on boundaries

I have been there too many times. words I said. things I did. mistakes I made. boundaries I crossed, of the people I cared about.

or people I still do care about. these are things I regret too.

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I remember when I was younger. I probably didn’t have the easiest childhood through adolescence—though there were definitely others much less fortunate—and given the situation I learned early not to rely on the peers for emotional needs. I liked to think I was self-sufficient, rightly or wrongly, and I wanted to be able to take on things, if not everything, on my own. I’m not sure if that’s something I could be proud of, but that’s the way it was.

it wasn’t easy. but I was probably lucky that later on I met some people in my life reaching out to me, from which I learned and grew as a person. so, I think, that’s how I learned too:

no one should be deprived of their emotional needs, let alone be left on their own.


every person has their own boundaries. how they relate with others, how they define safe and permissible ways for others to relate with them. and that’s an important thing. how you establish your boundaries reflects to your well-being as a person. you are in charge of your life, you set the rules and your boundaries.

at the same time people have their emotional needs too. sometimes easily expressed, other times deep-seated or even buried. sometimes through tears, sometimes through laughter.

people are often suffering in silence too.


I was fortunate to have had people reaching out to me. those who stayed even though I might not have been the easiest person to deal with. even with the bouts of anger and resentment and less than subtle affronts at times.

it was said suffering grows the kind ones. I’m not sure how true was that. I was not and I am not a kind person. but for all I know those who have suffered tend not to want to see similar pain inflicted to others. for whatever reasons they may have.

probably true, probably true.

but when intentions meet and boundaries clash, it often comes with unease and discomfort.


lately I haven’t reached out, talked with, and listened to others as much as I used to throughout the years. maybe the lessons learned. maybe the burnout. maybe the death at the thousandth cut. maybe other reasons too.

but well-meaning intentions from one should never precede established boundaries of others. just because you want to be there for others, it doesn’t mean you have all the rights to be there.

in the end, there are boundaries we have to respect too. knowing one’s place, knowing others’ places. and sometimes, knowing that we don’t necessarily belong in the boundaries.

when they decide you are not in, you stay out.

no matter how much you do care about the person, or the people in question.

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