Boundaries: Enacting Them With Empowerment


It’s no secret that I have a tumultuous past. From time in jail to extreme sexual misuse of my body to behavioral problems, I have run the course of self-destruction, projection, being attached to petty dramas and other avenues of self harming, trauma based personality traits.

I am purposefully open about my past.  I want people to know they are not alone. I want people to know they do not have to live in shame.  I want people to know they don’t have to let anyone reverse them to the skin they have shed through healing. So, there is nothing which can be hurled toward me in regard to my past, nothing rooted in truth anyway, which I will not acknowledge. Part of my healing journey has included learning to stand in my place, not with shame or regret, but with empowerment.

I get to choose what to discuss or not discuss. I get to choose what to accept or not accept. I get to choose, period, and that’s that.

I also used to have a deep need to defend myself, explain my side and try to make everyone see and understand ME. I have associates who could tell you story after story of the times I lamented and recycled the same situations until I crazy-made my own mind. I was often in a negative-based mental space.

I felt owed. I felt people should adjust to me. I sometimes felt discarded, shunned and unaccepted, even by my own friends. Until I realized it wasn’t true. I was literally creating a negative storyline in my head that wasn’t fully rooted in truth and acceptance but instead, in my own self-based perception. There was some behavior from people which made me back away but concerning me, in retrospect, I churned those situations far too long and too much.

When we are in that state of mind or have friends who are in that state of mind, where we are churning instead of growing and learning, we can hold space and listen. I don’t mind listening. If you, the reader, don’t want to listen to others situations or can’t hold space, you also have the right to say, “I don’t have that to give to you right now.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to be in the space holding position. I have had friends tell me how frustrating it was to watch me churn petty problems instead of figure out solutions. So, I get it now. I’m an experiencer of this negative thought patterning.

I have a major boundary when it comes to being in the listening position, and that boundary is enacted when someone’s struggles are thrown at me like darts, and I am suddenly in the scapegoat position.

Writing on this subject was inspired by waking up today to a very long message from a friend explaining a situation that we had already discussed just a day ago and seemed, to me at least, had been lain to rest. Okay. I accepted that some things might still be unresolved for them. So, when I began to read, I was open to listening until I arrived at this phrase:

you have written a book and working on another about your torment and pain that some may dismiss as drama.”

Ah. Now I see. Because this person is attached to adult drama, they had the audacity to compare it with my childhood trauma. What I was reading was a projector’s mindset. I was being crazy-made.

I even further realized I was a target when I continued reading and arrived at… “All the times you schemed, planned, and even asked me to be involved. Or carried on without me, I never said a thing. Yes I was angry.”

At that moment I became slightly alarmed.  My mistrust meter went up to level red.  I began to search my brain. When did I scheme with this person? When did I ask them to be involved with a scheme that made them angry? My brain could find nothing. I attempted to call them to openly discuss it so I could understand more clearly what they were even talking about. They didn’t answer.

Then it hit me. If they were actually really referring to every person who has schemed and planned with them, but they couldn’t aim their anger at the actual person, it was being aimed at me. I was dealing with a deep projection.

This is where I advise not to take everything someone says to us literally as if it refers directly TO us.  If we cannot connect it to a specific event, most likely it really is not rooted in us.  However, we should not allow anyone to speak to us in ways which disrespect our growth and the ethics we work to maintain.

By that time, I was angry. How dare they speak to me this way. How dare they imply such things to me, that I’d ever schemed or been a petty person with them. How dare fabrications be thrown my way. How dare they not have the respect to answer the phone and actually talk to me about it.

By that time, I knew that I was done. I knew that I needed to separate from the recurring theme of this person’s personal life and being in the projected position. I realized this person was just being plain malicious and mean to me. At least that is how it felt.

I realized how hurt I was in that moment. So many times, I’ve been the only one listening to them; the only one understanding; the only one protecting. I sat on my bed, looking at my phone and realizing this was the crossroad we are at, and I had to choose to turn. That doesn’t always feel good.

