by | May 21, 2019 | boundaries, featured

Now that the new website is nearly complete, I’m republishing the articles on this blog and plan to keep 50 articles on the website at any one time.

I’m going to include the backstory and some of the comments from the original blog – especially the early ones.  I hope everyone enjoys the recreation of the original blog, especially the blog babies who followed me to FB.

Maybe some of you who came later on can see how the blog slowly evolved into something much larger than originally intended and eventually onto the book’s publication – which was not even a small thought in my head when this whole thing started.

Backstory to this post:  As noted in Getting Past Your Breakup, I started this blog as a way to keep in touch with a handful of students of my Getting Past Your Past class that I taught at the Learning Annex in New York City.  Before this website, I originally had a Getting Past Your Past blog on wordpress.com 

When most of my students seemed to be struggling with breakups/divorce, and the ones who were most engaged in class and after class, were those coming off a breakup, I started this blog for them. I put aside the lessons about Goals (which are in the workbook and came from that class) and other general “life changing” perspectives. 

As most of you know, there was NEVER an intention for this blog to be more than a simple way to keep in touch with 12 or so students who seemed to ask a lot of questions away from class. It had gotten to be too much to keep up each through email, and since so many questions were similar, I started a newsletter. 

Blogging was relatively new, but around the time I started the GPYP newsletter, I had started a Blogger blog to support the District Attorney on Long Island who was trying to turn a vehicular manslaughter case into a murder case. The person killed was a darling little girl named Katie Flynn and her story was heartbreaking.

I was enraged by the details of Katie’s death – killed by a drunk driver who had previous DUIs and should not have been on the road that night – his license was suspended when he drove the wrong way at a high speed and crashed into the limo carrying the Flynn family.  

I worked long hours at the time, but started blogging at night to drum up support and awareness that a conviction for vehicular manslaughter was NOT appropriate for the person who took Katie Flynn’s life.  On my Blogger blog, I advocated for stricter laws and supported the DA who wanted him indicted for second degree murder – depraved indifference to human life.

The drunk driver had taken a precious life and destroyed a family on what should have been a happy event (they were returning from a wedding where Katie had been the flower girl for her aunt.) The limo driver had been killed as well and Katie’s father’s leg was so severely damaged it had to be amputated.

I was working as a mid-level associate at a large, prestigious, international law firm. I was exhausted when I got home. When I did get home I would turn out a newsletter for my GPYP students and a few blogs to raise awareness about Katie Flynn’s death.

I noticed that I would push out so much more material on my Katie Flynn blog than I was able to turn out for my GPYP newsletter – the blog was so much easier.  I switched the newsletter into a blog. (as an aside, the driver did get convicted of two counts of 2nd degree murder as he should have). As soon as I did that, the blog exploded. People were reading around the tri-state area and then around the country and then around the world. I was amazed. 

The Blogger blog was defunct after he was indicted and convicted. I am not sure if my blog had anything to do with it, but I’m glad that it existed and I’m glad that blogging about something so tragic led me to blogging for others in a positive way.  The Katie Flynn blog led to the GPYP blog, which eventually led to the book.

About this article: This article was one of the first 5 on the wordpress.com Getting Past Your Past blog so it was one of the first I ported over to the Getting Past Your Breakup stand-along blog (i.e. not part of the wordpress.com family of blogs).

As you can see, I wrote very short, simple articles at the time. I was very busy, had no intention of this being more than a quick way to answer some student emails, and these early articles were quite different from what it eventually became.


BOUNDARIES  11/29/2006

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. Copyright © 2006-2019 

I get more email and questions in class about boundaries than just about any thing else. So I will try to post about boundaries every few weeks….but send any questions to me and I’ll answer them.

As Melody Beattie, an expert in the field of codependency says, boundaries simply say, “I begin and end one place and you begin and end another place.” In other words, we know who owns what and who is responsible for what. We’re not enmeshed and/or taking on each other’s “stuff.” 


We stop making excuses for people and stop rescuing them.

We also take responsibility for our own stuff and stop waiting for someone else to help us out of our predicaments.

Too often we have trouble setting boundaries because we think that people won’t think we’re “nice.” We don’t want people to think badly of us yet the lack of boundaries is screwing up our own lives. We sometimes need to understand that it is more important to be healthy than to be popular.

Our own mental health has GOT to be more important than someone being angry at us because we said “NO” or we made them do it themselves. We have to sit with the discomfort of setting boundaries and after a while, it will get easier. Believe me when I tell you that it is very important (again as Beattie reminds us) to know that we absolutely cannot set a boundary and take care of anyone’s feelings at the same time. You just can’t do it. 

We have to learn that no is a one word sentence. I’m leaving is a two word sentence.

Stop explaining and trying to smooth things over. Once you start setting boundaries without having to lecture on them, people will stop nagging you to explain yourself every 5 minutes. 

Take care and be good to you. You can do this!

– Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. All Rights Reserved

No portion of this may be copied without the express permission of the author




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