Overfunctioning And How To Fix It!


The Question:

“Rori, I was moving in with my man. I wanted to celebrate. I drove the hour to John’s with a load of stuff from my apartment and even went to the store to buy stuff I thought I needed, and that would be cute. I was pretty happy.

I bought groceries and  a couple bottles of wine and went to our together “home” to cook a feast. I walked in to find him in his chair. It made me smile.

I cooked a fabulous pasta dish with organic everything-straight from the farm…ratatouille at it’s finest.  I am a great chef.  We invited our close friend to dine with us. It was a wonderful evening.

After a great dessert, and our friend had gone,  I realized I had a bit too much to drink and since it had stopped raining, I went outside to soak in the hot tub to sober up a bit and enjoy the beautiful cool evening before going to bed.

When I walked inside, John was already under the covers.  I still don’t remember all that was said or quite how it happened, I have blocked some of it out, I’m sure… but as we were laying in bed, me snuggled up to his chest purring like a kitten, he told me he loved me but wasn’t in love with me and no matter what he tried, his feelings toward me were flat.

He told me he felt sorry for me like a fawn that got hit by a truck on the side of the road and he was the driver.  He wanted to help it live, but he needed to keep on driving.

What the hell does that mean?  In the end….he isn’t in love with me.  He loves me, but just feels nothing.

I came unglued and hysterical. I couldn’t breathe.  Between the alcohol and the shock of it all, I went to the bathroom threw up and had diarrhea all at once. I had a full blown PTSD attack.

Not my first bout with hysteria in my lifetime, but I thought it was handled.  The alcohol cracked my veneer just enough…for Chernobyl to happen.  My sympathetic nervous system was firing like 4th of July and my amygdala was as big as an egg no doubt!

I shook uncontrollably.  I was out of my mind, completely hysterical..  embarrassingly hysterical!  All I knew at that moment was my life was shattered and for the second time in a decade. First my ex-husband and now this.

Here I was, half drunk, hysterically sobbing, screaming and running around in circles from the bedroom to the bathroom.  I can’t even describe how bad I was. I had less than a month to move out of my apartment and half my clothes were already in John’s closet.

The movers are scheduled.   I was leaving everyone and everything I knew.  I’m in my 50’s, divorced, alone, little savings and moving out into the country and in with a man who is now telling me he is with me because he feels  sorry for me like one would feel for a dead fawn on the side of the road?  Are you kidding me?  Anyone would be upset under these circumstances, but I lost it.

It is very very hard for me to admit my vulnerability to anyone…you or him.  What happened last night triggered the rare attack.   It scares him when I come unglued.

I finally calmed down.  We talked most of the night.  Apparently the first honest conversation we’ve ever had in over 3 years.  Some of the things he said: He told me I talk too much and drive him nuts with my chatter. Last night was a great example.  My friend and I drove him crazy. He says I say stupid and inane things.

That one amazes me.  People in my life see me as bright if not brilliant.   John believes I’m not very bright.  Seriously?  He is very quiet.  He doesn’t talk much. He told me he doesn’t mind being alone and is content in his bachelorhood.

He said he has tried to love me. He thought he’d wake up one day and it would be different. He says he doesn’t understand why he cant find that spark.  He says I’m beautiful, sweet and giving, talented, athletic and sex is awesome, but he doesn’t feel what he wants to feel when he is in love.  He said a lot of things.

In fact, he’s never talked that much. I think he wants to love me, he just can’t…or am I blocking it by my actions and manner?  I didn’t think I was…but I must be.  There is no other explanation.

Now in the sober light of the morning, here I am.  We talked a bit again this morning.

But, maybe this whole thing might have opened up a door for us.   He said he’d be willing to give it a try for us to live together, but I have to know that he is not in love with me.

Rori..I don’t want to give myself to a man who isn’t in love with me.  I know I didn’t have to give you the back story, but maybe you can make heads or tails of it.  I can’t.  I wrote it because I needed to see it clearly….to get it out….I am missing something huge here and I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how to “Rori my way through” and I need your help right now.

Whatever it is that I am doing is keeping John from loving me.  I triggered him last night, and when he tried to tell me, I took off like a rocket.  That did even more damage. If I had only been able to control my panic. I didn’t and its done.

I am right now, right this minute, a cliche.

I have radically accepted that this is happening to me.  I am calm and in my body.  I am grounded and solid.  I’m scared and insecure and I know it.  I’m sad and heartbroken, but something in me says it all happened for a good reason.  Can I really turn the ship around?  I don’t want to lose him, me or us or the future or the dog or the home or any of it.

I want this bad thing to be an opening; to have a happy ending.

Right now,  I admit fully that I do not know what to do and I do not know how  and I do not know what I don’t know.  I am humbled and on my knees. Will you please straighten me out?

Love, Desperate and Despondent”

My Answer:

“Desperate”, start here:

Focus on the specific, small things you need to do that are important:

Caring for your animals, keeping your income going with work, moving everything, and blessing that you can have an honest, warm, friendly relationship with John, along with the joy of living in the home and environment you love.

Consider it right now “staying with him”.

Consider that he’s a boyfriend, and that he does not have to be in love with you!

Right at this minute it’s not important!

Please believe me on this!

Treat him like a friend… That is good enough for now.

And sleep with him!

That means have sex with him if it feels good on a physical and emotional level!

What you need to do right now is create an ashram experience.

Pretend you’re in India meditating on the floor most of the day, perhaps pretend that you’re in a silence.

Sit still and watch the clouds as much as you can.

Soak in the hot tub as much as you can.

And stop talking!

Write instead! OK?

Can you make the transition?

I realize you will feel uncomfortable with him.

That is because you want to do stuff.

Just don’t do stuff.

Stay in a room, stay into yourself, you have a lot of writing and a lot of thinking and a lot of visioning to do.

Stop cooking like a queen… And just get bags of salad and cook meat and eat.

Learn how to listen to him during a conversation even if he’s not talking.

Don’t talk about the relationship!

Just show interest in whatever the heck he’s doing… Be curious.

Let there be silence.

I have a client now who was, by her own words to me a very nasty, mean, yelling angry wife.

And she has completely changed as a human being over the last four months.

If she can make that huge of a shift, and bring a man who is completely indifferent to her so much closer to her, you can make this very small transition from a highly anxious woman under incredibly stressful conditions, to a calm one who can just listen rather than talk.

You will get way more done this way.

I have been in the dark night of the soul many times in my life.

Really awful things have happened to me.

And for the most part really extraordinarily wonderful things.

I feel blessed and lucky, and yet, I have had enough horribleness that I can feel and identify with everyone who is going through really rough patches.

I don’t think about these awful feeling things as being grateful for what they did to deepen my experience of myself and life, I just simply think of them as what happened.

My particular road.

You are on your road.

Please do not try to get out the shovel and plow a new road!

Let it unfold. Just be on it.

From what I feel, it is an extraordinary road.

Don’t try to change it.

Love, Rori

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