Therapy feels pointless but maybe I just feel helpless?

Arebas

Confident
I'm not sure what's the point of going to therapy anymore but I'm afraid to discuss it with my T cause if she agrees with me and tells me to just quit I will feel like such a failiure.

I've been seeing her weekly for almost 4 years now and we have worked on many things and I've made some big improvements. One of my biggest issues what maternity. I was approaching 40 when I started with her and I was struggling with the idea of never having a child. I wasn't in a good place mentally to be a mom and part of me hoped therapy would help me feel capable and go for it. But therapy actually made me realise that it had been a good choice to not do it and then I had to work on giving up that life long desire.

Then I thought maybe I could just work on solving the issues that prevented me from having a relationship. I couldn't be a mom but I could at least have a special someone. But working on that I've come to the conclusion that I should just quit on that too.

Dating is too complicated, feels like way too much work. I have a complicated sexual life too with trauma and stuff that just makes things hard for me. And talking about it with my T the other day, I told her that I was just tired of looking for someone and she said that I actually hadn't looked that much... that hurt. She explained that she was just trying to encourage me so I wouldn't feel hopeless but came out wrong. She said "You're 41, most of the guys in your dating pool are the ones no one wanted... finding a good man in there now it's like looking for the needle in the haystack. If you want to find one, it's going to be difficult and you're going to have to look for him a lot more". Which I think it's true but... is it worth it? The dating process is a nightmare for me so do I really want to keep doing it when I have no guarantee that it's going to get me anywhere?

I've decided I don't want to keep looking so now I should focus my therapy on dealing with losing that part of my life too and accept that I will most likely be on my own for what's left of it. My T thinks that I've been by myself all this time and it's not like I desperately need someone, which is true. I am very independant and I love being on my own most of the time... I just wished I could have found the right person for me. I feel defective cause I just couldn't.

So I should just continue my therapy dealing with my usual stuff and also coming to terms wih this "loss"... but I don't want to. I am tired of processing loss. Tired of dealing with all the things I didn't have, don't have and will never have just because my childhood wasn't perfect. I feel like I should just give up on it all and continue with my life without hoping for anything else.
I have a good job, a hobby I enjoy, I don't need people around and I love my pets and that's it, that's the next 30-40 years of my life. What's the point of going to therapy anymore? To get where?

Part of me says "you need therapy now to deal with losing that too cause you're just feeling hopeless" but I don't know anymore... this feels just stupid at this point.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you are going through this.

Would your feelings stop because you stopped therapy? Wouldn't your feelings still be there?

I must say I don't agree with what your T said about the only available men being the ones no one wanted. That to me sounds quite a value judgement on humans. People are single at various ages for all sorts of reasons. It doesn't make them unwantable.
But I agree with her that finding a partner later on in life is different to being a young adult.

It sounds like this is a conversation you might need to have with your T? Raising it doesn't mean you have to end T but it means talking about how you are feeling.

Making a decision never to have a relationship sounds like an absolute. We don't know what the future holds. What if tomorrow you bump into that man you will fall in love with? Or it happens in 2 years time? Or 5?
I would say that coming to terms about being a parent or not and coming to terms about relationship status are two very different things. If you don't want to adopt a child or can't, then there is an absolute with being a parent (which I understand, I've grieved this too). But relationship status is not dictated by age. It isn't absolute.
 

Friday

Moderator
if she agrees with me and tells me to just quit I will feel like such a failure.
How so?
What's the point of going to therapy anymore? To get where?
It’s a very good question IMO.

People without any disorder or condition whatsoever often do lifelong therapy, simply because having a highly trained, educated, & experienced person in their lives is something useful to them. Although it’s rarely one person for decades, but a varied mix, as their lives change & grow, people move, personalities alter, etc. Others fill that role with a priest/rabbi/etc., or a mentor.

So it’s not actually necessary to do “therapy” to have a therapist in your life, helping you to be the best version of yourself that you can, and to be a source of strength, support, & counsel.

HOWEVER, if what you’re wanting out of therapy isn’t simply general counsel... but have actual goals? Especially if those goals include dealing with a disorder that requires a very specialized skill set?

OR... After 4 years want a second opinion to grieving losses being the mainstay of your therapy? To see if there’s something out there more helpful to you than -what seems to be mainly- grief counselling?

Then it would seem like a good idea to start interviewing potential candidates for the job, or take a break for a bit, with an eye on interviewing replacements in the future.
 
@Arebas you totally sound like you need a break from therapy or this therapist. That doesn't mean you must give up either but you may once you've had a decent break. Why not try it and see?

