Now that I’ve moved most of the Cymbalta out of my system, I am feeling the “pricks and arrows” of everyday life with an acuity that the drug dulled and suppressed all these years. Feelings overwhelm me as they surge in from all sides, and I have to stand still, figuratively, to get my footing. Each time a wave of fear sweeps over me, I make myself stop and ask: what am I feeling? What just happened to connect to that feeling? What am I learning? What is my gut telling me?
That my ex makes power moves, and that I react by countering. I’ve tried to uncouple the reflexive mechanism that I’ve used all these years when I address his accusations and diagnoses with explanations, excuses, and accusations. Now I am trying out the Chinese martial arts technique of yielding to the energy flow of his blow and letting it spend itself harmlessly. I don’t know what the emotional and verbal equivalent of Kung Fu might be, or even if I have the right discipline in mind. So far what I’ve hit upon as a strategy is to thank him for his insights, admit to my shortcomings, and apologize for the distress they introduce into his life. The more I do this, the more sincere my remorse. I hope this is not just a passive aggressive move on my part. I am sick of being caught in the perpetual motion of punch/ counterpunch.
The lesson of Tuscan mud: she who walks in wet clay gets stuck.