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Feb 6, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

💥 "A boundary is sometimes choosing a long term gain over a short term reward."❤️ Genius 💫so good Holly 😘

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Thank you Janet ♥️

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I looked forward to this all weekend, and relished every word! Having many, many thoughts, but just want to say thank you, as always, and looking forward to the podcast. Sorry about your car but...congratulations on the move and the clarity.

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Thanks, Sarah. Holly~ …. Just what Sarah said…this piece took my breath away several times…I had to pause to get it back. Thank you!❤️

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<3

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Feb 7, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

I just finished Rebecca Solnit’s “Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir” which I highly recommend for several reasons but especially because of your experience with Peter. xo

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It's on my never ending list of shit to read!

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Feb 7, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

This list might be dangerous for me... it's is adding to my List of Shit to Read at a rapid pace...

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Feb 7, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

As always, wise and humble words. I know a boundary is being tested when I get instantly irritated. Only took me 20ish years to figure it out HA!

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mmmhmm. Anger, irritability; I've realized these are very clear indicators. Love you.

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Feb 7, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

Good old “delayed gratification” lived in practice. It’s a simple concept but hard to master eh? The short term hits give us the dopamine I suppose. Recovery is a great example of the long game winning out. It’s a great jumping off point for boundaries, or I have found it to be. Love this story. So many take aways from this. Thank you for the endless honestly and self awareness.

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YES! xx

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The connection between boundaries and integrity is such a good one. I also love the quote "You can either disappoint someone else or disappoint yourself," the idea that we continually compromise our integrity when we compromise our boundaries. yet we all have these niche places of our souls or personalities or whatever, which revert us back to that child who wants comfort even if it is a kind which doesn't serve us. Choosing myself over and over is hard, the long term work as you so adeptly point out, vs. the short term hit, much like drinking vs. not drinking turns out to be. It's nice to have your words back, in a different context. xo.

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all of this. Thanks Hanna.

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Feb 7, 2022·edited Feb 7, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

When I stopped drinking, it was a shock to realize how boundary-less I actually was, and showing myself compassion while telling the Peters in my life to fuck off has been an ongoing process. Reading your work is an integral part in that journey. Thank you ❤️

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lol. Yes! An ongoing, never ending process that is dripping in rewards.

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This line nailed me in the heart: "because I still haven’t figured out that last trick, which is that I am a being worth protecting, and am also the being that must protect…”. Gawd. I have been healing myself from a relationship that has taken me years to get over, and a few months ago, had a conversation with the ex, where we were trying to establish some sort of, um, I don't know what... my goal was some kind of peace with what had happened. He's a full-blown narcissist, arrogant, knows it all... and in the conversation he was being his usual blowhard self, yapping on and on needing no response from me, as if I wasn't even there almost, and yet I was STILL trying to figure out a way to end the conversation that wouldn't make him uncomfortable or make him feel like he was being an asshole. GAWD. What in the godawful fuck makes me concerned with his feelings when he's being a bulldozer and an asshole and I desperately wanted out of the conversation??? You just nailed the subtleties in this essay, so helpful to me. The epilogue is that after I finally did extricate myself, I finally understood it was so egregious, and that he had showed himself SO clearly (as he ALWAYS did, but I didn't listen, thank you, Maya), that I would never again allow him any kind of access to me at all. But I did it so gracefully that he reached out again, wanting to continue our "conversation", which is of course the exact opposite of what was needed, which was for me to tell him he's a self-absorbed asshole. Which I then did, but cripes, it was over 3 years of healing from that relationship before I could finally do that, and then all my instincts still wanted to protect him. Instead of me. But I did it, and then I danced.

Sorry if this is boring or too much, but it was really good to write it out, spurred by so, so much in your essay that just rang so true for me... all of which is to say thank you, I'm totally grateful to you! Much love your way!

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Feb 8, 2022Liked by Holly Whitaker

"I am a being worth protecting, and am also the being that must protect." Wow, that hit me with a wave of self reflection I was not prepared for but so very grateful!

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A simple idea that is hard to continuously execute. xx

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I read this and commented when you first sent this, Holly, and it sat really heavy with me all week. Tonight, I went on a date with someone, really hoping it might be really good, attempting to heal from a rough breakup.

This guy asked me about my family, a very tough date topic, mainly because I lost my beloved little brother about 3.5 years ago. I was transformed totally by grief, and nothing has been the same since, something I'm desperate to say out loud. Anyway, he asked me about my family and I told him, and then said my brother passed away. The only thing he said/did in response was say: "What do your parents do for a living?"

I didn't even realize how much it stung until I came back home and felt all out of sorts. And then I felt it. The pain of being unseen, and my brother being unseen. Peoples' (men's?) lack of capacity to sit with something uncomfortable. The sadness that I know how this will end now...we can go on more dates, we can sleep together, but I see the end of the road here. I can't do it again--an affectless man who is afraid of feeling.

And that's when "a boundary is sometimes choosing a long term gain over a short term reward" came to my mind again. I stopped trying to make excuses and thinking I should try a few more times because I'm lonely and he's cute. I settled into the silence and my integrity, into what I know I need, and I made peace with letting this fantasy go. And it felt good, and hard, and like everything you described here.

Sorry for the long comment. Thank you again for the post, and I loved the first podcast episode.

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I’m new to this space and reading some of the older posts. I re-read this essay while making the decision to step away from a friendship. I’ve now come back to it multiple times, shared it with others, and have quoted it in an essay that I’m working on. I really appreciate how your writing flows--it’s great prose and also so very human. Thank you.

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The worst is having to constantly remind the same person of the same boundaries. Why can’t they just respect me?! This is my main source of frustration and anger. Thank you for sharing your work ❤️ I find it very relatable and it makes me feel a little less alone. I used the term “displaced” yesterday to define myself lol sobriety is a journey, man...shew

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