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.


Courageous Butterfly


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.


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,


Courageous Butterfly

FEAR, a 4 letter word or a leap of faith?

I was stopped at a red light today and had the pleasure of watching a black bird dodging cars while trying to get to a bag full of crackers someone had tossed out into the road.   As I sat for that brief moment I thought “wow that takes guts!”  I watched the bird sitting patiently on the curbside waiting for each car to pass then it would leap out into the street only to be forced to retreat back to safety before reaching its goal.  Sound familiar?

I think we can all relate to being in that same situation.  Life get’s tough and when it does our natural instinct is to pull ourselves back to a place where we feel safe and secure.  The black bird was not giving up.  I was only able to watch for a few minutes but in that time the little gal/guy tried to reach those crackers at least 10 times.  I can probably bet that the goal was to reach the food on the first try, however it was not possible due to the many obstacles in its way.  Those obstacles did not seem to bother the bird in any way, and I know had I been able to continue to watch I would’ve seen it finally persevere.

Fear can be a very scary word and in most cases I would generally try to steer clear of anything that caused me to feel fearful.  I didn’t have that luxury when it came time to face what I was going through.  Divorce was hard enough but I was dealing with more than one fear during my trial.  Fear of  my new living arrangements, fear of moving forward, and fear of letting go of what I once had.  Every situation is different but for me I was not prepared or ready to say goodbye to that part of my life.  That is a scary feeling and is felt in any type of loss.  I was stuck and forced to face it all head on.  I had to realize that what I had been fearing for many years was actually true and it was happening.   What I didn’t know was how finally accepting that fear would make me stronger.  I use the word accepting rather than facing because it was a situation I could not control, it was part of my life and I had to accept it.  Just like the black bird had to accept the fact that its next meal was in that bag in the road and the only way to continue on with life was to finally get to it.   I had to live through my fears in order to become who I am today.

Facing a fear is a bit different.  For instance last year  I faced a few fears.  I went body surfing in the ocean and I cannot swim!  I zip lined in Hawaii and I”m afraid of heights and then I decided to snorkel  with real  fish, again in the ocean. I had a lot of fun doing those things but did they make me a stronger person?  Probably not but accepting my fears, living through them, and preserving is what made me stronger.   We can all be that little black bird and instead of worrying about facing our fears we can make the choice to accept them and grow stronger through them.

It’s been two years since I first accepted fear and I am proud to say that in doing so I have become a much stronger person.  I still have my moments of weakness but because I took that chance and let myself accept fear I know I can survive it.  Afterall, it’s just a silly 4 letter word.

I’m going to steal this quote from the movie New Year’s Eve.  ” What would YOU do today if you knew you were NOT going to fail? GO DO IT”.

Have you taken a Leap of Faith? Share your experience in the comment box.


Courageous Butterfly