I'm halfway through a 5 week break. My T is (literally) on the other side of the world.

The first 10 days i felt intense bewilderment; shock, and a sense that every her return would do nothing to repair the hurt.

Last half of last week I felt I was 'getting used' to her being gone. I've even had a few quite good days - even looking forward to the future, making plans for the upcoming summer.

Yesterday I saw my pdoc and I really was in the best mood state she'd seen me in.

But since last night, my mood has dropped and is now really really low (suicidal ideation and hopelessness). I don't know if anyone else finds this, but for me, it's harder to cope with feeling really good only to then have my mood drop super low. It's actually EASIER to feel awful more of the time - feeling really good, positive, happy, motivated, looking forward to the future only to drop so low - that is what feels unbearable Frowner

I'm thinking of emailing my T.

When she announced her 5 week holiday plans she said I can email her when she's away, to keep the connection. I was amazed and felt so incredulous that she would offer that - I'd never had a T who KNEW, as in really really KNEW, how their absence can have such a huge emotional impact on me. It was incredibly validating.

All along I thought I'd wait to email her as long as I could. I didn't want to email her constantly - she is on HOLIDAY after all.

I don't know what to do - part of me really wants to just email her today, to say how I feel - but the other part of me is fining is so incredibly difficult to DO that - I feel so guilty and ashamed - Why can't I just let the poor woman have a decent holiday and BREAK from work - and form ME Frowner.

(Yes - a lot of shame and feeling very strongly she needs a break from ME, given I am so damn awful and hard work Frowner )

If I do email her - how can I be honest as to how I'm feeling?

Isn't it SELFISH of me to interrupt her holiday with how crap IM feeling?

Isn't it a HUGE risk, reaching out to her when she's in holiday mode - can I trust her reply will be at all sincere, with I her mind so far away from work???

I'm fishing the last few days are going So slowly - it's like time is slowing down and even though I'm officially 1 day past 'halfway' til she gets back, it feels forever

What do I do?

If others have contacted their Ts using their time off / holidays, how do you manage the guilt? Don't you worry how "selfish" it is to "interrupt" their holiday?

And how was getting a response? I'm really worried it will make me miss her more - and / or want to email her more..... And more...

Some support and advice much appreciated ...
Original Post
hi eliza,

i'm also on a 5 week break (and now just over a week left) and on a self-imposed ban on emailing my T, which probably wasnt such a smart idea after all...

so my advice would be to email her, she said you can and she understands, she wouldnt have said it if she couldnt handle it. i think T's are good at balancing their work with their life, they have to be in their line of work. i'm sure she can think about her clients once in a while and still enjoy her holiday.

i think for me the guilt and the 'bad contamination' feelings came afterwards... after i emailed and waited a few days and didnt get a reply. i think you also need to consider, would you be ok with waiting for a reply and how long that might take. if she's away she might not have internet access very often. this is one of the reasons i didnt email this time. but getting an email can also feel so reassuring and like it is going to be ok. i found that she didnt have to say too much, i was happy that she did reply.

its hard to know, hard to predict how you will feel, how hard it will be to wait etc... but it might make you feel better to express whats on your mind though and share that with her.

dont worry about being selfish, if its something you need to do to look after yourself, i'm pretty sure she'll be glad you did it and won't think it selfish at all.

hope it goes well whatever you decide its helpful for you.

My T has called me away on holiday before, and my other T I can contact her any time - holiday or not.

How my T explained it is... She'll answer when she wants to. When she is in a space and time to. So I'm not burdening her using what was offered - it's her problem if she feels invaded or annoyed... She can make another arrangement next time and can control herself to have a loving reaction with me when she makes the decision to.

We don't "make" our Ts (or anyone) do anything. Contacting her won't burden or hurt her vacation... She will take care of herself and can remove herself from your problems. Good Ts keeps themselves separate from our stuff and won't do anything they can't or don't want to.

I still get guilt because I do have the feeling that I can somehow "cause" my T to make a choice. How I have alleviated is being reminded by my Ts that they are separate people with separate lives and choices. As my T said... It's not a big deal for her to call me back if she has time... It doesn't hurt her because I'm with me 24/7 she's only there temporarily.

I don't think your Ts holiday will really be impacted. If she offered I'm sure she has her boundaries.
thank your for the replies..

puppet: she said she will be moving around quite a bit, and realistically only able to check her email about once a week - but due to her moving around, she couldn't guarantee 'what day' - so i am glad that was clarified…

catalyst - i very much relate - my feelings contaminating someone else and 'making' them do something. in my case, i know that is 100% to do with the relationship i had with my mother - i.e. - incredibly toxic and so entrenched i did not knw where i ended and she began Frowner

i also struggle with the aspect of 'my T will have such good boundaries i can't make her do anything and she will protect herself' - it triggers something truly AWUL deep deep inside of me - a sense of FUTILITY, hopelessness - i.e. - i don't have any impact on her at all.

dunno if anyone relates to that. i know its old stuff, but its incredibly painful. i suppose i see it in very 'black and white' terms? either someone (i.e. my mother / T) 100% are effected by anything and everything i do (like i was with my mother) or they are not affected AT ALL - and no amount of expressing my pain will ever register because the wall is up (i.e. with my mother - on purpose to manipulate and hurt me - with my T, its preservation / being a good T)

fuck i hate this Frowner
im not sure about emailing … in that what can she offer me via email? when i see her weekly and she' in the same country as me, we don't 'do' therapy via email - she will acknowledge my feelings, and say we can talk about it at our next session'

with her being away for what feel alike SO LONG, YET, even if i can express it in an email i can't process it or 'deal' with it … I'm worried id feel even worse, having tried to share it and it not working (due to limitations of email).
Eliza I am so sorry you are having a hard time right now. I can understand where you are coming from. I think it would be good to email as long as a long wait for a reply would not push you farther.

