Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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Flipping Time


IMG_0753 (2)I received  a gift this week, it was small but meaningful. Given to me by someone who knows nothing about me only the fact that I have an obsessive collection.   It could be annoying to others which makes me smile just a little.   It holds purpose and keeps me on track.  I felt special to have been the person to whom it was offered.  Have you guessed it yet?

I will end your suspense, it was a clock.  But not just an ordinary clock it is in the shape of a butterfly.  Made of plastic, the clock mechanism came out which left the butterfly totally empty.  An empty butterfly is not a pretty sight in my eyes.  In fact when I first realized the clock came out of the shell I thought I had broken it, but the clock kept ticking so I knew it was still working.  I was reminded of myself,  I was broken, but kept ticking long enough to keep myself working to prepare for my flip.

So here I am, having survived several what would be anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and at the same time I have invited new friends, and relationships. I have met some very wonderful people who needed me just as much as I needed them.  I have held the hands of some who needed me and others have held mine.

Some can flip a house and others can flip a soul.  Both are flipping “time”.  I’ve been there and have witnessed lives being changed.  I have seen a crossover between faithless and the faithful when a man visits his mom for the first time at her grave in over ten years.  I have felt the love of a son to his parents when being introduced at their grave sight.

Both of those instances stopped time for me.  I found purpose and meaning  where my IMG_0754 (1)life was at that moment. I had flipped time and I was making a difference.  Everything happens for a reason, I will always believe that.

So let’s flip some time my way, I am about to embark on another journey.  Making a move back to the area where I grew up.  It will take some adjusting but I am confident that I will find myself pretty close to where I left off.

A young, vibrant woman holding on for love, true to herself, ready for adventure, and for the “one” to give her the ultimate flip!

Courageous Butterfly

6/1/16

Related topics/posts

Just be held

 

 

 

 

 


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


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

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3 Comments

Learning how to listen


a quiet moment in Hawaii 2011

a quiet moment in Hawaii 2011

I can remember when I was little and my mom or dad would always ask in an angry tone “don’t you listen?” or “why aren’t you listening to me?” Well I’ve been asking myself that exact question for the last few years.  My divorce recovery has not always gone the best, there have been good and bad days but for the most part I can say I am proud of where I am right now.  Except for just one thing…I still do not know how to listen.

I am referring to listening to my inner self, thoughts, questions and fears.  During these last few years I have found much difficulty in trusting myself to make decisions even the simple ones.  I have sought out advice from everyone I am in contact with on pretty much all aspects of my life and I still find myself in limbo.  I have heard over and over again what a patient woman I am yet I cannot seem to find the patience within my own being.

When I counseled last she recommended to me that there really wasn’t a need for me to come back, that took me by surprise and kind of upset me.  Then she asked what I had hoped to gain from our sessions and I couldn’t answer.  Why was I really there?  She said that it looks to her like I am feeling stuck.  I quickly agreed.  At this point in my life I had hoped that I would be on a clear path yet I am still trudging through some mud and jumping over puddles.

Today, I watched Soul Surfer, it is a VERY inspirational movie about a young girl who loses her arm in a shark attack.  This young person overcame every obstacle set in her way and she realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer.  There was one scene in the movie that caught my attention along with my heart.  I think it fits almost every situation that deals with loss and the message I took from it is that you just have to be patient and listen.

I am going to try my best to focus every day on just listening to my body, mind, and heart and then live my day accordingly.  At the same time making sure that what I am doing is guiding me towards my future, whatever that may be.  The lines below are from the scene I referenced.  You can also click here to view the clip.

If you can offer suggestions on learning to listen to your inner self please share!!! I would love to hear what you have to say!

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

 

Bethany Hamilton:

Go ahead, tell me how everything’s going to be okay.

Tom Hamilton:

Yea that’s me Mr. jump-right-in-and-fix-it, maybe I should just keep my mouth shut for once.

Bethany Hamilton:

I’m done, aren’t I? I can’t even paddle out to the line up passed the big waves. I don’t understand, what happened to… I can do all things. Why? Why did this happen? Why did I have to lose everything?

Tom Hamilton:

You didn’t lose everything Bethany, not even close. That shark didn’t kill you, you’re here, you’re alive, you have your family.

Bethany Hamilton:

But what am I suppose to do now?

Tom Hamilton:

I don’t know…

Bethany Hamilton:

Then how am I suppose to know?

Tom Hamilton:

When the times right you’ll know. You just have to listen.

