WHY WE BUILD EMOTIONAL WALLS.

*Building walls/construction – you see how I tied in my photos with today’s subject? #CONTENT*

Your walls are high because you’ve learned the hard way that you shouldn’t trust anyone who tells you what you want to hear. You shouldn’t believe anything they hear unless they can prove it. You shouldn’t imagine a relationship with them unless you know exactly what they are looking for. You shouldn’t share your innermost secrets with them unless they plan on staying in your life. You should never put yourself in a position to be vulnerable until you know they genuinely care.

Your walls are high because you’ve been that person before. You jumped in with both feet, you trusted (even though you have trust issues and have been hurt many times before), you cared more, you loved, you waited, you forgave and you gave chances and they still left. It wasn’t enough to make them stay. It wasn’t enough for them to realise that maybe your love was truly the real one.

Your walls are high because you’re tired. Tired of giving and following your heart, only to end up disappointed and alone. You’re tired of trying to mend your heart with people who only end up breaking it again. You’re tired of opening up, only to be rejected once again. You’re tired of putting yourself out there, only to be rejected and/or insulted because of the way you look.

So you keep building these walls. You keep people at arm’s length. You become emotionally unavailable when you like someone. You’d rather let that person go instead of letting them in because it’s safer this way. This is how you protect your heart. This is you how you don’t get hurt. This is how you treat anyone you meet like they’re temporary because you don’t remember the last time you actually fell in love or found a relationship worth fighting for.

You stopped trying. You stopped fighting. You stopped giving chances as you built your walls higher brick by brick.

Mini Cotton Shirt Dress // Blazer // Boots

These walls tell you not to make the first move. They tell you to curb your excitement. They tell you that you should always have the upper hand. They tell you that they’re not genuine. They tell you people will eventually leave you. They tell that you’re better off alone. They tell you that you need a lot of more proof and actions before you trust someone. They tell you that people should ‘earn’ your love before you decide to give them your heart. They tell you not to feel. They tell you not to believe.

And maybe these walls protect you from heartbreak and disappointment. Maybe they keep you guarded and practical but they don’t make you feel alive. 

Sometimes people don’t understand why we built our walls so high. Sometimes it just pushes them away without us even trying. Sometimes they prevent us from heartbreak but they also prevent us from love. They prevent us from seeing the beauty of the little things that actually matter. Sometimes we have to break our own walls every once in a while to remember that there’s a whole other world behind these walls. There’s so much to see. So much to feel. So much to love.

My trust issues and emotional wall building started when I was 7 years old. I was taken to Ghana on what I thought was a 6 week summer holiday, however, the day before we were due to fly home, I said goodnight to my Mum and the next day, I woke up and discovered she had flown back to the UK without me. My brother and I stayed in Ghana (in separate cities) for two years and in those two years, I didn’t know why I had been left with extended family. At the time, I thought it was an act of rejection from my Mother, that she had had enough of me. I eventually found out why she had left my brother and I there, however, it didn’t take away from the trauma of being left in a somewhat foreign city with extended family that I didn’t know that well and having to go to a Catholic school that enforced corporal punishment.

Photography by Kaye Ford

It wasn’t until many years later that I realised how traumatic these events were, and is probably the reason why I suffer from abandonment and severe trust issues. On the plus side, it has taught me to be fiercely independent, and not to rely on anyone for anything. Keeping people at arms’ length emotionally has been a way of life for me. It’s been a way for me to protect myself. The only time I’ve ever let my guard down and opened myself up completely (after vowing I would never do it) was in my last relationship and..well..look at how that turned out lol.

I guess it’s part of the reason why it may be taking me an abnormally long time to get over my heartbreak – is that I partly blame myself for opening up, trusting and being emotionally vulnerable to someone, only for them to eventually leave for what seemed like no reason. I do sometimes get annoyed for being vulnerable, but hey ho. Building walls is one of the only things I can honestly say I’m proud of when it comes to my personality, weird as that sounds. I’m also extremely introverted and can’t do constant interaction ALL THE TIME, so it seems to work in my favour anyway.

Maybe it’ll change. Maybe it won’t (100% certain it won’t), but for now, it’s serving me well.

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