Biblical Boundaries

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LSK1999

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2018, 03:35:50 PM »
Hi Julian, I hear your pain and I understand your concerns about hijacking the thread so I say....YES...create one! I would love to respond to it and offer my experiences and support. What I will say on this thread to both you and to Mary is that are if you are in a relationship with a PD, there is likely abuse happening to you. I say this because the features of PD's truly lend themselves to behavior that is harmful to others. While I'm not an expert on all PD's I have studied NPD significantly and and I grew up with an NPD mother. My mother's behavior echoes that of what both you and Mary describe in that of your spouses. She was manipulative, controlling, everything was always about her. I spent years and years of my life listening to both my PD mother and ex speak negatively and toxically about everyone and everything. In my experience my NM is only happy when spreading doom and gloom, and assassinating the character of every person she comes into contact with. I spent literally countless hours of my life listening to this and all the while they refuse to look at or accept their own negative or self serving behavior, it's exhausting and it is abusive. Those with NPD lack empathy and compassion for others, need excessive admiration despite doing anything to earn that admiration, and are emotionally exploitative of other people. Everything is an injustice when others fail to recognize their superiority and the fact that the rules don't seem to apply to them. These distorted views of themselves and the way they view others is extremely damaging to other people, as they will never count, the NPD must always be most important. This is a very hard pill to swallow about the people we love deeply. If we are to stay in a relationship with an NPD sufferer we must do so accepting that their ability to love others is severely limited and in many cases like that of my NM is non existent.

For me I gave my entire life and soul and nearly 40 years of my life thinking I could one day make my NM love me. Instead my soul was nearly destroyed. I live everyday trying to find the self I know I must have once had. I suffer from terrible self-esteem, C-PTSD, my condition has led me to be unable to work, I can't tolerate stress, I still have a long way to go. Sadly for me I had zero idea for decades that I was being abused...abuse was all I had ever known. I just want you and Mary to both know that there is a different way to live and sacrificing yourself and your entire life to trying to save these people that we love will ultimately destroy us in the end. I think it's important people understand that PD is an extremely fixed state of being. The outlook is not good, even with treatment, and many with PD never seek treatment as they have the inability to self-reflect and will NOT accept that they are the one with the problem. My heart goes out to both you and Mary, this is such a painful and horrendous fact we are to face. I also totally understand how difficult the situation is when you have children involved, but I can see now how damaged my children have been by this and it breaks my heart every day. Julian feel free to start a thread telling us your story, you will find you are not even close to being alone.

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2018, 02:06:19 AM »
I really enjoyed reading through this thread. I just wanted to share something I noticed a week and a half ago. I was reading in Nehemiah, and I was noticing the concept of building a wall. In our culture, we have this idea that someone who "has a wall up," is the one with the problem. But the wall that Nehemiah built around Israel was for safety. It kept out manipulative abusers (Sanballot and Tobias). Nehemiah did not worry about their feelings, he told them "no," he refused to be swayed by their attempts to use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt on him.

It also had gates, to let people in, but those gates had limits. They were only open for a select number of hours each day. And the rest of the time they protected their time with "safe" people, who were likeminded, and who needed that safety to rebuild their lives, homes, and families.

I was thinking of taking 52 days to use the Bible to help me build "good" walls, by picking out passages each day that guide my choices relationally. It is so cool how much the Bible talks about how to deal with difficult people, once you move past the "turn the other cheek" passages. <3
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Julian R

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2018, 06:44:14 AM »
Hi LSK
Thanks again for your reply.  I am moved by your understanding and sorry for the pain you have had to endure before reaching that understanding.  I can see so much of my uDPw in what you write- perhaps not the same severity, but I could use very similar words of her.  I feel a bit like   :'(  but don't worry about that, maybe it would be good for me.

I will, as you suggest, start a new thread sometime, although I did do one a few months ago on the welcome page.  i will start another.  However it is likely that I will not be able to do it for another couple of weeks.  Early next week I leave for a work trip to  Africa.  It is a bit sad to say but i am almost happy and relieved to spend time away despite the demands of such a trip.  It gives me a break from uDPw - and communication where I am going can  still be difficult and limited or expensive.  So yes, glad to get away.

Please keep your eyes open for a new thread when I return.

