Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 544746

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger)

Posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 12:33:58

My last session with my therapist was on Tuesday, and it was another one of those ones where I became incredibly anxious and upset right before the end of session without being too sure of why. I at least managed to mention it to him before leaving, and he offered to let me e-mail him about it if I figured it out. Not thinking anything would come of it, I sat down that evening and wrote what came to mind. Big mistake. I finished several hours later, spent some time paring it down to the essentials, then realised it was still too long. However, being sure I would just delete the text and forget everything in it of my own accord, I sent it along with instructions to bring it up, if only by a printout, next session.

What I hadn't counted on was how emotional the whole experience would leave me. First off... well, I guess I had trouble thinking of those things in the first place for a reason. It was very difficult to get them out in the first place, and it was compounded by shame over having written so much, over being unable to speak about it... not to mention one of things which came out was about my attachment to him, which was the hardest thing to write out and leave there. (Though I do suppose he is/will be glad to have some idea of why I find his assertions that I seek independance too much for his liking sadly amusing.) Between those emotions, some very triggering statements made by my parents and on some posts I stumbled across on another message board, and the anniversary of my cat's death, I was a wreck. Wednesday I managed to sleep away, but Thursday was another story...

To make a long story as short as I can manage, I spent the afternoon and evening planning to kill myself the next day. For the first time, I actually bothered to look up the practical details of it, decide what I needed to do beforehand, etc... I guess it couldn't have been too serious, because I changed my mind in the middle of night after trying to write a note to my therapist and just couldn't manage to find the words. Anyway, the next morning I still felt very agitated despite having decided not to do it, so I decided I needed to do something about it. I figured that if I could manage to tell my therapist the basics of what was going on, that would take away part of the pressure to do anything; while most of my thoughts centered around getting out of this situation any way I could, there was an element of wanting those I trusted to know I hurt badly enough to want to do it and being unable to say it. I sent him a message that evening (voice mail at the clinic wasn't working that day, and I didn't dare try his cell phone, so I had to use e-mail) explaining that there was something I really needed to talk to him about.

He replied yesterday morning, saying he would call Tuesday morning. The situation here is that he's on call next week and then on vacation until the third week of September. Anyway, he offered to see me if he has time, which would be ideal, but most likely he won't, and I'll have a few minutes to tell him over the phone the basics of what happened. Any suggestions on how to do this without leaving out important details or sounding too alarmist?

 

Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) javableue

Posted by Fallsfall on August 21, 2005, at 13:21:38

In reply to Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger), posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 12:33:58

Tell him that you were seriously suicidal and that you *need* him to find time to see you.

Is this the first time you have been suicidal?

 

Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) Fallsfall

Posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 13:40:41

In reply to Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) javableue, posted by Fallsfall on August 21, 2005, at 13:21:38

Yes, this is the first time, apart from some hopelessly haphazard "attempts" when I was 13/14. It comes to my mind very often, but this is the first time I planned out anything.

I guess I just worry about ending up in the hospital, because now that I am out of immediate danger - and the purpose of me telling him is so that I stay that way - it would do more harm than good. When my sister made an attempt on her life when she was my age, my parents did little else other than send her life insurance forms when she got out... and judging by their behaviour, it doesn't seem like they've learned from the experience. So I need to keep my parents out of this, and therefore the hospital isn't an option unless I really can't stop myself. In fact, probably the best thing I could do to reduce the pressure would be to move out... now, I have someplace to go, my sister knows how it is at home and is quite willing to let me stay with her, but the practicalities are so overwhelming right now that I can't take any steps toward it.

I know my therapist is reasonable with these things (or I wouldn't consider telling him at all) and won't overreact, but I am still so afraid to use the word, like it will make things seem more real. Still, I guess I have to, he's really good about being flexible when I need it (and when he can be) but that won't be of any use if I sugarcoat things. Maybe I can just tell myself he deserves to know and make it easier that way... I don't know. I'm so terrified to talk to him and to be honest, but I know I have to.

 

Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) javableue

Posted by Fallsfall on August 21, 2005, at 14:05:53

In reply to Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) Fallsfall, posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 13:40:41

Yes, you really do have to tell him. Tell him what you told me - that you feel that now you are out of danger *AND* that you want to stay that way. But this is one of those times when you need to tell him that you have an emergency and you really do need to see him - particularly before he goes on vacation.

I think that he will recognize that writing all that you did was a big deal, and that it has brought you to a scary place. Hopefully he can help you deal with some of the scariness so that you can be safe.

It is really good that you can recognize that working on a concrete plan is a dangerous thing. Please ask for help if you get in that situation again. Could you call your sister in that event? Or that is when you can make an emergency call to your therapist. Have you talked to your therapist about when emergency calls are appropriate, and how to get in touch with him etc? It would be good to know what the sitation is with him.

