Saturday, 22 August 2009

Thoughts About Walls

Thanks in part to two readers here, Mark and Wanda (seriously... thank you), and also inspired by therapydoc's post about 'The Disappearing Act' , I have been thinking about the concept of walls.
Far stronger than physical walls, the walls I have been pondering are emotional walls. You know the kind I mean.

My guess is that there are very few people who haven't built a wall around something inside them. I guess with some confidence because walls are constructed as a response to pain or threat and they essentially serve the same purpose; to defend and to protect.
And who hasn't been hurt or felt as though they may be in danger?

Walls defend
Each brick has been puposefully and carefully laid, the foundations are often nearly as old as we are. They may not always be easily accessible or, for that matter, identifiable, but they always feel safe..
Maybe we have a 'don't get too close' brick in our wall? Perhaps a 'I don't care anyway' brick. Bricks that were originally shaped by rejection and are now cemented by the intense fear of it. Whole walls are built using this type of material.

There are painful bricks, bricks that will cut if they are touched. 'I don't need' bricks, watchful bricks, ready to advance like an attacking army if they sense danger.
Then there are other bricks. Bricks which are old and heavy, dark stones that can't be named because they can't be seen or touched. Dead bricks. Most useful for building walls of despair and depression.

I can't name all the bricks in my wall and I doubt that I am alone in finding that too daunting a task.

I feel like at this point in therapy, I am beginning to get a sense of the wall.
I am just starting to take in the scale and fortitude of what I have constructed.

I'd be interested in any thoughts about bricks so feel free to share.


  1. this is an amazing post. I just found you and read your bio. It reads like me. People have seen me as strong, fun, confident, but the self harm, eating disorder, extreme self hate dictated my life and has kept me a prisoner behind a wall of shame. Stay safe. Stay strong. Sarah

  2. Hi Sarah.
    Thanks for reading.
    I'm so sorry that your wall is shame. It's a terifying thing to live behind.
    I think there are many of us who are experts at being fantastically ok when in fact, inside we are bent double.
    Thanks for your words and I look forward to sharing some of your own blog too.

  3. Hi-
    I am so happy to visit you here. And I was honored to have you come and see me at my blog. I know all too well about walls as I , for years hid behind the walls I built so no one would 'see', - 'know' "me"..... I journeyed long and hard to be outside the walls - and I took mine down from the outside looking in, not the inside looking out.
    I am so happy to meet you.

    Love Gail

  4. You have a great understanding of the bricks that make up the walls. Healing and hope are sent your way.

  5. Gail. Thanks so much for reading. I love it that you took down walls from the outside looking in. It sounds a bit safer somehow...
    So happy to meet you too.

    Wanda- Thank you.My understanding is ok I think... It gets hazy in parts but it's a work in progress I guess.
    Thanks for being here.

  6. Hi again-
    if you get a moment to read my post titled "James-Daniel-Jill" you will get much insight into what was behind my wall. ANd also "The Kid In Me" and "The Journey From Acceptance To Surrender". If you decide to read those please let me know your thoughts.

    Love Gail