dressing, even to this day. I am so insecure. I feel like that is a feeling I will never get rid of.

I have come into contact with people who do not respect my boundaries, but the older I get and the more people I come into contact with the more I realize I feel that they are not "disrespecting" my boundaries, mine are just different from theirs so they do not think they are doing anything wrong. Example: I cannot stand when people come close to me when they talk, not DH or Drake, but like a random stranger in the store when they are talking to you and they feel the need to be like IN you. Drives me insane. I do not say anything because I do not want to come off as rude, so I just make a face. Not that THAT is any better though.

I have not run into any situation with Drake, and I am not looking forward to that first time because I am very blunt when it comes to my son.
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  #3  
April 18th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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I'm a lurker, and not a parent, but wow.your post speaks such volumes to me. My mother does the same type of stuff, although not being in the bathroom with me, which is outrageous, BTW. But the being disrespectful of personal space and desires for my body are so relate able to me.

My biggest pet peeve with my mother relates to swimming. She has a pool and did this to all of her own children and now her grandchildren. No matter how they protest and scream she insists on plunging them in the pool and terrifying them until they fear they are going to drown and they start to swim out of necessity. Then she says "There, see? Isn't that fun?" I remember once I was screaming when people were trying to force me into the pool and my favourite uncle was there. I screamed for him and the elation I felt when he 'saved' me... He scooped me up into his arms and then threw me in the deep end.

I still want to cry just recounting that. Why do people do things like that?

If anything, I want to be a champion for my children. I want them to know that their mother and father will be the ones saving them from bullying situations. I want them to know that when they come to me and say that someone is hurting them. I will believe them.

I too was a victim of child sexual abuse and I want more than anything for my kids to have an understanding that they have a say over what happens to them, and that their mother will always be on their side to stand up for them. While I can say that I am a healthy and happy person now (TTC and a possible pending pregnancy bring up so many mother issues though!) I can't imagine the different course my life would have taken if I didn't have to take a ten year break from my life to deal with so many of my issues. And I want my kids to never have to say those words!

Anyhow, sorry for barging in on your board but I want to say that yes, I have someone in my life who doesn't respect boundaries and yes, I'd like to respect my child's boundaries.

Thanks for reading!
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  #4  
April 19th, 2013, 04:33 AM
Destiny
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Posts: 2,755
I have had to distance myself from my in-laws, for periods of varying times.

I guess in your situation I would talk to her like she was my child. I would sit down with her and say "I have problems with the way you treated me, I want to protect my child from some of the things I went through. Could you help me find a solution?"'

Obviously adjust for what you want, but make it a problem-solving thing between the two of you. Don't call her out if you can, make it about how you're feeling. Keep in non-confrontational. If that didn't work I don't know what I'd do. When someone doesn't respect my boundaries I usually distance myself from them the best that I can.
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  #5  
April 19th, 2013, 06:09 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I can relate to a mom who pulls out the "You really hate me, don't you?" card whenever you try to talk about an issue. It makes it very hard to solve anything.

Maybe this would be a good situation to say that you are following a certain parenting philosophy, and part of it is respecting the child's wishes, so you are going to be enforcing that. Sort of blame it on the "philosophy" so it becomes less personal to her? I don't know, but I agree that you are being totally reasonable by asking her to respect personal boundaries. If it was my child and a grandparent was really not respecting boundaries, I would have to repeatedly step in and enforce the boundary. And if it got annoying enough, I would probably distance myself from them.

I hope you can work something out.
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  #6  
April 19th, 2013, 06:55 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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So sorry you went through that and are dealing with that with your mom

My family always came in the bathroom and used the bathroom while I was in the bath or whatever. I never felt comfortable seeing other people naked, though. I didn't mind people seeing me though, not sure why. My daughter likes her privacy and sometimes the boys don't understand that and I have to explain to them to give her privacy. They've gotten 99% better about it. Daughter gets changed in her room or bathroom and in privacy. For some reason she wants to be alone when changing, but sometimes will ask me to come in the bathroom with her when she bathes or goes potty. So really I just follow their cues on what they are comfortable with. It's a shame when parents don't. Children should know they are in charge of their bodies.
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  #7  
April 19th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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A friend posted this article on her FB page recently, and I thought it was very wise: http://goodmenproject.com/families/t...ent-ages-1-21/ Perhaps you could share it with your mom?
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  #8  
April 21st, 2013, 07:16 PM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
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This is the second weekend in a row I ended up crying because of family. I won't go into it but I'm at the end of my rope with everyone. Looks like I'm going to spend another week just not talking to them for my nerves sake. It really is hard to swallow but sometimes I don't think it's worth having family when the emotional price you pay is so high.

