So recently, I have been working on defining my boundaries. This to any autistic person can be extremely difficult as we oftentimes become vulnerable to those who seek out a friendship in us. We want nothing but a friendship out of it, but we must be mindful of where we lay our boundaries because we don’t want to become susceptible to become a victim of something that we in no way wanted to be a part of.
Setting boundaries is a good quality in any person, let alone an autistic. It defines what you value and what you will tolerate from people and what you will not be able to withstand. It is for your benefit because it will cause you less mental stress because if you hold up your boundary, then the other party wont budge. When you let a person walk over you and just bother into your life, it can make your life very difficult to manage as a person. Especially if you have a life outside of the home it is imperative to ensure that you keep your guard up to protect someone from grasping control of the life you want to lead.
Being autistic can make understanding individual rules and boundaries very difficult. However, boundaries are needed in order to provide safety and security for oneself. Not having these can cause one to become lost, anxious and insecure. Without boundaries, specifically in autistics can cause one to behave in a way that is unacceptable to standards causing outsiders to perceive their behavior as resistant, oppositional, noncompliant and purposeful. Without boundaries, one becomes anxious and often results in being in a free fall.
As such, autistics require very concrete, black and white rules and boundaries. Having these can provide predictability allowing one to feel safe and secure with a path that will assist in decreasing anxiety. To assure understanding, these must be clear and consistent. Later in life, this can be gradually reduced. Never overestimate the autistics ability to understand.
Setting boundaries can provide a great sense of relief when you become independent because it is fighting for what you believe in and as long as you keep your physical and mental health in check along as you are happy with your life, that is all that matters. You shouldn’t value your life on another person’s opinion or become easily influenced as a result of something that makes you happy just a slight bit, comparted to being irritated a majority of the time. As autistic adults we should absolutely have the ability to make sure we are ascertaining what we feel is right and normal by means and what we can share or tolerate or not tolerate for that matter.
If it doesn’t seem right or it makes one irritated more than it makes you happy. Then, you need to define and set up your boundaries and know what is enough for you to manage. Yes, at times everyone seems as if they want to harness myself, however I have to realize that I need time for me to regulate and de-stress and as a result I had to learn that it is OK to say no to something because it is too much. Likewise, should someone become too toxic and cause me more heartache than positive vibes in my lives, then by all means I need to set up that boundary to protect my overall health.
I would say boundaries along with advocacy are important tools to be independent thriving citizens of the community. They may occasionally may need some practicing and refining at times, but it is important to always keep them in check because you may never know when you will have to fight to your defenses to protect your overall health.