It’s a vibe you can’t hide.
It infuses your body, your glands, your eyes, your hair – when we are filled with urgency, when we are tense and desperate and “needy” – there is no disguise big enough or thick enough to keep everyone around you from feeling it.
AND – if we “blame” and “punish” ourselves for all these desperate and urgent sensations – we just make it worse.
Not only do we “reek” of desperation and need – we reek of self-torture.
And the only man who’s attracted to that combo is the one you don’t want – the overly helpful man who seems willing to tolerate nearly anything you require – except, he can’t really love you.
So much is said out there about an “unhealthy relationship.” Well, so what does that look like – and, really, why is that so bad?
I mean, if you’re both getting your needs met, if you’re both liking your little “niche” with a partner who matches you in, who cares, an “unhealthy” way (but the sex is good and he’s “around”) – what difference does it make?
So what if there’s screaming and yelling?
So what if there’s self-punishing, criticism, and withdrawal?
So what if there’s crying and resentment?
Because – when you’re in the middle of that, and it feels like your heart is alternately flying as high as it can go, or plunging to the depths of despair – it just feels like the rollercoaster ride you’ve always wanted.
It feels like the Castle of Doom and the Disney Princess Bonanza all at once!
Unhealthy? Who cares?
It’s only when the frustration of never quite getting to the Princess Bonanza and predictably falling to Doom just as we’re creeping closer to the “prize” becomes so painful we begin to examine exactly what “reality” is, here.
And that’s the clue. That’s the thing.
Living in a fantasy world of Prizes and Doom, of in and out, of great highs and great lows – where the everyday intimacy of real love never ever occurs, but the intensity of fantasy love comes and goes – has its charms.
You get to choose that if you want.
AND – if, one day, you decide you DON’T really want that charm and intensity if you have to continually pay with tears and longing – then, the way back to love seems pretty darn boring.
A man who can actually LOVE you seems pretty darn boring.
Because, when you’re getting off the Ride of Doom, “It’s a Small World” seems pretty lame. (Give me the Pirates of the Caribbean anytime….)
A client I’ve talked with only once, over a year ago, calls in desperation. Yes, she knows not to call my coaching line without a prior-arranged appointment. She knows to contact me by email. But desperation drives her to dial my number and leave a message. Or hope I’ll pick up. And, because I am momentarily confused by the number that shows up on my phone’s screen – I pick up.
I realize I’ve made a mistake, when I recognize the client on the other end, asking me a question without an appointment, and though I am ALWAYS drawn to help and answer, my reasonable self realizes that would be totally unfair to all my clients who abide by the rules so I can function without feeling overwhelmed.
AND I apologize for having to turn her down and ask that she schedule an appointment – and she tries to get an answer for her question – which is not a question, but a request for coaching around her entire relationship.
I wrote her instead, for her, and for you here:
….DOING anything right now is creating a feeling in your heart that you’re desperate – and that’s ALL this man sees and feels. And so what you SAY is not important.
It’s how you ARE that counts, that registers, that he picks up on.
And if you’re feeling needy and desperate – there’s no way to hide that. So by even asking me what to do about Facebook, or texts, or emails – you’re coming from that place of panic and hysteria and desperation that you want to STOP!
We can work on this, if you’re willing to stop thinking, stop talking, stop doing ANYTHING – and instead breathe, lay down and look at the grass and the flowers, and go dancing and talking where there are other men, and go walking and on coffee dates with other men – as friends if you like. You have to heal.
You have to turn around this picture of yourself you have as a desperate woman. He is only reacting to that.
Nothing you say or do will change that until you’re ready to loosen him from your heart and move on.
Many coaches can help you with that – and once you’ve become more calm, less anxious, less attached to him – that’s when he may start to show up again.
It’s like being addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Nothing you say can make you appear less drug addicted. You have to stop actually using the drugs and thinking about them, and make a life that doesn’t include them.
And I see, looking back on what I felt talking with her for that brief time, that the desperation and need she’s putting out on the phone is exactly the same as she’s putting out towards the man. She’s doing it throughout her life, not just in her romance.
And that’s another thing.
If you’re riding the Castle of Doom Ride and hoping for the Princess Bonanza – you’re doing it 24/7. It’s a lifestyle. You’re in Disneyland 24/7.
