Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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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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Proud Moments


proud_of_myself_by_edwmix-d2ymmn3Even though you are looking at the title of this post, I am sitting here tonight really unsure of what I want it to be.  That is very rare as my posts are created from the topic.  I’m trying to determine if I made a step forward tonight or if I merely  reminded myself of a past hurt.  Let me set the scene for you and then maybe a title will pop into my head.

 

After working a long day and feeling very tired I ventured out to a high school sporting event with my hair in a messy pony, wearing mom jeans, and tennis shoes.  I really didn’t feel I had anyone to impress so primping before an 8 pm game on a Wednesday night would’ve been just more work for me at this point.

We all know that every divorced relationship is different, some people come out of it still friends, others are OK with saying hello and goodbye and the rest have no communication at all.  Mine for the most part has been the latter.  Until tonight.  Shortly after arriving I found myself in a very civil conversation with he, she and my son.  I do believe that this is the very first time I have spoken to him with my kids around since the divorce happened.  At the time I was not really aware of my emotional state.  I can tell you that I was not shaking; my voice did not seem to be trembling; and I don’t think I broke out in hives, which is a normal stress response for me.   The conversation lasted about 15 minutes and actually it felt a lot shorter to me, but maybe that is because I was in such a shock that it was actually happening.

There was laughing; no dirty looks; and I even made eye contact.  When our little chat ended,  I headed off to my seat  in a daze.  It took me a minute to let it all soak in and that’s when the flood gates opened.  I sat there in awe that I was able to converse with him and really have a conversation.  At no time during the talking did I think in my head that I needed to get out of there, which is something I would’ve done in the past.

My initial reaction was that I had just climbed a very big mountain and I didn’t fall off.  After checking myself for hives I felt proud, but then I remembered  I looked like crap!  Had I known that was going to take place I may have brushed my hair or at least put on non-mom jeans.

Once I realized that I had survived that moment the tears were almost uncontrollable  and that’s when the hurt wanted to creep back in. My brain wanted to recall painful memories and it was all I could do to not let myself go there.  That’s when I started to become confused.  and had to ask myself was this was a good thing or a bad thing.  Yes I made a very good accomplishment tonight, but is it always going to bring up those memories?

I felt like a fool crying and I hoped that they did not see that happening.  I know circumstances like this will come up again and again, there is no avoiding them.  Learning how to cope and trying not to let those flashes of the past interfere with my proud moments will be the challenge.  blue butterfly

As of now I’m glad it happened, I know that I am getting stronger that is for sure!  And HEY!!! Look up one line there is my title!↑

Maybe, just maybe I took a step tonight towards my first flight from the chrysalis.

Do you have a similar story? Or comment?  Please share

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

12/3/14

 

 


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From The Bottom Of My Heart


thank you wordle

I want to take a moment to say thank you to my awesome readers for the kind words you have said in your comments on my posts.  Most recently there was a comment on how open and honest my articles are.   I have to admit it is very easy for me to be totally honest when I”m writing. It is almost the only time that my feelings are in a way completely naked. Something happens within me and the words just flow from my heart to the keys and before I know it I have put words to the way I am feeling.

I ended up going to a Christian concert last night last-minute and I am so glad I did. I was able to hear some of the artists speak and one in particular stood out. He spoke of writing the songs and said that their songs are words of experiences they all have gone through. In a sense their journal. He stated that if someone would critique their song, they were actually critiquing the personal journals of each band member.

That is exactly what I am trying to accomplish with my blog. I am putting all of myself out there because that is what I needed in the heat of my divorce, and still to this day. I find comfort in knowing that I may help someone else and at the same time I am cleansing and healing with each word that is written.

Reading your kind comments keeps me from worrying if I’m telling too much, sometimes I think maybe I’ve said more than I needed to in order to get the point across and other times I don’t think I’ve said enough.  You may be surprised to learn that usually the days when I”m struggling the most with my inner feelings, those are the posts that are the easiest to write.  When I stop and think about that now, it’s because in those moments my heart is at it’s most vulnerable.  heartjournal

I’ve been working hard on the eBook and it is just about ready for publication, and I cannot wait for you all to read it, I will welcome your comments with open ears, eyes, and of course my heart.  

Thank you for your continued support, prayers and blessings.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/21/14

 


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Waging War With Emotions


picking-yourself-upWhat happens when you are at war with your feelings, emotions and inner self?  Someone has to win and lately I feel like I am not in the driver’s seat when it comes to my feelings.   As a survivor of a huge loss, I know there will be periods of up and down and even some all around days, but this time I am growing angry because I have found myself in one of those moments.

