Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


Leave a comment

Accepting Transformation….Conclusion


IMG_1511 (2)I thought I knew everything about butterflies, that is, until I spent a few days with my painted ladies.  The day before their release I was able to observe and learn a lot from their behavior.

Did you know:  once in the chrysalis the caterpillar will shake to ward off predators.  (Similar to a human in a time of crisis or despair)

Did you know:  a butterfly can carry 40 times its weight.  (The weight of a difficult situation can equally be as heavy)

Did you know:  a butterfly sleeps with its eyes open.  (Someone going through a difficult time may have difficulty sleeping)

Did you know:  a butterfly will not be active when its body temperature is too cold.  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)

Did you know:  a butterfly will tremble in order to warm itself for becoming active.  (Trying to get yourself motivated when you are feeling down may require a gentle push)

Releasing my new friends depended on the outside temperature, and because of a few colder days I was able to spend more time with them than I had originally planned.  Having that time to watch them closely and study what was happening was a treat for me!  I will admit though, panic did set in a couple of times when activity level had decreased.  I had no idea they literally could not move if their body temperature went below a certain point.

When in a grumpy mood or feeling down, our happy endorphin’s are reduced, thus altering our activity.  I remember many days and nights being confined to my bed feeling like I could not move. 

Before I knew it the day had come and it was time to release and let them go.  I placed them in a sunny spot in the house for a few hours so they would have ample time to warm up and get enough food to make the journey.

The park was beautiful and full of people enjoying the lovely day.  I walked to a quiet space and sat with them on a park bench for a few minutes.  I needed to get up the courage to unzip and let them free.  So many thoughts were going through my mind.  How would I know if they would survive the night?  Would they separate or find each other once out in the world?  Would they be able to find food? Were they strong enough to fly?

Ironically, 7 years ago those same questions were going through my mind on a different level.  Would I have the courage to unzip and change my environment?  There were times I wondered if I would survive the moments.  Would I have new relationships? Would I be able to sustain myself? Was I strong enough to fly?

I didn’t focus on these thoughts for too long, I took in a deep breath and opened the top of the habitat.  The larger butterfly was the first one out  and flew off before I could even get a photo.  The second one though had a little struggle.  It was the smaller of the two and the one which hatched at the bottom of the aviary.  I helped her out on my finger where she sat for several minutes.  I looked around to make sure we were alone, no one needed to see me have a heart to heart with a butterfly!  IMG_1541 (2)

I let her know that she was beautiful and strong, and her life was just beginning.  I thanked her for the time she spent with me, though brief, it meant the world to me.   After our chat I walked her over to a plant leaf and set her upon it.  Within seconds she had flown off.  I like to think our chat gave her the courage to open her wings and fly. Just as many in my life have given me the words I needed to muster up the courage for some of life’s struggles.

It seems little miss butterfly sure had a lot more to teach me.  It is even more clear to me now how much in common we have during times of transformation.  Change doesn’t have to be negative even if the situation it came from was difficult.  Try to embrace it and enjoy the flight of the butterfly.

Courageous Butterfly 4/19/17

Kimberly

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Normal, except for:


test resultsResults are good, everything checks out except for the following:  There are trivial amounts of an abnormality and the source is unknown. You may go about your normal daily activities.

Would you find this helpful on your healing journey or do you see it as a way to hide an underlying reason for what you are suffering with?

When I was in the midst of my divorce I tried very hard to make sure my life looked normal.  I did a lot of pretending, some saw through it but other’s did not.  As I look back now, I think if I had just let things ride out naturally without hiding my actual feelings I may have made my healing process a lot easier.

Instead I chose to make it look like my life was normal knowing inside that there was an “except for” clause attached to it.  Unfortunately, I let that feeling of normalcy be a guide to making some poor decisions.  I was living as if the results were 100% what I wanted them to be, when in reality that was far from the truth.

So, am I behind in my healing journey because of that,  or am I that much further ahead for recognizing it?  When I think back to what I can apply it to I am reminded of a series of questions and answers.

Q:  How are you holding up?        A:  I’m great, thank you for being concerned.

Q:  You look like your handling things very well are you ok?  A:  Ya, it get’s better every day.

Q:  Your so strong, how do you do it?         A:  I have God at my side.

I could go on but will stop at those that were asked the most.  The important thing is what all of these have in common.  Every question resulted in a normal answer, one that seemed like everything was in control.  However, each answer neglected to give the details about the “except for” that I felt with every part of my being.  Same questions but honest answers: results

A:  I’m great except that I feel like my life is a mess, and I’m not sure how I will come out of all of this.

A:  Every day is a constant struggle I need all the help I can get to make it through my day.

A:  I need the prayers of everyone I know to make sure I survive this.

The first set of answers were all warm and fuzzy right?  Sugar coating makes us feel better and we appear to be strong to those who are watching us survive our tragedy.  But are we just hampering our healing and the ability to move on if we are not being honest with how we are actually feeling?  Healing from anything can be a very long process and we all do it in our own time.  Nothing is cut and dry especially when it comes to getting “normal” results.