The pain I felt for this woman was intense, and as a healer-type, I immediately felt both drawn in to help this woman – AND repelled!
And there it stands. Living from desperation and urgency attracts a man who will be both drawn to you and repelled by you. And therein lies the pain.
At some point, this either consumes you and resigns you to this fantasy ride for life, or you decide to get off.
You decide to go for “real” and “everyday” no matter how boring it might be.
Some of us never get over the longing of the thrill ride, some of us luck out and discover that everyday love IS the thrill ride!
I was on the thrill ride, the Castle of Doom, the deepest, darkest, sexiest sets and costumes and uncertainty and longing I could find. Over and over again. Interminably. For years at a time before I gave up.
Trying harder. And harder. Holding tighter to the rails, buckling my seat belt, unbuckling my seat belt, standing up, lying down, crying, laughing, working harder. Trying to figure out what the next sharp turn or sheer drop would be like, and trying to figure out when, exactly, it would show up.
I ran that course so many times, you’d think I would have memorized the pattern pretty quickly, but it took me years and years – and even then, I did’t go into “everyday reality” willingly.
An addict is an addict.
You never give up wanting whatever it is that stops the pain of a reality you don’t like.
And I didn’t like much – because my reality, as is everyone’s reality, was inside ME. And the last place I ever wanted to look was inside me. The last thing I ever wanted to “care for” was me. I thought I was “first” – but, truly, I was last on my list.
Now I know the thrill ride is inside. Not out there.
Intimacy is where the ride is – and at first, it seems boring.
When the old patterns and voices show up, it’s hard to know what it is you really want, from what you think you want. It’s hard to find the difference between real adventure and the Castle of Doom. Real adventure feels tame, lame, boring – way too inconvenient and time-consuming.
It doesn’t go by in a flash of light that mesmerizes, stuns, and then disappears. It’s a constant beam of warmth that sticks.
Until you’re ready to get off the thrill ride…. Until you’ve had enough of the swings and turns of the dark cavern of the Castle of Doom while still clinging to the hope of the Princess Bonanza Prize if you can only hold out “til the end….” Until you’re willing to step off the train and walk back alone (though you won’t really be much alone…) through the tunnel, the sets, the props, the painted backdrops, the mannequins and robots, the costumes and see, in the sunlight, what’s really going on – you may as well enjoy it! So what if it’s unhealthy! Until you make up your mind, I say – have at it!
When you’re feeling enough love for yourself, and you get off the train and out into the sunlight – here’s what you see:
People are standing around, waiting in line…
There’s a sky. There are human beings. Nothing amazing is happening unless you THINK it is.
And that’s the key. You can’t TRY HARDER to make him love you.
The train is moving. It’s going. You have NO power over the train going through the Ride of Doom.
You can’t turn it into the Princess Bonanza, because it’s already set. The plot has already been worked out, and you’ve been on that train and through that ride and that plot many, many times before.
There ARE no new endings. There is only staying on the train or getting off it.
There’s no way to love yourself fully and stay on the train.
And so, once you step off and walk toward yourself – you see that it’s “either/or.” You’re either on the ride, or you’re off it.
Whatever brings you most happiness – I say – BRAVA!!!
Yet know the price of the thrill ride:
You never, ever get to find out who you really are, or how much power you really have, or how much love you can really experience.
One foot on the train, and one foot off the train doesn’t get you anything but dragged along in an uncomfortable way.
Baby steps are the way – and, still, you have to get off the train.
Great thing, though. You can get on and off as much as you wish!
The train of the thrill ride is always running through our heads.
Addiction to whatever fantasy we conjured up in our lives to make our childhoods and lives as livable and bearable and as safe as we could make them still runs through our head, our veins, and the cells of our bodies.
So – do it this way:
Love the thrill ride. Love that Castle of Doom like you’d love the Princess Bonanza. Stop looking for the “turnaround” and look for the gleams of gold in the dark cavern.
Step off the train every now and again and look around.
Fall in love with what you see – even if your head labels it “tame,” “lame,” or “boring.”
Fall in love with it all as if it’s the easiest thing you could ever do (it is).