Why Abuse Survivors Can Become Notorious Boundary Violators

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“The nicest of people in a maladaptive wounded state who have the best of intentions must be mindful of honoring other people’s personal rights while they are learning to not only manage their own boundaries but to respect other’s as well.”

A very important and not so obvious lesson relates to the challenges of managing boundaries for those with codependent tendencies, heavily reliant on others for self-worth.

Case in point. An abuse survivor who is far into her healing journey is called daily by a life-long friend who is a serious codependent and who uses her friend’s power to sustain herself but does not work on building her who own self-assuredness to help her through her personal issues.

Case in point. An abuse survivor with admitted over dependence on others for validation, goes to her sister to let her know how her non-traditional therapy went and was told by her sister never to do that again and feels extreme shame.

What can we learn from these interrelationships related to personal boundaries?


Boundaries Control the Flow in Both Directions

Read more on managing boundaries here. 

People who are heavily dependent on others for self-worth particularly may have a hard time sourcing their own power and learning self-reliance. Codependents have learned to routinely not only let others violate their boundaries but also to violate other’s boundaries to source from them what they need to define their worth.

emotional_bill_rightsWe can see how this relates in the first case above. It is not fair and totally disrespectful to legitimate friends to overly burden them with too much information about your problems, issues, and your journey, and worse, expect them to wallow in self-pity with you. Innocently, you become, at a minimum, annoying and in the worse case, burdensome, exploitive, and even toxic. So, the nicest of people in a maladaptive wounded state who have the best of intentions must be mindful of honoring other people’s personal rights while they are learning to manage not only their own boundaries but to respect other’s as well.

Let’s look at another very important and not so obvious lesson from the second example.

Don’t Tell All

Now, an emotionally healthy individual whose ego is intact, would merely be concerned that your therapy worked for you and it met your healing goals and ask you how the therapy went. His or her concerns would be focused on your welfare. The point is that by learning not to tell your “sister,” who in this example represents anyone who is not supportive or perhaps even toxic and learning instead to focus on relying on those who do have your back and will reliably validate you, you learn to depend more comfortably on yourself and less on others. Empaths should also be aware that they are naturally trusting of people and have a tendency to voluntarily tell others everything! Readily sharing too much information with others can leave us vulnerable to emotional attackers as well. You can also learn to limit your group of friends to just a key few you can periodically check in with for assurance rather than reliance on their power or acceptance of your decisions to define your worthiness.

Healing and Learning Better Boundary Management

We can learn to better manage boundaries during our healing and recovery by learning what personal rights are and where healthy authorities and boundaries start and finish,  learning to communicate assertively, and doing self-esteem work. Living alone and staying single through healing can facilitate the process. Learning to better deal with toxic people and situations also supports boundary management.

Read more on how to deal with toxic people and situations. 

Read more on managing boundaries here.

These will not only help us make great strides in our healing and sustain our emotional health but also support emotionally healthy and mutually respectful and loving relationships. I explore these issues and provide many more healing lessons, tips and tools in my book Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for Abuse Survivors.

7 thoughts on “Why Abuse Survivors Can Become Notorious Boundary Violators

  1. Sabrina says:

    I want send you a heartfelt “thankyou” for this wonderful website and you book TAKE BACK YOUR POWER. After 13 years of being with a pathological narcissist and the hell I’ve been through I am determined to land on my feet and I WILL! This article provides invaluable words of wisdom. Be careful who you share your painful journey with and find comfort with those people who know and love you best. Narcissists are masters of disguise and great pretenders and some of your mutual friends ARE apaths, many wonderful people but while perifarally(?) aware of the “NS” bad behavior are unwilling or unable to know the true depths of their real sustain for everyone. The sad part is these very people who excuse the bad behavior because the N charms and compliments the pants off them he is viciously trashing behind their backs. One must forgive them . They don’t LIVE with these psychotic messes . At the same time it is always best to keep your own council where possible and to go to those people who know and love you and who were able to spot the “n” rite away. Anyway thankyou for all your insights and for giving some deeply injured souls some tools to work with.❤️🌝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Evelyn Ryan says:

      Well thank you, Sabrina. This made my day. The souls of abuse survivors are starving for truth. My goal is to share truth so YOU can find yours and replace the lies, the BS with authenticity and with the joy you deserve and with skills to help you identify these soul suckers, protect yourself from them, and share your truth with others in mutually respectful relationships and thrive. People ready to heal, with truth heal fast and very fast…I just show you what and where to look…you had the power all the time…I am beyond happy to see you taking it back! xo Evelyn


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