The barriers you put up, well constructed, impenetrable and as strong as iron, protect you from the hurt and disassociate you from the pain. Suzy writes a letter to an ex-partner: You separate yourself from others who love you with such adeptness that it’s hard not to be impressed - pulling back your emotional connection from them and winding it in like a rope to stash in the hold, so that you no longer need to see or feel anything that once connected you to them.
I have been on the other side of that wall of iron, as have others who love you. We all know what it is to be shut out by you. For those on the other side, your withdrawal is an act of cruelty. A blunt instrument that may once have protected you from childhood pain but has now evolved into a tool that attacks those who love you. As if the axe once used for cutting wood to feed a sustaining fire has now been sharpened and turned into a weapon of destruction.
For it seems that the victims of this disassociation are those who love you, as I suppose they are the ones who make you feel, and feeling is pain, and pain must be avoided at all costs?
Through you I have learned many valuable new lessons. Somehow the mirror image you provided of my own safe but barren island gave me the courage to pull down those walls which I once constructed with such dexterity to protect myself from further harm. I found the ways to hold firm and keep my integrity while the wild winds of anger and suffering buffeted me on my rock, and my inner strengths returned.
I used all the tricks I had learned over the last few years: breakup from my kid's dad, Anthony Robbins' life coaching seminars, the wealth of wisdom and wit around me from friends and acquaintances who generously share their own learning and life experiences from which I found inspiration, guidance and some good ideas. Like the idea that when I am angry and afraid, that is 'my stuff', and looking inwards is where I will find the answers.
Blaming others does no good. It's like the death penalty - it seems logical and practical but it just doesn't bloody work. Blaming yourself is even more indulgent and pointless, like sending Xmas cards to people you don't like just to feel like you've done the right thing. Find your own integrity, and swap blame - for love. Your mind will argue and fight and tell you a thousand good reasons why you should not. Tell those demons to bugger off, because they come from the source of all those dark forces that still hold sway in your life.
The old way has already caused much pain to those who love you, as great as the pain you must have suffered to feel the need to create this act of disassociation in the first place. Enough blood has been spilt on both sides now. It's time to learn new ways of moving through life, and I'll share now with you some of the best friends you will have at your side, if you will only let them help you.
One is called Humility.
One is called Faith.
The other is called Love, but that one is a force of immense power, who will not respect your feelings or your expectations, but who will make you invincible and cloak you in a cloth stronger than iron, yet supple and flexible enough to let in the love of others.
Love is a powerful force, and if you let it in through the cracks and crannies of your wall, those tiny chinks that even you have left open - because somewhere in your heart is a desire to be able to love and be loved - then you will find that it will not seep in quietly. The force will smash your walls, dissolve them and leave you naked and scared and with no protection other than what lies within you.
We will hold your hand though. You are surrounded by people who cannot share your fear and pain because we are not you, but we can share your birth from the process of finding a new path. The trick is to learn what to keep out and what to let in. That is one of the arts of living.
Suzy Miller www.startingovershow.co.uk