As i shared in my very first entry, Becoming gabriella, i have had a history of not protecting my boundaries, especially with men. i’m much better about it now, but something amazing happened here at Desire that i will carry with me forever as a reminder of the importance of defending our boundaries.
As i mentioned in Unexpected Bliss, our neighbor from the room next door started to cross a boundary with me when he barged into our room to grab my tail from the bed to examine it. And i really didn’t do a great job of defending that boundary other than to put my hand on the tail to block him and quietly telling him it was my tail and special to me. It startled me and i ended up basically retreating into the bathroom, leaving Maximus to protect my tail and me.
Then the next day, it happened again, an assault to my boundary, by the same person, and it occurred literally while i writing my post about the tail situation. i was really immersed in my writing, working hard to recall events and the things that Maximus had shared about that night. i was naked, laying on my stomach, typing into my phone when suddenly ice was dropped onto my lower back! i was shocked! And when i immediately rolled to remove this disruptive thing, i saw our neighbor there, who also had a beach bed next to us, laughing and saying, “you two [his wife and me] both have the most adorable dimples in your lower backs that are just screaming for ice!” i looked at him aghast and exclaimed, “please don’t do that again.”
Unfortunately the timing couldn’t have been worse. Maximus had just told me that we needed to go as we had a rendezvous set with a friend and i’d asked for a minute to finish writing what i was working on before we left. So instead of taking the time to talk to this individual about boundaries, we just simply left.
Maximus and i discussed the situation while walking back to our room. Certainly, this person had an issue about not asking for permission before entering someone’s space or touching their things or body. And certainly, someone needed to talk to him about it–and i felt i’d missed opportunities to do that. i really felt we had a responsibility to do that. So we talked about how and when to have that discussion with him.
At first, we thought it would be best for Maximus to talk to him, but the situation never presented itself. The next day, our assigned beach bed was given to another couple and we were moved, making me feel even more anxious about it, thinking that it appeared we had physically separated ourselves from him after the situation. i finally worked up the courage to go over talk to him after rehearsing the conversation, and he was gone.
But last night he appeared in our room again, uninvited, wanting to see what we were going to wear for Steampunk night. And i told him i was glad he was there because i had something i wanted to talk to him about. i shared that it was a difficult thing for me to discuss, but that i felt that my boundaries were crossed with the two events. And i shared that it was important to ask people for permission before entering their space, handing their things, or touching them. i added that i appreciated the fact that he may have seen many people come to our beach bed and enter our space, touch us, and kiss us, etc, seemingly without asking permission, but these were people that we’d had previous discussions about consent, and that those people either had consent for those things or blanket consent from us. Not seeing the prior discussions, we could understand how it might appear we had no boundaries with strangers.
He was very gracious with the conversation, despite my fear that he might become defensive or upset with me/us. He apologized and thanked us for telling him rather than leaving them to wonder why we avoided them, should that had happened. And we thanked him for his response. We felt so much better for talking to him.
And this morning, something wonderful happened. Maximus was sitting on the patio when our neighbor approached and asked if he could share something with Him. He related that last evening he went to a polyamory discussion circle and the group started talking about boundaries and permission. And he shared what had happened with us, that he admittedly had crossed some boundaries with his neighbors (he kept our identities anonymous) and shared how we had graciously talked with him about it and how he learned both about permission and how to have a discussion about boundaries. He used us as an example of how to talk about boundary crossing.
i could not think of a better outcome. We feel so honored to be presented in such a manner and are so happy it was a positive experience for him. And it was a lesson learned for me, that not only is it important for me to defend my boundaries on a personal level, but it is important for others that i protect them as well, and not to be afraid to have the discussion.