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Fri Nov 25, 2022, 01:26 PM

Revisiting Boundaries to sort self out after job loss

Found a great article on this website. Thought I'd share.

Signs of Healthy Boundaries
Posted on September 26, 2022
BY: Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

20 replies, 1163 views

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Reply Revisiting Boundaries to sort self out after job loss (Original post)
TigressDem Nov 2022 OP
MLAA Nov 2022 #1
TigressDem Nov 2022 #2
MLAA Nov 2022 #3
TigressDem Nov 2022 #4
MLAA Nov 2022 #5
TigressDem Nov 2022 #7
MLAA Nov 2022 #8
TigressDem Nov 2022 #6
debm55 Nov 2022 #9
TigressDem Nov 2022 #11
usonian Nov 2022 #10
TigressDem Nov 2022 #12
usonian Nov 2022 #13
OldBaldy1701E Nov 2022 #14
TigressDem Nov 2022 #15
OldBaldy1701E Nov 2022 #16
TigressDem Nov 2022 #17
TigressDem Nov 2022 #18
OldBaldy1701E Nov 2022 #19
TigressDem Nov 2022 #20

Response to TigressDem (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 01:31 PM

1. Helpful reminders, thanks for sharing.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 01:38 PM

2. Yep

Someone here I think posted an image of What I can control and what I can't so I made it my background.
Then started a journal with the items so I can check progress.
Got to BOUNDARIES and thought to myself... I used to know about those...
And since one of the ways I handle challenges is to do research and then make a plan...

The Past
The Future
The Actions of Others
The Opinions of Others
What Happens Around Me
What Other People Think of Me
The Outcome of My Efforts
How Others Take Care of Themselves

My Boundaries
My Thoughts & Actions
The Goals I Set
What I Give My Energy TO
How I Speak TO Myself
How I Handle Challenges

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:28 PM

3. Oooh, I needed that one about How Others Take Care of Themselves.

I let my sister drive me crazy. I’ve recently made a point to disengage on the physically and mentally unhealthy things she does. 💗

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Response to MLAA (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:36 PM

4. I realized it was part of what cost me my job.

I needed to recognize that manager was as stressed (actually more) than me and not taking care of himself was on him, but when others don't take care of themselves they become unpredictable and lash out.

I used to go to 12 Step Groups to sort myself out. (Pre Covid)

So I needed a way to process outside myself and journaling worked in the past as well. If I see the words, it makes sense.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:38 PM

5. I agree, I remember and internalize things better when I see them written.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:52 PM

7. I think when my son was little someone stressed multiple avenues of learning

His school would do the same basics of lessons a few different ways.

Fractions are a whole lot more fun when you use them to make cookies.

History at the children's museum where you can run around and crawl in a big plastic tunnel that is the size of a T-Rex stomach or race that T-Rex with a huge video screen or see all the crazy contraptions people thought were honest medical devices at one time.

So kids who were ADHD (MANY of them) but aren't all kids somewhat hyper? Anyway, these memories reinforced learning so it stuck.

WHY only do it for kids?

I find myself making my own Knowledge Base documents whenever I start a new job.
Templates for emails because once I go through figuring something out I don't want to do the full process again.
And it's easier to remember the template than all the details.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 03:00 PM

8. Agree

I remember way back in college writing my study guides and then during test visualizing where on the page the info I needed was. 🙂

I googled this:

The four widely accepted learning modalities (or modes) are known by the acronym VARK: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. They are sometimes inaccurately referred to as “learning styles” which implies that each learner has a “style” of learning that should be maximized in all learning situations.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 02:46 PM

6. I also grabbed this

What are some examples of healthy boundaries?
• Ownership and agency over your financial assets.
• The ability to stay true to your sense of self, spiritual beliefs, and passions.
• Ability to prioritize personal time for self-care.
• The right to change your mind and preferences.
• Alone time with no distractions or interruptions.

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Response to TigressDem (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 03:18 PM

9. Tigress, thank you for posting this-- very useful

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Response to debm55 (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 03:20 PM

11. You are so welcome.

Self Help is even better when shared.


