- Something Deep Withinby Liz O'Neill
This work has reached the exceptional level
We hear a poem Lizzy wrote
A Particular Friendship
: Something Deep Within by Liz O'Neill

We‚??ve been following Lizzy in her childhood traumas, there are more to come

Tom has saved me. He researched until he found the way I could log in to this site. Thank him if you get a chance. I was worried I'd lose everything...yay Tom

I wrote this following poem on a retreat. It is a giant metaphor about my helping abuse victims like my little me and anyone else who has been an advocate who dare not nor because of fear or shame, cannot speak.


As I happened upon her
I could see only brokenness
Her shoulders slumped
as if laden
with a burden
she believed even too great for her

I wished to grant her
scarcely a moment's thought
and be on my way

But something deep within
was calling to me
and I drew nearer

She had the appearance
of one who has
been weeping
for many lifetimes

I chanced to ask
"Why do you weep so?"

"Because of, for, and with",
she responded

"Why do you give your answer
in a riddle?"

"Because life is a riddle
For which there is no answer,
With even a lifetime to search"

She stood there
firmly rooted
as she spoke

"I love children
gathering around me,
to hear their laughter
But I know
in their deepest parts

There are cries, even shrieks,
They dare not utter

Sometimes I am sure
I can see
the smudge marks
where tears
seeped out
but were quickly
pushed back inside
For fear things might get worse

Many of my children
have forgotten
the tracks of their tears

Time and will
have erased them
from the heart's memory
but not from mine


We trees have been
the hiding place
of treasures
for a lifetime

There was once a boy
who nailed to a tree
his favorite horseshoe

Long after the boy
was grown and gone
A bolt of lightning
Split her open

And there close to her core
Was found the horseshoe
held so precious


When I was fresh to this earth
and yet a sapling
they would come
some enraged
others beaten down

All of them standing there before me
Body rigid
holding in so much shame
letting go
upon me

I, feeling myself
bending under
the weight
of their heavy
sense of hopelessness

As much as I feared they might,
Not a one of them
ever tore me from my roots

I have endured,
even as angry sticks
have cut
deep into my bark
through the years
I believe
I have been spared
so I can be here
to tell their story

You asked earlier
why I weep
It is because of, for, and with these
I weep"


It was now my turn to speak
As a child
I sat under another willow
The details are hazy
I wish to erase who
but he starkly stands
in my heart's memory

How he hurt me and my brother
has faded though
tears and rage
until now, dear tree

He and I used to sit
greedily sucking sweetness
from the honey comb

of the bees
kept by his father
Drinking in the sweet smells

of the willow
And sipping hot cocoa
As if removed for a moment

from the
secretly kept
violent intrusiveness
It was a bittersweet time

of that willow


But weep no longer for me
You have gentled me
And I have done
with grieving for now
and grown

to see grace transforming pain
in your
bending low
to hear
the whimpers and gather pieces
of the fragmented hearts and lives

It is in these tears
that we are healed
Cleansing waters
releasing pain and darkness

Weep, rather, for those
who cannot,
may not,
will not,

That your letting go
will speak
to their unfreedoms
And they will dare

to be healed


After silently wrestling
with my words
The tree began
with gradual crescendo

Why me?
What is the use?
There will always come more
mouthing the same questions

Why me?
What is the use?
Always the same questions

And I
I have
no answer
to give them"


Dear willow
Can't you see
You are their answer

They stand numb before you
But not silent
It is in your ever being here for them,
for me
Keeping them alive inside

Giving them hope
Gentling them
As you have gentled me

You hold the riddle
and the answer
of pain and suffering
the power givers and the power takers
and yes
the children

These mysteries
which seem too intolerable
to hold
too close to our human hearts
for fear they will

You do hold and embrace
with the gentlest of tenderness

As long as people's sacred history
is preserved in a place
held dear to them
holy ground
There is hope
for wholeness and holiness

So weep on willow
But stand tall and dance in honor of your Creator
It is a grace-filled act for which you have been chosen


When Toby wasn't around Donna, there were no secret touching games. In fact, he did a lot of fun things such as taking us in a pickup truck out to the field to pick berries or just exploring by the brook, which was beyond the culvert where they ran to rescue the kickballs.

One of those days, during the summer just before second grade, Toby was driving in from the field with Nike and me in the back in the cargo bed. In my impulsiveness, I climbed out of the back stepping down onto the running board, ready to jump off when he stopped.

I now realize, he was pausing to shift gears right by the tree where, at an earlier age, I tumbled off an adult teeter-totter with a fulcrum about 7 feet tall. I thought Toby was stopping so we could get out. I jumped, just as the truck jerked ahead.

I was thrown to the ground with my left knee directly in the path of the tire. I screamed in terror and pain. Toby stopped, got out and ran to call Mother who had to call my father at work a half hour away, in the same city where the hospital was located.

I remember the sweet sickening, swirling blackness of the ether, enveloping me, creating an increasing fear that I would disappear into nothingness and never return.

Author Notes
My therapy at age 30 covered all of these traumas. I went through many years believing I was just clumsy but my therapist showed me how this was untrue.


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