© 2010 by Joyce Mason
This post is timely, now that both Jupiter and the Sun are in Pisces, the sign ruled by Neptune. The subject of this post isn’t just boundaries, a topic most Neptunians need to learn more about; it’s about boundaries and humor (Jupiter).
I have the blessing/curse of a strong Neptune. If you have several planets in Pisces, the 12th house, or numerous aspects to Neptune—come to my class! While I relish my intuitive abilities, artistic eye, and think compassion is one of my best characteristics, there’s the downside.
At times in my life, I really knew how to spell victim (J-o-y-c-e). Since I also have a fairly large dose of Pluto, you can only imagine the high drama that was my daily fare until I matured enough to handle this astrological load.
All Dreams Are Neptunian … But This One Takes the Fog
Recently I had a dream that almost made my hair stand on end. Without going into all the gory details, here’s the short version.
I was given the bum’s rush by a man I met at my dad’s dentist office. “Mr. Rush” followed us home and was acting too familiar with me from the moment he crossed the threshold—where I would have stopped him in waking life. After 24 hours of being charmed, I was alarmed when he crossed my invisible line--blatantly. I told him, “Too much, too fast, too soon.” There was much more to it, including a later scene where I learned he had a hidden identity. He was not what he seemed at all, and he was stalking me. In the finale, he made an actual attempt to harm me physically. He set me up by “fogging” my house with dry ice, like people do when they’re making a Halloween spook house. I ran to the nearest (I thought) safe place where he was lying in wait, weapon in hand.
Although it ended well (my brother arrived, ran to call the police, and I knew I’d be saved), this dream scared me into a review of where I stand with boundary issues.
In all honesty, I can only give myself a C+/B-. I’ve gotten much better with chronic offenders and their behavior I usually let go on too long without calling them on crossing the line. My tolerance time is shorter, and I’m more attuned to things not “feeling right.” When I state my boundaries clearly and people continue to cross them, I sever the relationship. It takes too much life force to fight “energy theft” which goes on under the table, when the other person is either in denial or oblivious to the transaction. These encounters remind me of a line from The Desiderata: Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
Aggression is not always loud. It is sometimes quiet and so subtle, it slips all notice until you are in a state of advanced vexation. I do not deserve to be vexed by people who bite my neck and suck my energy. Neither do you.
Close Encounters of the Icky Kind
The same morning I woke up with this dream, I had a close encounter of the negative Neptunian kind, although it was a much milder one compared to my dramatic dream. These are one-act plays in real life. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to handle them.
It happened at the grocery store. The bag clerk was a young woman who made some teasing remarks that didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t think her banter was funny. Anyone who has ever encountered a bully knows that teasing can be cruel. It is only sweet if done with great affection, care, and knowledge of the recipient.
Teasing humor is only appropriate between intimates. To kid somebody without hurting them, you have to know their buttons, touch them, but love them enough not to push.
I didn’t know this kid in the grocery store from Adam. I figure, to allow entrée for that kind of ribbing, I should at least know her name. She could have tromped all over my buttons and left me bloody. On an energetic level, I felt like I’d just been slimed.
When the older checkout clerk picked up that her sidekick’s remarks didn’t land well, she said, “She’s just messin’ with ya.”
“Whatever,” I said, not sweetly.
“In the best possible way,” the older, wiser one tried to intervene.
Intervention should have not been necessary. This young woman’s mother, sister, teacher—someone should have taught her that certain kinds of humor are not for strangers you just met in the grocery store. Or am I being too Virgo/ hypersensitive? I don’t think any regular reader of this blog would question that I have a sense of humor.
One of the ironies in this encounter is that I did not hear completely what the young woman said to me, but I definitely got the vibe. The older woman’s comment that her workmate was “messin’ with me” confirmed that my radar was working even if the noise level blurred some of the particulars. I’m relieved that I’ve stopped doubting my intuition in these instances. I can’t count the times in the past I have been fogged and convinced myself “it was just me.” Later, after unwitting participation in prolonged, anguished, and underground game-playing, I’d discover that I’d read the situation clearly in the first place. I just buried the truth in self-doubt.
I find the assumption of instant intimacy to be very passive-aggressive. There used to be a euphemism for unwanted sexual advances—getting too familiar. Presumed intimacy, whether sexual or psychic, feels like a violation.
There’s a woman I encounter regularly who got off on the wrong foot with me by this kind of joking from the first day I met her. I watch her do it to others and wince. I can barely stand to be around her and avoid her like the plague. She also does the other thing I can’t abide that I consider so passive-aggressive. She “tells on you.” If there’s something you do that annoys her, she’ll be sure to announce it with thinly veiled sarcastic humor, only when she has an audience. Of course, she can always claim—and usually does, that she was “just kidding.”
Apparently you don’t know how to kid properly. We aren’t both laughing. ~Ellen DeGeneres
Let’s Hear Your Tips on Busting Negative Neptune
I am really at a loss how to deal with some of these folks. Do I have to be willing to make a scene? “Be snotty,” that thing my Mom couldn’t stand in me when I was a mouthy kid who didn’t know any better? The possibility of being utterly honest reminds me of a tagline for a long defunct Sacramento-area weekly newspaper.
Tell the truth and shame the devil. ~ Slogan, Suttertown News
Maybe I just have to state my truth politely. If bad feelings follow, join the party. I already feel bad! I hate to risk a confrontation in the grocery store or at a meeting. Is there a more elegant way? Is it worth the potential discomfort with a stranger or mere acquaintance?
In the same way I don’t know some of these women well enough for their teasing “humor;” I wonder if I know them well enough to tell them how much their behavior offends me. If I did, would it fall on deaf ears and cost me a large, worrying energy expenditure that would, once again, leave me feeling sucked dry?
Living in integrity is not as easy as it sounds. Neither is living with a chunk of chalk where you have to keep drawing your line, especially in the nebulous, intuitive, energy realms.
Neptunian types, by our very nature, are more open at subtle energy levels and draw “inappropriate advances.” For our own mental health, we simply have to learn how to identify and deflect them.
A coda to the story: Before I took offense to the bag clerk, we had a conversation about my bring-along bags and how the insulated one was great for all frozen foods or those that need refrigeration. After I had drawn my line, she put all those kinds of items in the flimsiest, non-insulated bag I had brought. I laughed internally but chose not to react. More accurately, I was rolling my eyes to myself but refused take the bait. If only I had been quick enough on the uptake to do that the first time—or had heard that great line by Ellen DeGeneres before, instead of after this encounter. Ellen showed me yet another option—fight Jupiter with Jupiter, "humor" with humor.
The Radical Virgo knows there’s no “right” answer on this one, but she welcomes a conversation in the Comments about how you handle boundaries and interactions that go too far into your psychic space without permission. Together, we can create the class—and with our synergy, maybe we’ll come up with some classy solutions.
Photo Credits: YELLOW DO NOT CROSS BARRIER WHITE CHALK AND LINE ON BLACKBOARD © Marekulias Dreamstime.com