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Response to TigressDem (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 03:19 PM

10. K&R This is important, and we (I) need to be reminded every day. Bookmarking!

It's easy to go into "rant mode", but
• One can learn from facts, regardless of the emotion they may invoke.
• Look for root causes. The pic above mentions codependency
-- There are behaviors similar to codependency, a whole spectrum of them (*)
• Writing things down is good.
-- Reviewing them may reveal some flops we have made, and suggest positive actions.

(*) I learned a lot from books by Anne Wilson Schaef.
-- The Addictive Organization
-- When Society Becomes and Addict
Her books

There is a pdf of "Addictive Systems", an excerpt of her work.

The behaviors described are *very* similar to the cult behavior exhibited by the GQP, notable mainly for "projection". casting aspersions on others which are the very fears and inadequacies experienced by the accuser. "Every Accusation is a Confession", and blame, blame, blame.

Powerful stuff.

Why are so many destructive behaviors so similar?
In my opinion, because they exploit the same human reactions we all have. We can override the limbic "fight or flight" reaction with reason. That is why in cults, the first thing to go is reason, and the first thing to blast is emotional

Why Public Schools are on the GOP's Hit List

Thanks for posting this.

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Response to usonian (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 03:33 PM

12. OOOOH more good stuff.

I think I started with boundaries because in order to move around in a world that is largely not mine to control, I need good ones.

I am fairly empathic, I have close family and friends that I am "connected to" and kind of know when they are having a bad day.

I had to do a lot to push down my awareness of the whole country's rage/fear and mistrust lately.

It's kind of like another sense. Someone else might be more sensitive to someone's BO or perfume. I pick up emotional cues.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 05:19 PM

13. Remember that most opinions are "conditioned"

Along with the books by Schaef, I ran into some great books on the power of story. Specifically,
"The Power of Story" by Jim Loehr,
"The Story Factor" by Annette Simmons, and
"Story Proof" by Kendall Haven.

The point is that people's beliefs line up with stories, and to be honest, people are told disempowering stories by those who want to control them.

I personally have abandoned the usual stories in favor of a philosophy that believes that people possess all possibilities (i.e. for good, bad, hope, despair and so on) and can make a choice to strive for better, no matter the current mood. It also believes in the interconnectedness of all beings. What makes it positive is that the connection is on a more fundamental level than the egos and personalities we have taken on, while still honoring those differences.

And oddly as it seems, connecting is more empowering than dividing, which is used by the greedy and power-hungry.
There's an example in an article referenced in another post this morning.

“Even if we could stop all foreign propaganda and become rational actors, as long as big tech companies have polarisation as their business model, this problem is not going anywhere.”

"Our brain was not built for this" barrage of propaganda. Hence the need for those boundaries.
I have a giant "trash" list here at DU. Block my own posts, sometimes.

Chores are calling.

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Response to TigressDem (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 05:52 PM

14. Wow.

I blow most of those. I guess I am pretty pitiful.

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 25, 2022, 06:41 PM

15. How so?

And if you never really put it together this way, you can't call yourself pitiful.

ANYONE picking up a violin with no training is going to suck while learning, doesn't make them pitiful.

I think that is the same with mental health issues.

I've been around awhile and I'm having to go over this again because I lost my job and it was over something trivial that I should have let slide and kept in my own lane.

I've had around 30 years in 12 Step programs, so I should have known better. But I haven't been to meetings since COVID shutdowns started.

STILL, like riding a bike, it starts coming back to me and I reinforce what I know now with what I've learned before and pick up some new tools and see if I can do better going forward.

Where ever you are at in this moment in time, you can always make some sort of progress. Even if (along with the rest of us) perfection may be a long way off. What counts is that a person takes steps in the direction that gets them more clarity and joy.

Be nice to yourself.

Sometimes when I say something internally that sounds awful and shocking, I think to myself, "Would you say that to a friend? An acquaintance? Even an enemy?" I usually sheepishly answer, "NO" THEN WHY ARE YOU SAYING THIS TO YOURSELF?