Don't know if you should be feeling a failure because you're sick of the dating game & didn't have children. And I don't think they necessarily count as losses either. Choosing to be childless and single isn't a loss. Being careful about when and to whom you give your heart to isn't unwise.

You do sound a bit stuck in a rut though but it's impossible to ascertain whether it's because you've reach these huge conclusions and now are asking the universe or whatever... so what else do I get? Perhaps not the right question?

Growing older and remaining single by choice is becoming the fastest demographic in many countries. You're not alone. 😎
 

Arebas

Confident
Thank you all for the replies, they gave me much to think about.
I think I'll bring this up in my next session and see what happens. Maybe a break will help me see what it is that I really need from therapy, as it seems that my main issues are now more or less under control with coping strategies and establishing my routines. That was the main goal and I think we've accomplished a lot in that regard so, even if I stop completely or look for something different, it won't be a failure at all.

Thank you all again.
 

Arebas

Confident
I chickened out of talking about this and had a session about... nothing. T tried to direct me towards relevant topics several times but I was a total ninja and avoid them all like a pro. *siiiiiigh*

So... yeah, I'm stuck in therapy and also stuck getting me out of therapy. Maybe next week. Maybe I should just write an email. I don't know.

Oh well... thank you for trying to help. I'll keep trying to figure this out. 🤷‍♀️
 
Maybe next week. Maybe I should just write an email. I don't know.

^I'd again say - don't be so harsh on yourself. You've had a long time with this therapist and not rushing into big decisions is a wise move. You know you can talk about the idea of a break without committing to having it - don't you? Like you can talk about what life might look like when all of the therapy is done and dusted. It's a very real topic.

You don't have to have a rupture or a disruption in the relationship you have with your T - to facilitate either these discussions or the break.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Wow you sound honestly an amazing person. If your short post and therapy experience is any indication of what your life might be like, it sounds like this:
You are self aware and reflective and when you learn something about yourself you find solutions with therapist or alone and tackle and accept things you cannot change.
You are fully capable of having a commitment, love, caring for a person or being cared for, and doing the deed for having a relationship as you showed in 4 years of therapy - this is a skill you proved over and over rightfully. You are very much a relationship person.
Even though your therapist is feeling safe enough (maybe) to express personal opinions (saying left over men seems to imply she feels you are also left over in that category or she feels left over in her life), you heard her and emphatically and maturely took what you needed and left the rest for her to deal with. In other words, you were not triggered or unnecessarily influenced by her.

all these mean is that you are actually more integrated and healed than you are giving yourself credit for.

Sometimes our issues are obvious and simple but we choose to complicate them because we feel obligated, guilty, afraid of hurting others or again learning our own abandonment issues and not ready to go there etc etc and I feel your first line of this post has all that and maybe it is your benefit to challenge why you cannot bring the idea of termination with her? Are you holding off or is she holding you back? But remember even a loving mother will let her go her beloved child to go out there in the reality to slay some dragons and ensure she will be there if they ever want to come back for a tune up! Believing someone cares enough about to take us back when we need them is another skill that has to be explored in therapy and hopefully eventually embodied by the client. In marriage/long term relationship, it maybe having conversation of sexual frequency, or having the third child, or severe mental health, or quitting a job...they all require a real change of the dynamic of the relationship and may even risk separation but we do it cause sometimes we have no choice to take that risk. I think you are at that junction.

Addon: I notice your fears now for bringing up termination. I think these feelings are valid especially that you were with her for 4 yrs. I did not want to re-write what I wrote but the gist of it remains the same. Dealing with termination whether it carries out or not is one of the most undermined and amazing feeling in therapy to learn how far we have matured and grown since we came to therapy but it is frightening process as well and may sometimes reset all we worked for but not forever if we truly learned what we needed to learn in this relationship.
 
Last edited:

Still Standing

MyPTSD Pro
She said "You're 41, most of the guys in your dating pool are the ones no one wanted... finding a good man in there now it's like looking for the needle in the haystack. If you want to find one, it's going to be difficult and you're going to have to look for him a lot more". Which I think it's true but... is it worth it? The dating process is a nightmare for me so do I really want to keep doing it when I have no guarantee that it's going to get me anywhere?
Egads! Why would a therapist say this?!!!? In our day and age when life choices concerning marriage and babies is commonly put off beyond the 30's and 40's, why would she say that all the good men are taken? That simply is not true. Are you single? Would you want someone to tell you that since you aren't married you are one of life's rejects, not suitable for marriage? Of course not! Neither would the single men want to be labeled as such. To assume a quality of good and bad, dependent on those who committed or not to marriage earlier in life, has nothing to do with how many wonderful and nice men are left in the marriage queue. The important issue is if you don't step out and look around, you won't find someone.

