They say the walls that we have to keep people out, weren’t built in a day. So, we shouldn’t expect them to come down in a day. I am starting to believe that mine, have taken on a life of their own. There are so many. First to keep the evil we see in, then to keep others from hurting me more. God knows there are so many bricks in that wall. Hell there is a build, a shrine, built to that one. The loss of friends and colleagues, the politics of the game, protecting my team, protecting my family, now my son. A wall for the hurt, the pain, the tears, that I didn’t cry. A hardened place where the real me hides. There are windows and cracks where I allow a few close friends in. Mostly however, I wander the halls, of my self inflicted prison wondering how do I change. Some of the older walls, begin to decay and crumble. I step around the bricks, trying not to stumble, over past mistakes on the way to being whole. Then something new occurs, and new construction begins elsewhere, in this prison of my soul.
She walks there, down the corridors. Her eyes full of wonder. She looks for the cracks. The areas that I am trying to tear down. Her beauty excels every women that I have loved. I have become lost following her. There are times that I can do nothing but try to bare handedly rip through the holes to get at her. Often when I get through, she is gone, and I stand bloody knuckled, lost. Dressed in black today, her head covered with a cloak, it is as though she is despairing as much as me. The other day, she danced through the hall in a ballgown of green, searching for me. Her hair flowed over her shoulders. Smiles, giggles, and laughs echoed through my mind. I even heard music in the back corner where I never go. The heavy load was lifted for a while, she has the ability to do that, then the phone rings, damn reality.
My therapist says that walls are defense mechanisms to protect myself. I just need to realize that I am safe, and tear them down. Together, we knock on the door of one. It isn’t as scary with someone there. We enter the room. This one is the fear of losing my team. I want to leave right away.
“This is too hard. Can we address a different fear? Please?” I beg.
“Sorry, your mind chose this one. It is important. Let’s continue.”
We talk. We discover that one brick is built on the premise that I must protect them. They are my responsibility. The therapist explains, I may be the unit chief, but I am not my brother’s keeper. If it happens that someone is hurt, unless I pull the trigger, it isn’t my fault. It is the unsub’s for causing the chase. No unsub – no chase – no chase – no fight – no fight – no one gets hurt. Each of these ring true. I bend down, in my mind, kneel and pull out the bricks that match each of the these. The wall creaks. The wall wobbles. I look up, because I have pulled from the bottom. I move out, close the door, maybe tomorrow I’ll address this more. It will tumble out of the way soon. Work done here is a success, but miles to go before I rest.
I drive home. I try to relax, just be happy and focus on family. Jack, oh how I love him. Then I wonder, how many walls to I have up, to protect him. Does he know how much I love him? Does he see the real me? I promised Haley, that he would know about love and happiness, that I wasn’t always so serious. With a shake of my head, a tear rolls down my cheek, where is the real me? There she goes, as the wall looks down, with its evil smile, as she like me seems to drown. I call to her, but she doesn’t answer, as she wanders further behind the walls. Her back to me, it hurts to feel abandoned.
“Hope! HOPE! Do not go.”