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Re: Is there any other way to interpret this? Dinah

Posted by JenStar on May 25, 2005, at 18:36:21

In reply to Is there any other way to interpret this?, posted by Dinah on May 25, 2005, at 10:47:17

hi Dinah,
don't you think any relationship would disintegrate without appropriate boundaries and guidelines, no matter what kind it is?

It seems to me that you're extra careful not to "burden" people with yourself because of your OWN boundaries, which you have set up maybe unfairly to yourself. First, there is NO reason to believe you'd be a "devourer" like your mother! You seem extremely different from the way you describe her. You're logical, patient, analytical, and thoughtful. And I know that things kids say can be extremely painful and can stick in our psyches -- to me it seems that when we're little, our feelings are like wet tar, and any wound or injury makes a permanent mark there. But it doesn't necessarily mean there is a problem with YOU -- it could be that you were sharing in a perfectly normal & wonderful way, and the other girl was just not capable of friendship, or had home issues, or was just really really busy. It doesn't mean that there is a chronic problem with you.

But I think EVERYONE sets up boundaries with people, even if they don't talk about it like that. When I'm on the phone with a friend, eventually one of us will wrap it up and say, "Well...I've got to get going now," which is a boundary. It's not saying "you're devouring me" but rather "I need to do other things too, even though I like talking with you." And with friends I fall into a rhythm of how often we see each other -- for some friends it is about 1x/week, for others 1x/month. It just goes to what "feels" right. And I think I can still be authentic with each one to varying degrees since we have varying comfort levels.

Do you think that a relationship has to be full bore, full throttle, 100% energy, or else totally fake? I think it's possible to be authentic and fun in 'small chunks' -- I think my good friends know the "real me" who likes to joke and be sarcastic but is also sweet at times, too. And I am sometimes careful not to overwhelm them with the "waterfall of me" because I CAN be huge and expansive -- I like to talk and do tons of things and read and writea huge amount, and I do it all fast and well, and sometimes that can be "too much" for other people. But I don't let that stop me -- I just give them less "me" for their money (so to speak.) But I think the part they see is still relatively authentic.

I don't think it's any insult or anything abnormal for the T to agree that your relationship would disintegrate without boundaries. ANY t/client relationship would be a mess without boundaries. And even husbands/wives have boundaries.

OK, here's what I really wanted to ask, after my huge novel (it just came to me!) What would it mean to you to be FULLY authentic with a friend or other person? What kinds of things would you do, share, talk about? How much time would you spend hanging out, chatting, etc? What would be different about this than your current relationships? Would you be more honest about your dreams, fears? Would you joke more, be more unpolitically correct? Would you f*rt in their presence? (I'm serious about these questions!)

I'm going to think about that for me, too. Because even though I think I"m pretty authentic, I'm sure I do hold back parts of me too. I"m not always 100% comfortable even around friends.

It's an interesting question you posed. It gets me thinking about me & my relationships too.





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