SO I sometimes have to force myself to be as nice to me as I would to someone I meet on the street.

Whatever works, right?

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 08:57 AM

16. Where to start?

Well, number two. Our society is set up to exploit and abuse. How is one supposed to stop this without starving to death or worse? Same with number ten. There are instances where you absolutely have to have others agreeing with you. And, if your survival depends on this and the others don't? Then what?

Thanks to my untreated issues, number three and number five are beyond difficult for me. I figured out some time ago that those of us who always want to help are at a disadvantage in our society, because it is acceptable for folks to take what they can and give nothing back. (Amazing how the Pirate's Creed so easily aligns with most modern corporate attitudes, isn't it?) So, I can certainly relate to your statement about your former job. We are just not ruthless enough to be like that.

Then, there is number eight. With the constantly shifting ideas about boundaries, it is becoming almost impossible to know where they are. Unless you just want to go through life never acknowledging anyone or getting anywhere close to another human being. The main issue I have is that, when someone does something that the other person feels goes too far, their response it to go on the attack as opposed to actually understanding that someone did not know the definition of boundaries has changed again today. I am all for respecting boundaries, but when their behavior come off as just an excuse to be mean to other people, I kind of lose my desire to worry about that anymore.

I guess my problem is that I just don't see worrying about 'improving myself' any more. I don't see any reason for it as I await the final release of this failed existence. And, with the modern American healthcare system, I certainly do not qualify to get any help because I cannot afford it. (I mean real help, not those show pieces that states put out to look like they are trying.)

I mean... what if 'whatever works' is getting the hell out of Dodge? (See why I said what I said before?)

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 03:39 PM

17. Boundaries are more about being assertive rather than passive or aggressive.

For me when I first found out about it, it sounded very different than the way the world worked.

AND it's baby steps. First I had to adjust my thinking to accept that ASSERTIVE is about taking care of me without being a victim or a bitch. About finding that middle ground that actually gets less resistance.

#2 - Society being set up to exploit and abuse is an over simplification. It is black and white thinking. All or nothing.
There is a whole range of colors and shades in between. Those who want to control want us to feel powerless by painting it that way. BUT WE DON'T have to accept THEIR VISION as the ONLY TRUTH. We each have our own truth.

People who survived in concentration camps and prisoners of war found a way to at least have a space in their own mind that was theirs and where they could have personal control to keep their sanity in an insane situation. So the fact that you see the world as it is and adapt yourself to it, means you are taking personal power over your thoughts and choices. Don't accept you only do it because you have no choice. You may have only rotten choices, but what is available isn't where your power is. CHOOSING how to respond to it, IS.

#2 is focused on your interactions with individuals, not making changes in all of society. The way we lock our cars and doors and use passwords is US NOT COOPERATING in our abuse by passively allowing it to happen. In an assertive manner we take control of our safety and rights by remembering to put ourselves into that consideration.

When I drive I am very observant of traffic and one particular route home from work is like a fricken drivers test every time. I have pedestrians walking in middle of street, cars going around buses in front of me without signaling and I just make sure to leave enough space so their stupid doesn't get me involved. I only go through yellow turning red if I have an idiot behind me that I know won't stop if I do.

#3 - holding my ground when pressured... My son is drinking the MAGA koolaid and when he was trying to talk to me about politics it never went well. So I put down my foot and said, "No more political discussions. We aren't going to change each other's minds and it's wrecking our relationship, so no more." He grudgingly complied, but we've had conversations about other things and kept our relationship from going up in flames.

I use the "broken record" with my son because he may not respect my boundaries the first time I ask. I stopped the car one time and told him he could walk home if he wanted to mention MTG in my car. (He's 40 so it wasn't any danger to him, just an inconvience.) I gave him the choice. He shut up. He didn't like it. But he shut up.

The next time he tried to do the political conversation in a car, he was driving. I told him to let me out. He pulled over but talked me back into the car. That is when I finally said, "We can not have these conversations without it getting like this, so it has to stop."

