It’s surprising, how often the phrase “I don’t know” happens in treatment. It’s the go-to answer to dodge questions, to avoid discomfort, to get out of having to face things one would rather not face. “How are you feeling?” “I don’t know.” “Why do you say that?” “I don’t know.” “What’s wrong?” “I don’t know.” And so it goes.
There’s so much fear behind those I-don’t-know’s. There are so many times when instead of I don’t know, what I really hear is don’t look at me, don’t put me under pressure, don’t make me go through that. I hear fear of not answering well enough, fear of having to show themselves, fear of exposing those parts of themselves they’d rather keep hidden, rather not have to acknowledge happened or exist or are true. But often as that phrase comes up, I feel like what really needs to be said, what’s really behind all the I-don’t-know’s, never gets said.
People never say they’re scared.