Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it!

ptsd1I can chalk today up to a really bad day, or a valuable lesson learned.  It’s been two years since D-day and I like to think that I’m healing at a somewhat normal pace.  I’ve been able to move on in all aspects of my life, little things that used to bother me don’t anymore, I’m good with being in the same room as my ex and I even faced forgiveness head on and chose it!  So why am I now, at this point, experiencing  post traumatic stress symptoms?

The term is most recognized for people who have gone through war, seen very traumatic events, and suffered great loss during that time.  I do not want to even try to compare what I went through against what a war veteran has experienced.  What I can do is talk about similarities.  We do not often hear of PTSD following an emotional or social event it’s usually something that was very abusive.  Well, I was very surprised when I began looking for information on this topic to find so many links to articles relating to post divorce PTSD.  

Divorce will bring about traumatic events that leave us scarred in the same way as a person who has survived combat.  In fact, most divorces share similar types of  combat, war, traumatic events and end up the same way….with a loss.  In a previous post I wrote about finding battle scars, and trying to differentiate between the two can be confusing.  When I found the scar, it was only because someone pointed it out to me.  I was surprised but dealt with it and moved on from it with a sense of accomplishment!  This time was different.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m learning to listen to my intuition, although lately, I am getting a little annoyed when she calls!  Reluctantly, I took her call,  and it was just as I thought.  Prior to that event though, is when the PTSD showed its ugly head.   When I started to wonder about the situation, the emotions I felt were something I had felt before, and they were not welcome emotions.   I immediately tried to put it off to the side and pay no attention to it, but she kept on calling! I thought maybe I was over reacting.   When I finally took a moment to think about what I was feeling and why, I was brought back to that day.  My heart raced, face went white, and hands were shaky. I was feeling every emotion, uncertainty, insecurity, and most of all fear; it was all too familiar.  

I was brought back to my trauma similarly as a war veteran who hears a loud noise.  Even though the situation was different and in no way related to my marriage or why it ended, I was going through the same feelings all over again.  It scared the crap out of me and I began to go through a list of questions.  Does this mean I’m not as far along in my healing process as I thought I was?  Will this happen again?  Does this happen to others?  How can I stop this from happening?

I don’t have all the answers just yet. What I do know and can trust is my intuition and I promised her I would continue to take her calls no matter how bad they will be.  As far as my healing process, I do think I am where I thought I was, otherwise I wouldn’t recognize what I’m feeling.  I will encounter speed bumps along the way some big some small, this one was a big one maybe the next will be a little smaller.  Will this happen again?  YES, if I am to continue to heal properly I have to go through every emotion, every failure, and every triumph.  Does this happen to others?  YES ( links to articles below), unfortunately I am not the only one but we can all learn from each other.  How can I stop this from happening?  I can’t, which is a good thing.  It means that I will continue to move forward no matter what scars, or traumatic memories I have and I will grow stronger as each one rears its ugly head.  Now is my chance to fight against each scar or traumatic stress symptom, and continue to fight until I am free from each one.  When I least expect it, that day will come.  intition

It’s almost as if the last two years have been preparing me for a new battle.  I am now at war with memories, feelings, emotions and circumstances that at some time in my life will become familiar again.  Being able to recognize, trust and battle them will be what leads me to ultimate healing and happiness.

I’m not sure if I really learned a lesson or if it’s that I learned more about what I went through and how it may affect me in the future.  What I did learn is a good thing, I’m not numb to feelings, I have not been ruined by my divorce, trusting in myself and allowing myself to feel things again is an amazing feeling!

I”d love to hear from other’s who have also suffered PTSD symptoms after divorce.  Do you have a similar experience to share?  Please respond in the comments.


Courageous Butterfly


Related Links/ Blogs

Is your high conflict divorce causing PTSD?

I have PTSD after my divorce

It’s ok not to be ok