Memories Triggered


chrysalisSpring is upon us and that means caterpillars everywhere are on the verge of becoming a newer version of themselves. With much time spent in the chrysalis, letting go of the past and preparing for a great adventure.  Over the past 7 years, I have been doing the same thing and life has led me to many wonderful adventures of late.  Recently however, I had a “moment” that I would like to share with you! It came suddenly and completely took me by surprise!

In January of 2013, I wrote a post on PTSD and Divorce. Over the past few years, I have not suffered any of those mentioned PTSD experiences, and have felt pretty well renewed.  I have some wounds that will always be present in my mind, but for the most part, I am a new and improved person who just happened to have survived a divorce.  Towards the end of that post, I mentioned that as part of my healing journey, I was at war with my memories.  Through the restorative process, I have surrendered my memories and processed much of what I needed too, or so I thought. Apparently, my mind had other plans and decided to wage war once again.

The trigger was a song that happened to come on while I was watching television. The song immediately infuriated me.  I began yelling out and having an argument with the person singing.  I wanted to know what gave the artist the right to create such a song and sing it as if it were the best thing ever written.  I found myself having a very one-sided conversation and becoming angrier at every word.

The next day I was speaking to a friend about my “moment”. All of a sudden, I heard words coming out of my mouth that were not there the night before.  I was actually explaining why that song was such a trigger.  I quickly realized that what was happening in the lyrics was something that I wished I had done during my period of doubts.  That piece was a rendition of my life but with scenes that never played out due to my fears and uncertainty.  Situations that I did not allow myself to be a part of because I did not want to believe they were true.  These impetuous feelings were hurtful to me, but this time I was the one causing the pain.

I know we cannot go back and say “what if”, but I really wanted to ask myself that question. The more I thought about it; my answer was that the outcome would probably not have been any different.  In fact, it may have been worse.  I trusted in my perception during those times, and I chose a way to react that was secure for me.

This unexpected moment was a very valuable lesson. It has showed me that deep down this was an unresolved issue, having nothing to do with my ex, it was all me!  Will there be more? I have no clue, but at least now, I know how to identify it and process it.  I do know that when it happens again, I will let the music play, soak in the lyrics and glide with the rhythm.

butterfly musicWhat I think is important to pass along here, is do not shut yourself out! These “moments” will appear without warning and can be frightening to face head on.  I faced mine by accident the following day and I am grateful for the experience and now the knowledge.  When you get to this point in your journey, remember this as an important step in the healing process.  Trust in God, and listen to what you have to say.  Do not be afraid to be angry with yourself but also remember to be just as forgiving!

Do you have an experience of a “moment” you would like to share? Please comment.

Blessings, Kimberly / Courageous Butterfly

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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

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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