A therapist friend shared this meme with me today and I thought my readers here would appreciate it.
It got me to thinking: It is always a curious thing when I set limits and boundaries with someone and they are surprised or resentful because I am a therapist. They act hurt, even angry at times, as if it is somehow my job to molly coddle people when they harm me. Heck, I don’t even molly coddle my therapy clients (as anyone who has worked with me well knows)!
Sometimes when this happens I will (rhetorically) ask them, “What do you think I help abuse and trauma survivors learn to do? Why, I help them learn how to protect themselves by setting appropriate limits and boundaries with others, of course.”
Without boundaries, there is no freedom.– Carl Jung
And as long as we’re on the subject of boundaries: Setting limits with those who persist in behaving in a less than humane manner toward you will sometimes result in that relationship coming to an end. Don’t ever let yourself fall into shame or guilt if this happens. The shame and guilt is on them. If someone cannot treat you respectfully, ask yourself, is the relationship really worth the price you are paying? And what IS the price you are paying? Something to think about…
Rebecca C. Mandeville is a licensed psychotherapist; certified clinical trauma professional; and recognized family systems expert. Her book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, is the first book written on “family scapegoating abuse” or “FSA” (a term she coined during the course of her family systems research). Rebecca has dedicated her 20-year career in Mental Health to advocating for those whose voices are not heard due to being systemically disempowered.