why do you tell me to be in touch if you aren’t going to answer me?

T constantly tells me to be in touch if I need him. While I try my best not to be in touch (because I think it’s important that he gets some time to himself) when I do reach out it’s because I need something I can’t get for myself and am basically feeling on the edge. And while my famous comeback to his offer goes along the lines of ‘don’t you have something better to do with your time than deal with me?‘ internally I’m cringing and praying that he says no–he always says no–while secretly wondering if he wishes I could get my crap together so that he wouldn’t need to keep offering for me to be in touch. :/

T used to be really good at answering me. Lately though, not so much. I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t really think I need an answer from him or that it’s literally just slipping his mind to respond to me. Either way, when he doesn’t respond it induces so much shame and awkwardness not to mention immense levels of rage. He tells me all the time that if he doesn’t answer it’s not a reflection on me but that it falls on him and his humanness and ability to drop the ball. He says if I’m upset that he doesn’t answer I should send him a text telling him so rather than sitting here thinking something is wrong with me.

Doesn’t that sound uber needy though? Or is it just me? And then what if he doesn’t answer that message either?

So here we are. The message sent the other day still hasn’t been answered and it bothers me but it also feels pointless to send anything now because I see him later today. But the hard part? I’m not even entirely sure I want to see him later today.

The last 5 days have felt hard, but in a different way than before. It’s more of a disconnected, don’t care about anything in my world, sort of thing. It’s almost as though it feels like T is already gone away from me and when I show up today he’s not even going to be there. Not that he’s alluded to the fact that he won’t be there, it’s just more of a feeling I have. And he’ll become another person in the long list of people who will have not shown up for me or answered me when I’ve asked for help with something….sigh

15 thoughts on “why do you tell me to be in touch if you aren’t going to answer me?

  1. Oh I relate to this so much. It’s hard enough for me to get past my own self judgment and allow the parts that need to come forward reach out to my therapist. Then when a delayed or lack of response gets thrown into the equation it really sets my system way off balance and then makes me feel withdrawn from my therapist in my next session. It always seems helpful to talk through every bit of these experiences, even though it feels so maddening and incredibly needy. Those conversations with my therapist always help to validate my feelings, calm my system down, and allow more work and progress to happen. It sure is a struggle, but I’m glad to read your post and know I am not alone in these experiences. I hope your session goes well today.

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  2. Of course I don’t know your T, so I can’t be sure about what he thinks. But therapists are encouraged to be very clear about boundaries. Some tell their clients not to text. So if he says you can text, I would tend to believe that it’s truly okay. And if he says you can follow up rather than suffer if he doesn’t respond, I would believe that, too. It’s not “needy.” You are just looking for the response he has in essence agreed to provide anyway.

    I know it’s easier said than done. I really have a hard time if my therapist does not respond to a text, and it’s easy to start telling myself stories about how she doesn’t care. But then later she tells me something big distracted her or whatever, and she is there, warm snd supportive again. I try really hard to remember that when I’m waiting for a response.

    Anyway, long-winded comment. I basically wanted to say, I feel for you snd know it’s hard. And also I believe it’s okay to text him and ask him to respond to your first message.

    Hoping you get the reassurance you deserve!

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    • We talked a bit about it. Or rather I brought it up with 2.3 minutes remaining in the session because he still hadn’t mentioned it…ugh! We’re definitely going to need to discuss it more at tomorrow’s session…xx

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  3. Could SO have written this myself! Probably have done, in fact! I absolutely get why you’d feel needy and reluctant to chase him over getting a reply. I, have done and would, feel exactly the same. But I also do think if there’s an invite to chase up then they’d definitely answer that one. Once or twice I’ve sent something, even once time literally saying: “Oy! Have you forgotten me over here?” And T replied apologetically within minutes. It’s always him saying he’s just distracted and crappy at texting people, never about how he feels about this client.
    Commiserations to you on this though, it’s a miserable experience. You’re definitely in ever such good company though 🤗

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