Boundaries

An intense discussion has been underway at Nicole's about adoptees and mothers. There are several posts, and about a gazillion comments that are really worth reading, because they're a microcosm of the range of experiences and opinions on the relationship between adoptees and mothers.

As I began reading the comments, my first reaction was to rush in and voice my support for both the moms and the adoptees. Some of the comments were pretty harsh, along the lines of what I was talking about the other day. When I see that anymore, I want to remind everyone that there's pain enough in the adoption experience to go around without creating more. It finally occurred to me that there was really no place for me in this discussion at all. Since I frequently need saving from myself, it's fortunate that by the time I got to the bottom of the longest discussion, comments were closed.

I have a problem with boundaries. The fact is that I just don't see them. It's hard enough in real life to respect them, but here on the internet, the great equalizer, it's nearly impossible. When I first started reading adoption blogs online, I would jump into any conversation I wanted to, thinking that the interet made them all free game. I did finally wake up one day, after commenting in a conversation on an adoptee blog, to how inappropriate it was for me to be there. I am trying to do better, but you'll see my comments in places they shouldn't be, so it's clear I've got a ways to go.

Upbringing, innate beliefs, and a hippie past may be a part of it, but I think the real root of the problem is that I'm just plain stupidly gregarious. Really, I can meet someone and in no time establish a friendship that lasts for life. Part of it, too, is that when I see discussions on topics I'm interested in, I want to participate. So I open my mouth, sometimes to a welcome and sometimes to a blank stare. The blank stare always reminds me I've blundered in where I have no business to be.

So I'm working on it, but here's the rub. I'm definitely interested in discussion with other adoptive parents, particularly those of you who are working for adoption reform. But the discussion I really want to have is with adoptees and first parents.

This is one of the reasons I'm excited about the new blog I mentioned the other day, Parents' Corner at Grinding Up Stones. You know, adoptees don't owe us adoptive parents squat, so I am grateful to the blog's authors for taking the time to talk with us. Being someone who's overstepped her boundaries on many occasions, the possibility of a place specifically for adoptee-adoptive parent dialog is exciting.

This is an idea whose time has come in other areas, too. How about a blog where adoptees and first parents can talk openly? Or one for first parents and adoptive parents? Pro-adoption and anti-adoption - and I don't mean this facetiously? The possibilities are endless, and with good ground rules the dialog could be amazing, and we could understand each other a whole lot better.

Yeah, boundaries will always be a problem for me. I think, therefore, that this is a good place for me to give a blanket apology to any first parent or adoptee who feels I've overstepped my boundaries. I try, I fail, and am always open to coaching.

Comments

Suz Bednarz said…
Havent been following Nic's thread. Frankly, a bit raw myself this month and trying to limit my exposure.

A good book on boundaries you might consider:

Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self (Paperback)
by Charles Whitfield (Author

Its more about setting your own (versus how to stop violating others) but you might like it.

And really, I dont find you someone who violates boundaries. I find you deeply respectful and considerate.

Your own adoptive parent friends are probably more likely to be ratteled by you, I would guess, since you challenge their belief systems and come from a position of once having held that.

The truth can be hard to handle and it is easier to shoo the messenger (you) than look into your own dark places.

Hugs.
Cavatica said…
Looks like a potentially awesome site! I posted a link to it on my blog and have subscribed. Hope I don't overstep my boundaries...
Irshlas said…
(I apologize in advance if this comment is too long – I’ll try to get to the point asap.) I honestly cannot see the point of having a public blog with open comments unless someone expects to get comments from the public. As you said, if the topic interests me, I read and I comment. In my opinion, bloggers expect adoring fans and yes-men. If people don’t agree with them, it’s flame time. Adoption interests me, obviously, and I want to have dialogues with people. So if I find an adoptee blog or a first mother blog, unless is states on the blog “adoptive parents not welcome,” I assume I’m welcome. I also find that if I post comments that fully support whatever the writer says I am welcome. If I ask any questions or suggest a hint of disagreement, I’m lambasted. I’ve recently found the same situation on Anti-Racist Parent. If I sit by quiet and read posts by people of color without commenting (or make only 100% comments of agreement and support), I am welcome to stay. If I ask questions or disagree, I am flamed repeatedly and told it’s not my place to comment or ask questions. Neither example is about boundaries, it’s about control and retaliation. I would be THRILLED to find a blog where people could openly dialogue in an adult manner without fear of being asked to “leave” over a difference of opinion. I’m completely disillusioned but still looking…….
Lavender Luz said…
I think you are being hard on yourself.

You seem to me to be uber respectful of boundaries.
Margie said…
Hi, guys, thanks for your thoughts. I do feel I overstep, though, maybe not all the time, but definitely I do. I do agree that putting something on the internet is fair game - but I also think there are discussions where you can tell you just don't belong. I've added my thoughts to those from time to time, and I just worry that it's not appropriate.

Suz, thanks for that book suggestion, I'm going to check it out.

Irshlas, I'm glad to see you, hope all is well in your world!! Let's keep out fingers crossed that that blog I mention turns out to be the type of environment you describe!

Lori, hi, happy holiday weekend toyou!
Margaret said…
I say too much also sometimes. Some things are not my place to comment on.

It's hard to really know that though until you know the blog and the blogger well. I find that some bloggers will offer me a response, some won't. If I'm being responded to, I'm inclined to offer my idea, opinion, whatever again. If not, I realize that maybe the view of an aparent or of me particularly is not what is desired. At that point unless the blog is a must read for me, I'll typically move on.
Paragraphein said…
Margie, you are one of THE most boundaries-respecting bloggers I know. In fact you and Dawn are who come to mind when I think "most respectful of boundaries."
Anonymous said…
Talk about boundaries. I am a social worker and also work at a technology company. A friend of mine said I should start an adoption blog. Not sure you want me reading your blog but here I am! I'm curious about the notion of a blog where biological and adoptive parents can talk to one another. What would you imagine that would look like? Have you seen one? I work in foster adoption and I think the parents I work with have a hard time finding peer groups because there just aren't as many people out there who have adopted from foster care and often times, their challenges are different because their kids sturggle with different things. anyway- just thinking out loud. I liked that idea .... of having different parents talk to one another via a blog.

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