My Empty Suitcase


suitcase1September 5, 2013 may have been a normal day for most, for me it was life changing.  It was a typical day after work, I came home checked the blog and was ready to respond to the comments, never expecting what I was seeing on the screen.

Someone was hurting and  reaching out.  I wanted to jump through the computer and find her, hold her, cry with her and help her. For a brief moment I was paralyzed and did not know what to do, but my emotions took over and I was on the case!

Sometimes sharing feelings or reaching out for help can be looked at in a negative way.  Unfortunately there are people out there who don’t want to hear it or think that we are just complaining to get attention.  But what about those of us who are deeply hurting, on their wit’s end and just needing a place to share their feelings.  When I read her comment I could’ve just moved on to the next one and let it go, heck it was a click on my page. But that would have defeated my purpose of this blog, to help and embrace those going through the pain of loss.  So I did the most logical thing and called the police!  The poor “old” man who answered the phone replied to me with “what’s a blog?” . At that moment I knew that this was all going to be up to me.

Once I was able to make contact, and make sure she was OK and had a friend on the way to be with her I sat silently and just shivered.  I was proud of myself for sticking with it and making sure that this stranger was going to be alright, but at the same time wondering if anyone would have done the same for me, and that is what keeps this blog going.

Compassion, is one of the most important virtues one can possess.  Listening, sharing, looking into the eyes of someone who is hurting can mean the world to them.

suitcaseSo, at this point your wondering why my suitcase is empty….well in just a couple of days I will finally be meeting this woman who has changed me.  She has given me purpose with my blog. She has given me the confidence to continue writing in hopes that I am helping anyone else out there who may be reading.

We have shared a lot of the same hurts over the past few years as our circumstances were similar.  But I want to arrive with my suitcase empty and ready for her to not only share her world, her friendship and love, but to fill my bag with her strength, courage and hope so that I can return home and thrive on the bond that was grown out of sharing our stories and our openness to be there for each other, even though we had not met.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

4/5/16

 

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Outside Help


friends

I’m in control; I’ve got this; This is my problem; I will handle this on my own; It’s no body’s business; No one will understand; I can’t ask for help…

In a perfect world we can handle our lives on our own.  We can be in control and ready to face what lies ahead, but in reality we can all use an extra hand.  Can we ask for it? Can we admit when we need it and can we take it when it is given to us?

Lately, I’ve witnessed others in my life who need the help, but don’t necessarily want to ask for it, even being frustrated that they need it.  My feeling is, take it when it is given to you.  It may be hard and you may at times feel helpless but that is when you should let those who love you swoop in and take over.

Those three stages I mentioned, I’ve been in and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.  I asked for it, I’ve admitted when I needed help and I’ve taken it when it was graciously given to me.  Sometimes it was easy, other times extremely hard but knowing that someone out there is waiting an willing to offer you the hand I find very comforting.

In my trial (divorce) that comfort wasn’t always in the form I needed. My friends and family were very helpful but biased, I searched for an outlet where no one knew me nor I them and I couldn’t find it.  I needed an escape a safe place to share my feelings.  That is when this blog was born.

I wanted to connect with others who were feeling exactly what I was.  To share my grief and listen to those going through similar circumstances, all in the hope that we could support each other.

Today I am not only proud but extremely thankful to have shared with, talked with, and cried with those of you who have followed my posts.  And I am elated that in less than two weeks I will finally be meeting my girl!

The day I saw her comment I felt so many emotions, I knew I needed to do something, I needed to find her, talk to her, and do what I could to let her know I felt exactly as she did.  No one is ever alone, there is someone out there going through what you are and feeling the same.  God never meant for any of us to walk this world alone he has gently placed each of us in others lives.

I’m so thankful and blessed for the life he has given me even with the bumps and valleys I had to walk through.  I know I am who he meant me to be and I wouldn’t be here without all the people in my life.  Without you…I would be nothing.  Thank You!

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/27/16

Related topics

Without You, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio

 

 

A look back at the PTSD post.


In casual conversation today, I referred to the post on PTSD and divorce, which made me take a look back and read through the comments from that day.  Ironically it has been two years since that post was published and today it continues to be the most clicked on this site!

So I thought we should take another look at what started that historical ( in my blog life) day long conversation.  Click to view the original post.  Then take some time to read through the comment thread.  Comments are posted most recent on top so you will have to scroll down to start at the beginning.

On October 24, 2013 at 12:15 am (Eastern Standard Time) Rebecca left the comment that would spark an all day conversation.  I am always very excited to wake up and see a new comment, when I read it though, I wasn’t so happy.  I felt like it was the beginning of an attack on what my purpose of the blog was.  I reptsd1responded quickly at first but then as the day went on and the comments were pouring in from my readers, I decided just to sit back and read what was happening, then process it all later that night.  At which point I would do my research and formulate a brilliant reply, and I think I did just that.