Being assertive is stating what you will and will not accept in a calm, respectful manner and people tend to respond better to it.

I'm still reading Verbal Judo - The Art of Gentle Persuasion. I am finding it helpful.

The 5 Steps of Verbal Judo
Ask (ethical appeal)
Set context (reasonable appeal: explain policies and rules)
Present options (reasonable appeal: what's in it for them and what if they don't)
Confirm (practical appeal: “can I do or say anything to make you cooperate”)

#5 - We are RESPONSIBLE FOR Ourselves and TO Others. We CHOOSE to make ourselves accountable to help others, but BECAUSE WE CHOOSE, we own it and are responsible to keep our word to do what we agree to do. IT IS A CHOICE to be there for someone. That makes US people of our word.

BUT We can't think for someone else, change their minds or actions. THOSE behaviors are up to them. #5 is about giving up the idea that we can MAKE any other adult do what we think is right for them or the world. THAT IS THEIR CHOICE.

SEE THE DIAGRAM below, I found it helpful.

#8 - The diagram also helps with that, BUT WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO KNOW what someone else's boundaries are, only to respect them when someone asks if they are unique.

Obviously telling someone what to think, what goals to set, where their energy SHOULD go without being asked is stepping into their personal decision making zone. And we can offer experience, strength and hope, but if someone chooses not to accept it, we need to respect their choice and let life help them find another answer that works for them or gives them time to see if it might work.

When someone wants to excuse their behavior that has violated my boundaries or attack me for having boundaries, I tell them,
"I respect you and.....either like or love you" (depending on what level the relationship has evolved to) BUT I DO NOT LIKE THIS BEHAVIOR. Keep it about the behavior.

My favorite example is this: I DO NOT LIKE ANYONE PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE. It has nothing to do with who you are, the behavior is something I don't want in my life. SO if you can not refrain from that behavior, it may become a choice of having you in my life or not having you in my life. Might only be taking a break while they think about it. "I can't talk to you right now. Let's see where we are at next week. Peace."

#10 - There are times you need to FIND others that agree with you, but there is no way that YOU can FORCE anyone to agree with you if they don't cooperate. Expand your support network so it's possible that if one person says "No" you can say, "That really disappoints me, but I hear you." Then move on to another person who is willing to be there for you.

AND you HAVE expanded your support network, you have DU.

YOU deserve to be the best, happiest YOU that you can be whether you have 10 days, 10 years or 50 left to live.

My strongest affirmation is, I AM ME. No apologies. (Now I may apologize for behaviors when I make mistakes, but not for being WHO I AM.) Others opinions of me are none of my business. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one.

The focus of the chart below helps put your energy where it works, being you.

Trying to get into those spaces outside yourself that you can't control is like trying to drive someone else's car while you are in your own. YOUR CONTROLS work for you, not on someone else's ride. You can talk to them about the tools, but ultimately, they have to put their own hands on the controls and take themselves where they want to go.

I have been suicidal too. Recently in fact. I have a couple of reasons I am still alive.

#1 I am a great procrastinator.
Suicide is a final solution to life's temporary problems. If I can just put it off, the urge will pass.
AND it makes me feel less horrible about my defect of character, since it has one good useful outlet.

#2 I hold myself accountable to tell someone who cares that I am feeling that way.
Once it isn't a secret, it has less power to control me.
Not sure why that works, except that feeling alone and unloved doesn't make living much fun.

So you already did the second part.
Just remember, people who survive trying to kill themselves almost always regret the attempt.
Think of how much that would suck.
Maybe that is the REAL reason I don't do it.
I am very judgemental of myself. If I FAILED at suicide, I mean, sigh.
SO every day I am a live is a reason to give just a little joy back to the world.

FIND SOMETHING beautiful or inspiring to hold your attention for awhile.
There is a reason so many posts here on DU try to be funny or uplifting.
We all need a break sometimes.

Hope that helps.