When I'm more collected and rested I want to use that article to start a conversation with her about boundaries. I don't expect it to go well, but maybe she won't go straight to how I hate her if I have something backing me up. (And maybe my cat will sprout wings and fly). If that doesn't work, well I don't know. I guess I'll throw in the towel and go back to hand slapping and fighting. I won't let her destroy my childs sense of security. I wish I didn't feel like someone being mad at me was the end of the flipping world. Thank you all for the suggestions, and just for listening. So many people over the years have told me to just grit my teeth and deal with it because it's no big deal. They really do not get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMamma View Post
My Mom and I do not have a close bond for this reason. I feel like I cannot tell her anything and when I do if she does not agree with the I leave feeling like I did or said something wrong.
That is exactly how every conversation ends with my mom and I, too. Even when I know I'm right, she manages to make me feel guilty. Now she's using this same manipulation on her foster kids and it has me absolutely furious. Of course she never sees it that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohnicole View Post
I can relate to a mom who pulls out the "You really hate me, don't you?" card whenever you try to talk about an issue. It makes it very hard to solve anything.
Seriously, almost impossible. How do you even respond to that? You're forced to either ignore it, agree and make things worse, or spend your time making them feel better! As if you're the one who did something wrong. And truth be told, I wish I did hate her. It would make everything so much easier. I wish I could say that to her without her having a tantrum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
A friend posted this article on her FB page recently, and I thought it was very wise: http://goodmenproject.com/families/t...ent-ages-1-21/ Perhaps you could share it with your mom?
I love that article, it hits it right on the head. Thank you for sharing it with me. Even if she won't read it, it made me feel a lot better about a lot of my beliefs that I have had no support in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaBonana View Post
No matter how they protest and scream she insists on plunging them in the pool and terrifying them until they fear they are going to drown and they start to swim out of necessity. Then she says "There, see? Isn't that fun?"
That is an utterly terrifying experience for children, and often scars them for life. Someone did that to me once when I was young. It disgusts me. As for why, I really don't think they ever consider the damage they're causing. Or they find it empowering to terrify.
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  #9  
April 21st, 2013, 09:22 PM
IronMamma's Avatar Intactivist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaCakes View Post

That is exactly how every conversation ends with my mom and I, too. Even when I know I'm right, she manages to make me feel guilty. Now she's using this same manipulation on her foster kids and it has me absolutely furious. Of course she never sees it that way.
So frustrating! My Mom even does this to DH and I KNOW she will do this to my son which is one reason of many that I am worried for her to be in his life. I know this may sound messed up, but I do NOT want my son to grow up with the guilt I did and still struggle with to this day, and I am a grown woman with a family and a husband. It's just not right!
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Want to find a calmer way to parent? Please visit here HINTA Hitting Is Never The Answer
Gentle parenting is about guiding instead of controlling,
connecting instead of punishing,
and encouraging instead of demanding.
It's about listening, understanding, responding and communicating.

)O( Peace on Earth begins at Home )O(

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  #10  
April 22nd, 2013, 04:31 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 1,279
I will respond to this in a bit. I need my computer instead of phone.

Here is my post!

I hate that anyone has to deal with this, especially with parents. I wish there was a magic cure to make it all go away. I would give it to everyone who needed it.

I actually have 2 people in my life who do this. It's not necessarily a lack of physical privacy, but a lack of "personal" privacy. It is absolutely frustrating. They think they know better than everyone else. I have only recently begun to remove these people from my life. One is my own mother, the other my step-MIL. There are some others, but I can handle them in small doses(for MB's sake.)

I have finally grown sick of dealing with my boundaries being broken. I have finally started to stand up for myself to my mom and I think she might finally be getting the message(She has nearly destroyed my marriage numerous times.) As for my SMIL she thinks she's entitled to criticize my parenting skills. Hopefully she will get the message quickly.

I am very non-confrontational as well. I try approach these situations with a level head. Usually if I remain calm the person I am speaking with remains calm. When things get heated I walk away and come back to the conversation later. These conversations still usually end with me crying and begging for understanding.
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Last edited by MommyBeth; April 22nd, 2013 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Adding actual post adding another thought
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