At 5:30 this evening I was sitting up in bed, trying to achieve exit velocity from Netflix so I could go stare at the kitchen shelves before making dinner, when my mom walked into my bedroom.
This was no casual drop-in. She lives a third of the continent away from me–fifteen hours by car, although her flight was substantially shorter. I’d opened up to her this week about my current major depressive episode, and this weekend as soon as she was free from prior obligations, she flew out to see me. We went to dinner, and then she bought me groceries.
Well, first we hugged. And after we hugged, I went to grab my purse and shut my computer, which involved signing out of instant messenger. My mom just showed up bbl.
Then I paused, considered that sentence, and added a little 🙂 before actually signing out. Because with my friends, you can’t take that kind of appearance for granted as a cause for relief and joy.
The people I run with are really big about boundaries. My friends often fall into a series of overlapping groups that talk about boundaries a lot: feminists, mental health advocates, sexual assault survivors, survivors of childhood abuse, and people with disabilities, to name a few. A lot of them are deeply concerned with fighting the social pressures that take away their independence, autonomy, and agency; they want the right to make their own decisions about what they do, where they go, and who they do it with. I think it’s a good fight and I support it. But at the same time, I back off from rhetoric about boundaries being the ultimate social good, about how a stated boundary should be inviolably respected; the issue is more complex for me. Continue reading Boundaries and me