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Thread: I just had a lack of boundaries

  1. #1
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    I just had a lack of boundaries

    Um yeah, I think I was more interested in someone else's needs than my own. Plus I was somewhat naive. I felt awkward but not erscared or anything, and it wasn't until today ( a day later ) that I realized how 'off' the whole situation was. Basically a former coworker stopped by to see me at the end of work, I had worked almost 11 hours, I ended up talking to him for an hour. I have had no contact with him since he left near the end of last school year. However I considered him on friendly terms, he is close to the age of my kids so there is this caregiving type of thing going on for me. No weird vibes from him other than weird boundaries. He seemed to have no clue this was a bad time, or ask if it was okay to visit me. I realize that I had no clue what to say when he showed up, maybe a day later I have figured out what to do.

    He seemed to want to know if program was ok over the summer and said he left the job concerned for the kids. I didn't share anything about any specific children. I did share we went on lots of field trips, that summer is exhausting but fun, and steered the conversation back to his new job. Then I walked him out and gave him some things from my car that I had planned to drop at goodwill. It was some sports curriculum that my former assistant left and didn't want.

    Before I left him he shared that his dog died that week and he and his ex-wife had been able to be there at the end together. I think maybe he was just emotionally in a vulnerable place. I at least hope it helped him to have someone to talk to. Maybe he was in a very bad place and I prevented something worse. I know one time I was in a very bad place and someone at Wendy's didn't charge me because I only ordered a soda. I went to my car and cried and felt just that little kindness made a difference. Still I realize that I am deeply conditioned to behave like this, putting other people ahead and feeling like I am responsible for any negative impact of saying no, no matter how innappropriate others are. Some things to really work on, I am seeing the EAP counselor through work, that is good.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good response to someone in need. Boundaries are hard to set sometimes until one considers the situations encountered and learns from them.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    It seems to me it was nothing more than someone needing a friend to talk to. He was asking nothing of you, and expecting nothing of you, except for an amount of your time to talk. Putting the needs of others before our own at times is exactly what we need to do, it's a healthy, human and loving response. True, he could have asked if it was a good time to visit, but if he had would you have turned him down? Boundaries are good, but showing care and a listening ear for a fellow human being in need is sometimes more appropriate in my opinion. I don't see anything "off" about the visit.
    Last edited by Sad Eyed Lady; 8-25-19 at 10:09am. Reason: mistakes
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  4. #4
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    Okay, my only concern was letting him in the building. I think I should have met him outside or at the coffee shop. He didnt leave under the best circumstances.

    I was okay during the time he was there but then realized it could have been a bad situation. Maybe it is okay to trust my initial intuition on this. I may reach out later and see if he wants to go to coffee sometime.

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Is there not a policy regarding who is allowed into the building?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
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    I need to know and identify anyone as a parent, pick up person, or visitor. Former staff visit the program to see kids, in general if they have a good reason to be there and there are no orders to not be there (such as custody) then it is my judgment call. I am feeling that this was a grey area, I don't have personal friends visit my program. I just don't know very much about him leaving

  7. #7
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    Next time I would just say it’s not allowed but you will meet him for coffee.

  8. #8
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    I ended up thinking that he was just lonely and needed someone to talk to the week his dog died. That is fine. however I also felt like I should tell my department and ask if he was allowed on school property since I don't know much about the circumstances of how he left. I knew it wasn't good. The director of our program was really great, more concerned about me staying late and being imposed on. She understood that it was not expected and I was in an awkward position. However she doesn't want him coming back, it is not a great idea in general. That is the thing that was bothering me. I don't want anything at all that I am keeping from my supervisors.

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