Boundaries

Nasty Freaks & Geeks,

We wanted to start the week out by speaking a little bit on the topic of boundaries. Boundaries are an interesting thing. You can dig a deep ass boundary line straight into the sand, but if someone wants to step over it, there’s no physical barrier to stop them. As women, we have our boundaries crossed on the daily. Sometimes we realize it and sometimes we don’t until it has some time to fester and build up only to explode out of us at any given moment. Whether it’s an asshole you’ve never met telling you to smile more, or a client calling you in the middle of the night unannounced—we’re all frankly exhausted from all of the boundary crossing we have to endure.

The world we live in has prepped us to have our boundaries crossed though. When I bugged my entire house with Alexas, I essentially signed off on having my boundaries crossed regularly—that bitch is always listening. Corporate interests through questionable data collection and targeted ads have forced us all to deal with the fact that whether we have boundaries or not, there is always money to be made and boundaries to be crossed.

And it be the ones closest to you too. A few years ago, I had a roommate who would cross my boundaries at least once a day. She would go into my room and try on items in my underwear drawer, she would call me during work even though I explicitly asked her not to, and she even almost got us evicted on several occasions because she lived paycheck to paycheck and sometimes the paycheck just wasn’t there. Her behavior started getting to me so bad I spent my weekly therapy sessions just spewing out all of my stress about her. And on the topic of roommates, I recently had a roommate who would invite people to visit them, only to leave town and leave me alone with the guest all weekend. One of these guests made himself a little too comfortable, asking me to keep the volume of the TV down while he chatted on the phone, making me watch hours of South Park with him, and even asking me out at the end of the weekend as if that whole weekend was some kind of secret slow burn set up. And I happened to be sick that weekend and because of that was confined to my apartment, so essentially trapped in boundary pusher purgatory.

Years later, I found a similar dynamic in my business partner. Like the roommate, it crept up on me. Like the roommate, I started losing my shit. What started out as a chill partnership evolved into personal and professional being interwoven in the most claustrophobic way. My house had slowly become the company office, I received calls and texts at all hours of the day, and when I attempted to draw a boundary of my own I was met with anger and yet another (help) text fight. I have since parted ways with this business partner because I realized that the ultimate boundary-setting move would be to bow out and leave.

Oftentimes in these scenarios you have to be “cruel to be kind” as they say. You have to draw the boundary line and stand over it like a watchdog and no matter how much the other person tries to gaslight you, you have to stand your ground. Texting is a little/big way to shift the way you address boundaries. This year, I made a promise to myself to halt all emotional texting—meaning any love interests, friends, coworkers etc would have to wait to either speak with me on the phone or in person to air their grievances and vice versa. I found that texting was a subtle way in which my boundaries were being crossed—once you send a text you’re basically expecting that person to respond to you immediately, whether they’re ready for you or not. That expectation isn’t just unfair, it’s toxic.

So nasty freaks, today is the day we make our boundaries and we stand by them. Today is the day we stop giving any fucks about the people who will deem us “unchill” for wanting things the way we want them. Today we reclaim our space, today we reclaim ourselves. Until next week.

xoxo

Nasty Gehr

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