Therapist Away - Abandonment Schemas

Digz

Confident
Eh, my therapist is away for a month now. I'm just into the first day and struggling. My abandonment schema is going crazy, working overtime. It can be so frustrating when logically you know there's no reason to be upset by something, but your brain thinks very differently about it.
I'm on holidays for the next week. Trying to keep busy and keep my mind off it. It's difficult already. Going to be a long month I think.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Congrats on making it through your first day! I recently made it through one of these and it isn’t easy. Normally, I write her emails whenever I need to, but I worked really hard to only write her once a week while she was away. If you like to paint or craft, I hope that you do that. With online appts, you can even show your T what you made when he returns! It will feel really good when you get to tell your T all of the things that you did to take care of you in his absence. Keep loving on the little parts of you that feel lost without T around. It’s okay to have feelings like the ones you are having. You will be okay.
 

Digz

Confident
I do like to paint @Skywatcher , am planning on doing just what you said, I'm glad that helped you, gives me hope! A month seems like a long time with no contact but I'm hopeful it will go quickly if I'm busy. I'm trying to view it like a good break from therapy for me also. I was surprised by how tricky the first couple of days have been though.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I am not sure if you were asking for opinions and please correct me but I think (could be wrong though) that the feelings of abandonment to the therapist are actually a therapy material that is coming to the foreground to be worked through. Rather than working hard to keep your "mind off", maybe trying to grieve your childhood memories where you recorded the first abandonment and soothing the parts coming up for recognition will help. In my experience, gosh the first time I remember having this feeling of being dropped off and abandoned was to my therapist's like 2 weeks vacation. I was seeing him every other week so that turned into a month long and I lost all appetite and started to sleep like a dead baby. I said dead baby cause I had no memories of when I was ever abandoned.I felt wtf sort like why am I feeling this for the therapist? yes I cared for my therapist but I did not even feel this for my husband... I have huge family and was never alone ...but as I started to talk to myself and acknowledge to my body there is something I do not know and trying to recognize to soothe, to respect to care, all of sudden, the grip was gone. I still get a bang of something if my T cancels or takes vacation but now I have a relationship and sort of memory where this feeling belongs so I find easier - much shorter time to recover than the first time. I always acknowledge every feeling in therapy related to mean a trigger...my whole relationship to therapist for me is rework and re trigger...and honestly I feel that is one reason I do not experience abandoment with my husband away...I miss him but I do not go to the self care sort of mentality.
Hope this makes sense.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe break it down a little? And congratulate yourself on managing the milestones within this month?
First few days might be so hard as you know you have the rest ahead of you to go through.
And your inner young child is feeling lost without the safety and security of T. Maybe communicating with younger you that is feeling the abandonment and reassuring them?

You'll get through this and maybe there is a lot to learn and heal in this process?
 

Digz

Confident
Thanks. Unfortunately the initial stress has made me physically ill at the moment, so first priority is trying to get better now. I like the idea of celebrating little milestones @Movingforward10 . It's a funny thing having such a reaction, even after having had many years with no therapy. I am questioning and learning some things about myself through this process. For example, I do not have an abandonment response such as this when it comes to my husband, who I am closest to. Maybe it's because we've been together so long, I'm not sure, or maybe it is because my T interacts more with the different parts of my DID self, that is why it activates so strongly. I find it hard not to be down on myself and think my response is illogical. My T is only on holiday, it's not like he's gone forever and it really doesn't have a significant impact on my everyday life, apart from this response from my mind and body.
 

Digz

Confident
Now the doctors are so worried about my abdominal pain, they're sending me through to the hospital 2hrs drive away. :( Pretty sure it's just all stress related, always is with me. Oh well, it's keeping me occupied I guess.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Now the doctors are so worried about my abdominal pain, they're sending me through to the hospital 2hrs drive away. :( Pretty sure it's just all stress related, always is with me. Oh well, it's keeping me occupied I guess.
Sickness has always been grounding for me. Maybe your body is trying to distract you from your emotional pain. I hope you feel better soon!

@grit with my T, we work hard on the abandonment schema before she leaves and after she returns. While she is gone, my focus is on self care. Like I was told, I can rationally look at the situation all I want, but the part of my brain that gets thrown off when she leaves is the emotional side. It’s like I’m the ages 3-6 all over again. I’m very open with her about my feelings. Her last trip went much better than previous ones. The stronger my trust grows, the better this gets.
 

Digz

Confident
So, turned out not to be stress... actually had a ruptured ovarian cyst that put lots of fluid into my abdomen. Had a bit of a stay in hospital and now home with strong painkillers. On the plus side, definitely not at all concerned about my T being away lately!
 
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