When even my therapist can’t give me what I want.

I had my therapy session yesterday, and it was disappointing. It was one of those sessions where you’re left wondering, “Why am I even here?” I should know enough by now to expect those sessions to come, but I don’t. I get cranky and annoyed. The last thing I said before I left was, “I don’t feel like I accomplished much in here today.” He smiled at me kindly as always and said “Don’t beat yourself up about it.”

That sentence is foreign to me, as you all might know by now. I might as well be hearing someone speak in Mongolian. I’ve been trying to unwind the session ever since and what it seems to come down to is something really hilarious, but exactly what I’ve been dealing with.

I’m throwing a fit because my therapist didn’t give me what I wanted. I didn’t get to cry and lose it and be comforted. I didn’t even do much EMDR yesterday, I did more talking. And I was peeved. Come on! You’re supposed to be a machine and predict what I want before I want it. Aren’t you?

This just proves the point of exactly what we were talking about in my session yesterday. My inner child has this glorious expectation that I should have a perfect, fantasaical relationship where I can always get what I need. He described a situation where I could come to his office, be fulfilled, then if I walk down the hall and realize it’s not good enough, I could come right back and it would be okay. He asked if that’s what it was that would be my perfect fantasy relationship. Yes, indeed, said I. That’s exactly what I would love.

The problem is that people aren’t machines, and they aren’t programmed to fulfill my every whim. They never have been. My inner child thinks this is a crime.

So now I sit here, with a decidedly unsatisfying session yesterday, and I get to acknowledge it. Be with it. Clearly see that, “you know what Laurie, you are not guaranteed to get what you want out of people, even your therapist who is one of your favorite people in the world.” It’s so irritating yet hilarious. I can see how unrealistic it is. And I think I should have gotten this by now after a year in love addiction recovery, but you know what, it’s that perfect romance story that I have to surrender over and over. Romance, relationship, whatever. The point is that I think neediness equals love.

I am asking my HP for grace as I sit with this and discover just how to deal with the fact that no one in this world can fulfill me. It’s a little harsh to figure out.

Has anyone else had this experience? Would love to hear your experience strength and hope on this subject!


5 Replies to “When even my therapist can’t give me what I want.”

  1. This is so very true and honest. I am very happy that you were able to talk to your therapist about how you felt! I am not that far on my journey yet; to be able to confront and voice my more negative feelings in the moment without blaming or embarrassing myself. Something that I wish I had so bad, but I know that it will come, one day at a time. Thanks for this post, it is encouraging me to keep in better contact with my HP.

    1. You’ve got that correct – one day at a time. It’s not an easy experience to voice something that uncomfortable. It took me a good 5 minutes to get it all out myself! I was shaking in my boots the whole time. 🙂 My writing makes it seem easier than it really is. But keep doing the work – that’s what got me here in the first place. I just keep forging ahead and miracles seem to happen.
      Thanks for reading!!

  2. Great post and great insight here. I am not in SLAA, or the other fellowships except AA, so I can’t speak to those specifically, but I have had the experience of going to therapy for a very long time and managing my expectations. When it came to therapy, I found that I got out of it what I put into it. Now, I lied for years and years about my drinking, so there was no surprise that I didn’t get much out of it. Sure, I *did* learn to open myself to things, and to dig deep and to do some work with the therapist, but the big gaping hole was the drinking. It was only until I came clean with my last therapist was I then starting to get full value from my sessions. I didn’t put expectations on them, because I had learned long ago that expectations always struck me down. And that is where I learned a great lesson (and through my own 12-step recovery work) – that I can’t look outside of myself to get validation. It’s been a tough one to learn, and believe me, I need to revisit it often. Booze was the first line of defense, then it was people, then a few other things that cropped up that I saw my old way of thinking taking over. It all has to come from within. I am not 100% there. Not sure if I will be, but I am working on it. Being comfortable with me in my space with my HP is all I need. Outside validation is what it is…and not what I need to feel good about myself. I have to get that from the faith and relationship I have with the Creator.

    Tough sell at times, but it gets better 🙂


    1. Paul, thanks for sharing. This helps to know I’m not alone. Managing expectations; isn’t that what it’s all about? My homegroup has been talking a lot this summer about the Acceptance story in the book and that’s really what it all comes down to I think.
      I know I’ve got more work to do in this area but I’ve had a few days this week where I’ve lived acceptance, and man they are right about the serenity that comes with it. Gorgeous. But I’m only guaranteed a daily reprieve and I know it, so I keep trying to come back to my HP.
      I think that may be the hardest part for me. Getting what I need to feel good about myself from “my faith and the relationship I have my creator”, as you said. I have so much pride that I keep having to lay down so I can actually ask for what I need from my HP.
      Glad I’m not alone on this road to the center of the earth – aka going within. 😉 Thanks as always for reading. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing that experience. I had similar experience and the person was actually my sponor. When I started the SLAA program trying to figure out what 12 steps and recovery is really all about. And she was working with me on Step 2, and it was then I realized that we may not be a good fit together. And through the grace of my HP, she actually called me one day and told me that while she can still support me, she can’t sponor longer due to personal reasons. And I was totally grateful for that. You know the saying “HP can do what we can’t do for ourselves”, well I wasnt strong enough at that point to tell her no, because I was confuse and uncertain, although I know something wasn’t working. So then I went to search for another sponor, and she has been truly awesome. She meets most of my needs. And I just “most” of my needs, because its only lately that I realize through reaching out to other women that she does not understands all of my needs. And I find myself being understanding and ok with that. That is something that is a real change for myself, because I had the tendency – and still struggles with it sometimes – of being resentful of people not fullfilling my expectations of them, which is not always reasonable. So in short, I am begining to SEE people for who they are and realize its up to me to decide how I would like to engage with them. Like with my sponor, for the most part I take with me what she shares because it truly applies, and when it doesn’t I usually try to process if its my addict self talking, or just that its simply we see things differently. And I meditate on it. And my HP always reveals to me the truth, and sometimes it takes time. 🙂

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