My advice to you is, if you want a 100% normal result, put in the effort to achieve it. Be honest not only with yourself but with those around you and let them carry you on whatever part of your journey they are meant to be on.  It will be worth it.

If you can relate to acting normal but living with the “except for’s” please share your stories.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 6/13/16

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

Fly with Grace, Peace and Hope


flygirlI was all set to call it a night, I leaned over to turn off the light and my body paused.  I looked at the lamp and was reminded that I still carry pieces of my past with me.  As I embark on yet another move, I am determined to let go of these items that have lingered in places where they really didn’t need to be.

Take for instance the lamp…which I made from a wine bottle…that was given to me by my ex.  I have moved three times since my divorce and apparently this lamp has made the trip.  Why is it still at my bedside?

I sat down at my vanity earlier today to begin to clean out the drawers and found an old wallet.  I pulled out old business cards and in the middle I found a photo probably 15 years old or more of the two of us on a New Year’s Eve…why is this photo still in this wallet?

I shopped at the grocery store today and gave the cashier my phone number for my rewards card…she repeated the name and it is still registered under my married name, why?

I received mail this week that was addressed to Mr. and Mrs…. why?  The company who sent it clearly knows that I am divorced.

I am in a place in my life where I am making positive changes, and for the first time I feel like they are changes that God wants me to make.  Things are moving smoothly and in a positive direction.  So then why am I getting all of these little reminders of my marriage?

It’s been five years and yet every time I make a literal move I find more mementos of our life together. I thought for sure I had done a formal cleanse but items still seem to surface.  This move has to be it…I no longer want to find these items that carry so much weight.  I like to think that I am at peace with my circumstance.   Truthfully I am, until that moment that I’m not.

fly freeYou can’t forget life and you can’t undo what’s been done.  What you can do is learn, grow and survive.  I know in the coming weeks as I continue to pack I will most likely stumble across more things that I thought I had let go of.  I will put on my wings and FINALLY set the items free.  Lightening the load will make it much easier for me to move both physically and emotionally.

Soon, I will return to the area where I grew up,  without the restraints of where I have been. Fueled with the power given to me by my children, friendships, experiences, and all of my scars, I will be at peace.  I will be ready for yet another transformation to become the best butterfly I can be! Fly with grace, confidence and hope.

Have you flown? Have you let it all go? Are you at peace?   Please share in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/12/16

Related posts/topics

Tell Your Hear To Beat Again, Danny Goke

 

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

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


4 Comments

Delete, Delete, Delete!!!!


Cupid-datingIf you have been feverishly looking for the post that was titled Swimming in the wrong end of the dating pool, I’m sorry to tell you it has sank like the Titanic. A first has happened…I wrote a horrible blog post and actually deleted it from my site!  I was very scatterbrained, and all over the place.  There were so many thoughts getting jumbled in my head that night, nothing came out on the page the way I wanted it to.  So…. I hit DELETE!

How nice would it be if we could actually hit a delete button when life itself gets jumbled and nothing goes right?  We have all wished for a do-over…a what if moment…a magic button that would make it all ok.  The good news is, we can!  We are blessed to wake up every day with a fresh start, a new day to make many many more mistakes or seize the day and make it what we want it to be!

sparkly poolSo, back to the original post.  A friend of mine recently told me that I was swimming in the wrong end of the dating pool.  Let’s take a short pause here and interject some humor if you will.  Imagine a pool with crystal blue water and it goes as deep as the sea.  The sun should be shining, but the day is presenting with a soft light rain.  The air is slightly warm and there is a mild breeze.  The water is perfect, warm and soothing.  Life is great, happiness is overflowing and then it hits…….I can’t swim!!!

Legs are flailing around as fast as they can, arms are trying to paddle to stay afloat.  Panic is setting in, breathing becomes heavy, fear is taking over the body. That…my friends is what swimming in the dating pool feels like!

Now who is to say which end is the correct end to be swimming in? Or in my case treading gently.  I have always stayed in the shallow end of life.  The safe zone I guess you can call it.  Regularly avoiding conflict, constantly pleasing everyone.  Lately though, I am feeling confident and secure in who I am and what I want my future to hold for me.  I’m learning to swim through life without wearing a vest, and that is a very scary thing, though necessary.

It is necessary because swimming with a life preserver on is extremely difficult.  All you are really doing is floating and not getting anywhere.  I’m ready to swim and maybe even jump off that high dive.  It is time to surf! Grab a board and go for it! I think my balance is strong enough to carry me to where I want to be.

Dating is a scary thing, especially at a later age.  I really want to embrace it, enjoy it, and pursue it, rather than deleting it.

Have you dated post divorce? Would love to hear your story.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/24/15


3 Comments

Love It Anyway


6a0120a4cbac3d970b0120a5ea961e970b-800wiLife is full of moments…those of happiness, sadness, joy, excitement, fear, doubt, and pure satisfaction.  We cannot choose when and where these moments will happen, they just do and we have it in our power to take each as it comes and love it anyway.

