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Monday, January 11, 2010

Bronzed Knickers and Diamonds

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.


  1. and a diamond is very hard, very strong. wishing and hoping for the miracle for you...
    sending ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. So much I did not know...
    So much have I learned...
    So much respect do I have...

    This is a post to ponder. And to use for our own personal growth.

  3. Oh Lille Diane, That is such a beautiful post <3 Sending you (((hugs))) xox

  4. There is a story of the Bodhisattva of Compassion whose heart shattered into a million pieces when he saw all the suffering in the world. He resolved to heal the suffering in the world, never ceasing in his efforts and his shattered heart healed and turned into a diamond. When we break we always mend stronger. ♥

  5. You write so beautifully. I wish you peace from your pain.

  6. In my old line of work, I dealt with metal shavings inside my fingers. Sometimes I would forget about the deep ones. They stayed hidden until some force would cause them to shift into a painful position. Your glass analogy really helped me understand more about your PTSD.

    I keep thinking about how brave you were to get into the car with me! And no, I've never heard of anyone crying to death.

    I wish I were there to cry with you, and then when you were done, I'd do my famous dance to make you laugh!

  7. What a brave and powerful post. Here is wish you well, soon. Take care.


  8. Dear Lille Diane,
    what to say...cried much tonight, even though male (not too long ago heard to be more masculine though), life being too much, for me alone to bare, finding me always at the end of the rope; looking through your diamonds of thoughts, light was seperated into its different colours, may GREEN be the one of this year and all others to come.
    Your writing does help. Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

  9. Very moving. A perfectly painted word picture of healing. Prayers and blessings little diamond.

  10. Lillie,

    I found out that I too have PTSD. I have panic attacks in my sleep. I went to the doctor to find out why I could not get a good night sleep and found out that I have have panic attacks.

    I never knew that I could have them in my sleep. I now know that I can. I am trying to deal with it all.


  11. oh no...I can imagine how difficult your life can be.
    I hope your pain will go away. I help you - wiiiiuh! I blew your pain away. Or tried anyway.
    Hope you're feeling better today...

  12. I love the way you've written about these things, your wording is so beautiful its given me tingles!

    And you mayn't believe me but two friends have each suffered what you are talking about. One friend was dancing in bare feet at a disco (yeah, yeah, we were teenagers ok?!) and stood on broken glass. It took years for it all to work out of her foot and she had to choose her shoes according to where the bits of glass were 'floating', and she loved stillettos...

    Second friend was in a really bad car accident before I knew him, and it was about six months before the PTSD hit him. When I knew him it was several years later and he was taking driving lessons to help himself, and also he was one of several people who helped teach me to drive. I'm sure my own relatively safe driving record is thanks to him.

    Sorry for the essay...and thank you for joining my place, I'm truly honoured.

  13. Wow. What a story, woven so delectably here for us. I can't imagine that glass shard injury and the doctor's comment about crying oneself to death. Wow. I will remember these, and you.


    I look forward to reading more of your posts through CED2010.

  14. ~~Thank you all for the virtual hugs, and loving words. In sharing my heart, I see there are many who suffer from PTSD, and I pray my words will bring healing, and awareness to this disease. I'll be featured at "Heal My PTSD" as a guest contributor in the next few weeks. In the meantime, any of you who need extra help or information for yourself or a loved one can go to directly. Michele Rosenthal LLC is the founder of this group, and a PTSD survivor. She can get you the tools, and information to begin your journey to wholeness. Please let her know I sent you.

    Again, thank you all, for the gift of your friendship and support~

  15. Dear Lil, I have not followed your blog for very long so I am not aware of the accident you had so I won't comment, but I do sense you have some emotional pain from it and also sense you are indeed a strong woman. I wish you peace and healing..

  16. Hi my friend

    aye it is the bringer of smiles the daft old hermit lol

    it is always wonderful to hear from you

    peace and light my friend

    and may we all grow stronger as we travel this amazing journey of life

    ps i have been listening to your songs simply wonderful

    i have a wee group over on ning now hope to see you there and i would love to do a wee video to one of your tracks

    stay strong and bloom my friend

    love the daft hermits x

  17. Wow! What a great analogy Lille, you've made it a lot easier for us to understand a little more what PTSD is like. I love what Stoneweaver said above about the 'Bodhisattva of Compassion' - that's very relevant here too. I'm sure you surround yourself with positivity Lille and I'm sure in time things will mend. Here we are walking through the fire with you, holding your hand xxx


Thanks for stopping by Woodstock Lily! Leave a comment and I'll reply as soon as I can~


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