If you gathered my past and present clients in a room and asked them to tell you something I never shut the fuck up about, I’m 99% sure they would all say, “OMG, BOUNDARIES!” And, “Sometimes I want to shove that boundaries bullseye bullshit down her throat.” The thing is, they know and I know that the boundaries bullseye is just the opposite of bullshit. It’s magnificent!
What IS this boundaries bullseye bullshit and why do they want to choke me with it?
The vast majority of my past and present clients would tell you that learning and applying this concept helped them with perspective taking, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and decision making. ALL OF THE THINGS PEOPLE COME TO THERAPY TO LEARN! This knowledge and ability to apply it is THE tangible take away from therapy. It’s the thing that makes people feel like they got at least a little bang for their buck and keeps them from shoving things down other people’s throats.
I realize that my boundaries bullseye bullshit is not pretty. It’s not meant to be and it doesn’t need to be. The simple concept of understanding and setting boundaries is a starting point for any and all of the problems people bring to therapy. Period. I personally use it every fucking day.
EVERY. FUCKING. DAY. Multiple times a day. Every time I feel a pang of WTF or discomfort, I visualize the circle and run through the process of how the feeling relates to what’s inside the circle. Like today.
I know. You totally want to know.
Today this bullshit made gave me a pang of discomfort. SUCH BULLSHIT.
Grrr…no toilet paper. I felt uncomfortable and irritated. It’s a never ending problem in my house and I’m guessing some of you can relate. I felt the feelings and not the good ones. I thought the thoughts and not the good ones. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK? Is it THAT hard to just replace the thing? That’s a rhetorical question and also not really a question, because I know the answer to it already, and the answer is actually TWO answers.
I know. You totally want to know.
First answer is NO. It’s not hard for anyone in my family to do this because nobody has a physical or intellectual disability that prevents them from doing it. Second answer is YES. Because they don’t do it and so this task must contain some element of difficulty for them that although I can’t understand it, it exists.
I don’t like the second answer, the “Yes, it IS that fucking hard to replace the thing,” answer, but I accept it. The second answer irritates the fuck out of me, but it doesn’t creep into my boundary circle as I define it with the boundaries bullseye (that people sometimes want to shove down my throat until they don’t because they get it and love it for fucking real).
So did I use the boundaries bullseye bullshit?
I needed to sort out my feelings and thoughts. How would I find my way to acceptance without agreement or argument, without letting my feelings turn into facts and my thoughts get distorted? I went inside the circle, the solid line that contains all the things important to my safety and sanity: my rights, my choices, my privacy, and my identity. MINE.
MINE, MINE, MINE.
My circle. Hard line. Nobody gets in there without my permission if I can help it, and 99% of the time, I CAN help it, because I decide. ME.
ME. ME. ME.
Did my family’s lack of ability negatively affect or violate my rights or safety? NO. Did it negatively affect my choices? NO. Did it negatively affect or violate my privacy? NO. Did it threaten my identity? NO.
Inconvenience and irritation are uncomfortable but it wasn’t like anyone hurt me or forced me into anything or tried to make me change anything about myself. I was safe. Annoyed as fuck and left without anything to wipe my junk, but safe. When I think about the identity of my peoples, the inside of their circles, the the facts trumped my feelings and gave clarity to my thoughts. I know about what’s in the circle of my peoples and nowhere in them did I find evidence to support the idea that not replacing the thing was a passive aggressive or a big, fat, fuck you move.
So I decided to accept it and do nothing but replace the damn thing and move on. I decided not to address it with my peoples by suggesting any ill will on their part, or being rude or mean to them, or assuming the worst or taking that tiny bit of inconvenience or discomfort and turning it into a shit show of baseless accusations and judgments. (By the way, sometimes I do pick the battle, but I would say, “Please make sure to replace the toilet paper roll,” or “Come here and put on a new roll,” instead of, “OMG YOU ASSHOLES ARE SO INCONSIDERATE HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO DO THIS?” or changing it and then stomping around and mumbling bitchy shit. Today I just moved the fuck ON)
See how easy that process is? If I can do it, so can you. The boundaries bullseye bullshit helped me with perspective, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and decision making when it came to figuring out what to do with my feelings about having nothing to wipe my lady parts.
May is Mental Health Awareness month and I’m going to write a bit about mental health using the boundaries bullseye visual as a reference point. Boundaries are never NOT important. They are never NOT a part of the solution to any problem. Boundaries are not bullshit. It’s that simple. And so it the boundaries bullseye bullshit.
You are welcome. Trust me, I’m a professional.
P.S. You want my book for mother’s day. Or not. You choose.