Dangerous Compassions


Las Vegas is northeast of Los Angeles.  I feel like Las Vegas is just east.  Or even I feel like it’s southeast.  When I look at the map, I get discombobulated.  I feel like Las Vegas should be where Phoenix or even Tucson is.

How wonky are the maps in my head.


How horrible human beings can be, at setting boundaries and following through with them.  Yes, it takes effort to break up with someone and stay broken up, when some kind of sick static electricity wants to keep you clinging to them, like a synthetic sock out of the drier.

The truth is, you were getting some things you needed, which is why part of you wants to stay.  It can seem impossible to let go of the little you have, but you need to, because it’s connected to something else that’s killing you.

It takes work and backbone, not to slip back into something really bad for you, that you know is bad.  It’s a lot like addiction.

You could put a rubber band on your wrist, to snap yourself every time you think of them.  Or draw a picture of the adultery he did, or find a book about the abuse you’re getting, and read that chapter over and over again.

You can do a ritual.  You can beg your closest friends to check in with you and help you stay away.  Distraction, prayer, writing about it.  Make a list of reasons, and leave it on your desk.  How can I expertly mention these ideas, of how to do break up with an abuser?  I admit I’ve been there before.

Odysseus and milk metaphor

I’m thinking about that guy, tied to the mast of his ship, to hear the sirens without following them and being killed by them.  Odysseus.  People think they’re the exception.  Did that work out for him?   I think it did…  But that was fiction.

I hate that guy.  Women are a lot more than sirens, stay at home queens, medusas, island ladies to dally with.  When much of humanity is defined in terms of “what can you do for me?” and a woman exists to sexually please, stay chaste and loyal, destroy, comfort, support, enable, temp, distract, or nourish someone….

How long am I supposed to weave the same shit over and over again?  Seriously?

“I only have two tits,” I heard someone say a long time ago.  She was a teacher, speaking in reference to her students.  Her students were a bunch of big babies, asking too much!

Sometimes I feel the same, although I’m not a teacher anymore.  My two tits are not making enough milk, for all the people I’m trying to feed.  I’m undernourished for the amount of emotional labor I’m trying to do.  A few celery sticks isn’t cutting it.  I feel doomed.

mother energy

I have some mother energy, though I don’t have kids of my own.  I’ll never know what it’s like to do parenthood actually, but my stellar imagination is part of the reason I didn’t do it.

Once I told my community college class I don’t have any kids.  A student said, “But we’re all your kids!”  It was a sweet moment, and I probably blushed.  Changing diapers, feeding someone of your own body, and loving someone so hard you would die for them is different from teaching composition to a roomful of half-bored young adults.

But I heard her point.  I was caring in a particular way for a bunch of people who did look up to me, if only literally, as they were sitting down, while I was standing up.


Please say no to the people you need to say no to.  Set a boundary–stick with it.  It’s really hard short-term, but the results long-term will be worth it.

Clearly state and find a way to maintain your no.  If not for yourself, for the innocent bystanders who love you.  If not for us who love you, for the plan that exists for you.  Probably you did not come to earth to get abused.  Better things await.

Maybe you could identify what needs are being met by the person you’re having such a hard time leaving behind, and find ways to eliminate those needs, or new ways to get those needs met.

A hard part is that every person brings unique gifts.  But a good part is also that every person brings unique gifts.  You can’t get exactly what that abusive person gives to you, that you like–but you can get something else, from a different fish in the sea.

Please swim away from the fish who’s super bad for you.  I can prepare a sea cave for you, where we can drink tea and make joyful plans.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

One reply on “boundaries”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *