ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith

This is the second freebie from the bonus fishbowl, courtesy of new prompters [personal profile] jazzyjj and Deb1789 and new donor Debra Ames.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht.  It also fills the "courtship rituals" square in my 6-11-14 card for the [community profile] fanbingo fest.  This poem belongs to the series P.I.E.

"Boundary Lines"

Darrel had made it quite clear
that he didn't want Brenda
to meet his parents, but
they ran into each other
one day at the police station.

With a sigh, Darrel gave in
to the inevitable and made introductions.

Within minutes, Brenda silently admitted
that Darrel had been right all along.

Mrs. Finn simpered and fluttered,
leaning on the arm of Brenda's wheelchair
and occasionally groping for handles that weren't there.

Mr. Finn simply pretended that she did not exist.

It was always a challenge to keep people
from manhandling her hardware
in crowded places, but it was
all the more annoying when they did it
without even that excuse.

Rick was just as bad;
Brenda suspected that
being a construction boss
made him interested in
how things were made.

He had a hard time 
keeping his hands off
her spokes and nuts,
and couldn't keep his
mouth shut if you taped it.

Nate, on the other hand,
tended to drop things in her lap
without looking to make sure
they landed securely, and he
wouldn't sit down to speak with her
but preferred to remain standing.

It was little comfort that he used
the same silly dominance tricks
with everyone else, and it made Brenda
wonder if he was compensating for something.

She usually had to work
at maintaining her boundary lines,
to keep a little bubble of space around herself,
and then again to make people notice her.

She used her hands and arms
in expansive gestures, and
sometimes tapped a foot
even though it startled people.

With Darrel, though, Brenda
didn't have to do any of that.
He flowed around her like wind,
like water, neither hesitating
nor presuming to touch.

Brenda liked that about him,
the way he fit himself into her life
and invited her into his,

their boundaries slowly but surely
beginning to blend together.

* * *


The human brain can incorporate a wheelchair into its self-image, so it counts as part of someone's personal space.  Understand the etiquette for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.

Body language is complicated by such things as gender and social rank.  There are ways to use expansive body language to your advantage. 

Personal boundaries include several types.  Know how to establish and adjust your boundaries to keep people from bothering you.

Close relationships rely on letting your guard down, so you need to know when and how to lower your barriers.  There are always ways of building trust in a relationship.


Date: 2014-09-18 01:15 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I see a lot of /work/ behind Darrel's differences between himself and his family. That's not only starting from personality differences, but hard, slogging work through the examples around him to decide for himself how to behave.

I like this one a lot!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-18 01:24 pm (UTC)
raze: A man and a rooster. (Default)
From: [personal profile] raze
Ooh, I especially liked how Brenda uses her body language to expand her boundaries.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-18 03:12 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I like this -- boundaries are a concept I've always had a lot of trouble with, so more input helps.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-19 06:04 am (UTC)
calissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calissa
I'm a bit out of spoons right now (due to internal boundary issues), but I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-18 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beckyzoole.livejournal.com
The hardest part is when you let your guard down, let your boundaries begin to blend with his... and he pulls his boundaries back up again so quickly that they slam you in the face.

Don't do it, Brenda! Keep that guardrail in place!


Date: 2014-09-18 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> The hardest part is when you let your guard down, let your boundaries begin to blend with his... and he pulls his boundaries back up again so quickly that they slam you in the face. <<

That one sucks, yes. *hugs*

Another frustrating thing that some of my friends struggle with is when they want to invite someone into their life, but it's hard to get the barriers down and then they pop back up at inopportune times, slamming both people in the face.

Healthy barriers should be set where you want them, and responsive enough that you can raise or lower them at will. This ideal is challenging to maintain.

>> Don't do it, Brenda! Keep that guardrail in place! <<

Bear in mind that:

* boundaries are nested, from casual acquaintances through friends to family

* if you don't set boundaries, people will take advantage of you

* but if you don't let anyone in, ever, then you'll have no companionship and no support network

Hence the need for setting appropriate boundaries which can be adjusted at will.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-05 03:29 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
I'm torn between agreeing with Darrell that meeting his parents was an awful idea best postponed forever and thinking that it's best to get those introductions over with. That could've gone much worse than it did.

And then I got the point about Rick and I just... *shudders* It's an interesting section. On the one hand you've actually got a reasonably positive image of Rick as a person: he's curious, good with his hands, social. But it's the way those skills are shown here, the way you've described them and the way he's using them in a context where they're not appropriate and, in fact, deeply unsettling and inappropriate that flips it around entirely. Goes to show how important context is (and also why you should always ask before handling someone's wheelchair).

Nate is as bad, or worse, though he's not as invasive as Rick is. He's dismissive. They're a stark contrast to one another and show two angles of the same issue really well.

The ending comparison to Darrell is quite sweet, though. He gets more things right than wrong and really makes an effort to learn if he screws up without meaning to. Like [personal profile] dialecticdreamer said: I see a lot of work behind his differences with his parents.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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