A Story about Boundaries

2 minute read

And why they are A Good Thing.

Today we’re going to talk about boundaries. 

This is John.

John is a GP. 

John often finishes late because he doesn’t have any boundaries. His patients enjoy speaking to him and they spend more time with him than they should. 

Here’s John speaking to one of his patients now. She’s called Julie. Julie is an accountant. She likes to talk to John about her drink problem and how she is being micro-managed at work. She is explaining to John that the manager has moved all of the office furniture around to show how powerful she is. She spends ages explaining to John exactly where all the different bits of furniture have been moved. 

After a big drinking session Julie likes to play the recorder. 

John feels depressed.  

John starts to think of things that might make him feel better. It’s his wife’s birthday today and John loves birthday cake. Eating cake is like getting a great big hug from the inside. But John knows that cake is a maladaptive coping mechanism. A bit like Julie’s whiskey … and heroin.  

Julie is still talking. John tries yawning and looking at his watch but this doesn’t work. 

He tries to signpost how much time they have left together and begins to summarise the consultation. But Julie doesn’t give a shit about his signposts and keeps on talking. 

John starts to fantasise about how he can get away from the practice. 

He imagines tunnelling out. 

He imagines walking across a tight-rope and jumping into a waiting speedboat.  

He even imagines his friend landing a helicopter on the roof and winching him to safety. But then he remembers that he isn’t rich enough to own a helicopter, or a speedboat. John doesn’t even own a mountain bike.  

John doesn’t have any boundaries and because his patients have taken up so much of his time he’s late home again. 

When he gets home it’s already very dark and the children are in bed. 

He gives his wife a kiss and she says “I gave your cake to the dog, you selfish bastard”.  

John’s wife has very clear boundaries.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×