About 10 years ago I was opening a bottle of wine, and as soon as I started twisting the wine opener into the cork I could tell something was not right. I was right. The cork was so dry, my twisting against the glass caused the neck of the bottle to shatter in my hand. In all the years I've opened wine bottles, I've never seen this happen to anyone. My ring finger was cut so deeply in the finger pad area, it required surgery, and stitches.
Shards of glass are still working their way out of my finger all these years later including a piece now. It's deep, and while it's not causing me much grief, I know eventually, I'll have to address it. I've had to go to the doctor several times in years past to have festering pieces of glass surgically removed. Other times, the glass pops through my fingertip like a sprout in springtime, and all I need is tweezers to pluck it out. Simple as that--all it needed was time.
I see this as a metaphor to having PTSD. On some days when a scary thought comes racing through my head, or a negative one, I can use my own mental tweezers to pull it out before it starts infecting my thoughts. But for the most part, I still need professional assistance to help me work through the layers of trauma. I've tried to hold these fears in, fearful I'd be judged for being scared to get in a car again, or judged for not just "getting over it". Heck, I've even barked at myself to suck it up, and to put my Xena Princess Warrior bronzed knickers back on my lily livered arse. That's the part of me that's over the car accident, but the larger part of me is still on hyper drive, or as Dr. Ed says, "my fears are on steroids."
Try as I may I cannot hold these feelings, and thoughts in forever. I'm only making it harder on my body, and my recovery, when I do that. This is why my tummy troubles have kicked into warp speed. It's all connected to my body's injuries, and my tummy's the place I hold my stress. I've been having some of the worst panic attacks I've ever had these past few weeks, hence, the worst pain in my abdomen for a long time. Dr. Ed says I need to let it out. I won't break into a million pieces of glass if I do. If I allow it all to come to the surface like that sliver of buried glass I won't go comatose and die in the prenatal position--even if my body tells me I will. And it has told me that.
He asked me if I ever knew anyone who had cried themselves to death. He said a human can physically maintain a good crying jag for about 15-20 minutes before they wear themselves out. I instantly thought of my son when he was little, and after a tantrum or a bad day, how he would cry himself to sleep. I suppose I thought I "should" be past crying at this stage of my PTSD. Perhaps a healthy crying session will clear the way for more healing, and will create less stress on my tummy.
The glass bottle in the picture is full of sand, and pieces of broken glass that I picked it up in a parking lot after we finished the 5k Race for Hope (to raise money and awareness for brain tumor research) in Washington DC the day of the accident. I remember asking everyone to wait for me while I squatted like a kid in a sandbox, scooping up the brightly colored pieces of glass mingled with sand on the hot asphalt. It was from a mosaic pattern that adorned this particular parking lot in downtown DC, and time and traffic, had caused it to crumbled pushing 1000's of tiny sea-like glass free. To me it was a candy store of recyclable treasure, and I would have stayed for hours collecting this wind fall of potential art material if I'd been able to.
Time always has a way of giving me answers in unexpected ways much like this bottle has been a visual lesson to me. I never once shook the bottle to make the pretty colored bits and pieces of glass rise to the surface. Time did that all by itself. Just as the slivers of glass in my fingers cannot be squeezed or forced out of my finger before it's time, neither can the PTSD shrapnel in my head. It's working itself out at a pace I can handle. Time is what I need for things to shift into place so I can heal properly.
I've been called Diamond Lil my entire adult life. Why not now, too, even if I feel like a diamond in the rough most days? Diamonds come from coal, and it's pressure that creates diamonds. Poets have long compared tears to glistening diamonds. Who knows, maybe a diamond sheds a tear to free itself from the dark sheath of coal, and darkness. Or perhaps all I have to do is open the lid on this bottle to let the miracle out... Time will show me, of this I am sure.