I'm still getting counseling for the abuse I went through growing up with an BPD/Nmom and enDad. I'm diagnosed with PTSD. However, I feel that my experiences has made me a more empathetic person - I don't ever want to be like my parents. I'm not trying to brag on myself or anything, but I am usually a "warm" person and open - I find it easy to talk to anybody. I listen to anybody - especially people who seem to be having a hard time. People tend to tell me their stories - I don't know why or what it is - I can be in the elevator with somebody for a minute and ask how their day is and I guess it's because if they dont' seem okay, I ask another question and then bam they are telling me something really bad's going on in their life and I say somethign encouraging and then never see them again. It happens a lot like in random places, waiting in line, with the cashier, with somebody who is working on my car, etc. I think it's a good thing, when its someone I have a brief conversation with. However, its a HUGE problem when it's somebody that I'm "stuck" with everyday - for example, coworkers, and in college - roommates.
I tend to welcome people and when there are red flags I don't / am too afraid to draw firm boundaries fast. I'm afraid of hurting other people's feelings, of making a situation awkward. I think that I can handle it - I keep telling myself "I can handle this amount of uncomfortable for the sake of them not getting their feelings hurt if I draw a boundary." and then it ALWAYS gets worse, because as well all know, people with PD traits, or even just selfish people who are emotionally draining, tend to take more and more until you either have to say "no!" or run. Usually I try to "run."
I am in a job right now that I just started this summer. It's a really good job for me, just out of college. I love the position, and everyone I work with, except my boss. My boss has crossed boundaries with me, and at first I did what I usually do - try to pretend nothing is wrong, while I'm so uncomfortable, and continue to be nicer and nicer, out of sort of wanting to protect myself - not wanting to rock the boat, because I'm scared of her. Well, I realized this pattern, and I decided that I don't want to pretend that I'm comfortable. I don't want to run away from this job either. So what's left is asserting boundaries. I discussed this with my counselor, and I started creating boundaries.
Her reaction to my boundaries has been surprising! She has become more and more emotional, agitated, bold. So I started documenting everything that I do at work, and the instances that I'm uncomfortable. I've asked other coworkers if they felt the way she was speaking to me was appropriate. I've had a lot of coworkers tell me that they have my back if I am ever questioned about my work, because they have witnessed her behavior.
I decided to speak with my boss's boss, to make them aware of the situation. My boss was reacting to my boundaries in more intense ways, so I was setting MORE boundaries and her reactions got more intense, so I felt that either she was going to get the message with my boundaries, or she was going to "explode" and I might need to explain my side of the story to her boss, so I was proactive and met with her boss and told her everything. I asked her to not "get her in trouble" because my intention wasn't to take action with HR, but to just make sure she was aware if the situation got worse, and I was hoping it wouldn't.
Well, a week later, my boss screamed at me and was so out of line that I went back to her boss, and told her I am at my limit of what I can handle as far as stress - I am not able to do my job well in this situation, I've tried to assert boundaries, I'm uncomfortable, and I'd like to involve HR.
I'm not sure where this is going to go or what to say, or what the possible outcomes even are, as I am just new to the professional field - I just graduated college last year and previously I had never been treated this way, even working in retail, food service, and hospitality - lots of customer service fields and I had STILL never been talked to this way at work.
My job includes "counseling" a large number of people, in some fashion. I dont' want to say what I do as it's kind of unique. It requires me to be easy to talk to. I am now unsure of my ability to assert boundaries because, every time I've run across someone who is a PD or behaves in a similar way, and then end up running away from the situation with them, after dealing with those situations, I never want to become "cold" or less easy to talk to, because I do feel that is a good trait that I have. However, this is THE one situation that I think will make me become more closed off to people, and less trusting and open. Maybe that is a good thing? I realize that I need to be confident and sure about my boundaries, and recognize red flags ASAP. I just don't want to go around thinkin that everyone who has red flags is a PD -- I don't trust my ability to recognize red flags. I know that I am really sensitive to people because of my experience with my family, and I want to use that to be an open, kind person with empathy. But if I think that I'm being empathetic, when really I'm just lacking boundaries and getting hurt, then I don't want that. It's hard to tell and this situation is making me doubt what I know about boundaries and trusting people. I feel very manipulated by my boss. She was so kind, spoke in a soothing tone, always seemed caring. Then suddenly she started speaking to me harshly, and blaming me for things, following similar patterns to my N/BPDm. I didn't trust my OWN instinct of being uncomfortable around her, because I wanted to give her a chance, and I thought I was being too sensitive.
Any advice is appreciated!