The only way I can articulate my current status is to use the analogy of scaffolding.
Like lots of us, I have constructed a barrier between me and the outside world. It is my protective shell that has kept me alive thus far. With some people that barrier comes down a little, with some I thicken it! As I say we all have them and adapt accordingly. Some of my friends tell me that when it comes to the other sex and any even fleeting glimpse of romance, the barrier becomes nuclear bunker like. One of my male friends once told me that I give off an air of “take one step closer and I will blow your brains out.” I admit, possibly not the best start to cultivating relationships!
But in recent months, in particular since my jury service, I have not thought of this protective shell as a barrier rather as scaffolding. My thoughts about myself, about others, my processing of experiences, my coping of trauma have all become scaffolds (yes, like on a building, not the pedagogy).
My inner being has been surrounded by scaffolds. Ironically, scaffolding allows access, but in my case; there has been a very clear health and safety notice: DO NOT PLAY ON THE SCAFFOLDING!
But through my sessions and in my life in general, the scaffolding has started to shake a little. Those things that I thought were solid, are rocking. Those things that I thought protected me, I see now have actually imprisoned me and kept others out. The scaffolding is coming down.
And let me tell you. It is bloody scary. Really scary. I feel exposed, vulnerable and at times naked. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to fall down. The scaffolding was keeping me up and without it I can’t exist. Sometimes in my sessions with Penelope, I have been hanging on to the scaffolding for dear life as she has tried to prise it out of my hands.
But I don’t want the scaffolding any more.
The challenge I have is not to focus on the scaffolding, but rather to delight in the newly restored building underneath. The scaffolding can come down when the work is finished. The building is different from when the scaffolding went up. That has to be exciting surely?!?
The image helps me. It enables me to try and have compassion on myself as the scaffolding comes off- but I also want it to give me hope as to what I might find underneath. I think a building without scaffolding is far more attractive anyway.
Thanks for listening.