I heard someone speak about boundaries in a context I hadn’t thought about. In the area of sexual abuse, many times before anything really sexual happens there are boundaries that are crossed. They may seem harmless inadvertent actions or comments. An innuendo, off-color joke or comment of a sexual nature. Sometimes even a suggestive leer. A kind of testing of the waters to see if one might take things further. Some have insisted that this constitutes a mild form of sexual abuse. These days we'd categorize it as sexual harassment if it happened in the workplace.
I know as a young boy I was occasionally taunted by older boys about not having a knowledge of sex that they had or not being interested or even embarrassed when the subjects would come up. I felt shame that I wasn't privy to certain knowledge that my peers thought I should be. I saw it as an attempt to destroy my innocence. If they only knew, but I played dumb and let them make fun of me because I had secrets that I didn't want anyone to know about. They might want to know how I learned what I know.
I’ve had older boys try to cross those boundaries with me with the idea of seeing if I'd be curious enough to allow them to guide the conversation with a point of grooming me for something more.
My boundaries were crossed during the wee hours of the morning on I don’t know how many countless times before I was old enough to become aware. I was slowly conditioned to respond in a compliant manner so that the more serious abuse could escalate.
Boundaries are important but much more so for the young who cannot understand why they are important. Once crossed successfully, the course of one’s life can be derailed onto very harmful tracks.
Those who should've protected me the best failed the worst. Thank God I’m being put back on good solid tracks.