By Nicole Hilton, July 8th, 2020
When the dark side arranges the unimaginable against the most innocent, the mind wipe and compartmentalization of the event become a harsh but necessary blessing. Though a protection, the dissociation expresses itself as a mental illness—a disease against peace of mind and relationships. When the time for healing comes, Pandora’s box must be opened—for what’s inside is what needs to be healed…yet it might be opened in different ways for different people—with me, only emotions manifest. My frustration with this was evident when, in 2016 I prayed for my actual memories to come back (written about here). This is a poetic metaphor about that experience.
In the wild wilderness of my memory there is a fortress whose walls are 100 feet high and 100 feet thick, and I’ve beaten my fists on those walls until my hands looked like bruised and bloody stumps of fury and of madness and confusion.
I yelled and ranted and kicked. I wondered if marching around those walls and blowing trumpets would bring them down. I built ladders and launched catapults to no avail. I screamed, “Lend my life some legitimacy! Why am I the wild way that I am?” and the walls still stood, silent and immovable and daunting.
After I did all I could, I realized there was one more thing I could do. I abandoned the trumpets, the ladders, and the catapult. I wrapped up my bloody hands, and I knelt down to pray. I prayed outside of that formidable fortress for six long months, until finally, reluctantly, God came and offered to take me to the top of the wall.
At first I was excited. I wanted to see what was on the other side so badly, it had consumed me like cancer. We rose up the rocky exterior and neared the top. It came ever closer and closer, until I was just feet from the ramparts—feet from seeing whatever was on the other side—feet from seeing what God had shielded me from for years and years and years.
Then fear came like a monster and gripped me. It grew until it was as big as the whole world, and the weight of it began to grind my shoulder bones into powder. I squeezed my eyes shut tight, but we kept on moving until we were up to the ramparts. I couldn’t look—I couldn’t see whatever was on the other side because I knew it would prove my destruction, and I’d never be able to un-see it though I’d wish and try to forget it for a hundred years. I screamed my throat raw and ragged: SAVE ME FROM THIS PLACE.
Then God, in an instant, had me back on solid ground. I was, again, outside of the wall. God stood beside me and turned to me with sad eyes, saying, “This is why, my Daughter, this is why.”
Now there is no longing when I come up against these fortresses in my mind—which are many, I’ve discovered. I go instead up to those walls which keep out The Unseen; I hug them and say in a whisper, Thank you God. Thank you.
I wonder why others have seen what I could not. What would have driven me crazy with the sight of it. But I don’t wonder for too long before I turn from hugging the wall and simply walk away, my wild ways seeping out of my slow and measured gait, leaving drops of black where footprints stand in soil.
2 thoughts on “The Fortress in My Mind”
i am just now allowing my alters to tell me their story but it has been a very long road. i am finally at a place of stability and with a good therapist where I can handle the details and even as shocking as they are, I find it such a relief! Thanks for your blog.
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Thank you Lisa I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. No one should have to go through this. But I am grateful to have someone out there who understands. That’s what we survivors can do for each other