Sometimes You Just Don’t Have The Word

During Thursday’s session, the therapist asked me to clarify how I felt about something, but I couldn’t quite find the words. I said, “It just feels…no, I don’t know. I can’t think of the word”

“Well that’s…unusual.”

“I know. But I’m trying something new. Sometimes I don’t have the right word or words. But I fill up space anyway with what seems to be my best guess. I don’t want to do that. I want to learn that it’s okay to not always have the answer. It’s okay if I’m not perfectly self-aware at every moment. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say!”

“Yes. And also – sometimes there just are no words. There are certain experiences for which we cannot put words to. And that’s okay.”

“Exactly. Also, I think when I just fill in the words, I set my relationships up for miscommunications. Because the other person is hearing what I’m saying and they think they’re understanding me. But then it’s obvious they don’t get it and I feel so alone and frustrated because I can’t figure out what went wrong. But they are simply responding to what I just told them. So rather than say something just to say something, I want to wait until it feels ready to be said and I have words that better represent my thoughts.”

“Hmm. I think that’s probably a good idea.”

She then shared something about her thoughts on the issue and I didn’t quite get where she was going with it, so I asked if she could expand a little. She kinda sat there for a second, laughed a bit, and said, “I don’t know…but let me try…”

I laughed, too, and told her how great it is when she does that because it is so utterly human. I get like that so often – a place where I can’t quite figure out the right phrasing or wording for something. To see her struggle with the same issues was really helpful for me. It reminds me that my experience of struggling to articulate myself is perhaps just part of the human experience and not a reflection of inherent, unique flaws.


13 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Don’t Have The Word

  1. Amb says:

    I really find comfort in the moment when my I can see that my therapist struggles to find the word for something, also. I never thought about the reason behind it being that it made it blatantly obvious that she was a human until I just read your post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    Isn’t it quite revelatory to realize we are just like everyone else? All human, all flawed. We aren’t any better or any worse. And most of what we do and think is completely normal, we just think it is all messed up and defective and unusual because of the messages we received so young.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. e.Nice says:

    I am really impressed with how open you are able to be, to even put into words that you are struggling to find words is awesome. This is something I want to strive for since I often shame myself for being unable to do so. There is a lot here to think about.Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. breakingsarah says:

    I am happy that you found a common ground in this instance. I tried therapy a long time ago, and one day the therapist asked what I wanted to talk about and I said I didn’t have anything – nothing bad had happened that week. She then told me something MUST have happened since I was being so defensive. What?? I am glad that yours is willing to see where you are coming from. HUGS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Oh man, that’s so strange. Sorry that happened. I think therapy should (within reasonable limits) be a parallel to our lives outside of session – both good and bad. I’m glad this therapist is as flexible and open-minded as she is. Makes it easier to navigate tricky conversations like this. Thanks for hugs!!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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