Bread and Butterflies

One of the more annoying statements I read about PTSD are the ones telling me that I can be like I was before bad stuff happened. I would need to go back to 4 years old. Silly for me. More important than that why? No one attempts to put a loaf of bread in the oven and expect it to turn back into dough. To even suggest it shows a total lack of common sense. PTSD is an effect of a life changing experience. Why should I act as if nothing happened?

My counselor encouraged me to keep growing. He used the metaphor of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Have you ever noticed that no one expects a butterfly to crawl back into a chrysalis and turn into a caterpillar?  A life changing experience is just that it changes your life.

PTSD is part of who I am. However, it doesn’t define me.  I am not barred from happiness, relationships, or any of the good things in life. I am learning to manage PTSD. It is part of my life but no longer controls my life. I am learning to thrive.


2 thoughts on “Bread and Butterflies

  1. I love those comparisons. I’ve fought my whole life to be like I was “before,” unwilling to accept “before” doesn’t really exist. I love bread and butterflies. I don’t mind thinking of myself that way.

  2. “It doesn’t define me.”
    IMO, that’s the key right there. There is no “going back.” You either stand still or move forward. What has been taken can not be restored. Ever.
    Shortly after I turned 20, the day after Christmas I was abducted from a shopping center parking lot by a nut with a knife, assaulted and left for dead like so much trash beside a back road. The only reasons I survived were the cold (kept me from bleeding out), my ability to play dead well and an endless crawl to a road I could see in the distance after the assailant left-for sure. That last attempt to get up and over the guard rail was my last attempt-I had nothing left. I made it over and passed out on the shoulder. It was so cold. Some people came along and covered me with a blanket. I remember parts of whole event and the ambulance only because it was warm-and LOUD.
    Sometimes we’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s all.
    I’m sure I was told at the time by the medical staff I would not be able to have children because they couldn’t repair all the damage (no microsurgery etc. at that time) but it didn’t actually dawn on me until about a year later as there was so much other stuff going on concurrently legally and medically. I always thought I would grow up, get married, have kids-who would want me now? All my scars, all this damage, all this…mess?
    I continued my education and concentrated on my career. I met and later married my late DH. Eventually, years later the assailant ran out of legal ammo and the Death Sentence was carried out. I had no say in this and no, I still do not support the death penalty.
    The day he was executed I just felt sad. For all of us, his victims, his family, all the potential that might have been, gone, gone, gone. And for what?
    I am NOT that assault. It was a one time event carried out by an unknown perpetrator.
    The Legacy wrought by growing up with my MN “Mother” left much more for me to grapple with but somehow, everyone wants to concentrate on that ONE event. That’s why I never mention it.
    They’ll never get it, that a “Mother” can be far more dangerous and life-threatening than a nut with a knife.

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