It probably would also be wise for you to have a name of a collegue who will be covering for him while he's on vacation. You can come to Camp Comfort - it operates year round, you know.

Best of luck.

Let us know how it goes.

 

Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) Fallsfall

Posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 20:56:23

In reply to Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) javableue, posted by Fallsfall on August 21, 2005, at 14:05:53

No, I definitely couldn't tell my sister. The last time we talked (where, by the way, there weren't any safety concerns), she went right to my parents without even telling me. Unfortunately, I can't trust her in that sense. As for my therapist, usually I can call or e-mail and it's a matter of whether he's available to reply. We haven't needed to go over procedure for emergency calls yet, so I don't know how that works.

I'm so freakishly nervous about this. I doubt my ability to condense what I need to say into 2-3 minutes if needed... but he's working in the emergency room of a local hospital, so if he's busy, he's busy, nothing to be done about it. Obviously anyone who ends up there needs it more.

Thanks for your response. It's going to be a long wait before I find out what's going to happen, that's for sure.

 

Update

Posted by javableue on August 23, 2005, at 22:26:36

In reply to Re: Not sounding too alarmist (possible trigger) Fallsfall, posted by javableue on August 21, 2005, at 20:56:23

Well, after a sleepless night I was so tired and disconnected I didn't really want to talk to my therapist at all, but I dragged myself out to wait for the call (I couldn't take it at home, especially not if he was busy and I had to tell him over the phone) anyway. Nonetheless, it made for a stressful morning/afternoon! He called roughly a half hour after I'd figured he'd forgotten about me and started wondering how I should react. Luckily, he had time and I saw him later in the afternoon.

Just saying it was so hard. I had to go through a few euphemisms before he caught on. After that, it wasn't so bad. I felt heard, or at least to the extent to which I could communicate at the time. Hm. I'm bad at summarising sessions. Suffice to say that it went well and I'm glad I went; I still feel awful, but it's a lot more contained now.

Now I just need to try and avoid thinking of the fact that he'll be away for three weeks. Camp Comfort it is, I guess.

 

Re: Update javableue

Posted by Dinah on August 23, 2005, at 22:34:56

In reply to Update, posted by javableue on August 23, 2005, at 22:26:36

I'm glad you were able to see him.

I think we should take a vote and outlaw vacations longer than one week.

Everyone agree?

 

Re: Update javableue

Posted by Daisym on August 24, 2005, at 0:11:10

In reply to Update, posted by javableue on August 23, 2005, at 22:26:36

I'm glad you told him. And I'm glad he handled it well. It is a conversation that is hard to have but so important. I think it leads to deeper trust and more honesty if you can get the words out.

Three weeks? Three weeks! THREE?! I'd be throwing a screaming fit. We'll be here for you. Post often and try doing stuff for yourself that you might not otherwise do.

And keep taking it day by day.

 

Agreed! (nm) Dinah

Posted by javableue on August 24, 2005, at 6:12:01

In reply to Re: Update javableue, posted by Dinah on August 23, 2005, at 22:34:56

 

Re: Update Daisym

Posted by javableue on August 24, 2005, at 6:15:05

In reply to Re: Update javableue, posted by Daisym on August 24, 2005, at 0:11:10

Yeah, I don't have too many things to complain about concerning my therapist, but vacations are definitely one of them. I'm glad he takes the time he needs to relax, but three weeks is a pretty big chunk of time! (And it was almost four.) At least this time I have the start of school to serve as a distraction.

Speaking of which... ugh... off I go.

 

Re: Update javableue

Posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2005, at 11:47:01

In reply to Re: Update Daisym, posted by javableue on August 24, 2005, at 6:15:05

Excellent! You did a great job. I'm glad that he was able to see you. And I know what you mean about the euphamisms until they get what you are talking about. Usually at that point they can start making the discussion easier.

It is also really good that talking to him helped you feel a bit better.

3 weeks is a very long time. Do you see him again before he goes? Did he give you the name of a collegue who you can call during his vacation if you have an emergency?

You did really well. I'm proud of you!

(((javableue)))

 

Re: Update fallsfall

Posted by javableue on August 24, 2005, at 16:58:26

In reply to Re: Update javableue, posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2005, at 11:47:01

Thanks, fallsfall. I won't be seeing my therapist again before he leaves, and I don't have the name of a colleague to call over the break. To be honest, though, I don't know that it would have done any good even in case of an emergency; it was hard enough to tell him after almost two years of seeing him respond appropriately and consistently to things like this, so a stranger, even if professional, wouldn't be much of an option. Thankfully, yesterday's session helped enough so that I should be able to get through okay now that I have school to distract me. Not that it doesn't bring up its own stress, but really it seems like being at home too much is the worst thing I can do.


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.