Hello Dinah-sore
Thank you for your fascinating and helpful interpretation or application of Nehemiah's wall.  Very helpful and thought provoking.
I am sure that you know that many Psalms describe God as fortress or refuge or rock or shield - I wonder how we can think through and apply these metaphors in a similar way.
And maybe you could share some of your thoughts from your 52 days of reading.  That could be helpful f you felt able.

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LSK1999

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2018, 09:58:53 AM »
Hi all, Yes Dinah-sore what a fantastic post, thanks for that!! You are totally right I am finding so many things in the bible that are helpful these days too!! It's amazing how one or two verses could have been stuck in my head for so long, all the while ignoring the vast knowledge the bible gives us on these issues. It took me years to figure out, hey maybe I should be studying this stuff for myself and not taking just what anyone says as an accurate interpretation  :stars: Julian I hope you have a great trip! I spent years excited to go to work at a job I hated to find any time away, so your relief in going is totally understandable. One of the hardest parts for me and most damaging in my years of abuse was never having time to myself to actually clear my head and see what I thought or felt about things. Use the time to reflect and we will all certainly welcome a post on your return. I spent a long time on here reading before posting, totally understandable! God Bless xx

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all4peace

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2018, 11:24:13 AM »
What a wonderful conversation! Dinah-sore, thank you so much for the reminder about Nehemiah and how those walls worked. I remember having awe for the urgency with which Nehemiah went to deal with the crumbling walls. If the walls were crumbling, the precious people within them were in danger.

Sometimes the bible seems contradictory, but I think there ARE many times we need to turn the other cheek, and other times when we need to put on armor and fight back furiously (in the ways we interpret a spiritual fight).

I've thought of how David revered Saul as God's anointed, and yet often ran and hid from him.  So many bible stories to re-read and re-think about, and what they are teaching about the nature of God, man and our relationships with each other.

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Julian R

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2018, 11:32:28 AM »
Thank you LSK.
Yes always a relief to get away  ;D  . I really enjoy my work but one of the downsides is that my uDPw works for the same organisation, kind of s my assistant.  At least for her it is only a part time job and as she is high functioning her behaviour at work is somewhat better than in the home but I really find it an unhelpful situation that can only compound some of the difficulties.  At least she is not allowed to travel with me (for financial reasons and as it is not in her job description) - although she would like to and this itself has become the subject of one of her many victim mentality gripes and moans about being unfairly treated by all and sundry!  ;)

Anyway, to contribute to the original thread how about considering Galatians chapter 6 where within the space of a few words Paul says two apparently opposite things.

Verse 2 "Carry each others burdens and in this way you will fulfil the Law of Christ."  then in verse 5 "... each one should carry his own load"  which follows from advice about testing our own actions and not comparing ourselves to others.

I guess one of the dilemmas for the christian, or anyone, faced with a PD is knowing when compassionate involvement is right and when we should be putting up boundaries to help them take responsibility for their actions, clear up their mess without relying on and turning to others to do so.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2018, 11:34:17 AM »
I think there ARE many times we need to turn the other cheek, and other times when we need to put on armor and fight back furiously.

I've always thought it was instructive to respect the metaphor: turning the other cheek to face an aggressor is the proposed response to a simple slap. It is not remotely an appropriate metaphor for constant abuse and mistreatment.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Julian R

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2018, 11:53:37 AM »
I think there ARE many times we need to turn the other cheek, and other times when we need to put on armor and fight back furiously.

I've always thought it was instructive to respect the metaphor: turning the other cheek to face an aggressor is the proposed response to a simple slap. It is not remotely an appropriate metaphor for constant abuse and mistreatment.

One possible perspective on this verse and others around it is that Jesus is encouraging us to break out of a vicious circle of reprisals and revenge and to imaginatively consider how we might overcome evil with good.  I agree that it is not about resigning oneself to accept and endure mistreatment.

