Boundaries and Requests

Good evening, my friends!  I had physical therapy today so I’m sore from that.  I also have been having cramps(?) from period pains/endometriosis so I’m between feeling like I’m wanting a hysterectomy and feeling like I just want to sleep forever and a half.

I have a few endeavors that I want to start in on.  First off, I really really want to finish the site for my blog.  It’s been untouched and under construction for many months and so I’m planning on getting that done.  I’m also going to begin working on my support forum for DBT stuff, sort of a companion site for my blog.  I’m restarting Habitica with all new habits and daily goals.  I just realized that I’m at the same part on DBT that I was on when I started my Mr. Oinkers theory.

But let’s begin on what I learned in DBT yesterday.  First off, I do want to say that I had volunteered to share my homework first.  I never volunteer to share my homework first.  I felt a lot more comfortable and at ease with sharing when I did that.  Since a couple of our members are leaving next week, I may start sitting in the starter chair.  The starter chair is just this spot that tends to get picked to go first a lot.  It’s sort of a tradition now, that the oldest group member sits in the starter chair.  I will be the oldest after next week.  Not like, age oldest, because I’ll be the youngest member, but oldest in the sense that I’ll have been there the longest.

I digress.  Yesterday, we talked about Boundaries.  As in “The Sarcastic Autist has really weird boundaries like not liking to be touched, but telling random men at the Big Blue Box Store that he loves them”.   However, in this context, the boundaries were about how to decide how firmly or intense to ask or deny something.

There are 10 things to consider.  Capability, Priorities, Self-Respect, Rights, Authority, Relationship, Long-term vs Short-term goals, Give and Take, Homework, and Timing.

  • Capability is whether or not someone is able to accomplish the thing you want.
  • Priorities are how you would rank the goals, relationship, and self-respect aspect of the thing you want.
  • Self-Respect is based on how capable you are at most things and how you feel about helping others.  For example, do you normally manage to get things done alone and just so happen to require help this one time?  Would saying no make you feel bad, even while responding in Wise Mind?
  • Rights are whether or not someone is legally or morally bound to help you with the thing or whether or not you are legally or morally bound to help them with a thing.
  • Authority is whether or not you are responsible for the person or if the person is responsible for you.
  • Relationship is about the appropriateness of the request based on the how close you are to the person.  I can ask Okaasan to drive me to the store.  I can ask my Godmother to drive me to the store.  I cannot ask Charon to drive me to the store.  Highly inappropriate.
  • Long-term vs Short-term goals is asking yourself if you are aiming for short term gain for long term pain or short term pain for long term gain.  How badly do I need this thing done?  Will I regret saying yes when I really want to say no?
  • Give and Take, or as I like to call it, Relationship Economics, is about the balance of the relationship.  Do you have equal standing with the request giver?  Does the person you’re asking owe you a favour?  (please note that you shouldn’t keep tabs and that’s it’s totally normal to have males do more physical stuff and females to do more emotional stuff in regards to Relationship Economics)
  • Homework is how much research you have to support your request or denial of services.  Is Jenny from down the street giving you clear instructions and details pertaining to helping her at her fundraiser for cats with autism?  Are you giving Terrence the day and time that you’d like to switch with him at work so you can go to the doctor for the ingrown hair on your butt?
  • And lastly, but just as important, is the Timing.  Do not ask your mother at 3 in the morning if she can drive you to soccer practice at 9 if she’s sleeping.  Do not say no to Jimmy after his twice-and-once-again removed step-father died from hysteria if Jimmy asks you to please grab him an empty cup of tea from the break room.

I hope that makes sense.  It’s about the Boundaries in stuff basically.  Asking for or denying a service and raising or decreasing the intensity of how you do it.  I should say “I’m terribly, Mr. Waffles, but I’m afraid I will have to deny your request to attend the fair with me.  I have to wash my cat that day.”  I should not say “fuck you, Waffles, you blathering bitter boil of rancid greased bacon”.  I should say “I would appreciate it if you could do the dishes today, Okaasan” rather than “fucking hell, do the fucking dishes right the fuck now”.  There’s a scale of 1-10 of how intensely you should ask or deny something, but I like to use percentages because it makes me feel more concrete on things.

Learning boundaries is hard.  I’ve bought a book (that I think I opened once) about Boundaries and I should probably start reading it.  I know that, as an Autist, I need to be very mindful about boundaries.  I tend not to set up very good ones or I get really eager to please other people that I totally disregard my own feelings on the matter.  Or I misunderstand or just don’t know the social expectations and normal social boundaries for people.

I want to point out that I’m totally aware that it’s a character flaw and not entirely something to blame Autism on, but I know for a fact that people on the Spectrum tend to get sexually abused, assaulted, or straight up raped more often than people not on the Spectrum.  For me, it’s because I tend to be at the mercy of whoever I am with socially.  I don’t have the right tools to make good decisions all the time so I will ask friends if what I’m going through is normal or if it’s okay.  Because I constantly look for outside advice or affirmation, it can look like I’m attention-seeking or trying to cause drama.  It’s a reality that I have to deal with and it’s a struggle.

Thankfully, for me at least, that’s another discussion for another day.  I still need to shower and I’m rather tired.  Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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8 thoughts on “Boundaries and Requests

  1. Boundaries is a taught/learned skill straight up for anyone regardless of what you have going on. So if this skill set isn’t taught or learned for whatever reason at childhood then adulthood becomes challenging. People with disorders or disabilities are targeted for abuse, assault, and rape more often not because of their lack of boundaries but because of their vulnerability. Those of us that have good boundaries though are better prepared to protect themselves or at least have the means to get help when it occurs. I think it’s incredibly good that you are aware of this need for yourself and that you are trying to develop these skills now. I even have a few trusted individuals that I check in with to make sure as to what is and isn’t normal because I’m still working on improving my boundaries.

    I found this webpage to be very helpful in explaining and defining boundaries:

    http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries

    Maybe it will be helpful to you too.

    Like

    • I missed you. You always have such thought provoking things for me and I really enjoy that. I’m going to be completely honest, everything you just said went straight over my head. To me, that means that’s really something I need to work on. I’m going to copy and paste this or write it down somewhere so I can think on it further. I think that’s important for me.
      I did look and bookmark the page and I’m going to add it to my resources thing. It all seems very confusing to me. Probably because it’s not been a topic I’ve been entirely interested in before. Now I’m curious. It seems fascinating that it’s more than just a “my bubble and your bubble” thing.

      Like

  2. I’m sorry I didn’t mean for it to be confusing. It’s still a “my bubble and your bubble” thing but worded in a different way. I thought by sharing the link with you it would be helpful to read it in a different way. I liked it because it set it up in a clearly defined rule/law format and then listed the types.

    I guess it’s because I grew up in the military where they like everything to be black and white. My boundaries used to really suck and life really didn’t feel black and white to me. People would just walk all over me and I hated it. A lot. Now it’s getting easier for me to tell people what is and isn’t okay for me in black and white terms. Even if they don’t like it, they understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s perfectly alright. I tend to be very confused any time I start to learn a new concept. It used to send me into complete meltdowns like when I struggled learning new maths skills. Now, I try to be more upfront about when things confuse me because communication is a huge issue for me a lot of times. I’m trying to learn more about boundaries which means I’m going to be devouring any and all information I can get my hands on, almost literally. So, any resources I can get will be extremely appreciated.
      So no worries. I am super grateful for the link. I’ve looked at it and I’m going to be taking notes from it. It looks really nifty.

      Liked by 1 person

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