I've been thinking a lot about walls lately. In particular, the walls I construct. I'm damned good at putting up walls.
You see, deep down I don't believe you don't like me. I believe you are just pretending to be my friend and waiting for me to believe it so you can turn around and use it to hurt me. That if I talk to you, you'll be nice to my face but not behind my back. That you are using me for something in a way I do not yet understand, but I know in the end you are going to hurt me.
It seems junior high never really does leave us.
Sometimes, when I try really hard, I can forget about my walls. I forget to build news ones or maintain the ones I have and so they crumble. My defences can lie dormant for months at a time. Sometimes years. But then something will happen to trigger them and they get built stronger than before. Sometimes I add in extra defences, like moats and barbed wire. When I get to this point, reaching me is like attempting to complete the 12 labours of Hercules. I don't make it easy for anyone to get close and when you do get there, I will try to push you away.
Sometimes, when my walls are down, I will call you. I will set up dates. I will put myself out there, allow myself to be vulnerable, and accept things are mostly good. But then something happens and I take a step back. I start my retreat. I will decide not email, tweet, or text you until you do so to me. I test your loyalties without telling you.
Because, like Deborah, I forget to remember to to forget. I want to be important enough to be remembered. I want you to remember and when you don't I curl up into a corner behind my walls. Every single slight -- real or imagined -- becomes magnified.
What I so often forget when I'm in this place is we've all got walls. Your walls may not look the same as mine, you may not build them for the same reasons, but deep down I know they are there. It's just so hard to hear the voice telling me that truth when the other voices are so much louder. When I'm good, I remember this. But when I'm so far from being my best it's near impossible for me to make myself vulnerable in front of you.
I am not an easy person. I never walk the easy road because I believe easy is a lie. I am not bubbly and friendly. I am guarded and I will try to push you away so you cannot hurt me. I assume you don't like me before I ever open my mouth to introduce myself. I am my own self-fulfilling prophecy.
The truth of my truths is I put up walls to protect myself but they end up hurting me more than you ever could.