The rain pounded against the tin roof like a freight train was going to crash through the house at any moment. The invisible wind made its presence known. The trees bent back and forth and around and around as if they were engaged in a dangerous dance. One finally released its roots and began to tumble. This caused another to snap and brought down the power lines. For a moment they stood in darkness. They knew this day would come again. Then 30 seconds later the whole-house generator kicked on. Power was restored. Both would sleep well knowing they would continue functioning as they always did. They didn’t have to pull out the portable generator in the down pour. They didn’t have to fill it with gas in the dark. They didn’t have to find all the extension cords to plug in the refrigerator and tv. This brought a sense of security for keeping the household up and functioning but what bubbled within Julia’s belly continue to rumble like the wind.
She could hear the faint sound of the tv playing in the distant as the dog pushed open the door to be next to her master. “Things have to change!” she mumbled as she slipped away into her never-never land. Her mind carried her back where it all began.
Ever since Julia was a little girl she learned that the best way to protect herself was to build walls around her, invisible walls so she thought, but walls nonetheless. She felt as though she outsmarting the world. No one would know what she was doing because they couldn’t see them. Each time someone hurt her spirit, she got right to work adding another layer. Sometimes she built it taller. They would have a challenge climbing over she thought. Sometimes she built it wider. Their words couldn’t penetrate through, she thought.
As a child, she was told over and over and wanted to desperately believe that sticks and stones may brake my bones but words can never hurt me. She and the other children enjoyed chanting these words when snippy remarks slipped out of the young and old mouths. She knew the wooden paddle did hurt. She knew watching the boy next door getting a beating with a twig did hurt. His tears and screams still echo somewhere deep within her. That part of the nursery rhyme was true. But something must be wrong with me she pondered because the harsh words people shared with one another around her and at her hurt deeper and stung longer than a good hard spanking. And here is where it began. She convinced herself that she could have imaginary walls that keep the cruelty of the world out.
The barrier served her well for so many, many years. Until one day, she was reminded that she is all alone in this world as a result of the fabulous job she had done. She was proud of her work but now she had to ask the tough question, “Was it still serving her well today?” She kept everyone at a very safe distance thinking they couldn’t hurt her any more. However, the heart she tried so hard to protect was more damaged because of this than she realized. The wall must be dismantled piece by piece.
Today, She awoke earlier than usual feeling a bit different than the day before. A piece of her armor that has been protecting her for so long has began to crumble away like the earth dam did last from the storm that roared through. She finds those harsh words slipping off her very own tongue. The words she tried to hide from were now used against others by her. She was once the abused and now the abuser. Before she pushes away the last close love, she knew it had to stop.