I know I can’t speed my healing along, however there are times when I really don’t want to be feeling the way I am, this week has been one of those times.  Tomorrow marks an anniversary of a big step that my ex took in his new relationship and it is eating away at me from the inside out.  I have blogged about this topic before in a post I did two years ago on the actual day. ( Sometimes Broken Can Be Beautiful)  I talked about how I had survived a day that I thought was going to be extremely painful but circumstances of MY day led me in a different direction.  So why now?  Why this week a couple of years later am I feeling like it just happened?

I’ve been trying to analyze the circumstance to see why it is so upsetting to me, other than the obvious of course.  I haven’t been much help to myself in thinking about it so I’m trying to rationalize it but I’m not having luck there either.  If I look at the senses that contribute to memory I come up empty.   I do not have a visual memory nor did I actually hear what was going on in the moment; it’s not like I could touch or smell anything from that day either.  I’m still left with the big WHY?

How is this memory, that is not mine in the first place, able to be so haunting?  I have tried and tried to change my focus this week and it all comes back to that impending date.  If it was possible to erase a day from the calendar, out of all the painful days I have had I have to admit I would erase that anniversary.

Here is my logical explanation, however logical it may or may not be.  I spent 20 years married to my childhood sweetheart, my only true love, and on that one day, in possibly a brief hour, my heart was broken.  Yes it was damaged during the divorce and everything that led up to it and even in the days following, but this one event was the icing on the cake so to speak.

So now I am at this point where I can see why I am reacting this way, how do I stop it?  I’m sure someday this month and date will roll in and not be such a big storm for me, but in the meantime how do I embrace it so that it does not tear me up inside?   As I write this tonight,  I am sitting in my lovely pink office, (yes pink with glitter), candles are lit and I’m reminding myself to relax.  I look up and focus on the oil painted butterfly that hangs above my desk and I am reminded of why I love the butterfly.  STRENGTH, COURAGE, TRANSFORMATION and RE-BIRTH.

All of those qualities that I cling to with the butterfly are what I will have to use to get myself through.  I will need the strength to not let myself get so upset; the courage to stand up against my feelings and tell myself that I will be OK; transformation will happen with each year I am faced with this pending date; and re-birth will happen on that day that I no longer remember what it meant.calm

As far as the war goes, I’ve won because I’ve acknowledged that I still need to heal from this.  My inner-self is waving a white flag because it knows that as long as I am honest with myself, and continue the work on my healing, those feelings do not stand a chance.

Have you fought with your inner emotions?  Please comment

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/19/14

Free To Be Me, Francesca Battistelli

You Transform You, KFMUELLER

Little One, Where The Clouds Talk and The Trees Whisper

Broken;Welcomed, Just Me, No More Or Less


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Between You and Me


women_support-1I have come to a realization that the healing process is more complex than I ever thought it was.  Every speed bump that I encounter along my transformation is just a reminder how fragile we can be during this process.  Between you and me, sometimes life just seems like chapters of goodbyes.

An important part of my transformation process is an annulment.  My divorce has been final for two years but there is a part of me that needs to reconcile that part of my life with God.  I’ve known that the process can be very lengthy and somewhat challenging.  For me, completing the initial paper work was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, partly because I have already been writing my story through this blog.  Even though several months have passed since I mailed in the petition , I hadn’t forgotten about it, however it wasn’t constantly on my mind either.

This past week I received a letter stating the process had officially begun and I would be contacted if further information was needed.  When I saw the envelope I knew what was inside and at first I felt happiness.  I was eager to open it up and see what it said knowing that this would soon end another chapter of the pain I had gone through.  The emotion that I was waiting for never came, instead I was immediately thrown into tears.  Just like I discussed in my last two posts, I was reminded of an emotion that left a very big wound.  Opening that envelope and seeing his name on the paper with mine left my mind in a tail spin.  emotional-divorce-300x265

I felt anger, sadness, heart-break, and loss.  Then I was upset with myself because again I thought I was comfortable enough with my divorce that I could handle being reminded of the marriage in this way.  I reached out to a friend who has been through the annulment process and he quickly reminded me that divorce is actually the death of a marriage, and I will never forget.  These emotions will come back off and on and when least expected.    Between you and me, I’m not sure I”m ready for a lifetime of never forgetting.

Because this is something that is very important to me, I will face these emotions  head on and with as much strength as I can muster up.   I know that it is another step in the healing process. I am still mourning my marriage as I would any other death, I just didn’t realize it until now.  I think the hardest part for me will be having the courage to face the tears.  Ya, that’s crazy coming from courageous butterfly I know.  In the beginning it was easy for me to cry, not sure if that makes any sense, crying is crying.  But it is different now because I’ve gone through the death.  It is a closed case, so the tears now are pure emotions, not related to my present life or my future, they are strictly tears of the past.  Between you and me, tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. –Albert Smith.

