Monday, 24 August 2009

More About Walls.

A while back I read this extract by A.J Mahari. She writes about Borderline Personality Disorder which, by by the way, is one pathology that I don't have. However, I think much of what she writes applies to most of us in one way or another (or atlest, at one time or another)


Walls. Emotional walls, physical walls. Walls of anger, walls of rage, walls of fat; walls that are all designed to protect. Protect what? Have you ever got to the point where you wonder this, protect what?

So much of the "Borderline" behavior and "acting out" is all designed to protect by throwing up walls between oneself and others or oneself and one's very own feelings.

It can get very lonely and isolated and depressing within the confines of these walls. Walls that push loved ones away while a child aspect of you screams for their arms around you, screams for nurture. You reject this nurture, you must protect from the closeness and ache ever so much in the rejecting distance that you yourself have created by becoming a slave to the need for the protection of your walls.

For some people these walls are the scars of self-injury, of cutting themselves over and over again in an effort to find some safe comfort, close comfort from a distance.

For others, numbing out feelings and anger with food the walls that pin you in are layers and layers of fat, eaten there by your own choice to protect and not to learn.

No matter how many walls you can entrap yourself behind, giving more and more power and time to the pain that you seek to protect yourself from feeling.....the pain is always there, close by, maybe an arms length away, a cut away, a burn away, a drink or drug away or a few chocolate bars, a cake, a pie away....there, waiting ever so patiently to be felt, acknowledged and expressed.

If you have built these walls, of behavior, of rage, of injury, of fat, (or of thinness that threatens your life) how can you find your way back to the pain? That pain, being held at bay, on the other side of your walls, is the bridge to your freedom. It is the way to once and for all leave this angst behind.

Borderline Personality Disorder causes those who have it to wall themselves off from what they need and want in ways that recapitulate the past and how they were walled off from that original care-giver with whom no bond was possible.

Think about this today, was that your fault? Do you need to go on punishing yourself, adding wall after wall to your arsenal of lonely, aching defense? You were a young and rightfully needy young child. The "original" wall, that so annihilated you, that threatened your very existence so completely, emotionally, if not physically as well....that fractured your ego to one degree or another is not yours. Go back, get in touch with those feelings, from that original wall of wounds. Feel them and express them, safely and (I speak from experience) you can then learn how to set yourself free from the walls that you are still building. You need to let the "original pain" in, let it flood in (with support/ in therapy), then, learn to cry, grieve it, express it, let it flood out....the results will be a new view on much of your life and of others. You can then systematically, slowly, over time begin to dismantle your walls.

These walls may have "originally" risen up from others in your life who hurt you and let you down, but once you reach adulthood, (by chronological age) it is up to you to get there emotionally too. Reclaim yourself.

You are "good enough", you are "worthy" you do deserve to know a life outside of all of those BPD walls.

Walls. Emotional walls, physical walls. Walls of anger, walls of rage, walls of fat; walls that are all designed to protect. Protect what? Have you ever got to the point where you wonder this, protect what?

The answer is you are trying, in the "here and now" to constantly protect yourself from the "original" wounds of can't anymore, they have already happened, the cause is now long gone.....Subsequently, however, you've continued to make the choice to re-live and re-live this don't have to anymore. Stop trying to protect yourself from what has happened and what can be over when you choose for it to be. (Through hard work/therapy).

The walls are your walls. The walls are reactionary. The walls are no longer necessary. Step beyond the illusionary safety of the very walls that are much of the source of your pain today.....the world awaits your are that are that world waiting to be born, yet again.

Take the walls down. Those walls are no longer viable. They are not holding out new pain, they are holding in very old pain. Take the walls down.

© Ms. A.J. Mahari - May 9, 1999

The first time I read this I was torn between loving it for it's understanding and feeling frustrated by it for its rather blithe 'take down the walls' command.
I love the wisdom, but I hate the state of open vulnerability that it implies we should be living in, should we take down our walls.
I find myself loving the concept of being free, no longer imprisoned, living out of the shadows. And yet, hating the reality of being raw, exposed, at risk.
Walls are there for a reason aren't they? To say that they are no longer serving a useful purpose seems presumptuous at best.

Please feel free to respond. I'm interested in what others make of this.


  1. Hi there-
    I am glad you red some of the posts I suggested. I SO appreciate your heartfelt words to me. And so you know, I am fully restored - in the light -and free of darkness of shadows from hiding. I journeyed for about thre years in therapy in to my truth - facing myself and in time loving all of myself. My past hurts are now my greatest triumphs.
    Now about Borderlines - the most distinct features is that they are unable to love - they cannot form intimate relationships and they always have a "good object" (person) and a "Bad object" (person) in their life. They are also gate keepers, and by that I mean they will protect their 'good object' at all cost and keep everyone out that may try and interfere with their relationship with their 'good object'.
    And your question about walls? Yes they are there for a reason - The challenge becomes creating a bigger reason to take them down - like freedom, truth, light, self love, peace of mind, surrender, relief, and then being able to share your gift of self with others so they can have hope too. :-)

    Love Gail

  2. Wow Gail. You have an amazing understanding of BPD. I have to say that I understand very little about this particular one. I find narcissistic personality disorder easier to understand than borderline but you have explained it really well. Thanks!
    I'm also so encouraged to hear that you are livng out of the shadows now and that therapy was such help to you.
    Thanks for answering the question so wisely. you are right of course although often, those reasons you list don't quite seem big enough!
    Hoping they will grow in time... or perhaps that the reasons to stay behind the walls shrink.

    Thanks for being part of the journey.

  3. Hi again-

    it is my honor that you have allowed me to be paret of your journey. I mean that. And also, remember that you have a lot invested in life behind the wall so it is where you are comfortable -it is what you know - so the more time you spenf on the other side with the other reasons the more natural and bigger they will become.
    And in your own time, when you have time and you feel it is good for you please read the post titled "Choice Theory" I have posted it twice.
    Have a peaceful loving night