Yesterday's client had a four foot stack of clothes, papers and books running along the entire side of her studio apartment. There was little maneuverability to get around the space. I figured we would begin light and easy, so I said, "Let's start" and I picked up a bag of papers and started questioning each piece.
Pretty soon into it I asked her how long she'd been living this way. She said for a few years. She said that it was invasive, like a plant creeping in that one day took over her environment. Then she revealed, "This wall protects me from intimacy, from being hurt by people."
I told her that the presence of this wall in her home hurt her more than people ever could. Hiding behind this wall every day traumatizes and weakens her. The best and kindest thing she could do for herself would be to dismantle the wall, piece by piece, just like we were currently doing.
As we continued tossing, she said, "Every piece of paper I get out of here is a victory." I could feel her taking her life back into her hands.