Find Your Limit

I had a friend who was a victim of domestic abuse. Really bad shit that went on for almost two decades. After she finally left the abuser, it was really hard for her to establish boundaries in relationships with men. She had no idea what was OK to put up with. I had to talk her through the most basic strategy of building a boundary.

“What’s a hard ‘no’ for you?” I’d ask. “It’s got to be whatever feels like it should be completely off limits under any scenario for you. If the guy asks you to take drugs? If he hits your child? If he is sexually inappropriate with your child? What’s your absolute limit?”

It was so hard to get her to understand what I was on about. But eventually she did figure out her hard limit which was about a million light years off from mine but that’s OK. We are different people, it’s fine. Her personal life did stabilize and she did end up in a relationship that made her happy. My friend died two years ago, so I feel free to write about it.

I’m writing this because I think it’s time for everybody to figure out their hard limit in the creeping totalitarianism we are experiencing. I’ve thought about mine, I have figured out what it is, and it’s very calming to know it. I highly recommend thinking about where you stop accommodating the totalitarians. What is off limits? We are all different, and everybody will put their boundary in a different place. That’s OK as long as we all find the boundary.

This ends when and where we all find the boundary. This is completely in our hands but we have got to go at it together.

14 thoughts on “Find Your Limit

  1. James Lindsay (Cynical Theories) brought this up a few months ago, and as important as it is for each of us to find our own, I think we have a better chance at saving the culture if those of us who reject lunacy challenge our leftist ideology embracing friends to name THEIRS and then hold them to it when it inevitably comes.

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  2. Heh. I balk as soon as I have to make a false statement.

    I recently spent about three days, stressed to the eyeballs, trying to get through a stupid online rental application because it was so poorly designed that it asked “Do you have a dog?” (yes/no), and then after I answered no, it still required me to answer “Is your dog over or under 20 pounds?”(yes/no) (or something equivalent) in order to move on to the next page. I couldn’t do it. I would have to perjure myself and admit specific information about a dog I don’t have, in order to complete the form.

    I ended up renting from someone else. Over something that trivial.

    But it’s not like there’s just one line. There are many.

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    1. You are a very principled person. It’s a great if onerous quality to have.

      I’m boycotting the state-mandated kindergarten form that asks me what my child’s “sex assigned at birth” and her “gender” are. Thankfully, the school is understanding and isn’t making me participate in the falsehood.

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      1. More pedantic than principled, honestly. Not being able to fill out the dang form causes me less mental suffering than making a false statement on the form. But… you also won’t get me to positively affirm things I don’t actually believe, in other contexts. Does that make me principled? I don’t know.

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  3. I have a limit and it was reached yesterday over masks. Weirdly, though, my college kids have no interest in fighting this battle at all and think their mother is off her rocker. My youngest, though, the only one still in high school, is right on board with me. I forbade her to wear masks at school this year (they are optional and “strongly encouraged”) and she is happy to go along with that.

    It REALLY bothers me that two of my kids don’t see what is going on around them. I know, I know, they are in college and fish don’t know they are wet. But I’m just going to keep being their crazy mother until they fight this battle alongside me. I think the language of “what is your limit” will help me frame any talks we might need to have.

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    1. My kid’s school board is valiantly fighting our unhinged governor on school mask mandates. I’m very grateful they are doing this.

      People don’t believe me when I say this is just the beginning because they don’t understand how totalitarianism works. Nobody comes and announces, “Starting today, we have a totalitarian regime!” It’s always a slow creep. It always starts with seemingly trivial things. And then it’s too late to say anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the real problem. First, it’s just two weeks to stop the spread, just a mask, just a vaccine, just a booster (then boosters), just a vaccine passport… Sadly, many people are too afraid for their life to see reason. I know allegedly devout believers who are completely fine with barring unvaccinated from entering churches. I am not very optimistic about future. Needless to say, this have been the longest two weeks of my life…

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  4. For me, the boundary is when children are forced to either vaccinate or get shut out of essential services such as education. I am sad to realize we are quite close to it. I know of several private schools in my blue state which have mandated vaccines for students over 12. Fortunately our school has taken a very inclusive stance on vaccines which I am very grateful for.

    But I don’t know what to do once the limit is reached. Do we move? Where do we go?

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    1. I’m really hoping that the saturation point is coming. Maybe not right now but it’s got to come. Even the most sheepish have got to start figuring it out within a year. I hope.

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  5. I reached my limit with the mask mandates. But who was I to fight against them? I refused to wear the paper mask but was not allowed in certain stores so I made a ridiculous red mask that is completely sheer. No one said a word to me–even at work. Because as long as you are going through the motions, no one gives you any guff. I have been saying I would never take a vaccine for over a year and now is where the rubber meets the road. What do I do if my job requires one? I work in the financial industry, so rest assured they will at some point. So I will try to get a religious exemption or a fake vaccine passport. I don’t think we can stop the “totolitariam creep”.

    And to Random Reader’s point above, I too know devout religious folks who are shunning the non-vaxxed. This is completely unscriptural. But it is painful nonetheless. Worse, they say we are “sinning” by non compliance with government mandates. What is this dystopian nightmare I’ve woken up in?

    But to your point, we will all have to make some really hard decisions in future days about how we want to live our lives. It may look completely different than what we imagined–just like your abused friend. So it’s time to get healthy, sell everything of value, and be ready to move some place safe. I will participate in civilized society for as long as I can. But there is definitely a limit to how far I will be pushed. Then, I’m out.

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    1. In regards to “sinning” by noncompliance with the government mandates, I have recently learned about Franz Jagerstatter who was executed in Austria during the WWII for refusal to fight in the Nazi Army, a decision he made to follow his conscience. Interestingly, several priests and even a bishop told him that he should just join the army, that it is not his place to decide whether the war is just or unjust. Today, he is recognized as a martyr in Catholic church. The anniversary of his death was on August 9.
      His story is here: https://www.dioezese-linz.at/site/jaegerstaetter/english/biography/article/22528.html

      Regarding the government mandates, I do not begrudge people who have taken the vaccine. I think that each person should be free to evaluate the data and to make the best decision in accord with their conscience. If that results in taking the vaccine, they are doing what they believe is the best course of action and that’s it. But, we should all be free to follow our conscience in these matters. Now, the Catholic Diocese of NY instructed its parish priests that they should not support their parishioners in obtaining religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates. Note that all coronavirus vaccines available in the US are connected to abortion in some way (i.e., fetal tissues have been used in production and/or testing). This is a big problem for a significant number of Catholics who oppose abortion. Should they be forced to receive the vaccine against their conscience? Why are the members of the Catholic Church being complicit in this? Dystopian nightmare is the right way to describe this.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. IMO, now is the time for people who have some extra cash lying around, to go and test out various vaccine-dispensing locations… and find out which locations, and which employees, are willing to take a $100 bill in exchange for squirting the syringe contents in the nearest wastebasket, and giving you a shiny new official vax card… one suspects a lot of people are going to need that information.

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