Childhood sexual abuse survivors, often don’t learn good boundaries. The boundaries that are meant to be adhered to by adults, were crossed, the child’s body used for the adults pleasure and sexual gratification.
If this is combined with parents not teaching a child good boundaries, this essential part of learning is not learned and the core development problems from this, go on right into adulthood.
I’ve never had boundaries, never even thought about them. And I learned young that men liked me, when I allowed them to gain pleasure from my body.
Throughout my adulthood, I have allowed people to cross those boundaries and not really challenged them and allowed them, or just laughed about it, rather than be upset.
I’ve allowed work colleagues to give me neck massages, allowed people to talk about me and my body in any way they wish and not stopped them, not respected my body and allowed others to disrespect that, come into what should be my personal space.
Looking back, I have been totally disrespectful of my body and myself as a person and as a woman. And I have allowed others to do the same. Sad, but true.
They say childhood abuse survivors are far more likely to be re-victimised repeatedly, and a lot of this is due to lack of boundaries, lack of self respect. People who are looking for someone with a lack of boundaries sense this, test it out and will pursue this person, ending in further assault, abuse, or hurt.
Minor boundary violations by someone trusted, are not noticed by the childhood abuse survivor as anything dangerous, it doesn’t trigger alarm bells, the way it would with someone brought up to respect their personal space, respect their bodies and have good boundaries.
Boundary violations, become a target for people wanting this, seeking this.
This has happened to me as a child, as a teenager, as an adult, and even recently. I’ve been told in counselling my boundaries are not what they should be and how to form good, positive ones. Learning these developmental needs at 42, I never learned in childhood.
Judgemental, ill informed people, often say ‘victims’ getting re-victimised’ must have been ‘asking for it’. It’s a society issue, to blame the victim and not the abuser. Victim blaming is a hugely shameful epidemic throughout the world now.
It isn’t because the victim was ‘asking for it’, it’s because the victim doesn’t have good, appropriate boundaries and people seeking those with no boundaries, see this and home in on this vulnerable people.
At worst, these abusers are actually dangerous predators, deliberately seeking out victims, preying on vulnerable people and it is planned, predatory and all about abuse.
At the other end, there are weak people, seeking something from someone they shouldn’t, like an ego boost, sex, a possible affair, some kind of self gratification. Not necessarily being an abuser, or dangerous, not being someone who would force someone into something, but still knowingly crossing the boundary lines they know they shouldn’t be. People who cross boundaries deliberately, know it is wrong.
But, complex childhood abuse survivors don’t know their boundaries are being crossed and therefore, allow it, especially when it’s someone they like or trust.
Learning boundaries is a new thing to me.
But, is needed and better later than never.