Building Walls

By Kim K Gray

Do you sometimes feel like you've built a wall around yourself? That you can never fully connect and be yourself with others? The following is something I wrote when I was considering the walls I've erected. Sometimes we build these walls as children because it's the only way we know how to cope with our situations. In these times, we need to parent ourselves out of our fortress. Finding new paths forward when the walls are no longer serving us.

When she was small, it was just her and the great oak. She felt peaceful and steady in its branches. Rooted next to the great trunk. This was the place she was always herself. The oak always accepted her as she was. Branches open to her at every moment.

As she grew, she began to learn the rules. Rules about what’s okay and what’s not. About who she was supposed to be. And she learned about people and their reactions. And their judgments.

So she made her way back to the roots of the oak and its wide open branches. And she built.

She built a fortress around them. A fortress to keep her safe in this place of refuge. A place where she could be fully herself. Apart from reaction and judgement.

She left cracks in the wall. She had to. How can a human live in a world of humans without interacting at all? The cracks allowed her to meet and build connections with people without allowing them too close. As long as they stayed outside the wall they couldn’t fully see her. And if they didn’t fully see her, they wouldn’t react or judge. At least not to the deepest parts of her.

She felt safe here. But also lonely. She longed for more than just the great branches of the oak to be open to her. She longed for the warmth of the open arms of humans. She longed for a way to be as grounded in herself with them as she was by the oak.

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