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Mary

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2018, 02:28:45 AM »
Hi everyone,
I am new to setting boundaries. I decided to start a list of boundaries that the Bible endorses with respect to PDs, as I think it will help give me backbone (for myself, not for justifying to someone else). I invite anyone else interested to help me create this list.
1. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go (Prov 22:24):
2. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
3. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. (Prov 14:7)
Continued:
4. Honour thy father and thy mother (Ex 20:12)-
OK Starboard Song, you really gave me an Aha moment when you said that we express our morality through our boundaries. I realized that to continue this list of biblical boundaries, I could pretty much just type out the whole Bible for y'all. But two words are coming to me in the whole question about acceptable boundaries with respect to submission: BALANCE and LOVE.

How do I know when to turn the other cheek, and when to build that wall? Decide by Love. Love God, love my children, love my neighbor as myself, love my husband, love my enemy, love the brotherhood...

I want everything in black and white, 2+2=4. But it's deeper than that. It concerns my heart and attitude. I need boundaries, and I need compassion. I'm coining it "compassionate boundaries". Each situation is a new opportunity to grow in that wisdom. Teach me thy way O LORD! Ps 86:11
(Whew)
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Starboard Song

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2018, 09:22:05 AM »
Mary, I think that is beautifully expressed.

The reason drug dealers are not welcome in my home is not hate, or hostility. When I exclude a drug dealer from my home I don't feel the toxin of violence Our resentment in my heart.

When I maintain a home of dignity and peace and respect, even by exclusion or rules, I do so with the confidence that there is no other way to live a moral life on this Earth. And I know that that safe place that I've created is every bit as much my legacy, as merely refraining from sins myself.

And I am confident that if I were to allow bad people in my home, or engage in destructive conversations when I could choose not to, that I have let down more than just myself.

I hope you'll continue down this road. This thread has been very good.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Mary

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2018, 12:05:47 AM »
Wishing everyone peace my new OOTF friends! Here's an old song (I don't know the source) for us all.
"Friends"
"Well God, He has given to me good friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, and when I am down and discouraged, just thinkin' of my friends I'm  encouraged. Chorus: And as we walk upon the rolling hills of life, the going up and coming down, it's good to have a friend who cares and shares, the slow climbing up and the coming down, And it's good to feel the prayers he prays, that I will make it through,  And I hope that you my friend can feel the prayers I pray for you..."
https://noisetrade.com/bradandbracemaranatha/maranatha
Mary
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 12:33:18 AM by Mary »
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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LSK1999

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2018, 08:33:17 PM »
I think there ARE many times we need to turn the other cheek, and other times when we need to put on armor and fight back furiously.

I've always thought it was instructive to respect the metaphor: turning the other cheek to face an aggressor is the proposed response to a simple slap. It is not remotely an appropriate metaphor for constant abuse and mistreatment.

 :yeahthat: Amen! Amazingly well put and realizing your being slapped repeatedly for years and years is half the battle for those of us dealing with PD parents, spouses, etc. I love what you say All4peace as well, it's time for us to realize put on our armor and fight for what always belonged to us. Love, dignity, respect. I love all of you guys so much  :)

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needfixing

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2018, 09:22:54 PM »
I'm saying it again today: I'm an engineer at heart. So I take a more practical approach. It is quite a bit soulless, I suppose. But it isn't feelings that make a bridge stand up or a rocket land safely.

Maybe it is worth heaving into the mix.

Option 1 - Passively Allowing Suffering
Allowing an abusive person to continue to erode the ability of your family to prosper at peace. Allowing an abusive person to sow discord, and generate pain that is not only temporary, but alters personalities of yourself or those you love, limiting their ability -- again -- to prosper at peace.

Option 2 - Actively Choosing Suffering
Excluding such people from your life in their entirety: depriving them of your kindness, support, and insights. Likely tearing apart a family, and even some friends, through your choice for estrangement. Leaving a family member alone, and full of more rage and ugliness than before, rage and ugliness that may impact other members of their community, though you have protected your own.

Option 3 - Engineering the Kindest Outcome With the Timber We Were Given
Establishing boundaries that limit your exposure to abuse. Boundaries that do not control others, but control what you will and will not do or engage with, as God's child. Establishing such boundaries to maximize your family's ability to prosper in peace, while hopefully training the better angels of the destructive person in your life. Avoiding the pain and anger of complete rejection, and maintaining the ties that allow for aid and comfort at the ends of lives.

Without or without scriptural support, I have no problem deciding which of these Jesus would commend to you.

