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.
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