Are You A Wall Builder?

Everybody is talking about walls. Or barriers. Obstacles. Objects which will keep people apart. For a plethora of reasons, some of which make sense to me, others where I go ‘hmmmmm….I’m not so sure.’ This post is not about my opinions though, rather the subject of walls. This could be a bit of a rambling piece, so bear with me. Hopefully it will make sense.

There’s Brexit for a start. The British are obsessed with it. The politicians can’t agree on anything and we seem to be going in ever decreasing circles. Some want out, others scream remain. Everything hinges on a hard border. Around my country, Little Northern Ireland, no less. The spotlight is well and truly on our little part of the world.

Then there’s President Trump and his Mexican wall. I’m a bit sketchy around the reasons for this, as I’m no expert on U.S. politics. But a lot of people seem to be getting very angry about it. I watched him give a speech the other day and there was a woman called Nancy sitting behind him in a white suit. I don’t think she was very happy with him for she kept pulling lots of strange faces behind his back. Either that or she was constipated.

Not forgetting the ISIS brides. The English teenage girls who upped sticks a few years ago and headed to Syria and the caliphate. Radicalised online and married off to ISIS fighters they disappeared off the face of the planet. Until now that is. It’s all gone a bit askew for our ‘Jihadi Janes’ and they are begging to return to the U.K. Those of them still alive that is.

This has sparked outrage. Some holler ‘Let them rot,’ while others argue these young women have been used, brutalised and deserve a second chance, as British citizens. Not to mention their newborn babies they are now pleading should be allowed back into the country to receive the urgent medical attention they cannot access in Syria. As moral dilemmas go, it’s right up there.

We are obsessed with walls, be it building them up or tearing them down. But what about the walls within? The walls we construct around our hearts and minds, again for a billion and one different reasons. Some are necessary in order to survive and protect ourselves – from toxicity be in the form of people, objects or situations. Others are cemented by jealousy, fear and mistrust.

I see walls every day I venture onto WordPress. Fellow bloggers peek over them on occasion but hesitate to let the drawbridge down and reveal themselves to the online community. For me, writing is a means whereby I can lower my defences and express myself in a way I have struggled to do for most of my life. It is part of my therapy, my recovery. It is a natural part of my day now. Writing is part of who I am.

Walls have their uses. But it’s a case of horses for courses. Building, and then hiding behind, a wall shouldn’t be our default setting. For decades, Belfast was divided by a ‘Peace Wall’ to keep apart the warring loyalist and republican communities. It was anything but peaceful. 3000 dead testify to that. Some walls are necessary. Some walls bring peace. Others need to be smashed to pieces. You decide that.

Have you constructed walls in your life?

Are they healthy? Necessary?

44 thoughts on “Are You A Wall Builder?

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  1. I may have already mentioned walls in response to the last post you wrote.

    I believe walls are necessary because not everyone is safe. But walls blocking out those you need to connect with, like a spouse, should be more permeable and often taken down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I see walls every day I venture onto WordPress. Fellow bloggers peek over them on occasion but hesitate to let the drawbridge down and reveal themselves to the online community.”

    I agree that we should be transparent. None of us should be wearing masks to disguise who we really are. We do need to exercise wisdom in this, though, like, as you said, some walls are necessary. Some are wise. We can be too open. We can be too closed up, too. A lot of us have been hurt by opening up too much. And, we learn from experience. But, then we don’t seem real if we don’t open up and let people see our hearts. So, to be open, we have to be willing to risk rejection. We have to care more about others than we do ourselves. We have to think about what is in the best interest of others without fear that we won’t be “liked” in return.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the arguments (let’s say “discussions”!) I’ve had with people online about Ms Begum!! I really don’t know what my feelings are towards this young woman – groomed, radicalised by clever people, but now? She seems to show no remorse, but maybe she’s just in a PTSD situation. She will have seen more horrific things in her life than we ever will (I pray) and who knows if she is still being manipulated? But I feel we should show forgiveness…but what if she’s still radicalised? What danger will that bring…? It’s a truly sticky situation!

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  4. The only people who want that stupid wall along the Mexican border are people who live thousands of miles away from it. The people in those states don’t want the wall & have filed lawsuits to stop its building & to take down what is already there. It’s an environmental disaster. Not to mention that nobody wants to live in a town with razor wire fences along your borders like you’re in prison. It affects BOTH sides. But people … like my mother (SMH) … aren’t affected by this & don’t care. Her brain has been fried by Fox News.

    Most “illegal” immigrants come in legally, on legal visas, & then overstay their visas illegally. Most of them are from Ireland or Canada & NOBODY makes a stink about them because they are WHITE & they speak a charming English. The ONLY reason people don’t want the poor souls from the southern border is because they have brown skin & barely speak English at all. Call it racism, call it white supremacism, call it whatever you want. I call it BULLSHIT.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I currently live in Austin,Texas, where the wall nonsense is quite literally close to home. Here’s what I see every day: hardworking Hispanic laborers who are talented, conscientious, and trustworthy. They are not “taking jobs” from spoiled white kids who don’t want to do manual labour.

