tied to the past

November 19, 2012Karen Courcy

Last month I fell down the stairs at my house and took a hard fall – wooden stairs to be exact and I banged up my right arm pretty good!

I have been back and forth to the orthopedics for a month now and finally they scheduled me a MRI to see if I tore a muscle or something in my rotator cuff.

FINALLY someone is listening to me that I am still in pain and need to find out what’s going on with it.

I had my MRI appointment today, went in, the nurse got me ready to lay on the table, and then she comes over to me and starts strapping me down to the table.

Panic started to creep in, and I asked the nurse “so how long does this take?” she replied “about 40-45  minutes and you have to stay absolutely still, we will put earplugs in your ears because the noise is really loud.

My blood started to boil, the room started spinning around and around! I started to wonder “what will happen if I get a trigger and It will be too late to stop the machine and I am stuck on this table having a trigger attack? My mind started to shift back to the past and before I knew it, I was telling her to get me off the table NOW!!!

My words were – “I can’t do this, I can’t stay still for 45 minutes being strapped to a table with a machine 2cm away from my face!! OMG get me off this NOW!!, why didn’t the Doctors tell me it was this invasive!!”

Needless to say the nurse got me off the table pretty quick, there was no way I was going to make it through that test that requires you to stay absolutely still while this huge magnet took 100+ still photos of every angle.

I went back into the changing room and got dressed and sadness came over me and I realized in that moment that there are just some things from my past that healing can never take away, and that is “Memories”; memories that set off triggers that my body automatically reacts to that I don’t have any control over.

How many times was I strapped down as a child with no options or choices? The number of times is countless, and the feelings are of something I will never forget – that my body will never forget.

I have overcome a lot of things in therapy and  this healing process! I have learned to live a whole new way. I have learned to connect, how to touch, how to hug, how to allow myself to safely be loved, cared for and accepted. I have learned to be the person I want to be and not the person “they” wanted me to be.

I have overcome some fears, and have learned to “ask” for things when I need it, and to accept when I get it. I have learned to trust more, and be open and speak up for what I believe in. I have overcome a lot, but the one thing I don’t think will ever change is how much I remember and how much the body remembers.

2 years ago I had a special scan done for my heart because I have a heart condition called “Bicuspid Aortic Valve” and I needed to have this huge scan done that required me to be strapped down to a table, and a liquid dye to be shot into me – it took 4 tries to get this scan done on different dates, each time I panicked and rescheduled! Finally the last appointment my therapist was with me and he went into the room (wore a led guard) while I had it done and he talked me through the scan, the memories and the trigger. He saw how scared I was and the memories that flowed through me during the test.

I got that scan done, but it was hard, because no matter how hard I try and push past to the here and now, the memories and the fear take over and I am right back into the past and how painful that was for me.

It’s a feeling that sometimes is uncontrollable – fear sets in and the past is like a movie playing and my body remembers what It went through, and I feel I am back in that moment of “being strapped” having “no options” and being stuck in the fear.

Over the past 2 years I have learned to get myself out of triggers pretty quick, and I do calm myself down with the tools I know, but it doesn’t take away what happened to me, or what my body remembers and that Is something I will live with for the rest of my life.

healing and the work I do in therapy with my therapist is a part of learning how to “BE” in those moments and have more empowerment over them, and sometimes I get caught off guard and I am right back into the past – and today was one of those days.

Later on today I will talk to my therapist on the phone about it, and I will find comfort in his words around it, and the knowing of why, and how this happened, but it never goes away.. it never truly goes away and I came to really realize that today.

I rescheduled a new MRI appointment for my arm, but this one is a STAND up one to where the control is a little more in my hands, and it’s something I will need to work with in order to over-come this – but this is my life sometimes and I need to accept that the fears and the memories will never really go away, they fade and I do have empowerment over some of it, but it never goes away.


  • Lauren

    November 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Dear friend,
    I read this post with tears streaming down my face. I could hear your frustration as you realized some of this you’ll just have to accept BUT I also heard your progress! I applaud you for knowing your limits and taking care of yourself. Karen, one thing I love about you is, your willingness to be transparent in the good, and the hard. You face situations head on until there is a breakthrough, which could be days, weeks, months but you press on. And in this situation you took care of yourself, found another way to get the test done and will make it through that test, WHEN YOU ARE READY! But girl, your an overcomer! All of our relationship you have shown me just that! I know today was hard but I’m proud of you!
    Big Hugs,

    1. Karen Courcy

      November 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      HUGS Lauren…. and you of all people just know what it’s like to be me, and I appreciate that you walk this journey as well.. we are all healers, yet we are all victims of this life we live at times.

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment.. you made me have tears too… thank you for being my friend, I love you bunches!!!


  • Gel

    November 20, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Sweet Lady, this brought tears to my eyes too. I’m glad you were able to recognize your limits and stand up for yourself. Even if the memories haven’t gone away, you show how to put together a lot of self awareness, self acceptance, getting help and using the tools you have acquired to cope. I love that your therapist was there with you the other time.

    Your post gave me an ‘ah-ha’ moment. Because you wrote about being ‘strapped down’ some pieces fell into place for me from my past. And currently I haven’t understood why I have a dread of being held down. Then I remembered something my aunt told me about myself when I was a baby. She was just 13 or 14 years old then. She said when they came to visit they often found me strapped into a potty chair or a high chair and it was apparent that I’d been there for hours. I don’t remember it. My aunt said it horrified her because it was clear that I was in great pain and very traumatized.

    I guess what is helpful to connect the dots for me, is that I haven’t been able to understand why I now have irrational or unexplainable fears or why I want to be ‘in control’ of stuff. Instead I’ve just come to see myself as over controlling and then I feel ashamed of that.

    Well I don’t want to over-write on your post. But I wanted to thank you for how your sharing has helped me again.


    1. Karen Courcy

      November 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Wow Gel… It’s amazing how much the body remembers and how those memories effect us today. Healing is an amazing thing yet yesterday I realized it never truly goes away.

      I’m sorry you went through that as a child. I am glad it made you realize why you go through similar trigger feelings.

      Thank you for your comment.. It’s nice to know I’m never alone in this.


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