A fruitful conversation with a sponsee's sponsee (we really need a word for that, kids. But personally I'm not big on the term "grandsponsee") reminded me of the following:
Believe people when they show you who they are. If they couldn't respect your boundaries last week, and they couldn't respect your boundaries yesterday ... guess what? They're not going to respect your boundaries today, either.
The first time someone crosses the line, it may have little or nothing to do with you.
(I said "may," please note -- my own personal "road to happy destiny" is littered with the corpses of my many denials. I have been -- to crib a slang from across the Atlantic -- positively gobsmacked by some inventories and what they have revealed to me about how big my part in something can be, and how I am so often the author of my resentment, disappointment or frustration.)
But, as it quite wisely points out in the very beginning of the discussion about the 4th Step in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" (AA's Big Book) "... the world and its people are often quite wrong." So there are occasions where someone else's spiritual sickness causes them to "step on my toes" and I actually didn't have much to do with it. I didn't put my toes underfoot that first time.
The problem for the doormat drunks out there is that we don't appropriately speak up -- or if we do, we don't hold the line. We resent the toe-stepper, and we resent ourselves for not speaking up or sticking to our proverbial guns. So in some cases, when trying to sort out my resentments in a four column inventory format, "my part" is not that I created a scenario in which I put myself in a position to be harmed -- my part in the resentment becomes that I keep showing up for it.
In developing healthy relations with others (a "moving and fascinating adventure" as it is described in AA literature, and occasionally when I read that I think, "damn straight, skippy") understanding what a boundary is, and how to set it, is key. Here are some thoughts I've had on that.