Bethany Hamilton:

Listen for what?

Tom Hamilton:

For whatever comes next.

 


3 Comments

Be Weird With Me…I DARE YOU!


weirdI started off my day today being called weird, I found that to be odd.  I know, as most of you probably do, that I may have a little touch of crazy within me, but I never anticipated being called weird.

The holidays are just around the corner and many of us who have faced a loss can struggle with missing  tradition, family moments, and having that someone special to share it all with.  Well, would you think me weird or crazy if I told you that what I seem to be missing most is something that I never really had?  Yes it sounds strange, but I have a feeling it happens more often than not.

OK, now here is where it get’s really goofy.  I miss words…..yes I said words.   A writer who misses words, go figure.  In my mind they are not just letters formed together that sound good; yet they will seem simple to anyone who isn’t me.  During my marriage, my ex and I had totally different schedules, he worked and I was a Domestic Goddess, or Household Engineer.  His schedule was more specific than mine and he needed to be up very early most mornings.  I on the other hand, arose a bit later and by the time I was getting up, he had already left for work.  I cannot begin to count the times I would hope that we could awake together and there were even days when I planned to be up when he was, but he was an early riser and always seemed to beat me to the punch.

I never in a million years thought that I would long for the moment when I could awake, look over at the person I loved and say “Good Morning”.  Sure, I’ve said that phrase many times before to a lot of people, but for me in the context of arising in the morning and looking right into the eyes of my love, it takes on an entirely different meaning.

I would like to cite an example of how that phrase could take on an emotion or notion.  Bless his heart, Robin Williams is very well-known for the movie Good Morning Vietnam.  It’s a comedy, it’s somewhat fictional, and we all laugh when we watch it.  I’d like to ask, have you ever taken a moment to think about how some of the soldiers would have felt when they heard that phrase every morning during his broadcast?  They were all away from family, they were longing to be home, to see, feel and touch their loved ones.  To me that phrase was their hope.  When they heard it each dawn, it was another moment that they had survived and took them one day closer to the end of their tour.

So here is why I was called weird today.  Ready?  Well I attach a romantic emotion to the phrase “Good Morning” as well as “Good Night”.  I’d like to say I’m saving it for that special person or the special moment when I am blessed to look over as I awake and be able to mutter those two simple little words.   I refuse to use them loosely out of politeness because they mean so much more to me, and if I’m weird because of it then that’s OK to.  good-morning-9218

Here is your homework, think of something, it can be words, items, colors, music, anything just pick a noun, but one that is important to you but may seem weird to someone else.  Then share it here and show all of us out there how one simple, strange, weird, or odd thing means the world to you….. I DARE YOU to be weird with me. 🙂

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

11/6/14

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4 Comments

Control-Alt-Delete


controlaltdeleteThe function of the key combination differs depending on the context but it generally interrupts or facilitates interrupting a function.   Huh…how different would our lives be if we could perform a “soft reboot” when we felt it absolutely necessary?  We do it to our computers without even batting an eye lash.  How many times have you been working on a project on the computer and it freezes…just stops working,  the first thing we think to do is hit those three tiny keys.  We know that the number one risk is that what we have just spent hours working on may be lost, yet we do it anyway, why?  Is it impatience, lack of computer knowledge, or just the fact that we know we are in control?

The little finger is gently placed on the control key…. with just a bit more pressure the index finger presses down on the alt button….and with every force in your being you slam the opposite index finger on the delete key!  You know you’ve done it.  Now think back to how it felt, the instant gratification that came with hitting that delete key so hard that the tip of your finger is now throbbing.  You are the queen/king of your computer.. you have beat it, all you have to do now is turn it back on, let that baby warm up and you are on your way.

I have been a total  scatter brain lately, the things running through my head are all jumbled up like letters from a boggle game and the sand in the timer is almost out.    I have had several moments where I wished I had those three buttons so that I can take a few moments when I am rebooting to just breathe.  Of course we have all thought about having a pause button and there are several occasions that I could think of where freezing time would come in handy, but for some reason these seem like they would prove to be more useful.  ctrlaltdelt

PC Encyclopedia gives this definition for the process:  The key combination in Windows that enables a user to terminate an unresponsive application. When all three keys are pressed at the same time, the Task Manager utility is launched, which displays all open applications. It also enables the user to reboot the computer.  Ok, now do me a favor and think of a time where you could apply that to your life…..I have like a million how about you?