Hugs, Tigress.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 26, 2022, 03:50 PM

18. Oh and... about whatever works...

Getting out of dodge...

Are you like those repukes out there?

Would you make that decision for someone else?

Walk up to someone and tell them to end it?

Of course not.


You deserve to at least love and respect yourself. You've lived long enough to make a difference in a few lives even if you don't know it. AND you can chose to continue to be your own wonderful self (even on really sucky days) no matter what the insanity of the world tries to force upon you.

REFUSE TO LET THE BIATCHES OF THIS WORLD determine who you are or what you do.

BE YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE can do it as good as you can.

Sometimes when I say something internally that sounds awful and shocking, I think to myself, "Would you say that to a friend?
An acquaintance? Even an enemy?" I usually sheepishly answer, "NO" THEN WHY ARE YOU SAYING THIS TO YOURSELF?

SO I sometimes have to force myself to be as nice to me as I would to someone I meet on the street.

Whatever works, right?

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 27, 2022, 07:12 AM

19. Thank you for your replies.

The issue (one of many, I know) is not that I am being 'mean' to myself. Hell, my main emotion in these regards is anger and disgust at the world, not at myself. I don't know... maybe most people were wronged by others in a way that did not do much permanent damage, but in my case, there needs to be justice. There will be none though. How can there be? We won't even prosecute people who freely admit to crimes because they are rich.

I am a lost cause. Hell, this holiday I was sick as a dog, with some kind of flu or cold, my recently repaired left shoulder is hurting from the abuses it has taken from coughing fits but I cannot do much about it because my insurance has run out on this injury. I also now cannot deny that I have an ulcer. That makes the list of my ailments even longer. Ailments that I cannot address as they need to be. I suspect I may be developing Alzheimer's or something. That actually sounds like a blessing because then I will not remember much about this life. (I suspect that part of my problem is my memory. It isn't what it used to be but I can remember things that everyone else involved seems to have forgotten. That is a good and a bad thing.)

I am sorry, I am babbling. It is 5 a.m. here and I am up because I cannot sleep for too long thanks to this multiple front of being sick, ulcerous, and in pain. Since pain meds are a main source of irritation in my stomach, I cannot do much about it. As stated, my insurance ran out on this injury.

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 27, 2022, 01:56 PM

20. Just paying it back and forward. Others have been there for me.

Telling yourself the world would be fine without you or you without the world, that you are a lost cause....you might not think of as being mean.
Still is an attitude you wouldn't force on another person. It is a unique aspect of depression that this thought makes sense to us.

I was too afraid to do time on the crises line, but when someone crosses my path, I share what I know and have been talked off the cliff and done the same for others.

You seem to be stuck in a loop of depression and anger that is reinforced by your physical ailments and past and current injustice.

I know that the current situation in the US and World is ripping apart mental health for many. Myself included.

Some ideas and take what you like, leave the rest.

First Call For Help - https://firstcall211.net/
This is United Way's listing of many types of help available beyond your standard health care benefits.
They pull together lists of all kinds of non-profit services by state/local area.

When my Mom died it was because her arthritis medication created multiple ulcers in her stomach during the year she was on it and she bled to death internally.

In the hospital, they gave her Malox to coat her stomach when they gave her the meds. They told her about it, but not my sister who was the caregiver. My Mom had diabetes so did not feel the pain until it was too late.

SO here is a thought, is there any possibility of taking some OTC that coats your stomach and protects it from the pain meds?
My Dad swore by butter milk, I don't know if they even make it any more; but I could never drink it myself.
It isn't a full solution, but it may decrease the active irritation and give your stomach some time to heal.

Most insurance does cover ulcer treatment if it's a peptic one. (If it doesn't heal on it's own, that might be next step)

For your shoulder, can you rig up a scarf as a sling and maybe wrap something through it around your body, like a cloth belt or ace bandage to keep it relaxed and moving less when you cough? It will still move, but it won't have the full weight of your arm to add to the momentum.

THOSE are things you might be able to do and/or reach out to get small assistance to make things just a little better.