I do not see this as being soulless at all. This is what I see, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

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Mary

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2018, 01:10:31 AM »
I guess one of the dilemmas for the christian, or anyone, faced with a PD is knowing when compassionate involvement is right and when we should be putting up boundaries to help them take responsibility for their actions, clear up their mess without relying on and turning to others to do so.
Yes, this is the crux of the matter, isn't it!
I'm really excited to report a couple of breakthrough's last week as I decide when/how to submit, and when to set a boundary. My Boundary #1, not being a financial rescuer, has been challenged as DH has demanded that I get a higher-paying job. I love my current work, and it is pretty good for playing the balancing act. Anyway, last week as his demands rose to a fever pitch, he happened to get the mail. In it was the biggest check I have ever received for my home business. And later in the week I got a surprise email from my boss begging me to teach one more class, the same prep that I already teach, and I got to choose the time and format. I'm praising God for his timing and provision on these things, and that although I'm not jumping to the tune that DH was demanding, God has made a way for me to help out a bit with not too much extra work on my part.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Starboard Song

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2018, 12:13:07 PM »
I guess one of the dilemmas for the christian, or anyone, faced with a PD is knowing when compassionate involvement is right and when we should be putting up boundaries to help them take responsibility for their actions.

I'd encourage us not to ask "when should I this" against "when should I that."

A boundary is an expression of our morals: it is what we will or will not do or engage with. We erect boundaires because they prevent us from doing or engaging in wrongs to others, or because they prevent us from doing, engaging in, or allowing significant injury to ourselves.

I'd encourage us to say that the ethical dilemma is not "when?," but "what should my boundaries be"? Always.

Boundaries, when designed well and enforced with kind confidence, needn't be a barrier to compassionate involvement. They may result in reduced levels of contact, or may inspire anger or resentment in the other party. This happens when the other party fails to repect you, or when their behavior is so pervasive that they are rendered incompatible with your view of a moral life. What of this?

- Is it an article of our faith that our own health, emotions, and safety, are less important than others?
- Is it an article of our faith that people behaving poorly can conscript us in their designs?
- Are our values and our dignity enslaved to the whims of those who would wail that we won't join them?

Would any of us raise our children to believe any of the above? Not me.

- My health, emotions, and safety are as valuable in this world as another's.
- I must never allow others to conscript me, to drag me into their choices, whether by peer pressure, complaint, or threat.
- My dignity is vouchsafed to me by my creator for its protection.
- I will turn the other cheek, but I will not raise a knife or otherwise participate or engage in behaviors that are destructive: whether to others or to my own emotions, health, and safety.

I'm a little on edge today. Maybe I am a bit strident. Sorry. But I've seen too much damage done and I am sick to death of it. It breaks my heart when the Good Guys confuse a loving sympathy with a moral obligation, for that is what I think we do when we wrack our own selves with guilt over decisions born of love and fealty to righteousness.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 08:51:47 AM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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all4peace

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2018, 12:29:08 PM »
I agree entirely with Starboard. We ALWAYS have boundaries, it's just that in many relationships we don't need to be as aware of them because nobody is pushing up against them or trying to get around them.  I think we often don't consider our boundaries at all because we've been taught we're not allowed to have them, that having them is unloving, or because we haven't yet confronted a person unsafe enough for us to need to define and solidify them.

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Mary

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2018, 01:48:38 AM »
" I don't know how, but I know He is making a way for me to set and keep consistent boundaries, yet to be honoring and submissive in the midst of the grinding control."

I am finding so much freedom in implementing my first carefully planned boundaries WITHOUT guilt. Today I got such a breakthrough. DH actually thanked me for working so hard instead of railing on my home business that's starting to take off. I have been investing intellectual capital and so much heavy lifting with plenty of trial and error in the project for about 10 years, and he has been overtly antagonistic about it constantly. To hear him thank me, after having set the boundary to stick with it, is truly other-worldly. Praising God and thankful to you all for the encouragement I have needed in this process.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Starboard Song

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2018, 08:53:30 AM »
Good for you. Little steps of progress.

And congratulations on your business efforts.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Bloomie

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Re: Biblical Boundaries
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2018, 08:32:59 PM »
Mary what a great update! Thankful you experienced this positive affirmation for all of your dedicated efforts in growing your business! :hug:
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