On October 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm (Eastern Standard Time) I politely and gratefully responded to Rebecca and having had done my homework, I felt empowered, smart, witty, and most of all determined to stand up for what I believed was something worth fighting for.

I would love to get another conversation going, as this topic is one that is very close to my heart and I know there are many others out there who could use our help.  Feel free to post comments on this post or the original and know that sharing even just a piece of your story, may help even just one person.  I look forward to the conversation.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/27/15

Below you will find Rebecca’s first comment and my last.  Take a peak and take time to read the comments in-between on the Does PTSD after divorce exist page.

The reason more doctors and therapists don’t diagnose divorced folks with PTSD is simple… get a DSM and read the diagnostic criteria. Unless there was physical violence and events involving threatened or actual death, or physical injury, what you all are describing does not meet the criteria. In my 20+ years of practice I can fortunately say I can recall just two women who did meet the criteria due to abuse in the marriage.

Should we psychologists just throw our diagnoses without cause? Would you want your dermatologist to diagnose you with skin cancer when what you have is a 2nd degree burn? There are ethical guidelines to diagnosing conditions.

What you all are describing would certainly meet the criteria for Adjustment Disorder, and surely, I have seen patients who have a depressive disorder or anxiety disorder concurrent. Rarely, I can justify using the diagnosis Acute Stress Disorder, and perhaps you would meet the criteria for this. Please have respect for those who do suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, because reading your post and comments here, honestly, it’s insulting, and it’s as as if you would choose to claim you had skin cancer when what you have is a 2nd degree burn. Trust me, ladies, I agree that you have suffered, but I would not wish PTSD upon anyone.

BTW, Rebuilding is an excellent book/workbook!

Hi Rebecca, no worries I am not one who deletes unless it is true spam! My soul purpose for my blog is to put information out there for who ever may be needing it and for any reason. I am grateful for your comments on this post because you have sited several valuable resources that can help my readers and anyone else that happens along the site.

I will not argue that you are correct in the new criteria on the DSM 5, it is clearly stated that in order for one to be diagnosed with PTSD they must meet the specific criteria. I did a little research today and it looks like that change was very recent, possibly this year. I would like to site some references myself that I found, one is from the National Institute of Mental Health.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml.

Under the “Who is at risk?” section of the article it states “Anyone can get PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters, and many other serious events. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event.”

What does this mean to me? Well I do not hold a license in counseling or in divorce but what stood out to me is, “abuse” it does not specify physical or emotional it’s just abuse; as well as the part that reads many other serious events, again not specific to physical abuse or the fear of death. I’m not an expert and I don’t argue that if a health professional needs to code PTSD, it must follow the criteria you mentioned. However, I do believe that someone can exhibit all the signs and symptoms of PTSD, no matter how traumatic their event.

You mentioned the ladies in your group and how they were sad for me, and the other survivors that have posted on my site. You stated that one said “If they want PTSD so bad, they can trade lives with me in a heart beat.” I’m going to get very honest with you and tell you that my blog posts are just a snippet into my story, and I’m going to guess that those that have commented on my posts may not be sharing every detail of their experience either. In which case they would not need to trade lives with your group, because they are living their own version.

I only know what is being shared. It is quite possible that one if not all of these people commenting did have a gun pointed to their head, or were beaten or sexually assaulted, and if that is true then they would be medically diagnosed with PTSD. I was surprised that you would leave your comment when you don’t know all the facts. If you could just reflect on the fact that people usually don’t share everything on an online forum, or they can’t. I for instance, leave out certain details in order to protect loved ones. Wagering a guess other’s have done the same. So, maybe the people on this blog and all the many other blogs in the world are the same as the people in your DV group, and should not be made to feel like they are any less than anybody else.

When I originally wrote this post it was not to drown myself in my sorrows or tell the world that I am a victim of PTSD, it was the sole purpose of reaching out to even just one person who was feeling the same thing I was and to let them know that they are not alone, they are not going crazy, and that the symptoms they are experiencing may be true symptoms of PTSD.

NIMH lists signs and symptoms of PTSD and I have experienced every single one because of what I went through. The level of my abuse may not even compare to what other’s have suffered but the point of my blog is not to say “Hey I have it worse than you”, it is to say “hey you are not alone”.

I will brag and say that I have been able to help several people who have found my blog and in turn Several have helped me!! That means I have accomplished my goal, which was the reason for my blog. Rebecca, you have added to that with your resources and again I thank you. I also thank you for the work you are doing in helping survivors move on.

Many Many Blessings to you,

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly