Unfulfilled

I just got out of session and I think I somehow feel worse than I did going into the hour.

Fuck. 

I don’t even know how to understand what is going on right now, let alone attempt to explain it. I don’t think I made the best decisions about how to discuss the intense trigger I felt on Monday (and still feel). 

It was a mess for the first half of the session. At one point she said,

It feels like you were late and that is somehow my fault and now you’re angry with me for it.”

Which made me just lose it, prompting a heated battle. And then she stopped us and asked me what I needed from her. 

Just listen to me.”

So she asked me to start over, to begin again and to try and disregard all that had been discussed about this issue in the previous 30 minutes. 

I thought about it for a minute and then more or less went through everything I had written in my previous two blog posts. I gave a narrative timeline of how I experienced the last session and the time until today’s session. 

I talked about feeling like I am ultimately disposable to her. Replaceable. Irrelevant. Unimportant. Worthless. 

I talked about how this is supposed to be a relationship between two people. A therapeutic relationship, yes, but one that still involves two of us. I talked about feeling as if I am the one solely accountable for the hour of session and what happens to us, to the work, to me. 

I said that her failure to be concerned or to reach out and check in despite me being very late for session for the first time in 168 sessions sent the message that I do not matter, that she is not interested, that she doesn’t care, that it’s not important to her, and that I am not worthy of her concern or curiosity. 

I told her that I understand and respect her policies and methods, but it’s not enough for me. I said,

I need you to fight for me! I need to know that we’re in this together and that you care. I need you to show me that I am worthy when I cannot believe I am worth it. I need to know you won’t just discard me if I am not able to be fully invested in the work or the relationship. Because therapeutic or not, I am only half of this relationship and if you won’t fight for me, or for us, then I feel completely alone and scared and worthless. And that is just not good enough!

She sat quietly for a moment and then asked if I wanted to hear a response. I said no so we talked around it for a while but then she asked if she could say two things:

1. She was absolutely concerned and curious about where I was and why I wasn’t in session at 5pm.

2. She would have called if I had not shown up at all. 

Then she reflected on her statement about the therapy session being my hour to do with as I please. 

That was just not an appropriate response because it doesn’t even address what you were bringing up by mentioning that I hadn’t called to check in.”

Then she spoke about how she uses something like lateness to explore underlying themes with clients. So she doesn’t like to interfere with attendance because she wants to allow the dynamic to play out as it needs to in order to bring it into the analysis. 

But I can see how it can come across as uncaring or coarse and I will think about that more for how it works or doesn’t work with you.”

She said all the right things and seemed genuinely interested and I could tell that she desperately wanted to connect with that deep trigger I was feeling. And maybe we did get to it a bit but I can’t really tell. 

I don’t even know what I feel. Unfulfilled, I think. I needed something from her. I still need something from her. Not only am I unclear as to what that need is, I don’t believe I could get it met even if I did know. 

It feels like this is all for nothing. These triggers, these huge emotional explosions that destabilize me and make my life feel chaotic and scary and lonely, are not okay. 

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep feeling this way – a way I cannot even seem to name or articulate. 

It’s like dying of thirst when you don’t know what thirst is, let alone how to get water. 

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20 thoughts on “Unfulfilled

  1. Boost Connection says:

    I am so glad you were able to express yourself to her even if you can’t sort through your thoughts and feelings right now. I know it feels like you will probably always feel this way, but I don’t think that’s true. Give yourself space and time to figure out what’s going on and what’s scaring you. Sending all my love!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sirena says:

    Do you need her to show more of herself to you. Show her feelings for you in a way that feels like contact? I don’t know if I’ve asked this before, but what modality is she working from? I’m so sorry the session wasn’t what you needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel says:

    I get it. I’ve had times, where I needed her to be less “therapist-y” and more a human connecting to me as a human who loves me. It seems in my deepest pain and need for her, that is when I feel the pull away and retreat into the “therapist” role. I don’t know how much of that is me projecting, how much is her, or a combination. And it just makes me wonder if no matter what they do, we will feel unfilled and pained because they aren’t just another human loving us, they are our therapists and never can be what we needed, really. And that, is devastatingly painful to sit with and consider feeling into.
    Sending so much support and love your way. This is really hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Yes, it is excruciating. I am torn because I am okay with her being “just” my therapist. But I also need her to be my therapist who is also invested and who loves me. I am fine in many ways with the context but I want more of it. That probably doesn’t make sense because this is so hard to figure out. Thanks for the support x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel says:

        It does make sense to me, because I also want my therapist to “just be my therapist” but at the same time, I need her to love me and show me she loves me. Not necessarily in those words, but I get it. And when they don’t or it feels like there is that block or wall, fucking dagger to the heart. It is good to sort it out and feel into it and explore, you’re doing a great job with a really tough situation.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Courage Coaching says:

    I can completely relate to your feelings here. I have seen many therapists over the years to deal with my complex trauma. 3 of them have helped me immensely and that is because I could sense that they were caring people aside from their profession as a therapist. The ones that didn’t help were just too clinical and distant. From my experience, there are some instances where we will be triggered and something will feel overwhelming, or we will feel like the therapist did something wrong. This is obviously what you experienced and despite the fact that you still feel unsure about your thoughs and feelings, I would suggest you just give it time.The fact that you were honest about your feelings is incredibly important in the therapeutic relationship. This helps both of you to understand yourselves and each other better. Don’t forget your therapist is also a fallible person who might have overlooked something.The need we have of wanting to matter is really important, especially if we haven’t felt that in our family.That is also ok..Best Wishes to you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind and thoughtful comment. Even when I remember the inherent imperfections of my therapist’s humanity, I am devastated by the implied rejection I create from it. We have much talking left to do.

      Like

  5. Sky says:

    Ok so this might sound harsh but listen… if you want or need someone to fight for you, care for you and make you believe that nothing will ever shake that love – you’ll be disappointed. Things like that don’t happen. Even the best relationships have difficult moments. Number one – you got realise that even if this therapist was exactly what you wanted, it still wouldn’t be enough. Number two – you got love yourself fight for yourself and take care of yourself. Everyone is selfish and no one will or should rearrange their life to cater to yours. There is support and then there is unhealthy neediness. Number three – most importation take responsibility for your feelings and remember that feelings do not show you the whole story. There is more to the story.
    I found that learning about compassion tolerance and perspective from the Dalai Lama of all people (I’m not Buddhist) helped me more than anything.
    I’m really hope things will get better for you. But if you always do /think what you always did/thought – you’ll always get what you always got.

    Like

  6. e.Nice says:

    One thing I really like about your therapist is that she takes the time to look at her own actions. She may get defensive at first, but when you call her on it, she acknowledges it and owns when she messes up. I think thats is why you are able to keep working with her and trust her at some level. You will have to keep working through the mistakes because there still will be some, sorry. But you aren’t crazy or wrong for having your reactions, even if it feels like it at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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