One of my sensei's biggest complaints about me is that I don't hit hard enough. That's not to say I CAN'T--when I'm working with the punching bag, I can land a surprisingly (even to me) hard, solid punch. Working with other people, though--or even pretending to--is much harder for me. I keep holding back.
It suddenly occured to me why (okay, not suddenly, as I've been mulling about this for weeks--but it just CAME to me). See, during The Infamous Episode of 2007, I hit two people--many, many times. Two people who were very important to me. And I did irrevocable damage to both of those relationships. Hell, I did quite a bit of damage to MYSELF, both physically and otherwise. It's what finally convinced me, after a decade, to seek treatment. And I've spent the last 13 months making sure that something like that never, ever happens again. All the meds, all my therapy, every fiber of my being has gone into "getting better" and not "going crazy" again.
I know that controlled punches in karate are much, much different from what happened that night. But I've spent so much time, money and effort into reigning in that part of me--burying it way down deep--that it's hard to now "throw a punch," no matter what the situation or circumstances. I threw plenty of them that night--and it wasn't pretty. So now it's very hard for me to --I don't know, give myself permission, I guess, to really PUNCH someone (I should note that in class, we don't go around walloping each other--but when working with Sensei, we're supposed to throw real punches because, of course, they don't actually LAND, as she's a black belt and I still suck).
I don't know if any of this makes any sense because I'm still trying to work it out for myself. I guess the bottom line is that my brain is still making a connection that "punching = bad" --not to mention that it brings up some pretty ugly memories and flashbacks for me. I know that night was horrible for them--but hell, it wasn't good for me, either. The damage and shame of that night will stick with me the rest of my life--although I guess it's kind of like an alcoholic going on the bender to end all benders....you need the experience of it to stay "on the wagon." And any time I'm even TEMPTED to go off my meds (" 'cuz I've been okay for so long now" and "maybe I'm really NOT bipolar, I've just gotten more mature and gotten a better grip on my temper and THAT'S why I haven't had an episode --or at least one like that--in 13 months"), I just have to think back to that night....and that's all the motivation I need.
I'm sure this will pass and I'll break through (no pun intended) my little punching phobia. After all, if I'm going to kick ass, I have to quit being such a p*ssy.