Searching For A Crack To Climb Through

Our psyches are built to protect us. People who have experienced intense and horrific trauma often push those memories so deep inside them, they can’t even recall it happening even though it did. People can suffer from flashbacks or post traumatic stress disorder, from depression or psychotic breaks. The mind can only carry so much pain. With me, my mode of self-protection has always been walls. Sometimes something can happen and in the wake of that fresh tear, the defenses kick in. Up go the walls. “Ha! You can’t get to me now!” they say.

Well, shit.

I have found myself behind invisible walls again. A force field designed and constructed by my fears, wounds and worries. Inside, I am pounding at the walls, screaming in frustration, “Help Me!” I want out. I am growing so tired of fighting them that I am afraid I’ll just give up. How can I tear them down when I don’t seem to have the right tools?

I feel trapped behind the fucking walls, separated from him. From the one I want to let in. It’s not fair to him that he should be pushed away for what other people have done to me. He is not them. He doesn’t lie or manipulate or use me. He shows up and talks about how he feels and accepts me for who I am. But the defenses don’t know that logic. They feel a familiar pain and instantaneously, the walls are erected. The walls, they mean well, but this method of self-protection hasn’t really worked for me. . . ever.

I try to reach out but the best I can do is press my hand against it. He reaches out and presses his palm to mine, lining up the finger tips so we are tip to tip, palm to palm. He wants to come in. I want to let him in. . . but neither of us can figure out how.

“She says you’re a masochist for falling for me,/So roll up your sleeves./And I think that I like her, ‘cuz she tells me things I don’t want to hear,/Medicinal tongue in my ear./When will it stop? When will it stop?/When will I feel all soft on the inside?/When will I feel all soft on the inside?/When will I feel soft, soft?. . .” -Masochist, Ingrid Michaelson


25 thoughts on “Searching For A Crack To Climb Through

  1. The only way I know out of that wall is to talk your way through it. Talk talk talk talk until you are sick of your own voice. Talk to HIM, talk to friends, talk to people on the street (okay maybe not that one).

  2. Oof. I know about the walls. I agree with Hilly. Talk about it (if you can). Write and blog about it. Vent the hell out of it, and hopefully, eventually, the walls will begin to fade.
    Hugs to you.

  3. I’m so proud of you for trying to work through this! Just keep looking over that wall at what is beyond it and you’ll break through. xoxoxo

  4. I agree with the others. Additionally, you need to give yourself time. You’ve built these walls over years and years of experiences and it takes time to find your way out…Or for him to find his way in…A labyrinth of sorts, really.

    Be patient with yourself. And with him. It is never-ending — new husband and I deal with the walls every day. But it will come. I promise.

    Take gentle care.

  5. You need to talk to him Sizzle. I know it sounds simple and trite, but it’s what works.
    Take it slow and open up to him. I think you may be ppleasantly surprised by how much lighter you feel afterwards.

  6. Yeah, I like the advice of others. The walls will never go away, but you might prevent yourself from using them as often. Enjoy your work break.

  7. talk to the walls as if they are physical walls.
    tell them you love them, are grateful for how well they have served you in the past. how they have seen you through some hard times, have held your heart and made you stronger.

    and now, it is time for them to go. you will keep in touch and let them know if you need help later. but for now, you are going to try it on your own…

    maybe even craft a letter?

    look deep in there, s, you will find the strength to be vulnerable. it’s a big one, yes, but i think this time the reward is worth the risk.


  8. So sorry for the late post – work slammed me today. Boo.

    A couple things hit me. First, like the others, I thought you should write about it … but, not necessarily on your blog … more like in a diary … or notebook … or on your computer. A place where you can write and write and write … let it all come out … let your brain and heart and body work through it … and maybe you’ll begin to see the answers to why the walls are still erect and how to break them down (or climb over them or dig a tunnel under them).

    Second, see a therapist. They’re trained to help people through very normal life issues, such as yours. Commit yourself to a month or so of sessions and focus on these walls. You’d be amazed how easy it is to talk to a stranger.

    Wishing you a wall-less life oh so very soon. You deserve the happiness it will bring.

  9. I like Nilsa’s suggestions. I know that in the past for me a large part was the finding out the why of it all. What I found once I dug enough was that there was something in the present, often something very small, that had triggered the emotion that in turn set off the defense. I don’t know if this makes sense. But yes, write it all down — for yourself.

  10. Consistency always helps. I was so apprehensive to love again after losing Ace and it just took Dan being consistent in everything he did. Open communication is key and it sounds like you have that. Hugs and hang in there.

  11. Others may have said the same thing, but it sounds like the key is that you two can talk about it openly, which means that you want to let him in. I think we all have our demons in some form or fashion, and it sounds like he’s up for the task. It will soon be your turn to go up against his baggage (if not, already). Good relationships always seem to flow in a circular fashion.

  12. A wise person (I’m not kidding, not just a person you say is wise but someone that’s actually really and truly wise) once said that walls are not always breakable. You have to find a way around them, or climb them, or just decorate them and make them into the pretty thing you’ve been waiting for all along.
    Seriously, wise.

  13. I pretty much spewed all my thoughts to you in the email I sent. I’ll just say that I hope these walls don’t prevent you and the fella from going further in your relationship. You seem really good together.

  14. The only way I know of to break through walls like that is to say everything you’re thinking – all the neurotic, all the loving, all the worried, all the scared, all the happy – everything. Say it all until it’s out of you and you can start finding your way over it, around it, or through it.

  15. Opening up means being vulnerable. And that’s scary business…

    My problem is not opening up, it’s being afraid that what I share will be eventually hurt me.

  16. Walls are a hard topic, both to explain and to even fully understand. We seek to understand the limits and the whys ourselves…so how can we fully explain it? It changes, the dynamic, the situation, the fear. It can get triggered by stuff we don;t expect, and there we are, leery and standoffish, because it feels safer that way–even if it is lonely.

    When you have had alot of hurt, and disappointment, and even trauma, you do tend to fase out alot. Alot of stuff, alot of detail, behind a fuzzy incoherent Feeling. A wall feeling. It’s good you realize what it is. It’s been triggered by fear, so now name the fear. When you can name it, and see why something has made you pull back–or even just accept something HAS made you pull back– then you are able to build and envision a Doorway into your courtyard, to let someone special in.

    Change your visualization to Possibility, by envisioning the Doorway. The door can have a grated gate, but a Door will let whomever you want, IN. Changing the metaphor changes the dynamic and the possibility.

    I’m glad you and I can slip notes beneath the wall. 🙂 I’ve never met you, and yet you are a friendly face in a world of unknown.

  17. Sometimes those walls our psyche puts up for us are so thick even the most valued and special someone can’t permeate them. Being that you’re cognizant of this perhaps you should let him know what you just told us – I am sure he would appreciate knowing you don’t mean for your walls to take over..

  18. If you find a way to get those walls down make sure you tell me how. I’m over 18months into a relationship and this month it’s felt as though I’m going backwards with my emotions rather than forward. It’s a really bad place to find myself cos in my life things are going so well :/

  19. this one sounds so far like he is the one that will be able to find the tools to break down your walls… I am sorry you are going through this Sizz … sending you some strength to work through it.

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