I have a friend who had never been married and looked and looked and finally found a woman, marrying last year. He finally found someone and he was married at 50 and is now expecting their first child together. He is a great man with a great career and he and his wife seem to be doing very well in their marriage. Don't let anyone talk you out of looking for companionship whether it be through marriage or long-term relationship, if this is what you want.
 

Arebas

Confident
Wow you sound honestly an amazing person. If your short post and therapy experience is any indication of what your life might be like, it sounds like this:
You are self aware and reflective and when you learn something about yourself you find solutions with therapist or alone and tackle and accept things you cannot change.
You are fully capable of having a commitment, love, caring for a person or being cared for, and doing the deed for having a relationship as you showed in 4 years of therapy - this is a skill you proved over and over rightfully. You are very much a relationship person.
Even though your therapist is feeling safe enough (maybe) to express personal opinions (saying left over men seems to imply she feels you are also left over in that category or she feels left over in her life), you heard her and emphatically and maturely took what you needed and left the rest for her to deal with. In other words, you were not triggered or unnecessarily influenced by her.

all these mean is that you are actually more integrated and healed than you are giving yourself credit for.
I read this post a couple days ago and I cound't say anything, sorry. I wasn't in a very good place and didn't know what to say but it made me feel so... good. I don't think I have ever received so many compliments all together like this. I'm not good at dealing with that. Thankn you so much for taking the time to read and for writting all those things about me. And, well, all of it. Thank you very, very much.

Egads! Why would a therapist say this?!!!? In our day and age when life choices concerning marriage and babies is commonly put off beyond the 30's and 40's, why would she say that all the good men are taken? That simply is not true. Are you single? Would you want someone to tell you that since you aren't married you are one of life's rejects, not suitable for marriage? Of course not! Neither would the single men want to be labeled as such. To assume a quality of good and bad, dependent on those who committed or not to marriage earlier in life, has nothing to do with how many wonderful and nice men are left in the marriage queue. The important issue is if you don't step out and look around, you won't find someone.

I have a friend who had never been married and looked and looked and finally found a woman, marrying last year. He finally found someone and he was married at 50 and is now expecting their first child together. He is a great man with a great career and he and his wife seem to be doing very well in their marriage. Don't let anyone talk you out of looking for companionship whether it be through marriage or long-term relationship, if this is what you want.
I think she was trying to encourage me to just keep looking. It was her way of saying "the pond is really big, of course you'll find a lot of fish you don't care about, all the ones no one wanted are still there, just keep trying, fish some more". It just came out the wrong way.
Of course you can find a partner later in life, lots of people do. And lot's of marriages fall apart and people find new partners halfway through their lives. It just requires a whole set of social skills and relationship knowledge that I lack. For me it's about learning everything people start to do in their teens at 40 and it's just too much. I'm really not sure I can handle all that now. Also, not sure if it'd be worth it. But who knows? Maybe I'll be ready by 65 and find someone then. Life is strange.

^I'd again say - don't be so harsh on yourself. You've had a long time with this therapist and not rushing into big decisions is a wise move. You know you can talk about the idea of a break without committing to having it - don't you? Like you can talk about what life might look like when all of the therapy is done and dusted. It's a very real topic.

You don't have to have a rupture or a disruption in the relationship you have with your T - to facilitate either these discussions or the break.
I emailed her and asked for a little time off. She understood and told me she's there for whatever I need. So I'm taking a bit of time to think.
Thank you for caring :)
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not sure what's the point of going to therapy anymore but I'm afraid to discuss it with my T cause if she agrees with me and tells me to just quit I will feel like such a failiure.

I've been seeing her weekly for almost 4 years now and we have worked on many things and I've made some big improvements. One of my biggest issues what maternity. I was approaching 40 when I started with her and I was struggling with the idea of never having a child. I wasn't in a good place mentally to be a mom and part of me hoped therapy would help me feel capable and go for it. But therapy actually made me realise that it had been a good choice to not do it and then I had to work on giving up that life long desire.

Then I thought maybe I could just work on solving the issues that prevented me from having a relationship. I couldn't be a mom but I could at least have a special someone. But working on that I've come to the conclusion that I should just quit on that too.