When mourning the death of a loved one you are constantly saying goodbye and this is no different.  Each time you view a photograph or have a memory you are reminded of the life you spent with that person, and will be forced to say goodbye over and over again.  I thought I had said my goodbyes in the courtroom two years ago, I had no idea that it would be a lifetime of goodbyes.  Though this is a major goodbye, it won’t be the last.  There will be many situations in life that force us to say goodbye. Whether it be a job, a friend, a lover, a pet, or family member.  Between you and me, Goodbye’s are not easy.

So what does all of this mean at this point in my journey?  As far as I can tell it means that I have to be prepared for emotions that I thought I had already processed.  I will encounter situations that may bring up some old emotional memories and remind me of my scars.  I have to continue to seek advice from other’s who have been on this journey before me, listen to their kind words and learn from their experiences.  Between you and me, this is why I’m sharing with you now.

I hope that the thoughts, feelings and experiences on my survival will encourage other’s going through a similar circumstance to learn to grow from each emotion, memory, feeling and tear.  I am still learning and have a lot more ahead of me.  Within my chrysalis I am growing stronger and when it is time I will emerge the butterfly I am meant to be.  Between you and me, I will embrace it.

Do you have a similar story, can you offer any advice on how to embrace the goodbye?  Respond in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

1/27/13

Related blogs/links

Here Comes Goodbye, Rascal Flatts

Saying Goodbye, Wonder Blogs

With Every Goodbye You Learn, Luna Starla’s Dreamy Stories

Marriage-Divorce-Annulment by Catholic Answers Live

 

 

 


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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.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

1/4/13

Related Links/ Blogs

Is your high conflict divorce causing PTSD?

I have PTSD after my divorce

It’s ok not to be ok

 

 

 


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Live in the Present Moment


Life is defined by a series of “moments” and we experience them in three different stages past, present and future.  Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day activities and stress of life and we are not living like we should be.  Especially in times of a struggle we tend to focus on what we did wrong in our past or try to focus on how our future is going to be changed.  I for one have been there and it is now that I”m realizing I should have taken more time in the present moment when I was going through that difficult time.  The brunt of my struggle took almost two years and during that long period of time I was focused on the past and the future and ignoring the present.

Past:  There are obviously some good times to re-live the past like when looking through photographs or going over memories with loved ones.  You need to be able to know the difference between re-living the past and living in the past.  If you are living in the past it can cause negative effects.  For example at one point I found myself going over things in my head wondering how had I missed the signs?  I spent countless hours over the past few years trying to figure out where things had gone wrong.  Guess what?  It didn’t change the outcome, it didn’t change the fact that I was going through what I was going through.  All it did was cause me more stress and grief.  I should have been paying more attention to the way I was feeling in the present moment and just maybe my healing would have been a little bit easier had I chose to face it as it was happening instead of dwelling on the past.

Future:  We all have plans for our future and looking forward to and planning for them is very healthy and will be very beneficial.  However, being in a present moment of struggle and focusing on the unknowing of the future is a totally different scenario.  Toward the end of my divorce is when I was stuck in this mode.  As the final date drew closer it became very scary and upsetting for me.  For starter’s I had never lived alone my entire life and living away from my family was something I truly did not think I would be able to handle.    As I look back tonight I wish I had chosen not to worry about the future so much, it is a work in progress but is turning out to be ok.

Present:  The little bit of research I did on this subject says that people who live in the present are the happiest and extremely successful people live in the present moment.    My opinion is that it is hard to live in the present moment, however it is worth it! It is something I constantly have to remind myself to do, but when I do I am very happy and I am finding myself to be successful in my new job and my new surroundings.  I am living each day when I wake up not at 8pm the night before  or worrying about what the next day will hold.   When I am truly living in the present I feel like the little green guy in this picture.  Imagine how happy you would feel if you lived like that every day!

I cannot get back the time I spent dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, but I can spend my time day-to-day living in the present moment and experiencing life as it should be experienced.   Treasure every moment, feel the pain even when it is hard to do, feel the joy, share tears and all of the wonderful experiences that life has to offer.

Here are just a few tips on how I take the time to live in the present moment.  If I find I am slipping back to my painful past or worrying on what tomorrow holds I find a quiet place to sit and just do some breathing exercises.  Even if it’s just five minutes it brings me back to the present and the now.  There are several websites that offer lists and tips on being in the present moment I recommend any of those that speak of mindfulness.  Being mindful is something that if we practice daily becomes very easy and it’s just a matter of stopping to remind yourself that you are living for today not for yesterday or tomorrow.

Have you ever looked back on a time in your life when you wished you had lived in the present moment?  Please respond with your experience.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

4/30/12