I sit back now, writing out this emotion and decision to cut ties. I am hurt, confused and irritated to even have pettiness infused into my day unexpectedly. I also understand this really doesn’t have anything to do with me personally. I am being scapegoated. When I am feeling like that, I take my leave for my own spiritual safety. I always wish well, even as I wield a verbal sword when I slam the gate shut, in my heart, I always hope for healing and eventual accountability.

These are the times it hurts to cut ties with people we have been there for and truly care about in regard to their well being. This decision, for me, is rooted in the fact that this person has no respect for my own mental health, in that they found it alright to disrespect me. This person has now chosen to impede on my peace and mental health. That is a strong boundary for me now.

I write about this to both expel the negative energy that it created in me and to really drive home that we get to choose. I used to HATE when people said that to me. It pissed me off because I wasn’t ready to change my self-defeating behaviors. I had excuse after excuse. Everyone else was the problem. While yes, others had issues too, I needed to learn how to just focus on my own and not allow them to project theirs onto me. I had to also learn how to not project mine onto others.

I could list out the various physical and mental impairments I generally positively live with on a daily basis. I could demand everyone comply to my needs in regard to them. What I’d rather do is tell you that instead, I made the choice to create an environment which is conducive to my own well-being. I created it by building boundaries and standing mostly quiet in them, only raising my voice when it needs to be heard very clearly. It changed my whole life for the better. Any situation or connection which is not contributing to my greater good can be released or even taken a break from.

Once, one of my sons and I took a break from communicating because things were tumultuous between us. As a mom, I felt crushed. I spent many a night crying and lamenting until I finally realized that I was part of the problem. I needed to learn some different parenting skills, became accountable, listen more and stay rooted in my own safety boundaries. I started focusing on how I could do better, and our dynamic grew into a better and more loving space. I needed to lead by example in that situation.

I don’t expect you to compare any situation you may be having to my own. I share these examples because when I chose to own my own life and stand in what felt safe and comfortable for me, it changed everything. When we choose to heal the triggers which once rocked us they aren’t as daunting anymore. We remove the trigger and live from a state of self-care.

Until we choose to put our own peace of mind first, which can also, unfortunately, include pissing people off to do so, we will always be in the negativity zone. Becoming an empowered person means putting our own well being first.

Release unneeded worries. Cease churning negative situations. Create safe boundaries for yourself and adhere to them without fear of backlash. Most of all, accept that we are the only ones who can choose to protect and put ourselves first in our own lives.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

The Cult Of Consciousness

I’ve been observing him for a while. He’s been observing me as well. My first few interactions were kind and somewhat casual. We first began actually conversing privately in July by way of Facebook chat.

I had asked him about his family and his life. He was vague. He had a girlfriend, but was polyamorous. I sensed their rift. I didn’t mention it. I just listened and shared. It wasn’t anything I planned to pursue past friendship, if that.

My stomach felt uneasy from the first conversation. Something felt off. There was a dis genuine energy emitting from him. So I held him at a distance.

He maintained contact with an occasional little one heart emoticon sent through Facebook messenger. I sent positivity back by way of occasional youtube videos or articles I had found.

He never asked me of my life. He never went personal in an attempt to get to know me.

He went sexual.

The first encounter he wanted to do a Skype “cleansing” where he would enter my body and we would be “one” through Skype. He was going to give me a “free trial run” then afterwards, I’d have to pay as a client, of course.

I respectfully declined, explaining I did not have Skype and that was not a comfortable connection for me.

I felt his dislike of my answer because he didn’t get his way. I ignored it, chalking it up to immaturity, but still my intuition was clawing at my stomach and telling me “bad person for you”. I went about my life, being cordial, enjoying his posts at times, interacting with some of them occasionally.

We began a conversation a couple of days ago, and again I saw his manipulation and negative emotions arise when he did not get what he wanted. He claimed that he was particular about his sexuality and wanted to get to know me. Yet his conversation was riddled with sexual innuendo and he never asked one question about me, my work, my life. Nothing.

