Everyone has different boundaries. Some people have thick boundaries, where thought and feeling are totally distinct and the difference between the past and present is clear. They’re very good at not being distracted, and their sense of identity is unambiguous. People with thick boundaries know the difference between being awake and dreaming.
People with thick boundaries probably just read that and thought: well, yeah, those things are bloody obvious.
People who have thin boundaries can’t focus too well. They daydream and lose themselves. Waking and sleeping blend into each other, with dreams occasionally so vivid that they bring people temporarily back to life. Their sense of identity is fucked; it drifts all over the place and gets caught up in other people’s jet streams. Everything is vague. The past blends in with the present, and the past self turns up every now and then just to remind you that you’re still the same terrible person you always were.
Thick and thin boundaries seem like some kind of psychoanalyst-speak to describe how normal people think compared to the personality-disordered.
Boundaries tend to be consistent throughout our lifetimes, although people can have a mixture of thin and thick. Most people aren’t at the extreme ends of the continuum, either. You can have well-defined boundaries regarding your identity but then at night you might dream about flying and not recover for days at a time.
Many people have read many books about out-of-body experiences so they could see what the world looked like from eyes that weren’t quite inside their own head. I think the general idea is that you relax into a meditative state and open *something* that allows your soul to roam out into the world, tethered to your earthly body by a strand of pure golden light. Or just wait until you get a migraine and the disruption to the temporoparietal junction in your brain will send you flying off anyway. Even vomit-inducing headaches have some magic to them.
I take pills that keep the headaches at bay. They keep me inside my body, and thicken up my boundaries. Lack of sleep means the pills don’t work quite as well, and by the time we got talking I was just so eager to lose myself again.
People with thick boundaries are more likely to use defence mechanisms to protect themselves. They wall themselves in and isolate their thoughts. I wish I could do that. My thoughts escape me.
After 2am, I’m not myself. The world gets colder and goes quiet. The longer the night goes on, the more diffused I feel. Something strange has happened, but I can’t work out what it is. All I know for sure is that I’ve made so many mistakes. My words were wrong – or not enough – and I’ve been reading too much into what is ultimately very little. The words of other people have made me feel like I’ve been left in the dark and my imagination provides a light that’s too bright sometimes. I don’t want to know about them. It’s bad enough that they’re there.
I’m not lonely, I’m disconnected.
We dissected ourselves too soon.