The Need for Boundaries – “Do No Harm” Starts with Me

Licia Berry

Licia Berry

My experience with folks that don’t observe boundaries is that we need to let them know they have crossed them; otherwise they don’t get the opportunity to learn how they are being harmful.

I used to think that as a deeply spiritual person I needed to turn the other cheek…that I was reflecting the divinity in myself by allowing them to be hurtful, telling myself they were having a bad day, “beaming unconditional love at them”.  As I have grown spiritually, I am learning that allowing others to be hurtful violates the number one divine law that I learned, which is “Do No Harm”, and that allowing others to harm ME means I am violating that law.

I have also observed that giving someone feedback about how they have crossed a boundary gives them the opportunity to correct their behavior, and if they are truly wanting to heal themselves, and opportunity to go inward to see why they are driven to cross boundaries in the ways they do.  But it doesn’t happen unless I let them know they were hurtful to me.

I let some people in my life hurt me for a very long time because I was “too spiritual” to say anything about their trespasses.  I wasn’t creating any urgency for them to heal. I was actually contributing to their woundedness by not setting any limits.  In co-dependency terms, this is called “enabling”.  As I began to cherish my well being, and set limits when they crossed healthy boundaries, my life began to improve.

Join me for a discussion on Feminine/Masculine Leadership and “The Need for Boundaries” on Illumined Hearts Radio this Saturday at 1:00 Eastern.


What to do When Your Perpetrator has New Children

What can you do when your abuser is around or has more children?

I’ve heard this questions so many times and it is very complicated due to lack of evidence, appearing crazy, upstanding offenders and fear for your safety.

Here’s a common scenario:

You abuser was the head of a law enforcement agency and/or was a very upstanding man in the community.  He sexually and physically abused you and/or your siblings along with your mother.  When you confront the abuse, your mother tells you to remain quiet to protect the “roof over your head” while your father and/or step-father, uncle, grandfather etc denies the allegations. You grow up and flee the family only to learn that you abuser has remarried a younger woman with very young children and/or gets her pregnant immediately. You can’t go back or fear for your own safety.  The family has disowned you.  Your abuser threatens to come after your children if you do anything. No one believes you since your perp is “such a great guy.”

What you can do:

The likelihood of your abuser abusing the new children is huge!   First of all, don’t beat yourself up. This is how the cycle of violence and denial works.   By keeping you afraid, the perps are able to continue their abuse.  But you do have some power.  The healthy aware adults around the children will notice signs and be able to do something about it, so get them trained. You can anonymously call all the places those children go to from the daycare to the schools and be sure all teachers, bus drivers, friends’ parents and babysitters are trained in the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Training. It’s so inexpensive, easy and in a lot of places mandatory.  Check to see if there is a D2L facilitator in the area where the children live.  Call up the places to be sure the adults are trained.  You can do this anonymously.  If you go into town, call the new wife, blog emotionally about the abuse you suffered, you can easily be hit with a defamation lawsuit, be labeled as a crazy witch or have your own life threatened along with your own children.  There is no need to tell your story to the places you call, just let them know they need to be trained since there are children being abused they can protect.

Being sure adults in the area are trained to recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse is healthy, proactive and it works.  You can do this from the other side of the country.

If enough adults are trained to recognize the abuse, they will.  Instead of bringing attention to yourself for fear of your abuser(s), this is something to do to help put your heart and mind at ease.  Your gut instincts are usually correct.  Abusers do not simply stop. You’re usually right about what’s going on in the new house, along with being correct about how dangerous it is for you to speak out.  Many of these upstanding perps are in networks and your safety may very well be in question. Remember to take care of yourself just like putting your oxygen mask on first. You are not the sum total of the abuse that happened to you.  You can re-parent yourself and protect future children, it is possible.

Take a deep breath, read the The Art Of War and make those calls anonymously.

Please share ways in which you dealt with this issue too.

Finding Butch

Inspired by Finding Angela Shelton, Ron Tebo is now Finding Butch!

Ron Tebo and his younger sister are survivors of sexual abuse (he was 6 and she was 4) and they have created Finding Butch so other survivors have a positive place to speak out and share their story.