      And the statistics show that there are more Mexicans crossing the border to go BACK to Mexico than there are people coming into the US.

      The Trump propaganda machine finds it convenient to ignore any facts that don’t fit his agenda, which is sad for all of us.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. love the photo you selected to illustrate your point. There is such an innocence and sense of anticipation on the young boy’s face. But one can’t help but wonder what is on the other side of the wall. The fear of the unknown propels us to do some foolish things. But more often it keeps us from doing anything at all.

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  6. I’m not very good with people who get too close to me so I’ve pretty much walled myself off from the rest of the world. A couple of years ago I got really hurt and since then I’ve maintained a distance from everyone. I even try to keep my writing detached from me as well, as best I can. It doesn’t last forever however. Eventually the walls will come down, whether they get rebuilt or not is another story.

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  7. We build walls around us because we are afraid of reactions, perceptions. Blogging is cathartic even for me, but I was afraid of judgement . When I found about my husband’s infidelity, my every other post was about it, but in third person. I started another blog but I never could come to opening myself up. Finally I wrote a book, but that too as a story of someone else. I did not want any one to question me yet I wanted the support.

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  8. I love your honesty. Walls seem to be like a double-edged sword, cutting both ways with results that a questionable on each side. They hide, protect, divide and unite. I can’t imagine the impact a wall could have on your country and don’t believe they will accomplish the intended goal here in the US. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  9. Excellent post and questions. I too come here, as my byline says, to find my truth. I write to see what I’m thinking and how it is affecting me and others. When I first started my blog I intended to be anonymous so that I could write freely. I wasn’t able to do it. I decided I had to be me.
    As for physical walls/fences… Ug… such a touchy subject. 🤔

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  10. Ahem … rather well written Sir. I’m probably as open as I can be, under the circumstances. I have to watch what I say a little which is sad, but a fact of life I guess. In the old days, I used to have enormous walls to try to protect myself. Now, I try to be brave, after all, as Hilary Clinton said, being hurt is inevitable, it’s how you deal with it that really counts … or something like that! Makes sense to me. Beautifully written post.

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  11. In my case, the walls I constructed were for self-protection. I began constructing them from a very young age to protect my tender heart from being irrevocably damaged. I didn’t make it out unscathed, but it wasn’t for lack of trying and that behavior has followed me into adulthood. I would like to say that I don’t do that any more, but I know it’s not true. I don’t construct my walls as high or as thick as I used to, but I still throw them up if I feel intimidated or threatened. I struggle with being a people pleaser and wanting everyone to like me, so I go along with whatever they want {regardless of whether it’s healthy for me or not}, thus allowing my own desires and needs go unmet. I am learning how to construct healthy boundaries and that is very much a work in progress for me. It’s all part of my process 🙂

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  12. I recognize that I’ve built emotional walls around myself–I’ve blogged about it before–amd that I need to tear those walls down. I’m just not sure how to do that.

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  13. I’d be the first to say I have no walls, but I’d be lying through my teeth. For instance, who I write under. I began writing under an alias to help deal with the psychological trauma I sometimes vested into the novels. I still do. So in a very real way, that’s a wall. One that I’m afraid I’ll be stuck with. It wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who I really am.

    As for actual physical walls! While they’re useful to keep the neighbors cows out of my garden, they’re almost a waste of time. History has proven again and again that every wall between nations that’s ever been built, was at the end of the day, has been a waste of bricks.

    I’m a registered republican, and I’m still trying to figure out what President Trumps wall is supposed to do.

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  14. I have a lot of family members and friends that follow my blog – it would not be conducive to good relationships to share all. Plus, I would not hurt any of them by taking the walls completely down. Sometimes they are necessary to protect loved ones. So, I guess my answer is yes. Having said that, I do try to be as real as possible – as long as doing so does not impact others in a negative way.

    As far as political walls go – well, I think Trump is an idiot! Enough said! As usual your blog is insightful and thought provoking. Thank you!

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  15. I do have mental walls that have been up for some time; letting the emotions and memories through at a tolerable rate of speed to process is an art I’m still working on. Some trauma is just better handled in bite sized morsels. They can be healthy, and as such, necessary.

    What I’m really working on are “boundaries” which is a completely different classification of tolerances. I feel like my time here on WP has allowed me to be far clearer in my guidelines of what I will, or will not, accept within my life. I love one Uncle very much, but he has a tendency to troll me on politics. So, I won’t talk about that nonsense with him – I’m not here for him to mock. At the same time, I accept that those are his viewpoints, and he 100% believes every human on the planet would act as he does or would. I don’t troll him either.

    Physical boundaries… We have to get to this point where it’s OK to think differently without shaming the other party/country. We’re ALL humans here, and as such, individuals. That’s kind of cool, you know?

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