Boundaries, limits, and what they mean to me

Morning, everyone!

Didn’t get called into work today, so about to dive back into ‘Shield & Scepter’. Will run out to a store with the hubby later today. Right now, the morning sun is slowly brightening the sky. The fog came in early last night, not long after night fall, and it still lingers. Streetlights are still on. I don’t mind the weather, as long as it doesn’t take too long for my car to warm up.

One thing I learned this year was that I had to set some hard boundaries/limits with some of those in my social circle. I get to choose who is closest to me, not the other way around. I had a couple of friends who pushed that envelope. One went full stalker mode, and I’ve talked about her already. Outside of being vigilant about new ‘friend’ requests, she no longer lives rent free in my head.

I am done. That bridge has been burned. That ship has sailed.

The other decided to get pushy with what they thought was an answer to a writing problem I didn’t really have. Their answer was unsolicited, and showed a marked lack of respect for the process I have. It also reflected a lack of comprehension on their part. I’d made several posts about how I struggled with using voice to text to write while my hands were questionable. They read them, ignored/dismissed them, and gave me ‘advice’ that flew in the face of my struggles. There was no compassion, no understanding, no commiseration. Just a flippant 4 word response that they felt would ‘solve’ my problem.

For the record, to the best of my knowledge this individual has never tried using voice to text and has almost no understanding of how frustrating it can be.

Here’s the thing. If I say something is a line in the sand for me, I need space, you don’t get to decide when I’m ready to communicate with you again. You don’t get to invade my space because you think enough time has passed.

If someone sets a limit to their interaction with you, that’s a huge clue that you need to back off until they reach out to you again. Those limits are usually not put on someone within a person’s inner circle, but rather a ring or two out who are trying to push their way in. I get it. Others may see more in their friendship with me than I do with them. I know I view some friends as family, even if they don’t feel the same way. That does not give me permission to force my way further into their lives.

I have a friend I consider a brother. I don’t know much about his family, including how many kids he has, simply because I haven’t asked. I don’t know if he sees me as a sister, and I’m not going to force that. It’s his decision, not mine.

I’ve got a lot of different spheres of friends. There’s some that are writers, others who I work with at the retail gig. Gamers, SCA, and online friends I’ve never met in person (or even exchanged email/phone numbers with). Just because we’re friends in one sphere doesn’t mean you get to influence my life in all others.

I set boundaries, limit interactions, for my own mental and emotional health. There’s people from the SCA that are part of that family who I only see/talk to at event. There’s some writers I’d love to sit down and talk shop with over a cup of coffee.

A very select group gets included in my inner circle. They are my chosen family of brothers and sisters. They’re welcome at my house at any time (in a non-pandemic world). They’re the ones I’d call if things went south in a big way, because I know they’d be here without hesitation to help me put things right again. And they’d stay until the work was done.

Right now, there’s only 6 people beyond my husband and my children in that circle. These are the only people who I have no limits on. That I know love me without condition, faults and all. That listen to what I say, remember it, and try to help me find a solution only if I ask for it.

One thing this year taught me was who really deserved to be in that center ring. I have a lot of friends, even more acquaintances that I enjoy seeing here and there. But trust is not easy for me. I got burned by a few over the last couple of years. Some took advantage of my instincts to listen and took that as a sign that they could push farther into my world. Others took a far more aggressive path, becoming blatantly more invested in my life than I wanted them.

This is my life. I make the choices of who is in what circle. No one else.

BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm

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