And the Walls Come Crashing Down
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
I had enough walls erected to protect me for a long, long time.
First, needs. I didn’t have these. I stayed safe and sound in my fortress. I don’t need. I don’t want to need. It’s horrible to need. I’m okay on my awesome little own, thank you very much.
Patiently, you talked. And listened. You challenged me. And let me challenge you back. (Guess who won.) And more than anything, you were just there. Steady.
What choice did I have but to take down brick by heavy brick — it no longer made sense any other way — leaving a low wall that barely reaches to my knees?
But it was okay. I hid behind the “fake” wall. None of it is real. I was safe from you. This relationship is manufactured. It’s synthetic. It’s just what therapists do. I had enough books crammed into my brain to bring my point home, and I knew all about the “skills” and the “methods” and the filtering processes.
But authenticity was seeping through the cracks in that wall, and over months and months the erosion caused chinks in the very foundation of the structure. And one day it just crumbled at my very feet, and all that is left are jagged ruins that can barely hide me in my entirety.
Oh, but that was fine. I was still safe. Because after all, you don’t care. You can’t care. It’s not possible you care. You’re just doing your job. Sticking to your professional duties and leaving me in this little rigid slot of 50 minutes.
But that wall of steel that I thought could withstand every element was no match for the warmth that I wanted to deny with my entire heart and soul you were emanating. It couldn't withstand the sunlight. It couldn't hold up against the acceptance. And so it melted into a puddle on the floor.
But I was still fine, because I’m annoying and you can’t really mean that I'm not too much. You dread the minute I walk through the door. Show superhuman compassion when you’d much rather hiss, “Just stop! Don’t you see that this is self-sabotage?!” and are relieved you only have to deal with this nuisance once a week.
But when I came out boldly (ok, maybe very meekly, vaguely even) and asked, my confidence petered out. You seemed to be genuinely okay with me taking up space in this room of yours. With having me barge into your inbox. With my demand: Look at me! See me. Take every one of my messed-up feelings into consideration and don't you dare hurt me.
And that wall, too, caved in on me.
And now, what’s left? I’m stripped of protection. I’m quivering, exposed.
I'm not protected from you. I'm going to inch closer, and then, I...
I don't know what. I see black. A menacing grip holds my heart captive.
Oh, but it’s fine.
My defense system is hardy. And now it has an extra week to erect some fences. I’m sure it’ll figure something out.