Therapy feels wrong but who knows?

Admittedly, I am one of those people who doesn’t look any different from anyone else but my inability to stop abusing alcohol makes me a person that needs some kind of help.  I feel like it’s love, empathy and support that I need but my therapist is acting indifferent and tough.  It may be the right tactic but it feels wrong and hurts.  I want to push her away and isolate myself.

I know the therapeutic relationship mimics my personal relationships outside of therapy and I don’t know how to get help from someone who portrays themselves as indifferent.  To help understand, a total lack of affect and an abundance of intellect is my family of origin.  How can I heal within a relationship that feels so similar to my upbringing, where I hid my feelings from powerful, intelligent people.

As a survivor of CSA I battle the inner demons of self-hate and a sense of not deserving anything good.  I am dumbfounded as to find something inside me that believes I should recover just because I’m worth it.

This leads to my question: How can a person like me, who feels completely inadequate, trust her therapist and be able to get the help she needs?  This is a major road block to my success.  I want to enhance my sense of self which in turn will fuel the desire to stop drinking alcohol for my own good. Is this thinking backward?

My therapist says I must first stop drinking because it is the elephant in the room.  Sounds logical to a person with inner resources but sounds like jumping from a plane without a parachute for a person who lacks self-worthiness.

♥ Daylily

4 responses to “Therapy feels wrong but who knows?

  1. I don’t know whether to comment or not because there’s a lot of anger here which I don’t judge. Anger is a protective emotion that helps us stay afloat. It’s a life preserver in a way especially when we feel cornered or threatened. I read this post, the one after, and the final one. I used to volunteer with people who struggled with addiction. Many of those people had abuse of all sorts in their past. Outside substances do a good job of adjusting brain chemistry so that we can make it day to day. They are very effective in numbing us to our pain. It’s why we use them. But, just so you can see the darkness in your own thinking which can often be brought on by addictive tendencies, let me replace alcohol with an illicit substance: “How can a person like me, who feels completely inadequate, trust her therapist and be able to get the help she needs? This is a major road block to my success. I want to enhance my sense of self which in turn will fuel the desire to stop shooting up for my own good. Is this thinking backward? My therapist says I must first stop shooting up because it is the elephant in the room. Sounds logical to a person with inner resources but sounds like jumping from a plane without a parachute for a person who lacks self-worthiness.”

    I’ve exchanged one addictive behavior for another, and now the flawed logic is easy to spot because there is no way that a person would advocate heroin use as a crutch. A person could throw out every reason under the sun, couldn’t they, and I’ve heard ’em all. This is the beastly nature of addiction. One feels that everyone else is the enemy, insensitive and cruel, taking away that last security blanket, that oasis in the desert of pain, the only means one has of surviving. How dare they! Fuck ’em! Fuck her for telling you to stop! She can take her opinions and shove ’em up her erudite ass! Well, what if she is indeed supporting you by NOT supporting a self-destructive habit that will actually prevent you from attaining the REAL you and REAL life that CSA stole from you? Real support is not being surrounded by a bunch of ‘yes men’ who will enter into your rage with you and agree with you. Real support is people who will tell you the truth even if you don’t like it. Even if it’s the most painful thing you’ve ever heard but will get you along the healing road. Believe me, I know how hard this is. But, would a truly supportive therapist allow a person to shoot up heroin (or binge drink) just because they thought they needed it to cope? Would a therapist truly invested in the long-term success of a client let that client continually undermine their own process by maintaining a paradigm of denial that fuels an addiction that has the potential to cause a dangerous mix with prescribed meds?

    She might look cold. She might look removed and unempathetic. No, alcohol and illicit substances are not the same exactly, but addiction and the reliance on a substance as a crutch to the point that you are prevented from moving forward in your own process of recovery not to mention damaging your body and potentially causing problems with prescribed meds ARE. Believing that you should be allowed to keep a habit that has the potential to harm you and your relationships beyond repair because it numbs you to the real issues and the pain is actually standing in the way of doing your work, and your response to her is actually right on target for someone who is in pain and dependent. The fact that she is still in the process with you shows that she is invested in your success. Don’t give up now. You are doing AMAZING work. This is immensely painful stuff. It’s where the rubber meets the road, and so many people bail out here. They are confronted with self-destructive coping skills that serve a real purpose in their lives. They see a habit, they feel deep shame, and that sense of shame feeds the self-loathing that was foisted upon them years ago through the CSA; and the ragey, angry response is the self-protective emotion that comes to the surface. Your tender insides need protecting. You are on the brink of breakthrough. Love yourself enough at this moment to keep at it. You can do it. You really, really can!!! Your therapist is worth trusting although it doesn’t *feel* like that right now. But, your feelings aren’t all that trustworthy right now. Part of this kind of recovery is getting a new compass. Survivors of CSA tend to lose theirs…I speak from experience on that.

    • You are so wonderfully kind to give such a long thoughtful reply. I got so much out of your observations. I have made the decision to quit drinking and it’s been 9 days. I believe you are right that I was angry at my therapist for calling me out on my drinking but I blamed her for not sympathizing with me. I had not seen it that way. Thank you for telling me that. I thrive on knowing everything that goes on in therapy and I try to understand so I don’t get swallowed up. But, look at that, it happened anyway. The process is progressing despite my need to stay aware and in control.

      You are a brilliant woman. So perceptive that it is a true gift. Thank you for sharing it with me.

      I was going to close this blog and move on but people are still joining it so I may have to juggle both. Things are just getting interesting. 🙂


      p.s. My new blog can be found at

  2. Oh, NINE days!!!!! Good for you!!! Good for you!!!!!!! MARVELOUS!!!!!! This is no small thing. ::applauding::

    • Oh, how I hate when my reply disappears I’ll never learn to go to the dashboard comments to avoid the problem!

      Thanks for your resounding support. I’m keeping my head engaged and my heart open to painful emotions through mindfulness. I am a voracious reader and I’m finding out the addictive mind is a master of deception. I’m no longer listening to that voice; instead I’m reading about how other people overcame their emotional drinking. –Daylily

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