Memories Triggered

chrysalisSpring is upon us and that means caterpillars everywhere are on the verge of becoming a newer version of themselves. With much time spent in the chrysalis, letting go of the past and preparing for a great adventure.  Over the past 7 years, I have been doing the same thing and life has led me to many wonderful adventures of late.  Recently however, I had a “moment” that I would like to share with you! It came suddenly and completely took me by surprise!

In January of 2013, I wrote a post on PTSD and Divorce. Over the past few years, I have not suffered any of those mentioned PTSD experiences, and have felt pretty well renewed.  I have some wounds that will always be present in my mind, but for the most part, I am a new and improved person who just happened to have survived a divorce.  Towards the end of that post, I mentioned that as part of my healing journey, I was at war with my memories.  Through the restorative process, I have surrendered my memories and processed much of what I needed too, or so I thought. Apparently, my mind had other plans and decided to wage war once again.

The trigger was a song that happened to come on while I was watching television. The song immediately infuriated me.  I began yelling out and having an argument with the person singing.  I wanted to know what gave the artist the right to create such a song and sing it as if it were the best thing ever written.  I found myself having a very one-sided conversation and becoming angrier at every word.

The next day I was speaking to a friend about my “moment”. All of a sudden, I heard words coming out of my mouth that were not there the night before.  I was actually explaining why that song was such a trigger.  I quickly realized that what was happening in the lyrics was something that I wished I had done during my period of doubts.  That piece was a rendition of my life but with scenes that never played out due to my fears and uncertainty.  Situations that I did not allow myself to be a part of because I did not want to believe they were true.  These impetuous feelings were hurtful to me, but this time I was the one causing the pain.

I know we cannot go back and say “what if”, but I really wanted to ask myself that question. The more I thought about it; my answer was that the outcome would probably not have been any different.  In fact, it may have been worse.  I trusted in my perception during those times, and I chose a way to react that was secure for me.

This unexpected moment was a very valuable lesson. It has showed me that deep down this was an unresolved issue, having nothing to do with my ex, it was all me!  Will there be more? I have no clue, but at least now, I know how to identify it and process it.  I do know that when it happens again, I will let the music play, soak in the lyrics and glide with the rhythm.

butterfly musicWhat I think is important to pass along here, is do not shut yourself out! These “moments” will appear without warning and can be frightening to face head on.  I faced mine by accident the following day and I am grateful for the experience and now the knowledge.  When you get to this point in your journey, remember this as an important step in the healing process.  Trust in God, and listen to what you have to say.  Do not be afraid to be angry with yourself but also remember to be just as forgiving!

Do you have an experience of a “moment” you would like to share? Please comment.

Blessings, Kimberly / Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics/Posts

Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it!

Letting Go of Regret


2 thoughts on “Memories Triggered

  1. Hello Kim,
    I totally understand what you are talking about. I often will be brought back to that day when he told me he had been cheating (after denying it 2 days prior) and that he wanted a divorce.
    I often will wish I had reacted differently but, as they say, we can’t go back. So, I make myself think about the things I am proud of myself for doing. They are numerous, but the one I am most proud of myself for is for saying to the children not to lose contact with him because he would ALWAYS be their Father and to saying to him not to lose contact with his children because they would ALWAYS be his children. I did this relatively quickly, like within the first week of our separation after a marriage of 40 years.
    I am doing so much better each and every day that I refuse to allow the down times to consume me or my thoughts. Does that mean I don’t think about the past and wish I had done things differently? Of course not! But I do realize that had I done things differently I might not be in the GOOD place I am now.
    I wish you Blessings and Peace as you move on this path of dealing with your emotions. Just realize that there may be other songs and other events that will affect you in negative ways but you can and will deal with them with a better understanding than you had yesterday.


    1. Thank you for your comment Phyllis. Even though this moment was hard for me at first, I do think it affected me more in a positive way rather than negatively. My initial reaction was surprising and unsettling, but due to the fact that I was able to discern why I reacted the way I did, that makes it a positive outcome, at least in my mind. I see it as a triumph within myself that after all this time I was able to come to terms with something that had been tucked way down deep. I’m grateful it has come out and I can let it go!

      Many blessings to you!


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