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??