The last few months I have felt kind of lost. I thought I was still looking for what I was supposed to be when I grow up but as it turns out I am passionately happy in my current career.  I love where I work even if it is not the best paying gig on the market, I mean something to those around me.  I am appreciated, accepted, and needed.  It’s not the top of the latter, but I love it anyway.

I have the cutest apartment ever.  I don’t have to landscape, I have met friends, I am comfortable.  Rent may be high, but I love it anyway.

Family is awesome! Loving, accepting, although sometimes overbearing, critical, self-serving, overpowering, but I love it anyway.

When I think about that phrase “love it anyway” It makes me relax.  That may sound strange but if you really think about it in any situation and just apply that principle it can make a whole lot of difference.  Take for instance, a little toddler throwing food around, you accept it and love it anyway.  When my dear princess dog runs off with the T.P.  I stop to take photos because I love it anyway.

How would relationships work if we applied the “love it anyway principle”? And does it mean the same thing in a romantic relationship?  When it comes to family or our children we are easy to let things slide; can that be done when we are dating?

free-falling1I am still trying to figure all this out.  From my recent studies (living life) what I can say is that no, we cannot apply the love it anyway principle.  It is not that easy just to go where the wind blows or to accept where the wind has taken you.

In a fairy tale world we all want to live by this rule, life would be perfect if we just loved it anyway.  We can do that with the little things in life. As was proven with the toddler and the puppy.  But I don’t think it can be applied to the every day adult life.  However, I am not one to let life kick me in the ass!  I’m gonna love it anyway!

I will continue to take what is given to me and just go with the flow! I may be knocked down here and there, I may come out with a few bruises.  It’s the gold medal that will count and I have to earn it.  I may only be at a silver or bronze, but the gold is just around the corner, I can feel it.

I may not be where I thought I would be at this point in my life, but I love it anyway!

Can you say the same? I’d love your comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 9/12/15

Related topics/links

Do It Anyway, Martina McBride

God’s Plan Is Greater

The Very Best Will Come To Be


3 Comments

The….TICK…TICK…TICK……of the Clock.


timer-digital-clockNO! That is not my biological clock ticking, it is the constant pounding sound of the love clock which is buried deep within me somewhere.  Sometimes it is extremely loud and other times I can’t even hear it, but I know it is there, I’m just not so sure if I should be watching it or just let time run its course.

TICK….TICK….TICK…annoying isn’t it?

I am CERTAINLY not an expert on relationships and I hope that I never will be, life without that mystery would be really boring!  I watched a movie last night called the Timer, and it really got me thinking….sometimes good, sometimes not so good….but I decided to keep that thinking going and after a while it kind of made some sense.  My last post talked about finding our soul mate, is it possible?  Perhaps….Can we be patient?  Most of us would say no…we want to know right now if we have found that ONE.

The timer in the movie is a clock that was implanted in the arms of someone over the age of 14.  They all started with a zeroed out clock, at some point the clock starts working and gives you a count down of when you will meet your soul mate.  When two souls that are meant for each other meet, their clocks simultaneously zero out again,  Most people succumb to the pressure of needing that clock, constantly watching it to see when and where they will meet the love of their lives, while other’s protest it and only look for those who are timer-less. Some even go as far as having it removed because they can’t handle the fact it has been zero for so long and they are sure they don’t have a soul mate out there.

At first I found the movie a bit off the wall, but it started to feel so real to me after a while.  There was a period of time when the lead thought she had found her soul  mate in a timer-free man even though he had not started the count down on hers, but it didn’t stop her from just living in the moment all the while thinking she was falling in love with him.

She thought she was happy and went to have her timer removed believing she had met her soul mate and that the timers were a farce.  Just as they were reaching out for her arm to do the removal her clock started counting down.  Now she was faced with a choice…..ignore it and stay happy with whom she had found, or have faith in the clock and wait it out for her ONE to find her.  THAT was  the moment it all became real for me!

So many people go through there lives knowing that they have their one and only, I was pretty sure I had in my ex, but then there are those who continue to wander aimlessly looking, hoping, praying, and unfortunately settling.  Not to say that settling is all that bad, as I learned in the movie she was pretty darn happy with the timer-less love, but her soul wasn’t, and the sound of that inner clock beating on her heart was a constant reminder that she needed to wait out her clock.

Happy ending of course, as the two soul mates came together their eyes locked and both timer’s zeroed out, however it was a movie.  So can this really happen, not having timer’s shoved into our arms, but can we really meet the one whom we are destined to be with and when we do will we KNOW we have found them?  fuse

I am feeling mighty faithful this morning and I am more than ready to go ahead and keep listening to my inner timer even though at times that clicking sound may seem like nails on a chalkboard, it will stop someday and then I’LL know.  My fuse is lit and I will not douse it on my own, I will wait when the time is right it will put itself out.

Do not give up my fellow singles, that someone is out there listening to their clock and when the time is right you will both zero out together.

Can you hear your clock? Will you have the patience to wait for the real deal?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

2/15/15

Related links/posts

One, Ed Sheeran

True Love, My Thoughts, My World, My Blog

Settling, Life After HerAffairs