Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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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

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