Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 259

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To be honest or not

Posted by mair on June 8, 2002, at 21:18:19

This is one of those issues that confuse me about posting location - I think its a therapy issue, but I am looking for support too I guess.

I'm really sort of floundering these days - maybe not depressed but way overloaded and stressed and it's really affecting my personality - my husband and both of my kids have complained lately about how angry i seem to be - I'm pretty sure I sound strident even when I don't mean to. As is not really unusual for me when i feel that my life is out of control, I've gotten to this place where I obsess alot about suicide - I'm pretty sure I'm not at risk, but it's very upsetting to me to be thinking about it as much as I do, and just seems to add another layer of stress, to my overstressed state.

My therapist is aware that this is going on - and she knows that I have a much more difficult time in therapy when I'm like this - I lose my ability to articulate things as well as I'd like and I have much more trouble making sense of whatever it is that I'm feeling, and i just get much more easily frustrated with the process of therapy. Some days I can go into therapy and it's a struggle but I feel better coming out. Other days trying to communicate with my therapist when i am upset is such a struggle that therapy and communication issues become just another source of self-blame. When I think that's going to happen, I'd love to skip a session, but I don't.

I see my therapist twice a week and because of a scheduling conflict I have and her own vacation plans, after this coming week I won't have a session for as much as 3 weeks, and maybe even more. Ordinarily, I would be fine about this - I don't feel the level of dependency that makes me feel like I can't manage on my own. Now seems different though - maybe because I seem to be in this persistent state of overwrought anxiety and the consequence of that is having to tolerate the constant intrusion of suicidal ideation. I feel much more frantic about her not being around than I ever have - not that anything is going to happen, but just that this ruminative thinking maybe will get worse and be more difficult to manage and I won't have her around to help me process things.

My real problem (and why I'm posting) is that I don't want her to feel like she's leaving me at a bad time, even though in my mind the timing is lousy. Thus i feel this need to put up this false front of well-being. I don't do false fronts very well - not with her anyway ( at least not anymore), so the idea of trying to maintain a pretense is exhausting. I mean I don't see things being any better in the 2 sessions I have remaining before she leaves, and i don't want to flounder so much in those sessions that I feel worse.

I really just wish she had already left.

Any thoughts?

Mair

 

Re: To be honest or not

Posted by bookgurl99 on June 8, 2002, at 21:35:20

In reply to To be honest or not, posted by mair on June 8, 2002, at 21:18:19

Mair,

I'd be honest about being freaked out about the 3 weeks. Whenever I've pretended to be cool about these things to my therapist, I always act angry later on. Hidden resentment surfaces.

But -- keep in mind that you can make it. Even if at the end, you feel like you're just hanging on to your next session, you can hang on.

I hope you're feeling better,

bookgurl99

 

Re: To be honest or not bookgurl99

Posted by judy1 on June 8, 2002, at 21:41:47

In reply to Re: To be honest or not, posted by bookgurl99 on June 8, 2002, at 21:35:20

Please be honest, suicidal ideation is serious and deserves serious attention. Does she have a partner you feel comfortable with? Or even another therapist she can bring up to speed so that you have someone to call for an emergency. 3 weeks IS a long time, when you're feeling that badly. I hope you are able to work something out. Take care, Judy

 

Re: To be honest or not

Posted by beardedlady on June 9, 2002, at 6:53:40

In reply to Re: To be honest or not bookgurl99, posted by judy1 on June 8, 2002, at 21:41:47

I'd say what Judy said. Find out if someone is taking her clients. Therapists should have some standbys in emergencies, but maybe she has some suggestions for you in her absence. Do tell her. Explain that you are not out to wreck her vacation but that you may need some help.

Good luck!

Beardy

 

Re: To be honest or not

Posted by mashogr8 on June 9, 2002, at 20:36:39

In reply to Re: To be honest or not, posted by beardedlady on June 9, 2002, at 6:53:40

Definitely mention your fears and thoughts about the separation. Both my pdoc and therapist give me a name (and once it was someone I had interviewed and hated--bad news then) but I got through it. The most comforting thing I heard came from my pdoc "leave a message on my machine. I check it daily and I will call you." Just knowing I had some power or control helped me get through that down time. Maybe your therapist could do that too.
MA

 

Re: To be honest or not

Posted by mair on June 9, 2002, at 21:42:22

In reply to Re: To be honest or not, posted by mashogr8 on June 9, 2002, at 20:36:39

Thanks for your responses. I've been seeing this therapist for over 3 years now and I've never quite been in this situation. Our vacations seem to coincide since we both have school age children, or maybe I've just been in better shape other times. When I first started seeing her my pdoc was someone who had been my therapist before and my therapist just made sure I had at least one appointment to see him while she was gone. My current pdoc is really just a meds consultant - I don't feel particularly connected to her and I'm not scheduled to see her again until mid July. However I could certainly call her if need arose.

It's not just the lack of back-up that concerns me - because I always do seem to weather things. I think it's maybe more that I'm sort of on the edge emotionally now and I need to maybe be talking to her about that and I feel reluctant to get into any discussion that can't be finished in the 2 sessions we have left before she leaves. I'm afraid that if we go down that road, she'll feel bad about the timing and I'll feel worse for having been left dangling.

Thanks again

Mair

 

Re: To be honest or not mair

Posted by wendy b. on June 10, 2002, at 11:43:39

In reply to Re: To be honest or not, posted by mair on June 9, 2002, at 21:42:22

> Thanks for your responses. I've been seeing this therapist for over 3 years now and I've never quite been in this situation. Our vacations seem to coincide since we both have school age children, or maybe I've just been in better shape other times. When I first started seeing her my pdoc was someone who had been my therapist before and my therapist just made sure I had at least one appointment to see him while she was gone. My current pdoc is really just a meds consultant - I don't feel particularly connected to her and I'm not scheduled to see her again until mid July. However I could certainly call her if need arose.
>
> It's not just the lack of back-up that concerns me - because I always do seem to weather things. I think it's maybe more that I'm sort of on the edge emotionally now and I need to maybe be talking to her about that and I feel reluctant to get into any discussion that can't be finished in the 2 sessions we have left before she leaves. I'm afraid that if we go down that road, she'll feel bad about the timing and I'll feel worse for having been left dangling.
>
> Thanks again
>
> Mair


Dear Mair,
I agree with Beardy, Judy, and Mashogr8 that there's no other way, even if you have only two more sessions. That's plenty of time, given the constraints of the situation, to explain to her that you're on the edge emotionally right now, and have her help you. Two sessions gives you more time than if you don't mention it at all. And it's surely an ongoing discussion (for you and for many of us, including me).

If your therapist feels bad about the timing, it's HER issue to work out, not yours. You don't have to take on that guilt of the *possibility* that she'll feel bad. And I'm sure she'll feel sorry for you, not to the point of changing her plans (she shouldn't do that). But you are asking her to acknowledge your dread of the situation - being without her during what looks like will be a bad time for you - and she of course will do that. The second thing she should do is provide you a name of another therapist (as the others mentioned) whom you could call if you needed to. This is standard for therapists going on vacation. If she does that soon, you could call this person now to introduce yourself, perhaps. That might make you feel more secure.

Not bringing this up would be a shame, because learning to ask for what you want (even if it's not possible to get it) is part of the process of change. You CAN ask for help on this issue, and you CAN get at least some of the relief you so need right now. I hope you do...

Love, and keep writing,

Wendy


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