Progress not perfection.

ANY little thing you can accomplish will give you some relief and a sense of personal empowerment in the midst of this shit storm we are all sailing through.

THE reason I am trying to focus on these boundaries and such is to make sure I AM NOT adding to my own pain.
To make sure I AM standing up for me without kicking dirt in everyone else's face.

I used to be able to do it much better. But with age I'm not as quick on the draw as I once was and my temper is closer to the top.

I need to re-cultivate the wisdom to shut my mouth and THINK IT THROUGH before spouting off sometimes.

FUNNY thing about the job.

I told my temp agency that IF the contract ended for the reason I think it did, then THEY made a mistake. I had a bad day, a moment of self doubt and their reaction was over the top. I get it. My manager was stressed from more angles than I was.

I offered them ONE chance to hire me back. As a person creating Knowledge Base and Training Program materials that actually are needed to do the job, while off the phone so they have it SOONER rather than later. Because I can get another job, but THEY can't get another ME. It sounds a bit egotistical, but they spent almost 2 months pumping knowledge into my brain and it's a waste of that effort if they don't get what they need out of it.

Thing is, that makes me feel I have done my due diligence. Offered to be understanding and move forward to get the job done. But if they say, "No" it's on them, not me. For both parties it is actually the easiest solution.

BUT more importantly, it means I DO NOT ACCEPT their dismissal as all my fault. I know what I did that contributed to it and I can learn from it. But it really was an over reaction on their part.

No matter what happens, I know who I am and I make no apologies for that, only understand and accept that I make mistakes like anyone else and need to own up to them and make it right.

IF I DIDN'T draw that line in the sand, I could spiral down and believe every stupid thing I've ever told myself for years and years and pile on all the things others have said as well. JUST NOT WORTH IT to get that temporary satisfaction of riding the anger. Which is what I used to push me up out of depression for many years.

I'm always curious when I meet someone during a low point to see however they find a way out of it.

I've been in self help groups over many years and it is surprising how someone will say something and 5 different people find 5 different ways of making it their own and get something out of it.

I've been to therapy too and sometimes I think I got more out of the groups, truth be told. BUT one common thread was that for 1 hour a week, I took the time to take care of me and it helped me get my thinking in line with healthy options and the support of the group or even the therapist helped me feel I was not alone trying to face it.

OH another confession. I've also been trying to get my space more organized and due to the way we learned to clean when I grew up... visualize MUSICAL CHAIRS with the person who loses gets to CLEAN and everyone else gets to complain how THEY ALWAYS clean, now it's YOUR turn when you lose....

So my sister and my BFF are people I call when I need to do major cleaning because being "alone" while I am cleaning depresses me.

My sister and I took a bunch of my clean clothes and some large blankets to the laundry. While I used the big washers to get the blankets cleaned, I sorted my clean laundry and labeled the boxes I brought so I could take them home and try to get at least warm and cold items together so I can change my seasons a bit. I still have more to do, but it got me started.

Yesterday I talked on the phone with my BFF (earbuds in so my hands were free) and cleared out more clothes and kitchen items too. I kind of get around my rebel that way. It's a mind game. Instead of doing what I "should" be doing (A) I do (B) instead. It still needs to be done, but it isn't (A) so it short circuits my own rebellion against myself.

I still have those clean clothes in my car and getting them inside requires I do the other work to make space. I'm about 1/2 way to my actual goal of being able to switch my seasonal clothes back and forth easily instead of living out of laundry baskets, unable to access my clothes that are in the drawers and closet.

When I did warehouse work it didn't matter. Running around all day in lightweight clothes and adding layers to go home was fine.

Now that I've gone back to working at a desk, I need proper clothing for the seasons to look the part of someone with a brain inside my head.

BUT the point of this is..... when whatever you are doing depresses the he** out of you, share the burden of the effort with someone and the joy of the success as well. Your burdens are cut in half and your joy doubled.

Positive thoughts for your best results coming to you in a way that warms your heart and eases your mind.



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