Boundaries are about keeping you safe. They are bright lines you can maintain in instances of struggle.
However, as survivors of childhood psychological mistreatment- we may have no experience in setting or enforcing boundaries. Boundaries are about respect for ourselves and others. In a place of psychological violence- respect is absent.
If boundaries are a new concept for you, this is a great place to start.
Make a list of basic human rights. Not those necessarily for yourself but for people in general. Like the right to be free from violence. The right to privacy. The right to say no.
Write down your list somewhere you can look at it often.
Now, repeat your list of rights everyday- but apply them to yourself. Switch the language to ‘I have the right’. Speak them out loud.
“I have the right to privacy.” “I have the right to say no.”
This is where we begin. It is often difficult for us to believe that we have the ability to say no, or that we deserve to be honored or respected. However, most of us can agree in basic and universal human rights.
Thus, by creating a general statement that applies to all people, we can safely apply it to ourselves without enacting the inner narrative of psychological violence. If it applies to everyone, it MUST apply to us.
When I first started forming boundaries, basic human rights were all I could enforce. Where previously I felt I had no rights, in this way, I was able to say no. I was able to remind myself ‘I have the right to say no.’ There was no need to come up with further rationale.
When you come up with a boundary infringement, repeat your list of rights to yourself. This is the first step to creating healthy boundaries.