Back to basics is a buzz word at school referring to the need to teach reading, writing and arithmetic. Getting back to basics in psychological terms is boundaries, authenticity, and self-regulation. Child abuse interferes with learning these basics. My boundaries were violated so often and so completely I didn’t even know what they were. Simply put a boundary is where I end and someone else begins. In the book Boundaries http://store.cloudtownsend.com/boundaries-softcover-book.html there is a section that describes each type of boundary that people have and need. (The book gives examples of boundaries: skin, words, truth, geographical distance, time and emotional distance.) Authenticity and honor were simply not part of my childhood. I was told what to feel no matter what I actually felt. I was told if I was hungry. My reality was completely denied. Authenticity to me is stop lying especially to yourself. Took me along time to fully understand the mesh of lies the enveloped my childhood. Cutting through to authentic living was difficult and at times painful but so worth it. Honor adds a value of doing the right thing for the right reason. Self-regulation is a learned skill which abused children don’t do. My focus as a child was to do what was ever necessary to reduce the possibility of punishment. Fear based living has your fears controlling your life instead of yourself. I attempted to learn these basics on my own as an adult. I felt frustrated and overwhelmed by the task. One of the things I value about counseling was being taught the basic skills and principles of living that I didn’t get as a child.
Another book about boundaries:
Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self by Charles Whitfield
My second counselor recommended this book and I found it gave me a broader understanding of boundaries.