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

 

 

 

 

 


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Your life on a radar screen


radar-41443_960_720.pngToday’s forecast is clear with a minimal chance of precipitation.  The temperature is 70 but with the wind chill may feel like 40.  I suggest a light jacket and an umbrella just to be safe.  There is a small craft warning until your storm blows over.  Take all necessary precautions while traveling to ensure your safety.

Sounds like a weather warning doesn’t it? What if in fact it was a “life event” warning? We have all participated in bad weather drills at one point in our lives.  Stooping down with hands overhead in a windowless hallway pretending there was a storm approaching.  Some finding the drills to be pointless and unnecessary, while other’s are totally focused on learning how to overcome what could possibly be a life changing event.

I didn’t expect my storm.  I will admit I had some warning, but it wasn’t clear to me at the time.  The alarm that sounded was not loud enough for me to hear.  I had no time to take cover, to place my hands over my head to protect myself from the shattering glass.  I was not given access to the blip on my radar screen.

I wonder how different my life would be if I had been given access to see that storm coming.  How would I have reacted to the weather fluctuation in my marriage if I had seen it for what it was?  More importantly, could I have reacted?  In that moment was I strong enough to have proceeded in a positive way?

Our fearless weather forecasters don’t always get it right just as we are not privy to our future, that is part of the magic of being alive!  We count on them to give us a heads up on the approaching storms, but they can’t always predict them all.

Our life storms are no different.  Surviving a loss also means being able to adjust to our surroundings and deal with the fallout of any destruction our weather pattern may cause.

We have to remember that though a storm may bring destruction, loss,  devastation, and worry, re-birth is just around the corner.

A man walking through the water with the waves parted.

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So, what would your radar screen look like?  Would you have cloudy with a chance of rain? Sunny skies but low temps? Windy and warm? Cool and Calm? Storms approaching with the possibility of moving forward?

My map is looking pretty active, I will embrace and accept what lies ahead.  I invite you to share yours.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/19/16

Related topics/posts

Trust In You, Lauren Daigle

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Number 5….


okThis week will mark the five year anniversary of my divorce.  Needless to say my emotions are all over the place. December is a tough month, we would have been married 25 years and then toss in Christmas.  Divorced and married in the same month does not bode well in the healing process.

Today I decided to look into that magical number five. At this point I feel like it should all be water under the bridge but for me this number year seems to be the hardest, and I need to know why.

In our society we like to celebrate things by year, birthdays, anniversaries, jobs, etc and for some reason we make the 5 or 10 year moments mean more than the rest.  20, 25, 30 to 50 are celebrated benchmarks.

Being on the cusp of my five year divorce anniversary is not fun, and I’m not quite sure how I want to handle it.  Why is this year different from any other year? Why does it seem to stand out more? Will I go through this every five years? and what is with the number 5?  So I googled it:

The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

Five is the number of balance.

Five symbolizes man, health and love.number 5

Marriage

It combines the female number two with the male number three. Five is the number of marriage.

 

SO, are my feelings warranted?  Heck Yes!  5 is God’s grace and also the number of marriage.   I’m living in God’s grace but also grieving the number 5.

If you can shed light on this magical number please respond.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

 

 

 


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