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Thursday, August 27, 2009

55 Miles Away From PTSD

I spent most of yesterday editing the pics from Tuesday at Dorri's farm. In the middle of the editing I had a revelation--one of those revelations that stop you in mid thought, and demand you ponder it.

The trip out to the farm was the farthest I've been in a car
since January 1, 2009, the day my grandson was born.

In spite of it being the happiest moment in my life being there for my son's first child to be born, the back and forth trips from the hotel and hospital on busy, confusing freeways with narrow lanes triggered a major setback with my PTSD. Superman could barely peel me out of the car one night to just get me inside to our hotel room--it was that bad. After 8 months of battling PTSD from the car accident, that episode put me over the edge, and on a long term disability leave from my beloved career.

I have not been back there since. My son and his family live approximately 120 miles from me. It may as well be 2500 miles in my mind. I have shed a barrel of tears over not being able to just get in the car and drive to see them. I've wondered sometimes if they thought I just didn't want to see them. I look fine from the outside but PTSD is something you can't see. There's no bloody gash on my forehead. But I can tell you there may as well be. My kids post pictures regularly of my grandson, and themselves. This has been like a carrot for me to keep trudging ahead.

I didn't actually drive out to the farm. I was a passenger. It really doesn't matter with PTSD if I'm riding or driving. Every time I anticipated going out there, I'd freeze up mentally. It was too far. At the end of last week I sent Dorri a message requesting to come and shoot some pictures of her parents before their grand celebration planned in 2 weeks for their 50th wedding anniversary. Of course she agreed. Dorri loves her parents as much as I love mine. She still calls her mother, Mommy--just like I do with my Mommy.

I had some fears about making the drive--actually any drive. My normal mode of operation [which is actually my abnormal mode] is to chicken out before the day comes of a function, outing or event I have agreed to attend, and cancel. My mind has been so tweaked with fear that I can actually get sick, physically ill in anticipation of leaving the house. So in actual fact, PTSD has chained me not only in my mind, but also inside the four walls of my tree house. The very fact that I kept the date and went the distance is no less of a miracle than me surviving plunging off that 70 foot bridge nose first.

On the trip over to the farm we went the back roads. It's always calmer for me on back roads but at times I can still work myself into a fear frenzy. On the trip back we went on the freeway. NOW this is a major, major accomplishment. I had a few moments of my head jumping into the beginnings of a panic attack. My faithful co-pilot, Dylan, patted my knee, and arm, whenever I expressed a vehicle scaring me. She spoke calmly to me, and assured me we were fine. You see we've both come a long way together since the accident. We hold each other up when one of us feels too weak to stand.

If you haven't looked at yesterday's post yet, please do. It's mostly pictures so it's an easy read. So many of you who have been faithfully following me [thank you from the bottom of my heart] commented on how much fun we [me] were having. Those pictures really said so much. I was more relaxed on Tuesday than I've been in a very, very long time. [and it wasn't just the wine....] I'm getting better people. I'm really, and truly, getting better.

The revelation: I'm almost half way there [riding or driving] to my son's house.


Because I know when I get ALL the way there I'll get to put on my monkey pants and a monkey hat to play with this little cupcake.
Yes, I'm 55 miles away from PTSD and 65 miles closer to smooching some baby belly!!!


  1. What an incredible thing you have done! This is MAJOR. I hope that very soon you will be able to drive to your grandson's...

    If you have any desire, I love for you to write a post for my dream weaving blog. Each Sunday I post a dream (yours could be the courage to drive to your grandson's). It a blog based on manifestation and dreams coming true. You can view it here:

  2. I love it. I am so glad that you are progressing. That cutie pie grandbaby is a big incentive. You did it once and you can do it again. Just a little farther the next time. I am proud of you Lille Diane. Go for it girl. The door is wide open.

  3. I have suffered for many years from agoraphobia and panic attacks and have been a prisoner in my own home many times. It is under control right now, but believe me I understand every word you are saying. You will make that trip, be patient with yourself, and when you do, it will be one of the best days of your life! I will pray for you.


  4. =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =]
    =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =]=] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =] =]

    that's all i can say. haha.

  5. Oh my god - how happy do you seem?! That's great hun, really great...good for you. Ugh, I wish you could see the beaming smile on my face for you. That really is a huge accomplishment....well done! As you step closer to driving yourself.
    Now, with your new found self-belief, can I trouble you to come over to my blog...I'm in dire need of some advice and help! :-)

  6. You can do it, Lille! A thousand times well done. You've worked so hard for this. Just think of the gratitude you will experience when you get some baby belly play time.

  7. Congratulations for having the courage not to cancel that trip! This IS huge!

    My own PTSD was from a 2-story fall, not from an auto accident, but might as well have been. The effect was the same. Many broken bones, much pain, 5 weeks in hospital. Once on the mend physically, I refused to be a passenger in a car going over 30 mph (meaning short trips in town). Once I was physically able to drive myself again, things were a little better because *I* was in control.

    The PTSD slowly lessened over time, but there are still occasions a quarter of a century later when it rears its ugly head and throws me into a full-blown panic attack.

    So hang in there, Dear. It won't ever totally go away, but little by little you will be able to live *mostly* normally again.

    Aren't baby bellies delicious??


  8. :oD

    yayy!!.. good for you! The pictures are stunning by the way.. I especially like the half sozzled scarecrow!

  9. WOW!!! talk about progression!!! im proud of u!!!

  10. That's what bridges are made for, connecting, same as children, who are happyness that has become alive, to life.
    Whishing you 'seven-mile-boots' to wear, reaching as far as you want to. Wonderful photography of the kid.Please have a nice Friday.

  11. Do you hear it? I'm screaming! Jumping up and down, doing my happy dance, and screaming with joy! I never even thought about how far away the farm was from you. I'm so proud of you. You are beating that monster! It won't be long until you're popping down to the farm on weekends! Yippee!

  12. I tripped down the page of your blog. Nice work, looking forward to more. -Jayne

  13. So a dory on that day was a life boat of sorts eh?

    The only thing I know is that when you take control of your fears from your fear then you will have regained not only control but your self as well.

    It is a side road your path probably did not need but none the less one that now has to be traveled in the name of growth.

  14. That's big, big BIG! Yeah YOU! Congratulations.

    And "smooching some baby belly" is a big incentive. I hope you make it there soon.



  15. That baby is beautiful! You are so lucky. It's been a long time since I played with a baby.

    You describe your experience extremely well. I have had panic attacks, so I know how debilitating they can be. Your attitude seems to be exactly what it needs to be to get past this, though.

    And what a reward - more time with your grandson!

  16. This is wonderful! I am so happy for you. :)

  17. OMG that's FABULOUS! I'm so proud of you *hugs* You're an incredible woman and you're getting stronger everyday. It's nice to be there with you.


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