Boundaries in Reverse

When I last wrote I was working on my boundaries and I got to use them today, but in reverse. When I was at the eye doc today there was an elderly woman in a wheelchair ahead of me. I didn’t know she was in line before the receptionist pointed sharply with her whole arm and finger that I was NOT next, as this woman was before me.

That woman was parked about 20 feet away with chair not moving. I assumed she was with a person close to her left. Turns out I had assumed wrong. This woman in the chair gave me the stink eye while I excused myself as she rolled up. The receptionist was sort of full on bouncer and I took a seat finding my place in the world.

I had seen the nursing home bus drive off as I drove in and it appears the wheeled one had been a passenger. She told the receptionist that she was probably late for her appointment and didn’t really know what time it was. This was sounding like a situation to me. The receptionist asked for her name and told her that she didn’t seem to have an appointment today. “Well, maybe it is tomorrow!” she replied and started to rub her arms in what I imagined was nervousness.

My characteristics of the Enneagram #2 kicked in and I looked over at the woman who I thought was her companion. That person was deep into People magazine and not showing that she was part of this and realized that then I was. I listened to the receptionist go over a few scenarios of what was going on with this wanna be patient. It seems as though she was dropped off and left by the nursing home bus at the wrong clinic. I had seen the bus driving off. Hmmm.

The receptionist said that she didn’t know where this other doctor’s clinic was. Really? I couldn’t help it and told the receptionist that the correct clinic was about 2 blocks away. This was news to the receptionist and since I have my doubts about her abilities and social skills anyway I was about ready to jump up and say, “Save my appointment, I will take her over there myself.” This lack of boundaries is sometimes hard to bottle and I am trying to learn that not all problems are mine to solve.

This was just before the woman herself said, “I will do it myself.” For many reasons I know many random and often useless things and one of them is that the sidewalks are not in good repair in that way to the other office and the street is full of holes. I was thinking that this may not go well for this chaired one, but my parents always told me that one of the things I said first when learning to talk was, “I can do it myself.” I tipped my invisible respect hat to her.

I assessed her chair’s little motor and weight from afar and thought that she maybe could do it herself, but if that was my mother I would not want her to do that herself. I remained silent and in my boundary trying to figure out how to make sure someone called the bus and the other office. I did not have faith that this receptionist could accomplish this as I had dealt with her myself last week. Then I also was thinking about myself, “Wow, you are a 2 on the Enneagram Scale and you need to tone it down as you are not the only one that is responsible for strangers. You are not responsible for her safe travel, her making her appointment somewhere else, the other office not getting her in anymore today as she is really late now, letting the bus driver know that he goofed big time and will he know now where to find her, and most importantly that she is nervous and growing overwhelmed because of this whole thing. What to do? What to do? Of course this took just seconds of consideration as who waits that long to help? I think that lots of people don’t worry this much, but I do. Then one of the nurses came out and heard of it and said that she would go with that woman on her way to the other clinic. Whew!!!! All that mental boundary jumping is exhausting. A nurse did it instead as it was in her actual boundary, but even though some things are not mine to do, I am willing and have to learn which things are mine and which things are not.