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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 


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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

 

 


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We were down, but now we are LIMITLESS.


you wont breakI’ve mentioned my faith in a number of posts and there is no doubt in my mind that I am on a path that was designed by God.

Sometimes, though I get just a little irritated with the roadblocks he had set up for me.  He has built everyone differently.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, he knows them because he gave them to us and he knows how we will handle them.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says God will not give us more than what we can bear, but boy does he push it to the limit!

Every time something new and exciting happens in my life, the first thing I do is worry, and question everything.  I know that is common for most when something new is happening and it is normal, but sometimes it takes me to those places in my past that if I dwell on them, will do nothing but cause me grief.

I would hope after all these years that I am stronger than those past hurts, but in certain circumstances, there they are again.  I will do everything in my power not to let them have any factors on my future, and because I can see that they are happening I am confident that I will beat them.

Recently I was at an appointment with my mom, she was having her blood pressure checked and the nurse taking it said “you should check it first thing in the morning, because after that life happens”.  That was one of the most profound statements I had heard in a while it opened up my mind that on a daily basis we may not expect what transpires, we may not have ever dreamed certain things will happen, but one thing is for sure that “something” will happen during the course of our days.life happens

That “something” can be good, or it may be bad and learning how to adjust to it when it happens is what is key. I am not afraid to admit that I have not perfected this just yet.  God and a few close friends right now know that I am still learning.  I will not limit my future based on my past, and I hope that those reading this will do the same.

Have you had a “life happens” moment where you needed to stop, breathe, think and then react in order to go into your future?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 3/8/16

Related Topics/Posts

Limitless, Colton Dixon

Warrior, Demi Lovato

Healing Past Hurts

Letting God’s Love Overcome Your Past Hurt

6 Things That Keep You From Moving On After Divorce

 

 

 


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Creating a Blank Canvas On Valentine’s Day


Blank-Canvas-Outdoor“Valentine’s day ugh”, is uttered frequently by singles on February 14th, aside from those who choose to embrace their inner selves which I have been known to do.  I even took myself out on a date night.  I figured why not, nobody knows me better.  I have to say, I set the bar pretty high, and actually feel bad for future prospects who may feel the need to outdo my do!

So this year, I tried again.  Same type of date night, one that I was sure to enjoy and I truly did, but there was still something bothering me. It wasn’t that I didn’t have an actual date, or that I was spending it by myself it went deeper than that.

When I awoke this morning staring into the eyes of my poo-chon, I quietly wished her a Happy Valentine’s Day and that is when it hit me!  I closed my eyes and it was like I was watching an actual flash back in my mind.  The top right dresser drawer was slowly opening and inside was a white card decorated with red hearts, black lettering and the words “Happy Valentines’s Day”  After taking one of the biggest breath’s of my life, I opened the card.  

I quickly opened my eyes, I didn’t want to see what was written on the inside again.  I got out of bed hastily, I refused to let myself get upset.  The sun was shining, church was waiting and I was NOT about to succumb to a PTSD moment.  So I pushed the emotions away and continued on with my day.

It’s really scary sometimes how things can just pop into your mind when your not thinking about that particular circumstance.  For example, just a bit ago I was cleaning my 10 gallon fish tank, had been procrastinating it for a while so it was pretty dirty.  Elbow deep in fish muck I had a moment of clarity in this crazy brain of mine.  Valentine’s Day for most is a celebration of love.  Romantic love, family love, friendship love, and just love in general.  But for me it was forever changed the day I found that card.  Although hopeful I am wrong, there will probably never be anything that makes me feel better on that day just because of the circumstances surrounding that particular hurt.

blank cardSo what can I do about that?  Besides honoring those emotions and letting them move through me, there is one more important thing I can do…create a blank canvas on that memory.  I can’t erase it, can’t make it go away but I can try and alter it a little in my mind.  So the next time I close my eyes and that vision appears,  the card will be blank and at that time I will begin to insert new words, pictures, and phrases.  Continuing this until the day comes when I close my eyes and the Valentine is all mine. Filled with things that are important to me and signatures of those close to my heart.

Today my canvas holds a few lines from the song Just Be Held by Casting Crowns:

Hold it all together Everybody needs you strong
There’s freedom in surrender Lay it down and let it go
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
And not a tear is wasted In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes Your life is in My hands
In the storm is where you’ll find Me And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

This Valentine’s Day, if you are finding difficulty, I challenge you to make your troubled canvas blank and start creating one that is perfect for you.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 2/14/16

Related Links/Blogs

Just Be Held, Casting Crowns

Valentines Day Divorce, The Huffington Post

Valentines Day After Divorce, Modern Mom

Valentine’s Day During A Divorce, ecgoldberg

Novena for Single Catholics, Catholic Herald

 


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Dumpster Diving


dumpster divingLeaving my marital home was difficult for me.  Having to say goodbye to the good memories that lived under the roof and moving forward to forget the bad.  In order to avoid awkwardness, I planned it so that I was the only one home when the movers arrived.  I like to think that I maintained  composure in front of the three strangers that stood before me.  But the way I was feeling inside was not composed at all.

It’s been 5 years so why am I looking back on that blip in time?  When I left that day I was sure that I was good with saying goodbye to the house, but recently I noticed a very large dumpster in the driveway, at that time it wasn’t really full but when I saw it something in my body changed.  I felt nervous, anxious, sad, and fearful.

As I drove away I decided just to let it go and I was good with that until the next week when I arrived again and the dumpster was overflowing with objects.  It was all I could do to sit in the car and not leap out to see if I had left anything behind that may be in that rusty, dirty box.  I found myself thinking…my  marriage is in that dumpster.

I know that may sound completely crazy because my marriage ended 5 years ago, and I was good about making sure I had all I wanted when I left.  So why then did this affect me so much?

Maybe it’s not about the items, I think it’s more than that.  I dove deep down into my thoughts, taking inventory of exactly how I was feeling.  I noted how my heart rate soared, my hands got clammy, and I needed to fight the urge to jump in.  Then it came to me, the trash I saw in the dumpster is just symbolism for the memories that were being held in that space, and to think that they have been removed is what is upsetting.

Are those moments gone forever?  Stains on carpets that tell a funny story or holes in the wall that will bring back a laugh.  I know the memories of those things will never leave me, even though the little story tellers are gone. I guess I assumed they would be housed there always.

I’m kind of glad that all of this affected me in the way that it has because it really makes one take stock of your surroundings.  Treasure what is important to you even if it is a strip of wallpaper that you save and frame because when you look at it you are reminded of happy times.

I’m creating newness in my current space and will remember to hang on to those little things that help hold those memories close to me.

Have you had a rough time leaving behind memories?  Please share.

Courageous Butterfly 1/31/16

Kimberly

Related Posts/Links

Does PTSD after divorce exist?

PTSD after divorce

PTSD after divorce

Whats it like to suffer PTSD from divorce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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