Who’s hiding behind your walls?

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Today I have contributed a post at Stories That Must Not Die.  It is a brief synopsis of alcoholism and growing up with two parents who were haunted by that very beast.  Click here to read the story.  My post here was prompted by the post at STMND combined with a conversation I had yesterday.

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There are moments that sneak up on you and make you realize how much a life growing up with two alcoholic parents has insidiously ingrained itself into your way of being.  My endearing character traits and my flaws are directly related to the life I lived as a teenager and a young adult.  If you read my post, you’ll understand that ours was a very loving home but I grew up much more quickly than I should have and learned, very young, how to build walls around myself.  I created a hard outer shell to keep myself soft and emotional on the inside but tough on the outside.

It was during a very interesting conversation with a male friend yesterday that the subject of dating came up, specifically dating websites and the basic instincts of humans regarding the laws of attraction.  He had taken a rudimentary stab at what qualities I would say I look for in a man and he was off the mark, but he was also guessing from a man’s perspective on what he thinks a woman would want based on the opposite of what a man would want.

men-and-women-symbols1

I had all-but forgotten about the primal instincts of men and I am not saying that in a negative way.  In my quest to protect myself and build my walls, I had potentially buried the softer, more feminine side of myself and let the tomboy be the dominant, protective personality.  It was how a teenage mind dealt with a difficult situation and potentially how I have removed myself from the desirable end of the dating pool. That simple awareness was like an awakening.  It is a rare but divine twist of fate that can take an outside force and use it to help you discover an inner truth.

Our conversation really opened my eyes.  I will never try to be someone I am not just to go on a date but perhaps that little girl inside of me is a part of who I really am and I just never gave her a chance.  I built my walls so high that she had no choice but to peer over them and wonder what was on the other side.

Walls are only effective if you know who you are protecting and who the real enemy is and, in this case, I became my own worst enemy.  I may have protected myself from a big part of who I was really meant to be but at least there is still time to find her and give her a chance.

(image credit)

 

2 thoughts on “Who’s hiding behind your walls?

  1. The heart is such an unbelievable, incredible, amazing thing – it’s so fragile but so strong at the same time; it’s what drives us and brings us to our knees so frequently. Walls to protect yourself is so natural but there comes that time when it’s a good idea to at least lower those walls or provide ways over them so as to not miss out what’s happening on the other side, but that can feel like such a high demand. How does one willingly put him or herself at risk? I know for me, it’s simply that I don’t want to have a what if hanging over my head. Maybe that’s the journalist in me, but I’d hate to miss out on the story, the experience because I’d miss out on the good. Of course, I say that but I myself have been building my own walls and am scared to bring them down. Go figure. It’s definitely easier to keep everyone and everything at bay, but who and what do you miss out on by doing that? More importantly, who and what misses out on YOU by doing that? Life is crazy lol. 🙂

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