We may be willing to take the risk and lose our monthly budget report by performing that reboot, but would we be willing to lose life moment’s if we came equipped with a similar utility.  As appealing as it may seem to slam on that delete button during painful moments of our lives, it is within those moments that we are really being rebooted.   The hard part is waiting before placing our fingers on those keys, wait to see if your frozen moment can be undone in its own time, not by you trying to control it.

Since my divorce I have been feverishly trying to put my life back together, making every detail perfect.  The perfect job, home, friends, and even romance.  I’ve been on a speed train just pushing ahead to the next thing, not taking any time to just breathe, look around and let life happen to me, instead of my trying to make life happen.   I feel like I’ve in a way been doing my own soft reboot by just skipping ahead and searching for anything that would resemble putting my life back on track.  When what I should be doing is living in the frozen moments,  figuring out why they are frozen and what it is going to take make my life move again.

So how will I do it? I can apply those keys in a different way.  First by taking control of how I handle things when life starts swinging, then using that alt key to find alternatives when something is not going how it should in order to move me ahead in a positive way, finally deleting anything that is detrimental to my progression or is not allowing me to just be me.

Have you felt the need for those three magic keys? Ever tried to use them?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

11/12/13

Related links/blogs

I Can Just Be Me, Laura Story

Jumbled Thoughts, Liezl’s Poetry

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5 Comments

Caution…Work In Progress


work in progressLately, my time is spent with a tool in my hand, sometimes it’s a hammer, other’s it’s a paint brush, today it was a two-wheeled dolly to haul damaged, rotted out wood from a front walk to a pile in the back yard.  I have been working very hard to make my new home mine. Erasing memories that live within the walls, floors, and even the front walk.  In the midst of all of the pounding, scraping, sweeping, sawing, and washing I have realized that moving on from divorce or loss requires more construction than I thought.

However, I’ve also concluded that these memories I’m ferociously trying to remove, I’ve never actually seen!  They are images that I  believed have happened in this home, scenes that I have created in my mind.  So I’m working as hard as I can to make changes, that other than being cosmetic, I really won’t notice, or will I?  The mind can play many tricks on us and recently mine is doing some very fuzzy thinking.  My hope was that with each new renovation I would be able to feel some sort of release happening in my mind, heart and soul.  Sometimes I even envisioned the memories being lifted from the area I was working on and floating off into the horizon.

This journey has brought many difficult changes my way, and every once in a while I get a little reminder of something I forgot to change.  Like being called by your previous married name in the grocery store because you didn’t change your rewards card information.  Then  looking blankly into the eyes of the poor unaware cashier, seeing her puzzled look and just saying, yes that’s me.  Yes that’s me?

This little reminder was a kick in the behind for this one.  Why on earth did I slink down and hide in who I was in my marriage?  Instead I should have stood tall (as tall as you can when your height challenged) pushed my shoulders back and said ” I’m sorry I need to update my information, I have been made new”.   What was I missing?  I was missing just one drop of courage, strength, and confidence to announce to that cashier, and the world, who I am.  If that wasn’t enough I had run into an old mom from my kids preschool days and she so happily addressed me as Mrs. and asked  how we all were.  I stood there like a deer in the headlights trying to think of a quick escape.  Maybe I could just drop what was in my hands and run out of the store and she wont’ notice?  Maybe I could play it off like I didn’t recognize her?  No, instead I politely told her things have changed and she glanced down at my ring finger, said I”m sorry and it was nice to see me then walked away.

With both of these  occurrences  is when I discerned that I am currently still under construction.  I’m my eyes I am the new me, with my new-old last name, but to some I still may be the married woman who I was for so long.  This is something that I need to work on, I need to be able to find the courage to stand up for who I am now.  But I’m going to need help.  This is going to sound a little silly but between the old me and the new me I feel like I can really take shape as to who I am supposed to me.  There were some really good moments with the married me and lessons I have learned, if I can apply them to the new me, let them mold together, then quite possibly the two of us can do something spectacular.

one drop

This will require patience and perseverance, there will be days when I really don’t want the old me to put in her two cents, and the new me is going to have to keep a very open mind, but if we give it all we’ve got, it will only take one drop…..of courage….. belief….strength…and confidence to fully become who I am meant to be.   Let the construction begin!

Divorce and loss can take a lot out of us, but I truly belive  if we put the old with the new we can become complete again.

Have you been able to merge the old with the new?  Please share..

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

Related Blogs/Links

One Drop, Plumb

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