what is the timeline? my timeline . . .
I have recently received a lot of emails from people who read my blog, and friends from Facebook who have asked me, “what is this timeline your talking about? what is this timeline you are working on in your healing? whats this timeline your talking about in your blog? what is it? .. instead of replying to 50 emails, I have decided to share what it is I am working on in my healing, in a way, writing this blog entry about my timeline is healing, because I am opening myself up to let people know what healing is doing for me.
For 5 years in my journey of healing I have worked on talking about the past, talking about the abuse, working with “her”; the child that was abused, honoring her, honoring the past, going deep deep inside the wounds to get myself out from behind the walls I created since I was 5 years old; those walls that once served a purpose for protection; but today being the curse in keeping me in the silence.
It has taken many years to fully expose the past, fully take down the walls, fully see what it is I went through my whole childhood, fully accept that what was done to me, was not my fault. The abuse, the neglect, sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, all of those things I had to dig out and find through HER (the child that was abused). I had to accept what was done to me, and see that the walls built around me; were the walls they caused me to build.
I went home to NH this past Christmas and faced my past.. I faced things I never thought I could face. When I came home from NH and returned to my work in therapy, returned to my house, returned to my life, I was a WHOLE new person. IT was as if I went up to NH and left the walls there, and I came back as the person who wants to face and see the abuse from MY eyes, not through them, or her, or ANYONE else.. it was time to tell the story from MY truth, from MY feelings, my PAIN, my story from MY heart!
This past month, the weight in my work (called silence) was no longer there.. I could stand up and talk and not go through pain and suffering in talking about my feelings, it was as if I left “her” up there, the “walls” up there, and I came back as the person underneath it all.
The timeline was an idea that we thought of; I thought of, and let me say this, this timeline book is like having my life in my hands. I work with it memory by memory, in order of time, each memory written down in the book, while at the same time talking about it, talking through it, re-telling my story from MY eyes, my heart, my emotions.
I write down how I felt then, and how I feel now. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of emotions, but it’s GOOD work, and it’s connecting work, and it’s healing work, and it’s the hardest work I have ever done, because for the first time ever in my life, I am truly seeing my story from ME. For the first time I am feeling what emotions I felt back then, NOW as I am today. For the first time in 5 years of working on this journey, I am RAW with walls down, and allowing the timeline to be shared and seen.
The time line serves a purpose for me to go through events, time by time, memory by memory, with notes and photos, and bullets marking important key things to remember. I also have positive notes written in there, so while working on it, we can turn back to those positive notes to remind me “this is NOT my fault, I am a GOOD person, I will GET through this”, “this is for me”.
I work with this timeline during the week in my therapy sessions; doing it with trust and support by my side. I do not enter into it alone.. the most crucial part in this, is honoring the fact that I am not alone, and I am talking about it, honoring the truth.
Being with, and Remembering the memories is painful, and takes gentleness, and care, pacing slowly and honoring myself, remembering to breathe. It’s hard but good, because it’s for ME, and I have wonderful support through it, and the best part? no walls, no weight, no silence.
This is such a rewarding piece for ME. It took me a long long time to find me in this horrible childhood that I endured. It has taken me a long time to see the abuse from MY eyes, but with that it’s still a lot of tears that still burn, ANGER I am still afraid to show and be with, and the frustration that follows after I work on each piece.
This timeline when finished will be a book I can hold and go back to in my work, and say this is what my life was like, and this is how I feel about this moment.. and it also helps me in my process of writing my book. It helps to be fully open to my pain, and the knowledge of what happened to me.
That is what my timeline is about – my eye are set on the light, my soul is seeing the ultimate healing.. finding ME. Who is KAREN without the abuse owning her? I have yet to find out, but I feel it, someone always says to me “you are so close”.. I feel myself coming alive from being numb.. and I CANNOT wait to get there and meet Karen, who she was meant to be; who GOD intended her to be.
February 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Karen – thank you for sharing.. wow, that is truly a testimony to your hard work. I read all that you have been through, without knowing details and wonder if I would ever be strong enough, you are an inspiration, and truly a good friend and person, I hope that this timeline brings you such a life you have never had, and I am so glad you have support through it.
Karen Beth Courcy
February 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM
THANK YOU ANNA! I really appriciate the feedback, I guess alot of times, when people are suffering, they suffer in silence, and alot of times, people who suffer from PTSD know how to shut it off. Alot of people, even family members outside my house never knew I went through what I go through, because I would hide it so well. Friends that I was in JR high with, say “are you serious? you were being abused in that house that I slept over?” YEP.
Therapy has pulled those walls down, and the moment the walls came down in front of someone I trusted, I could not use those old COPING skills anymore, I could not HIDE it. I would get angry because it was like having your CAPE taken away to fly, and you could no longer fly. RAW and PAINFUL, but worth every moment, because I truly see the light.
So with that being said, no one knew, and I never knew how strong I was until I went through this, and thought maybe I can bench press 150 pounds, but MAN I never knew I was emotionally this strong.
February 5, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Hi Karen, I just got finished reading your blog, what a GREAT idea the timeline is. Actually let me rephrase that, what a courageous idea that is. How hard that would be to timeline events that hurt and destroyed your childhood. It doesn’t surprise me though that you are doing this, you have always been creative in ways to make things organized and helpful HA! remember the time we had that science fair together, WATER COLORS? you were such a science geek, You ran the whole thing, and for that we got an A+ .. so I say this Karen, you are brave and I hope you find KAREN too. I am so glad that you have great support in therapy, and what seems like a great circle of support.
Love you girl
Karen Beth Courcy
February 5, 2012 at 3:41 PM
Jennifer – OMG the WATER COLORS.. I am surprised I didnt’ do it on weather! but yes I remember being in charge of it because i was neat and organized, so no I am not surprised by the timeline – all kidding aside it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.. but the most rewarding.
Guess what picture I put in the timeline book? the picture of my NANA.. perfect.. have to add the photos of those you love in it too.. it helps me, because she is the only one who loved me.
thank you jennifer for your kind comments.. I love you too
October 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM
What a courageous idea, what bravery to begin and continue with it. I have an ‘abuse diary’ that I was recommended to keep by an agency. It fills me with shame every time I spy it. Yet, as you said in your other post, I shouldn’t be the one feeling shame. I’m a hero, actually, because I survived. You know what I’m going to do? Get that diary out and do my own timeline. I’m going to face my shame. A stand-off. And I won’t be the loser. [Thank you so much – I believe there must have been some degree of Divine intervention at play here, that I found your blog!]….your courage in sharing your story will, I know, help me, and for that I thank you.
October 25, 2014 at 7:26 PM
WOW … good for you for facing the shame by getting out that diary you kept and facing it and working with it! that’s awesome! I believe so too that we found each other for a reason.. that is why I love to write! for this very reason!