All is well here, just busy. Posted my latest condensation adventures (more to come) over on Travels with Towanda.
After his blow-up over my rejection of his V-day proposal, M’s tune has changed. Again. He has decided to start taking the Cymbalta his doctor recommended and he’s reading up on neuroscience!
Speaking of pain and pain management, two things. First, since I started taking the Cymbalta, my pain has significantly reduced, which has had a remarkable affect on my attitude.
Second, I am reading a free book I picked up on-line, called Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are. It’s about brain imaging, such as fMRI and PET and how that has helped understand brain function. It has a long chapter on chronic pain and another on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. In both cases, they talk about how these conditions actually erode brain cells and function. A person with chronic pain for three or four years can actually loose 10% of the neuron function of their brain! But there is a new therapy called “mindfulness training”, which is similar to meditation and promotes learning compassion (for self and others) as a treatment and restorative to brain function. All kinds of dysfunctional behavior are associated with these two conditions, including lack of impulse control.
Picture me rolling my eyes and saying, “Duh!” What about MY PTSD? Narcissistic Personality Disorder also causes all of his symptoms, but so far I have not said anything about my theories about his behavior.
And later he starts in (again) with the sympathy ploy (the bold is mine):
This book I’ve been reading about brain imaging puts the lie to the old theories I have been repeating about how people don’t learn and change as they age. In fact, the imaging shows that brain cells and neurons are in constant regeneration up to about 75.
Apparently current psychological theory (based on imaging) indicates that people with chronic pain often do exactly what I’ve done – they overwork themselves to mask the pain because it buries the trauma. I’ve known that all along, but had convinced myself it was productive and good. I’ve even tried to hook you into it. And you already know how this kind of counter-intuitive thinking caused so much trouble for us. I know you tried to convince me otherwise, but you must remember I’ve been locked into this for a long time, it all fed into the hard-work ethic I was raised with.
The imaging shows that the stress caused by all this actually damages brain cells. What they are saying, though is that re-training is very effective and fast. An eight week course based on the theories in the book you got me (thank you!) coupled with drug therapy such as I’m doing now can turn my life around.
It’s been pretty amazing to me how just coming to understand this has already made a big difference in my emotional state. The Cymbalta evened out my stress in three days and it’s getting better everyday. I used to feel this panicky flutter in my chest when something “got me going” and it’s gone. For the first few days after you left, I felt like that a lot and was telling myself, that’s the trigger I need to pay attention to, which I think I told you at the time. Tonight when I drove home, there was a truck right on my tail and instead of getting the chest flutter and feeling the blood rise to my face, I just watched closely and felt completely calm. Can’t even remember having a reaction like that in that situation!
My back is sore, but not pinched. It no longer feels like someone is stabbing me with an icepick. And this is after spending a few days cramped under the cockpit of B’s boat!!! I actually (to my surprise) cracked-up the office staff at the clinic today. Don’t feel too jokey, but the old sense of humor popped out anyway.
One thing has not changed much, though and that’s how much I miss you. I woke up today and just couldn’t believe you were gone. That feeling stuck with me all day, just can’t believe you’re not in my life and may be gone forever. It feels like forever already. I don’t know what I’ll do if you don’t come back and try to love me as before. When I look there, it’s just a huge empty space.
Poor Man with all his empty space! Not. He wrote asking me to please call him, that all this e-mail is exhausting. My reply was, “You say that e-mail is exhausting, but I find talking on the phone is exhausting because I don’t have time to think about my reply and feel that we end up in circular conversations that get us nowhere. This is easier for me right now.”
He let it drop and sent just one line last night: “Thank you for who you are and all you have given me. You are amazing.”
Whatever. He couldn’t see how fucking amazing I am when I was right there next to him, but a week or so on Cymbalta and he sees the light? Color me doubtful.
Anyone have a good link to some info about Cymbalta? Not the Customer Review crap, but something with a bit more meat to it? I want to know how soon a person can start seeing results and what those results might be, etc.
He wants to take an extended sailing cruise over the Summer and has asked me if I’ll come live in his house and take care of it and the animals. No specifics on what that means – does he expect that I’ll pay the bills? Does he think I will move back in while he’s gone? Does he realize that house sitters get paid? I told him I would consider it as I haven’t found a home for the bunnies yet. What say you?