Dating is too complicated, feels like way too much work. I have a complicated sexual life too with trauma and stuff that just makes things hard for me. And talking about it with my T the other day, I told her that I was just tired of looking for someone and she said that I actually hadn't looked that much... that hurt. She explained that she was just trying to encourage me so I wouldn't feel hopeless but came out wrong. She said "You're 41, most of the guys in your dating pool are the ones no one wanted... finding a good man in there now it's like looking for the needle in the haystack. If you want to find one, it's going to be difficult and you're going to have to look for him a lot more". Which I think it's true but... is it worth it? The dating process is a nightmare for me so do I really want to keep doing it when I have no guarantee that it's going to get me anywhere?

I've decided I don't want to keep looking so now I should focus my therapy on dealing with losing that part of my life too and accept that I will most likely be on my own for what's left of it. My T thinks that I've been by myself all this time and it's not like I desperately need someone, which is true. I am very independant and I love being on my own most of the time... I just wished I could have found the right person for me. I feel defective cause I just couldn't.

So I should just continue my therapy dealing with my usual stuff and also coming to terms wih this "loss"... but I don't want to. I am tired of processing loss. Tired of dealing with all the things I didn't have, don't have and will never have just because my childhood wasn't perfect. I feel like I should just give up on it all and continue with my life without hoping for anything else.
I have a good job, a hobby I enjoy, I don't need people around and I love my pets and that's it, that's the next 30-40 years of my life. What's the point of going to therapy anymore? To get where?

Part of me says "you need therapy now to deal with losing that too cause you're just feeling hopeless" but I don't know anymore... this feels just stupid at this point.
Hiya @Arebas. I don't think that you should give up on finding someone else to share your life with. And it doesn't have to be a loss that you process in therapy. I'm in my mid 40's and although I haven't been in the best place, I haven't stopped looking. Sometimes you can try too hard and get frustrated that you haven't found anyone, but then out of the blue you meet someone. I also think it's unhealthy to view potential candidates in the age pool as the 'people no one else wanted'! That's just not true and is a cognitive distortion.
 

Still Standing

MyPTSD Pro
I think she was trying to encourage me to just keep looking. It was her way of saying "the pond is really big, of course you'll find a lot of fish you don't care about, all the ones no one wanted are still there, just keep trying, fish some more". It just came out the wrong way.
Of course you can find a partner later in life, lots of people do. And lot's of marriages fall apart and people find new partners halfway through their lives. It just requires a whole set of social skills and relationship knowledge that I lack. For me it's about learning everything people start to do in their teens at 40 and it's just too much. I'm really not sure I can handle all that now. Also, not sure if it'd be worth it. But who knows? Maybe I'll be ready by 65 and find someone then. Life is strange.
The pond is big...very big. And I would bet you have more skills regarding relationships than you give yourself credit for or trust in. As trauma victims, we have a tendency to hide from social settings and distrust the intimacy of friendships. It is easier to blame ourselves for shortcomings and then use them as excuses to pull back and not engage socially. It is self-protection from the unknown. I guess if one wants something bad enough, it is up to that person to explore ways to obtain their desire...to learn or relearn how to live life more acceptedly in general society.

Geesh! Here goes! I have never shared this before. I was raised to believe that I was the source of my family's problems. If something broke, it was my fault. If told to do a household chore, I was punished because I was too stupid to do it right. I was labeled "lazy". You know the drill...I was the punching bag for the family. So, when I was finally on my own, I had few skills to be independent. I saw myself as damaged goods and too scared to know how to care for myself. Fortunately I had a family that took me under their wings and I began to relearn what it was to trust. When I got married, I was then judged by some members of this family for not knowing how to keep a home. I was hurt deeply and embarrassed. (OK, here is what I have never shared before...) But, then I discovered TV commercials!!! They showed what products to use and how to clean homes or wash clothes with them. These became my teaching tutorials! It's funny to look back on this memory, but it sure gave me a non-judgemental resource to use to improve my domestic skills. And then I discovered the library system. Here, there were also self-help books of all sorts that helped me learn how to care for the yard, can and preserve foods, and decorate rooms etc.

In the same spirit of self-improvement, you could utilize Youtube videos on how to develop and learn better communication skills. There are endless sources on building better relationships and friendships. And once the Covid junk is no longer a threat and things open up, sign up for a class that you are highly interested in such as a hobby where like-minded people would be. Learn to talk and invest in social skills via a common interest. There are ways to gently enter into a social life that would expose you to potential relationships. You can choose to improve your circumatances. It will just take some work and time. But, stepping out a little at a time, and building up your social and communication skills, would certainly help build up your confidence in yourself. You are not a lost cause. You just have unexplored potential that you have to give yourself permission to discover and get excited about. It is the believing in yourself that is the hard part...something that is not unfamiliar with trauma folk.
 
Top