the walls that no longer provide

October 19, 2013Karen Courcy

building_wallsI remember the days when I used to be able to put away feelings and emotions like putting something away in a pocket, a book, or a draw.

Feelings? eh! what feelings? I could easily shut them off, tone them out, and put walls so high up that I forgot all those feelings were there. It was easy! I just didn’t feel.

Today, it’s not as easy as it once was. In fact, I have to work hard to put feelings away or to hide them behind walls.

The walls I have now are thin and fragile, and my emotions and feelings are too big to fit in any draw or pocket.

When I was a little girl, when something really hurt my feelings and I felt emotions coming on, I would get this burning sensation inside of me, and I would RUN RUN RUN as fast as I could to my bedroom closet, shut the door and cry!

I would rock back and forth crying hoping no one would hear me or see me.

The closet was dark and held no shame. It was the only place I could cry because no one saw me; I couldn’t even see myself crying! I could pretend it never happened.

I even did this as an adult, until I had my first big emotions in therapy. Yes, as an adult I would run to my bedroom and go in the closet and cry if I felt any kind of emotions coming on.

I didn’t dare cry in front of anyone. I was petrified to cry in front of anyone! I held onto all emotions until I got to the dark place where no one could see me, not even me, and maybe not even God.

Since I started therapy over 6 years ago, those walls have become so thin and see thru, that its almost impossible to hide anything behind them without anything being seen. Getting behind a wall now is just a mere habit, but provides no relief or protection.

Friday in session my therapist and I worked very hard like we have been the past couple of weeks. I shared more with him about some really big hard vulnerable things, and in that emotions were building, and I really wanted to tell my therapist how I felt about these things I was sharing, but I was numb for some reason! No walls to put them behind, and also no place for them to be heard.

I knew leaving session that even though I shared some really big things, and it was a GREAT session, I knew what I was holding, and I knew it was going to hurt.

When I go home from session Friday I went up to my room and just stood in the middle of my bedroom and CRIED and CRIED and CRIED.

My therapist was there and open and caring about all the big stuff I was sharing, and I couldn’t talk about how it felt. Going home with those emotions hurt and I was confused by that.

As I stood there in my room crying, I felt sad for myself. Sad that I had to hold this alone. I never had this problem before, I used to put them away and it was so easy!

Why couldn’t I have shared my emotions and hurt in session when sharing the big stuff I was sharing? It was a great session, I was with someone who wants to hear and wants to honor. I was with someone who held my hand and was open to help me NOT hold the bad stuff..  but instead I held it until I got home, and it felt HORRIBLE.

I guess this is the blessing and the curse of healing. The blessing is, I am not longer putting my emotions in a draw or behind walls, I am holding them and feelings them.. the curse is, I am feeling it and it hurts.

I still have a very hard time showing my emotions anywhere in my life. I can’t even cry in front of my husband. I am learning to be with my emotions more in therapy, but I still struggle with it.

I miss those walls sometimes. I miss the pockets and the draws I used to put all my feelings into, but I don’t miss being alone with them. I have a healing path. I have a healing path that holds all these new-found emotions I used to put away, and in this process I AM healing. If I weren’t, those walls would still be here.

I realized Friday just how much I hold, and just how much it feels toxic, and maybe I need to take the next step in accepting there are no walls draws or pockets to put these emotions.. maybe I need to just let them be here, be felt, and the hardest – be SEEN.

I wonder how different it would have been Friday had I talked about the hurt I felt in what I shared and let that be heard and known. I wonder how much lighter I would feel, or how soft my heart would have felt.

It’s amazing, this thing called healing. I saw this funny quote a long time ago, it said “I used to have superpowers but my therapist took them away“.

Although that is funny, I don’t think my therapist took away my walls, I think healing took away my walls. My own wisdom, my own hammer to the wall took away the walls, he just had grabbed his own hammer helped out so I didn’t have to do it alone.

So, I sit here tonight knowing that I am holding some emotions that are here left-over from Friday, and that maybe I can show up and not be afraid to let them be talked about, seen or heard.

Maybe I can find the courage to accept that I no longer have the walls, and instead of putting them away in pockets or draws, I can make them fade by healing and feeling them.

My therapist once told me that what I did as a child was called survival. Those walls were built by a very smart young me when I was abused. Those walls were my only safety and survival, and today, I no longer need those walls, because how I feel is right and true, and I don’t have to be alone with them ever again.


  • ziggy40

    October 20, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    Thank you for your heart felt post.I understand, in my own way, the put up the walls, for safety, also as I grew older they stopped me connecting with others. Slowly my own walls, have lost there strength. I’m also working on some deep childhood issues, I also see my T on Friday. When I walked away, got home, found it SAFE, along came the tears and intense pain, for me this was in my situation it was protection from shame. Although I trust my T, my shame is still alive and well! That’s a wall I’m working on, it’s a long road I see to healing…there is hope. Sending you the gift of self acceptance and trusting you are NOW SAFE!…lol
    Love Ziggy

    1. KarenBeth

      October 20, 2013 at 5:09 AM

      its amazing what walls can do and what they can’t do huh? .. you will get there.. we are all healing 🙂

      by the way, how come you don’t write in your blog anymore Ziggy? I enjoyed your writing …

      Thank you for stopping by my blog … (Hugs)

      1. ziggy40

        October 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Hi there Karen, I keep wanting to write in my blog, my brain is very, ‘mushy’, I’m trying to think about what to write…Gel is asking as well…I’ll get there. In honesty, I’ve struggled and wanted mt blog to be helpful. I see though from you and other blogs that writing about hard times seems to help others , like myself feel less
        Love Ziggy

  • Gel

    October 20, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I tend to have a lot of respect for the walls, because they served an essential function for survival. Though I can see how they also can prevent connection and healing long after. Everything you describe in this post shows both the respect for the walls, and understanding AND the healing of taking the walls down in the right supportive ways. To me that is a huge key….having the support and the safety and trust.

    I wish I had a therapist like yours. I’m very fortunate to have a wise and understanding husband (and some friends), that help me with the good support.

    When I was a kid and things were tough at home, I would be alone with our dog and tell her how I felt and sometimes cry with her by my side. I always felt that she understood on an emotional level and was very present for me and very loving. She didn’t need to use words and she didn’t advise me…and still it was tremendously healing or soothing to have her presence and loving eyes.

    1. KarenBeth

      October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      awwww … yes these walls of mine have been a huge survival thing for me, but then as an adult healing from the wounds, they became a barrier against outside connection. My therapist Andy always tells me “those walls are great, but now you dont need to hide behind them anymore” .. and I am here, out from behind the walls and it’s a blessing and a curse.. I am happy that I can find connection, but then I am sad that i no longer have that comfort. It’s hard.

      Thank you for sharing your story about your dog.. that is precious and I am so glad you had that connection.

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!

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