I really wish I had more for you but I am feeling the same way.
thanks confused - sorry you can relate to well - it's pretty awful huh.

my caseworker is still off sick. wont get to see her for the 2nd week in a row and now idea as to when she even might be back.

feeling upset, frustrated and let down - my T helped me organize this caseworker for the purpose of SUPPORTING me while my T was away… i'm meant to see her weekly - 2 cancelled in a row now.

i had a txt from a male co worker to tell me its cancelled again as my caseworker is off on sick leave. last week i asked him 'what if i need support in the meantime?' to which he said 'we';; keep in touch'. but i don't want his support - i don't know him and i really can't 'do' support from a strange man. i feel too unsafe. Frowner

at leat i did meal my pdoc how i am feeling. its always hard to tell her how bad is BAD when i lose touch with how I'm feeling so fast… i can feel really really good (like yesterday) and forget and have ZERO comprehension of how bad it felt when i felt really bad …. and today, with my mood very very low - i can't in any way relate to how good i felt just 24 hours ago …

im glad i emailed my pdoc - i said i was emailing because if i left her a message to phone me back, if she did at the end of the day and my mood had lifted, i wouldn't be able to explain how low it had been (even though only a few hours would have passed).

so at least she will know how bad is 'bad' when she reads my email.

I would definitely email, especially because she said you could. Give yourself permission to do this - your T has already given you permission.

Email. Definitely.

You don't have to go into 100% detail how bad it is, but be honest and say you are having a tough time.

If you need a reply to help with the connection say "It would really help me with the connection to know that you are there, if you are able to reply - that would help me".

or if you don't need a reply - say so and say that you are writing things out and don't need a reply.

The deal with the backup caseworkers - is my greatest fear. Last year my t was overseas for 4 weeks and we had plans in place - Plan A, then B and then C. Guess what - all 3 failed at the same time. I was in a bad way.

I have learnt that if the plans fail then I will go to ANY therapist I can find on THAT day or my GP or someone and ask for help - even just to see them to be contained / supported.

T and I spoke about this this morning. I want her to organise a backup T in case something happens to her or she goes on holidays. She has been resistant, but I am vulnerable at the moment due to lots of triggers and stresses and I need something - a plan. My T is approaching her colleague to ask and set something up "just in case". So we were discussing and planning this just today.

It is a critical issue for me and for people like us.

Email and if you are able persist with seeing someone, - the male caseworker - i too would be hesitant - but is there another one? it is important that we have someone to see.

Thanks SD.

I definelty won't - can't - see the male caseworker. They do home visits and I just could not cope with that - it feels far too threatening for me. I don't really want to talk to him on the phone - and to be honest I don't think he is saying he is her fill in - he just contacted me to say she is off sick, my app is cancelled. When I asked about support he said he will 'keep in touch' but I heard nothing for the week and now just another txt saying exactly the same as last time - that B is off sick, our app is canclled.

I did consider phoning the main office to ask about some support - I decided not too because to have it confirmed there is no back up support, would be pretty devastating for me right now. Maybe if / when things are less fragile I might.

I do want to email her. Just to let her know my support system she helped set up for me while she was away, has fallen apart.

This afternoon I've struggled with feeling my T is even real - I go through periods of really wondering if she exists at all - maybe I imagined her. If I was in her office I'd want 'proof' she is real - or what I sharpening is real - that I really am in the office and she really is there.

It's hard to explain but it's a freaking awful feeling Frowner
I emailed her. Got to the point I feel so incredibly awful and low, I couldn't feel much worse no matter what the outcome.

I said I didn't want to email her but my online support forum encouraged me too - that you guys had reminded me she wouldn't have said I can email her if she didn't mean it, but how it still felt wrong.

I was honest and gave a normal update, as if she was around. I was honest with how bleak and low I am feeling and how badly I want to give up at times. How hard I find dealing with the lows, and more so following feeling very good.

I also said I known I can phone my pdoc; and the i had sent her an email today describing how bad my lows are and asked her why the drop can happen so suddenly and most importantly why can't I hold onto the mood I felt a couple hours ago - why is it so far away it feels like I never felt it?

I told my T I'm just trying to hang in there, the ti can't think too far ahead - it's too bleak and awful.

it was a really long email. I won't know when she will get it or get time to reply, but it's sent now.

I'll just try to hold onto the fact she will get it and will read it and will understand
I am really glad that you emailed. You have made a connection and when she can she is going to read the words that you wrote and felt. She might not be able to write back - but she will think of you when she reads it.

Ringing the main office to ask about other support is still a really good idea, but I understand how hard it would be if they said there wasn't an alternative to that male one.

I really know the awful feeling you are trying to describe, I feel it too and it is hard to explain to anyone who doesn't get it.

You did really well today.
Just read the whole thread ElizaJ, so pleased you have emailed your T and glad you have your Psych to talk to and email.

I can relate to how you feel, I think so many of us can.

Thinking of you and sending hug, if that is ok.

Caroola x
Thanks (((liese))) and (((caroola))).

I am SO GLAD I emailed her. I got a reply this morning and I hadn't realised until I felt huge relief, yhat part of me was expecting her to NOT reply - that she had made an empty promise; she disnt mean it when she said I can email her while she's on holiday...

a short reply - best bit is at the end when she said 'see you at your next app Friday week". It was half a day past 2 weeks when she said it but its what I needed to hear so badly..

I hugged my phone. It took me a few hours to hv the space to read it properly. I keep checking it, reading it over. Really means so much that she took a few minutes out of her holiday to read my (very lengthy) email and reply.

Contact from her has triggered more flashbacks.... im trying to focus harder on the positive connection

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