Thursday, June 10, 2010
The wall. June 10, 2010.
“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” – Joseph Fort Newton
* * *
Do you have a wall around you? If you’ve been depressed, anxious or suicidal, my guess is that you probably do, or else you would have been able to take solace from others. Some of us have walls because of childhood abuse; others, like me, feel all emotions so acutely that we put up walls to protect ourselves from losing control of them.
I grew up without brothers and sisters, in a home where I was discouraged from showing anger. I never learned the give-and-take of relationships; I never acquired the understanding of how to “fight and make up.” It’s hard for me to understand the difference between someone being angry at me and someone hating me. So if I’m faced with criticism or anger, up goes my wall. And the more emotionally invested I am in the relationship, the higher the wall.
My wall has often been mistaken for indifference. The opposite is true. Inside my wall I keep intense feelings of pain, fear, anger, and sorrow – emotions so strong I’m afraid of them. The wall becomes a dam, keeping a tidal wave back. Part of my recovery will have to include allowing cracks in that wall to allow things to flow both in and out. Eventually, I hope to have a gate.