Others are wrapped in barbed-wire and electric-fencing. You try to cut it, but it cuts you. You make contact and are blown backwards. The voltage of their anger. Their pain. The isolation that says ‘Keep Off’.
For years I clawed at those who tried to come close. I ran from relationships and fought – tooth and fork – to defend my space. My fears. My mess. My eating disorder. My solution.
‘I’m fine’, I spat. ‘Leave me alone’.
But I wasn’t fine. I was lonely and I was scared.
To hide the fear I built a wall. I bricked myself in and waited for the others to leave.
Some did. After all, I did all I could to push them away.
But some – stayed. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them, chipping away from the outside. Praying for me. Inviting me to come out. Reminding me that there were others who had made the break.
Prayers that penetrated the thickest defenses. Words that broke through the cracks and let in the light.
I didn’t listen. But still, I heard.
It’s hard to reach out, when you’re always pushed away.
Hard to keep arranging meetings, when you’re constantly stood up.
Hard to give advice that’s never taken or even heard.
Hard to keep listening, when the story doesn’t change.
Hard to expose your throat to someone with a knife.
But life-changing too.
*folks like me