Reason #21 (from my list of 25 Reasons Not To Trust Your Therapist) was:

She might go on vacation and leave you for weeks at a time.

That’s what I’m looking at now. And I don’t have very long to prepare myself. E. is going to be out of the country for almost the entire month of May; I won’t see her for just over four weeks. Four weeks! Four weeks of no sessions. Four weeks with no texting (she’ll be out of the country).

It’s surprising what the prospect of a month without E. brings up for me:

  • Sorrow and loss.
  • Fear that I will be overwhelmed and need her, but she won’t be available to help.
  • A sense of missing her, even now, before she’s left.
  • An unreasonable, childish resentment: why are you leaving me?! Don’t you even care?
  • Aggravation, as I realize that I mean nothing in her “real” life, her most important relationships exist outside of her office, while one of my most important relationships is with her, in her office. Anger at the imbalance.
  • A desire to start to detach ahead of time, now, to get myself used to it. And perhaps to spite her just a little.
  • Loneliness, as I realize that I can’t have such deep conversations with anyone else.
  • The wish to attach myself more, to request extra sessions, as if I could feast now and then live off the extra E. calories in the lean times to come
  • The desire to hurt myself, to chase away all these emotions I’ve listed here.

I’m not taking action on anything right now. I am just going to start building myself a coping plan, just like I did prior to my surgery. One of my tasks at work is to plan large-scale research studies, and I’m good at it. I can use that same planning skill to create a multi-level coping plan. I’ve really committed to healing, and I don’t want this to throw me off course. Maybe I can make it into a growth opportunity??

21 a




  1. ugghh. Boo for growth opportunities! they suck!
    I’m sorry that this is coming up for you, but impressed with your ability to look at what this brings up for you and to start planning. It seems that for many of these disruptions I go through a sort of grief cycle. Although a lot messier.


      • Thats really the only option, to accept it 🙂 You seem to do so with a certain level of grace even though It probably doesn’t feel that way.


  2. A growth opportunity. I think that is a wonderful way to see this.

    I would be hurt and scared and freaking out. I don’t like Bea going on vacation, even when it means no missed sessions– I just don’t like her being gone. I know it’s not the same, but you have us, here, and can write about anything and find understanding and support. Maybe that can be part of your plan? Also– it’s not the same– but during the time I felt like Bea wasn’t Bea, I got a notebook and I filled it with things I wanted to say to the “real” Bea. Maybe you could do something like that?

    It’s so hard, when they go on vacation. She will be back. And I really do believe you will come up with a great plan and keep moving forward. Xx💟


  3. A month, wow! (Not to fuel your anxieties, but hopefully validate) – this is such a wise strategy. And I feel compelled to add in, to your sure-to-be excellent plan, leaving space for the feelings. E is an integral part of your life/days, especially now with the texting. Feeling and attending to the grief could be healing. (I’m talking to myself here too). We can encourage each other! (my therapist is out first week of May)


  4. You’re definitely approaching it in a good way. But yeah, no matter how you approach it, the feelings are probably going to be tough to handle. I hope you write about it and reach out to us here.

    You mentioned that you won’t be able to text because E will be out of the country. I’m not sure if you’re looking for any suggestions, so please feel free to disregard, but T and I use whatsapp to message because as long as you can access wifi, you can message. But if the situation is that she can’t message because of being on vacation, that’s a totally different situation. Or maybe you and E can arrange a short phone or Skype call once a week? I really apologize if these suggestions are not at all helpful. I just get so dysregulated when T is away, so I deeply empathize and am automatically trying to give practical advice.


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