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AnaWhitney
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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 10:08 AM
  #1
What comes up for you when your therapist is away? Do you always talk about it with him/ her?
I used to
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a lot if I felt anyway abandoned, not to manipulate but it helped me to stay small and not demanding if I knew I could at least do that to myself. I always felt like I was fighting. Fighting to trust I suppose? Like it was the opposite of being
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Now I am just reminded of being alone in this whole battle like I was before I met T. And I am just tearful all the time because I once again feel like
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will inevitably be the only outcome for me. Which is what brought me to therapy in the first place.
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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 10:47 AM
  #2
Sorry to hear how youíre feeling. What comes up for me is a feeling that I miss them, and I wish the next session would come. (Sometimes quite intense feelings). I wonder what has changed to make your feelings different?
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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 12:06 PM
  #3
Hugs, if wanted, Ana. I tend to struggle when my T is away, in part due to feeling abandoned and partly because I've always had this fear that something will happen to someone I care about when they're traveling (going back to fearing this about my parents as a child). Even though I know realistically something like an accident is much more likely to happen when someone is at/near home.

It really doesn't help that Dr. T will give no info about where he's going, even like general geographical area (like, "I'm going to the Midwest" or "to Canada"). We've discussed this a few times, and I've said it would help to know in case, say, some natural disaster happened, I'd know he wasn't in that area. But he still won't budge, saying it's his personal boundary. Though he said it was partly because clients would email things like, "Hope you're having good weather in California!" or something, and I said I wouldn't do that.

He does allow email while he's away, responding in a small window in the mornings. I will sometimes just send a "Still alive?" email near the end of the week, and he's said those are fine. Though the first time I sent one (maybe 6 months or a year into working together), he thought I was being funny, responded in kind, like, "You're too funny. No, I haven't been eaten by a bear." And it led to a bit of a rupture. He knows better now!

I also have the option of seeing his backup T, R, when he's out of town (assuming she's in town then). I like working with her, so I'll generally see her once or twice, which really helps. Is something like that an option for you at all? I know it's not the same, and it can be weird seeing a T for a one-off session at first, but I've found it helpful. Especially as I've built a relationship with R. (There was one he offered up when R wasn't available that didn't go particularly well.)
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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 12:07 PM
  #4
Yes, we always talk about it if she is away for any amount of time. Even if I'm allowed contact, we still talk about it. We have a lot of things in place for when she does leave. Mostly, transitional objects. Sometimes we'll do a candle lighting and send each other pictures. Often times she'll write me a reminder email which I can read over and over for reassurances. I also have meditations she recorded for me and voicemail she's left me.

Can you maybe do anything like that when she's gone? To help you stay more connected, more grounded.

It sucks when they are on leave and when you depend so much on them. But SH doesn't help, not in the long-term.

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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 06:39 PM
  #5
Brown Owl / good question. I guess I just saw it as some sort of progression but itís not really since Iím not sure which is worse. I just hate that I depend on her so I am trying to be positive and I just ended up like this anyway

LT that makes so much sense, I worry too that something will happen but I worry about that whether sheís here or not. Discussing fill in Ts etc would mean Iíd have to communicate how hard I find it when sheís gone and I donít think she takes me having suicidal ideation very well. The last time she didnít react well and admitted itís because she feels sheís not helping me enough. So sometimes things are best kept to myself or only shared here. I am allowed contact but I feel itís not appropriate

Scarlet - I know it doesnít help, and yet it does. I have managed to not do it but I think thatís because Iím just too hopeless. So I donít think itís necessarily a good thing. I used to do it so I could keep going
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Default Jul 09, 2024 at 07:00 PM
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I'm sorry if this was asked before, but do you take meds or even believe in meds? I take anti-psychotics for my SI. (BTW, they're not just for psychosis like in my case). My SI is chronic, sounds the same as yours. Meds can reduce the duration and intensity of the thoughts. It takes trial and error to find the right one. I was on a good combo, but after so many years, it stopped working. I was only thinking about it so you might get some relief from your thoughts.

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Default Jul 13, 2024 at 03:04 PM
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Thanks Scarlet. No I donít take anything properly, have some meds that I can use as needed, kind of like a sedative.
I could be wrong but I sort of think that maybe everyone is suicidal and we all just hide it from each other. Like I donít get what other people are actually living for and find it easy to assume that everyone is in the same boat and are just faking it.
I find it almost impossible to identify and express my feelings, if I was on meds I feel like Iíd be even more disconnected from myself and then Iíll never understand my self. Does that happen to you ?
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Default Jul 13, 2024 at 10:31 PM
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I think everything suffers from some sort of mental health problems, it's just to different degrees. Some cope extremely well, others, not so much. I don't think everyone is suicidal. I think there are a lot more people out there who just don't talk about it. And often times, I'm guessing, it's not chronic.

I find meds extremely helpful, just personally. It stops all the racing thoughts and SI, so I can actually hear my actual thoughts and feelings. It's like silencing the audience at a concert so you can listen to the band. I know when I started taking meds again several years ago, my H was afraid that meds would change my personality. My Pdoc had to talk to him before he felt comfortable enough to let me try. Now he supports my meds, even reminds me to take them. His only complaint now is the price.

It's okay if you have concerns about meds. Might want to talk to a doctor if you need some encouragement (if that's something you'd like). There are some natural supplements that you can use instead. Other than that it's skills.

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Default Jul 15, 2024 at 02:12 PM
  #9
Thatís very helpful thank you, Scarlet! Thank you for explaining
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Default Jul 15, 2024 at 02:52 PM
  #10
I suppose I could add to this, due to a last-minute vacation by my T this week (though he is still seeing clients virtually for part of the day). Something that came up for me last week when he shared that he was going on a family vacation was a strong feeling of abandonment, plus a sense of jealousy. That the younger part of me wished I could go on vacation with him.

I ended up admitting this to him on Friday (after becoming really upset the evening after the session earlier in the week when he'd announced it). I said I felt ashamed of those feelings. And how I know realistically that I can't go with him. And how I understood that he deserved a vacation (he's been very stressed about an office move that's had some complications) and to spend time with his family. He said he was impressed that I felt able to share that. And knew I'd never actually ask to go with him.

In trying to explore what was behind it, I said how part of me wanted to see the vacation side of him, like the relaxed, fun side. And that I realized it also came from a paternal transference place, like I wanted to be his child in that scenario, not his wife (his actual child's in his mid-teens, but I imagined myself as being younger being there with him). It helped to be able to talk about all that.

I wonder if any of that is part of it for you?
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Default Jul 17, 2024 at 03:10 PM
  #11
Thank you for sharing, LT. That makes sense to me, especially about logically understanding but still having an emotional reaction.
I donít think I want to go with her or see her in a different way, I think I just struggle to think she is gone. I am always allowed contact but I know I wonít so in my head I am abandoned. It affects me on a level I do not understand. It could be a transference thing. I just donít understand it yet
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Default Jul 18, 2024 at 01:05 AM
  #12
The first few years it was like I had no skin whrn T was away.. The anger/hurt was almost unbearable.. I journaled and that helped some.. As the years went on I still missed her, my child part still felt it as an abandonment but the adult me was able to take charge.. I even looked forward to the time away on the final year's
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Default Jul 18, 2024 at 03:08 AM
  #13
Yes, this resonates! Like having no skin. Everything hurts
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