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Locked Doors and Defensive Walls: Seeking Refuge Within


"You were my safehouse, but you always kept your door locked, and I refused to stand outside attempting forced entry. You were an evasive fortress lacking a key to give me, so now I seek refuge within the walls I've built around my heart." - Janellie Wells

Have you ever sought out shelter within someone who wouldn't open up for you, or left you feeling defenseless? Wishing you could force yourself in, whether it be for the sake of comfort, or for protection. But no matter how desperate the urge is, you simply cannot. You cannot make a human into a home, or wait forever on a key they’ll never be willing to give you.

Perhaps the significance of my place in another’s life was overestimated, but there have been times when I have felt like I could depend on certain individuals to be my warmth during the cold seasons I faced. To be my safe haven in the midst of the violent storms that have brewed, yet despite my faith in others, I’ve been left without a roof, feeling abandoned.

Though, in the past, I may have been quick to place the fault in the hands of the one(s) who I felt had left me deserted, I’ve realized there was no one to blame, but myself, for allowing my reliance on someone else to fully determine my own well-being, and peace. However, experiencing this vulnerability encouraged me to find the strength I already had within me to overcome future afflictions that arose. For the sake of my own serenity and self-preservation, I have learned to let go of people who choose not to reciprocate the love and care you show, due to their own uncertainties and ambivalence.

The last part of the poem, “..so now I seek refuge within the walls I’ve built around my heart” refers to when I became overly cautious and defensive; keeping separate from anyone who tried to make their way in or get too close. Being closed off and hiding behind these defensive walls seems to be a common defense mechanism for many in response to enduring painful, or traumatic situations, but it is not healthy. The cycle persists if we do not keep from repeating the same behaviors that continue to harm us. We put these barriers up, hoping they’ll keep us safe, but they are even more detrimental in the long run. It is important to guard our hearts, but to do so gracefully. Some people are worth breaking your walls down and letting in. It's all about balance.


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