Boundaries are always valid to have.
It is an ideal idea that boundaries come from a place of calm, centeredness, and knowing our deepest truths. But boundaries coming from fear can be just as valid.
Especially when we are recovering from a past of harm and trauma, we may not even be able to set boundaries from any other place than fear, as the stories of our past run in the foreground.
But there is a thing called neuroplasticity: when we grant ourselves positive experiences – ones that may be built on fear-based boundaries – then our nervous system will rewire. Over time, as our feelings and experiences of safety increase in connections to others, the foundation on which we base boundaries may change accordingly. One day you may be able to set boundaries from a place of feeling relaxed, certain, and safe. Those boundaries may still look the same (or they may change), but the place where they come from changes.
And that creates freedom: the place of knowing we always have a right to set boundaries and design our experiences. But the idea that the only ‘valid’, ‘adult’, and ‘conscious’ boundaries come from a place free of fear, is one to let go in my opinion.
Note though, that another may not agree with our boundaries, and the circles of where we can meet each other may not overlap at all. Then it is time to ask yourself the question: am I going to stay in this place, with this person, in this connection – or do I choose otherwise? Is this the path that brings me healing and growth, or merely survival and retraumatization?