Well the therapy break is almost over and I have only a few more days to get through. It’s never as horrendous as I anticipate, but it is always hard to manage without seeing J. I know I will survive it each time, but surviving is a pretty low benchmark for daily life isn’t it?
Breaks from therapy always bring along challenges. This isn’t unusual. From the blogs I follow, I know that many of us encounter difficulties when our therapists go on holiday. And it helps to know that. It helps me feel less needy and childish for missing J so much.
For me, it’s inevitable that when J takes time off, my insecurities and fears are triggered. This is one of the most important relationships in my life, and so I spend a lot of time scrutinising it. I look for problems, trying to identify the cracks before they become too big to repair. Despite all of J’s reassurances (and believe me, there are a lot), I am still always scared of losing her.
When J is on leave, it’s an unwelcome reminder that she can easily remove herself from my life. This relationship isn’t like the others in my life. J means the world to me, but we are not friends. She doesn’t need me. If something goes wrong and therapy ends, I won’t ever see her again. I don’t like knowing that.
It isn’t surprising that therapist holidays touch on our attachment issues. In a way, it’s an abandonment – albeit a temporary one. It’s a hard detachment to manage, because of the boundaries. When anyone else in my life is away and I miss them, I can call or text and have a chat to maintain a semblence of closeness. Therapy breaks aren’t like that, because of the limits of the relationship. It isn’t appropriate to get in touch with J each day, just to have the reassurance that’s she’s still there and we are still ‘in relationship’.
I don’t dream about therapy or J that much normally, but when she’s away, I always have at least one fearful, insecure dream about her. A few nights ago, I had a vivid dream about her relaxing her boundaries and inviting me into her house. There was this beautiful moment in the dream, where I was curled up next to her on a comfy sofa, just dozing and feeling how comforting it was knowing she was beside me.
That feeling was short lived in the dream. It then transpired that she had actually gone a bit crazy (hence the disappearance of the boundaries) and her family were blaming me. They were all yelling at me, telling me I had put too much of a strain on her and she’d got so burnt out by working with me that she was now mentally ill herself. I couldn’t leave, because we were in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t have a car. It was a horrible, distressing dream and it’s taken a lot of determination since then for me not to contact her just to check in.
Anyway, I have deployed my usual strategy for therapy breaks and kept myself as busy and distracted as possible. I started a new art project last week, which I’ve just finished. Here are a few photos of the work in progress and the final thing.