Do you ever feel like you have to put up some walls or boarders that keep yourself protected? I have, but was recently told to call them something else, “Guards” it’s a way to protect yourself from ever getting hurt again. I mean we all get hurt in some form or another, but it’s up to us to see that those patterns never happen again. It is often that we get so used to them and ignore the signs when it happens. This is what I mean.
In life you learn right from wrong, normally those lessons come from your parents, and watching what they do. Growing up with a single mother who was working and going to school to me it was like she could do no wrong, but she is human just like the rest of us and does make mistakes. We don’t see our parents mistakes or faults until we get older. My father wasn’t a factor in my life until years later so lessons from him came when I was older. Advice and more came from my grandparents, they are in Heaven now, but my Grandmother was so wise. She would often explain things that seemed complicated, but yet so simple. It was always a lesson with her no matter what. From her is where I got to see life’s beauty and open mindedness of being nice to everyone. I learned from her how to also protect myself from things in life. It was those building blocks that helped me learn to keep certain people at either arms length or a further distance, only allowing those who were real close into my inner circle. She was my best friend.
As we grow we learn lessons from life, for me it seemed everything happened for a reason, not sure why, but it all did. I am still trying to figure out why getting my face smashed into a metal railing in second grade was relevant, but you live and learn from everything. Being bullied because I was different aka a Reader, Bookworm, or nerd is what I was always called, or just got made fun of because my smile or teeth didn’t look like everyone else’s, that caused some serious self-esteem issues and kind of does still to this day. It took a long time to not see any of my constant book reading as bad. I see it as a total positive because without all that reading and studying it would never have helped me learn as much as I have, and just gave me that eagerness to learn more to know more. That was a serious lesson in life that I’m still learning to be comfortable with, but I have no problem calling myself a bookworm, I love it. Yet, I still struggle with my teeth, my smile and more. People tell me I have a beautiful smile, I just thank them and move on. I don’t personally see it still to this day.
The “walls” I speak of are relationship walls. Do you put any up around yourself with caution signs, flashing red lights, barbed wire, and more? I’ve been advised to change all of that, to call them guards that way I can peak over it every now and then, dip my toe into something to see what may happen. It is taking a lot for me to do that. I am mentally beating myself up to remind myself that there are things in life to work towards, while I am working on myself and my life. It doesn’t mean that I need to shut people out or dismiss them in any way, but to remind myself to look out for certain things so pain and heartache doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make it any easier the second or third time around, but when a relationship ends it makes it easier to recover than before.
I am working on making sure that I don’t lose myself in any relationship. I’ve been known to do that in the past because you get excited about having someone in your life, you want to experience so much together and see where it may go with no clear direction at the start. Now, when it ends that is when life really hits you hard because now you have to start over again figuring out who you are without that person that you used to speak with, spend time with on dates, those quiet conversations and more. It’s something that I’ve learned one too many times. You start a relationship, have lots of fun, but when it’s over no matter how it ended it still sucks. My first major relationship ended when I found him in bed with another woman. I can tell you that was like some strange Lifetime Movie. I was only 20 years old at the time and I thought I wanted to marry the guy, but that quickly changed when I saw that. Hopped on a plane and headed back to KC. After that I stayed single for a while, went on a few dates here and there, but those “walls” I put up were there. They weren’t going away, but years later I realized that I can’t have them up so high because it wasn’t good for my heart. What happens when I find a new relationship.
Eventually I found a new one, it was years later in my late twenties. I thought this guy was great. Not normally my type of guy to date, he had problems in his past, but he seemed to be super nice. I got suckered in with his lies. Trust me I still feel stupid to this day, but I suck them up as lessons and try not to ever repeat them. The relationship only lasted four years, but trust me those were the hardest four years of my life, we moved around a lot, found out that he stole money from me. Lied to me about his drug use and cheating, started pushing people that I love out of my life because he didn’t want them around. Constantly arguing about things I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention to. That was my fault, I should have been smart enough to see through all of it. When I think back of this particular ex a special song comes into play, TLC’s “No Scrubs” it’s funny because in the end he was just someone hanging on me because I was always working two jobs and going to school. He loved when I got my Financial Aid money because he knew I would pay all the bills current, and he could buy some stuff. I kind of still get a little upset about those situations because I should have been smart enough to walk away from him when things started going bad, but I thought I was in love. Again life lessons, then another section of the wall gets added to what you already have.
Now that I’m a bit older I’ve learned to really listen and try the best I can to trust my gut. It isn’t always easy to take pieces of that wall down for anyone. When you open yourself up it leaves that person the opportunity to hurt you, but you see that he or she is different from your past relationships so the hurt or pain will be totally different and your not sure if you even want to deal with it, but yet your ready for something new. Depending on the type of relationship you have with someone, little by little you allow parts of that wall to come down, it’s slow at first but then depending on how things are going some of that wall will come tumbling down like a pile of bricks. Yet when the relationship ends you mentally and emotionally beat yourself up because it’s those, “I’ve should have known.” moments when in reality you can’t predict the future.
That is my lesson for the day, well really pretty much my life. I will change the name of the “wall” that I’ve placed around my heart to being “guarded” that way I know not to repeat the same things over again. When you get a second chance at something you want to make sure that you see everything from every angle, no games just truth. Try to see it from your partner’s eyes as well. The last thing you want to do is misunderstand something that you should have picked up on from the beginning. That is when you both work together to redefine who you are as a couple. Nothing wrong with keeping your individuality, because you can’t ever bank on someone being there forever. Never do that especially when it comes to relationships, I don’t even do that with family! I mean in the end no matter how they leave, they just do. That is when the two of you come together and decide what you are, where you are, and really what each other wants. I am going to say the scary word: COMMUNICATION!
How do you deal with your “wall”? Do you take it down fast or slowly? Do you even take it down at all?