We Are All Alone, And It Makes Me Furious!

I haven’t posted for a long time (nearly two weeks!). I had a very hard week last week. The last time I posted, I was set off when my therapist contacted me last Sunday to reschedule last Monday’s appointment. It pushed all my “I’m not important; I don’t matter; she doesn’t care” buttons. I knew that my reaction was exaggerated, yet at the same time the feelings were enormous and real.

What’s come from that is kind of a long story, so I’m breaking it into pieces, starting with my rescheduled therapy session.

I walked into session last Monday already upset that I was so unimportant. On top of that, I felt guilty about being upset. What grown up woman flips out because her therapist asks her to move up their session together?

It wasn’t a good session. E went into her abstract, philosophical mode, as she occasionally does: You feel alone because that’s what it is to be human. Ultimately we are all alone. We are born alone, and we will die alone. We can’t expect anyone to really be there with us. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the reality. We all have to help ourselves because no one else can.

WTF?!? I’m distressed and feeling rejected, and she tells me, get used to it; that’s how it goes? 

No, wait. She’s just talking existentialism. She’s not even talking to me at all. Something I said made her think about existentialism, and she’s just taken that thought and running with it. Who is she talking to?

You’re not special, she went on. That is what I learned from my therapist years ago. We all have our own particular capacities, but that’s just how it works. None of us is special.

No, wait. She’s not just talking theory for her own entertainment. What she is actually saying is this:  stop expecting so much from me. I thought I mattered to her. I thought we were connected. But no, I really am just one widget fitting into one of her slots. She checks off her slots each week, and the billing company mails off a bill, and done, she can go home and have her real life. 

She gave me a little more time and space, with the texting, but now she’s regretting it. She thinks I am asking to be treated like I am special, like I deserve more attention and consideration, and she’s telling me that’s not true.

She talked and talked. I got quieter and quieter. I usually take notes but I started scribbling on the paper, harder and harder, until I tore through it. At one point I thought about saying STOP THIS but at the same time, I felt confused. This was E. She is a good therapist. She knows what she is doing. She must be right. What is happening? Unable to make sense of it, I just crawled into a dark space in my head and didn’t say much of anything.

And then the session was over, and  I left, a little dazed.

It didn’t take long for dazed to turn into resentment. I don’t want her to tell me that feeling rejected and abandoned and alone is the normal human experience. We are all alone. Fuck that. I thought connection was supposed to be good for mental health. I thought depressed people were supposed to seek out connection. 

And resentment, in its turn, morphed into self-loathing. So I’m supposed to find all the connection and care and comfort I need within myself. Right. Why would I want to trust my SELF. That’s the same SELF that allowed many men to touch or use or fuck me, without fighting back. That’s the SELF that stomped out her own intuition and common sense in favor of the preferences of others. The SELF who married a cruel, narcissistic man. The SELF who held back in graduate school, who bit her tongue. The SELF who even now wastes her days lying in bed, depressed and demoralized. Who does nothing meaningful with her free time. Who is lethargic and needy. Who can’t locate herself except through the eyes of others. Who still doesn’t even know what she feels when the pelvic floor physical therapist sticks a finger in her vagina. (“Does that hurt?” “Um, I’m not sure.”)

That SELF is supposed to save me? That is my source of strength and comfort? 

And then, from self-loathing into rage. That’s not good enough! It makes me so mad! Anyone who hurt me is off the hook, no responsibility? My therapist doesn’t have to be invested because we are all alone and I have to do this myself? I can’t! I don’t want to!

SMASH! I could break a window right now. I could bring a baseball bat down on a piece of furniture, c-r-a-c-k!

I am NOT NOT NOT reaching out to E. I’m mad at her. I feel tricked, deceived. She promised something and then rescinded it. I feel rejected. All she offers me now is my own appalling, useless SELF. She offers me loneliness and the responsibility of fixing something which is unfixable. 

Hello, Rage, come on in. Make yourself comfortable.

17 thoughts on “We Are All Alone, And It Makes Me Furious!

  1. Hello Q.
    Hello Every Part of Q.
    Stay awhile.
    Would you like a cup of tea?
    I think you might find this chair more comfy….
    You can see the garden from here.
    TS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi TS. I saw this message soon after you posted it, and it made me smile (even if I wasn’t ready to write back yet). It is exactly the right perspective. Come on in, emotions, all of you. We can all be friends. I love the way you wrote it, a little poetry with an important message.

