This article has the description abused children and therefore gives the impression that it is going to be all about children. However, this will be about adults who were abused as children and as a result of this now have a real challenge with boundaries.
When it comes to child abuse, there are many problems that can and are created. And boundaries problems can often be a consequence of abuse.
There is of course, degrees of abuse and some may well be labelled as worse than others. And yet, no matter how extreme the abuse is, for the person who is experiencing it, it is painful enough without the need to compare oneself with another.
Whether it is: emotional, sexual, mental or physical or what is often labelled as spiritual abuse; it ultimately irrelevant.
These are a vital part of life and are essential when it comes to one forming healthy relationships, moderating their experience of life and being able to feel safe enough to show their true self, amongst other things.
They are what allow one to know where they begin and where they come to an end. And where other people begin and come to an end. Without them, one can feel: invisible, hollow, invisible, vulnerable, unsafe, sensitive and empty.
To have them, means that one feels safe to be themselves and that they have their own personal space. This person can say yes to people and most importantly - they can say no.
Although boundaries are clearly important for one to have; child abuse generally doesn’t allow them to develop. And the main reason for this is that the abusers don’t have any either.
So they don’t understand that their children or other children are separate beings and have their own personal space. This does not register to them and therefore violating a child is normal to them.
If they had boundaries, they would be able to see that what appears to be coming from the child is actually what is going on within themselves. And through things like projection; it seems that the child is the cause of their inner tension.
This can only lead to problems and the child has no way of protecting itself. For at such a young age, one has no boundaries and is not aware of their sense of individuality. So the child has to no other choice than to put up with and absorb this kind of behaviour.
They are dependent and this means that they can’t say stop or if they do, it is unlikely to be heard. And at this age it will often come across as normal, as something one deserves and what love is.
Through one having to put up with this kind of behaviour as a child, it doesn’t enable them to realise that they have their own personal space. And that this is something that is sacred and needs to be protected.
One can have no idea where they begin or end or where others begin and end. To be violated, compromised and taken advantage of, can then feel normal and how life is. That one has a right to not only say yes, but also no, may not even be known.
For people who have boundaries, saying no or maintaining their personal space, will be a natural thing to do and generally won’t lead to fear being trigger. But to people who don’t have boundaries; it could lead to intense fear being triggered, if one were to stand up for themselves.
And the reason that adults who were abused as children find it so difficult, is due to what their ego mind is interpreting as familiar and therefore safe. Years may have gone by and yet to the ego mind, life is still being seen through the same eyes.
To stand up for themselves and to have boundaries, might lead to one feeling that they could be: rejected, abandoned, attacked, humiliated and ignored for example.
Through holding onto these associations, it is causing one to interpret situations and attract people who mirror these early experiences. The ego mind feels comfortable with what is familiar and although these early experiences were not healthy or dysfunctional; they are what are being classed as familiar.
So even though they may well be causing all kind of problems, at a deeper level the mind is doing its primary job of keeping one alive by attracting into one’s life situations and experiences that are unconsciously associated as being familiar. And what is familiar is what is classed safe to the ego mind
The body and the mind can still carry the pain of the past and this can mean that one will need to seek the assistance of a therapist, coach, trusted friend, support group or a healer.
It will all depend on how much of a challenge this is for someone; there are no hard and fast rules here. What matters is that one looks after their personal space and gets the help they need in order to do this.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.