I explained in detail my discomfort, which of course he said he could heal that because my discomfort was merely me being attached to my past ::victim blaming eye roll:: I found him crass in taking such liberties without my prior consent and without knowing or caring about who I am.

I finally hit the unfollow and de-friend button today after this last conversation which included him gaslighting me as I shared why I had certain boundaries and then accusing me of trying to pick a fight with him (not sure over what exactly). Just typical idiotic gaslighting behavior.

As I sat there reading this stranger’s words, someone I had never met, who represents himself in the progressive love movement as a potential leader, I realized suddenly that not only was he making me uncomfortable he was triggering me.

I was back in the cult, a pre-teen, listening to one of my cult leaders/elders, manipulating my language, shutting me down, degrading my knowledge as if only he had the powerful connection to be “Teacher” and taking advantage of my sexuality.

This person who was accusing me of being attached to a past that I have spent many years dealing with was actually triggering me right back to the same past he was accusing me of not letting go of. What an Oxy-Moron.

It gets better.

I called bullshit on him. When his flowery words didn’t work he then attempted to use my own child abuse and Empathic gifts as a weapon against me. He told me that he was a Seer, too, and that he saw me in a cage as a child.

My choice about that comment in the moment was to completely ignore it. I felt at the time it was important for me to give that specific comment no direct power by even acknowledging that he’d used that tactic. It was a shill move. It was, for me, a signal to say good bye.

As I move away from this ill intended individual I realize how absolutely disgusting that behavior was. He literally blurted out a traumatic vision that he invented as a tactic to hold my attention, a made up vision that wasn’t even related to my abuse in any way. He did not even consider what kind of affect even saying something like that could possibly have on me. His short story in and of itself doesn’t match my abuse, and he vomited it without asking my permission, or feeling out if it was the right time. He represents himself a Healer and yet knows nothing about dealing with trauma survivors. In that, he is a dangerous person to even be around, especially for trauma survivors, if this is his common behavior.

Attacks on our spirit and psyche seem to be on the rise, coming by way of people like this person, for instance. As I have contemplated and meditated on this today, I came to understand there are some real tests in encountering narcissistic individuals.

Mainly I know my boundaries more clearly than ever and that feels great. One way this person gaslighted me was to call my boundaries “attachments”. Two different things. Boundaries define my happiness. Crossing them compromises them. Allowing someone to cross those boundaries and still keeping them around – that’s attachment to old patterns. If I was truly attached to old patterns I might have actually allowed someone like him to remain in my life.

These so called Healers are throwing around the word “attachment” with people whose lives and backgrounds they know little about. It’s harmful behavior and when they are dismissive it creates even more harm. They remind me of the wolf in lambs clothing.

It is alarming the amount of cult like behavior I am seeing from people in this co-conscious movement. This person’s behavior is identical to cult leadership behavior in that when he is in the “public” view, meaning those who actually believe he’s a genuine person, he is all love and oneness.

But behind the scenes he is about control, shutting a person down, getting them to comply and see only his view and anyone with a differing view just hasn’t learned yet. The perfect blueprint for a cult leader. He uses his position, most likely to get women. His last relationship recently ended. I would guess it is partially for this reason.

I have to cut these people off at the pass. Their intention is to suck people into their programs by using their charms, looks and lies that they are a loving and progressive person, but they will not show any interest in a person outside of how it may acquire something for them.

Narcissists have targeted me my whole life. It seems to be a bi-product of being an Empath. What is different for me now than in my past, is that I now can immediately sense it. Where I used to have been sucked in, say with the cage comment, which in my earlier days would have had me defensive, I can now tell Friend from Ploy and continue on my mission.

I don’t get swept up in group think. That is not to say I do not have similar thoughts, beliefs and preferences as others, but I do not need a group or a following to validate me. I share my heart and those who want to connect will. I don’t need a group to be a living example of what brings me joy. So tonight I went on a social purge, and that feels good; to rid that energy from weighting me down online as I stay focused on my own reason for being here

and that’s my current daily grind.

My mantra today: If it doesn’t contribute to my greater good it must go.