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  3. That really is profoundly disappointing of them. In your place, I think I would be hard-pressed not to feel rage, though I shall be interested to learn what they thought to achieve through such an approach.

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    • I know! I struggled with this a lot. What does she REALLY mean? What is the message behind this existentialist talk? I’ve come back to it in two therapy sessions over two weeks since then, because it felt like a really big deal to me, and I need to understand where it was coming from. I’ll probably write more about it later, but she has since apologized.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, the “good” stuff is always difficult, isn’t it? I believe that is why some people say “therapy sucks!” 🙂

      I have actually stuck with it (see comment to Eleanor, above), mostly because I haven’t been entirely satisfied with the resolution. Even today, when I was calm again, and she was trying to understand where I am and where I’ve been, there was still something missing. Easy to blame it all on her, but I know there’s something in me as well. Digging around to figure it out may not be fun, but I expect it will teach me something.

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  4. Ow. Ow, ow, ow. I wish she had said: Nobody is an island. When you were born, there was somebody there waiting to catch you, and when you die, your family will be holding your hand, running their fingers through your hair and across your cheek. You are the only person who is responsible for your own life, who can set your own boundaries, make your own choices, but it’s your connections with other people that will drive you, sustain you, make you want to be better, pick yourself up even when you feel like you can’t keep moving. You love and you are loved. You are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this response. I love it so much that I copied it and sent to E (starting at the “Nobody is an island.”). I told her I found great comfort in this message, something to soothe the abandoned, angry, frightened feelings. Existentialism cuts at you, and when you are already bleeding, you don’t need those extra cuts. Your message, in contrast, is a gentle hand applying salve to the wound. Thank you.

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      • I’m so, so glad it brought you comfort. That is always what I want for you. And it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know that you shared it with E, and that maybe I can be a small part of your repair with her – thank you.

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  5. I would have had a similar reaction if my therapist said something like that to me. In fact, I have. Any hint that she thinks I need to deal on my own sends me into absolute rage and protest. You aren’t supposed to be alone and deal alone. I’m not sure where she was headed with those comments, perhaps her own fears or questions, but it isn’t because you are too much or asking for too much. I do know that. Her lack of skill in this situation doesn’t mean you are too much. I know it is painful, and I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time.

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  6. I asked her directly today, “Was this a way of saying I’m wanting too much and should be taking care of myself more? Were you telling me it was ultimately my responsibility to deal with it, because we are all alone with our pain?” She said no, not at all. Somehow she thinks it is comforting to know that everyone feels alone because we are all alone because that is the nature of the human experience. But I don’t get it. That seems so inconsistent with so many other things she has said. We made some progress today, but I still feel that the comments were a way of detaching from me. Well, she even admits that herself. She says she was feeling guilty that her request to change times for the session had set me off (though we both know it wasn’t an unreasonable request). So she was feeling upset too. I don’t know. I’m not ready to let this go, not because I want to pout and be difficult, but because I think we can both really learn something about the nature of our relationship and my ability to stay fully present with a relationship when it feels challenging (as opposed to 1) pulling away or 2) pretending it doesn’t matter.). And it might be hard, but I’m no longer insanely dysregulated, so maybe it’s the right time to explore this topic.

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  7. I feel your rage. I feel it so so strongly. I empathize so much, Q. It hurts so much to feel so betrayed or think that we’ve been betrayed. It’s so hard to hear things that imply that we’re weak or that we’re just not good enough. It’s such a lonely place in that dark space, isn’t it?

    I feel for you so much. You’re definitely not alone. That rage… Wow, I have the same exact rage. They may look different but they sure feel the same. I wish someone would have come up with something people like is could use to break things without doing any actual real damage so that we can deal with our anger and rage.

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  8. This post. I know its been awhile. I hurt for you. I think your furry was appropriate. Perhaps next time do tell her to stop. I haven’t been able to do that yet. That something is hurtful and confusing. I hope you will be able to talk with her about this at some point because it makes no sense to me why she would bring this up. I really like what Rea said, as that is something I think each of us are trying to learn.

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