Send Your Replies to Jan


I don't mean to be hostile, but are you sure the problem is dependency as opposed to maybe hearing about his absence without much notice and
being upset that he was having a family crisis? I'm assuming that b/c it was family illness, you didn't hear much in advance about what would
happen, or if you did, you didn't know when, because it's hard to tell when illness will become severe enough that family needs to be there.
Sometimes people, even doctors, need to drop everything at the last minute to be with family in these times and they may not have email or
other accessibility b/c they are focusing on their family. Other people have good ideas for getting through the time but I'm wondering
if it is the nature of the absence as opposed to the absence itself that caused most of the trouble, b/c you said that it has not been
this hard other times he's been gone.



Like you I have become VERY dependent on my therapist. I see her once a week but I call her and/or email her regularly ... daily actually. I started seeing her in Nov and she has had two surgeries and 1 vacation since that time. The first time I fell hard. This last time however, she left me a list of things that she needed from me ... jobs that my alters currently perform, journals, pictures etc. I didn't get any of it accomplished but whenever I got worried and felt like I was falling, I thought about the list.

I get angry with her when she can't see me or talk to me. I can't seem to function without her. I realize that I am very early in my recovery and my alters are EXTREMELY active so I really do need her a lot now. I write A LOT now and in fact I have 110 pages of 'writings'. It helps me but might be a little worrisome to others who have agreed to read them ...

I know that you asked for help in dealing with your dependency and I am not doing anything but rambling but I guess what I am trying to convey is that talking with others like yourself and writing might be a way to go for you. If no one else, I am here ... of course I am a newbie so I am not sure how much I would help ;~)


Hi Jan,

I used to deal with my therapist being gone by having much to do and nothing that needs doing. In a way I took a vacation also. That does not mean it was not hard.

Due to financial circumstances I recently only saw my therapist once a week. I guess I have been doing that about two months. To be clear it seems I find a reason to call her once a week and there have been unscheduled appointments.

What I learned is therapy twice a week slowed down the work. I would have said that when my therapist was gone I could not keep up. That was true. What I missed was, I could not keep up as things were not being slowed down.

I now can slow it down on by myself. In a way, by slowing down I heal faster. I think it is much about my therapist being calm when I am not.

Anyway that is how it worked for me.

Journey on,



Hi, Jan,
I go through that too. Once when T went away for a month, I felt abandoned and angry.Another time he left for 2 weeks just when we started dealing with my flashbacks. Now he's told me to stop blocking the stuff I'm afraid to remember and "we will deal with it" when he returns in 2 weeks. I feel like he's told me to jump into a deep hole and pull the dirt in over me to bury me and when he gets back we'll dig me out.

I've learned, though, from the experiences, that those are just my feelings and often the felings of my scared littles. I've discovered that if Ii focus on comforting them and helping them get through their fear and anger, we all get through it just fine till he gets home. I hope some of those ideas might be of help to you.
from my heart,



Hi Jan,
I am a Little. We used to go to T a long time ago and I didn't know what to do when they left either. One time they moved away and I thought it was because of me. So I was very sad and scared. But then I learned to have someone else I could call if something like that happened. That made me feel a lot better. Also one of my other therapists I had later gave me a number to call if I needed to. That helps a lot and I liked that T a lot too. I know they are not supposed to help us too much, but sometimes we need extra help too.


Please visit to light a candle and leave a simple message, or you can leave a longer message in the condolences section. His family and I would very much appreciate it. Thank you.

(The reply above was edited by Lynn W. to correct spelling, etc.)



Dear Jan:

It is an interesting, and perceptive, question that you raise.

I am no longer in treatment (I have integrated), but I remember very clearly what it was like when my therapist would go
on vacation for a couple of weeks. He was excellent about telling me in advance. One time he swore he told me,
but I must've blocked it out because I simply didn't remember him telling me at all (a few years later I remembered that he had!). His leaving was a traumatic event for me throughout most of my treatment. I would feel so sad when he left, and would cry a lot (not in front of him).

When he got back, I felt as though he was a stranger, and I had to begin, begin again. Of course I didn't have to begin entirely anew, although it felt like it. I now realize that I must've been dissociating to the point that he seemed a different, strange, foriegn person after two weeks absence. Sorrow and grief were what the absences elicited for me.

However, I will say this: toward the latter part of my treatment, the absences felt "shorter" and I was able to solidly prepare for them as mini-vacations for me.

I deserved a vacation, too, I reasoned. After all, I was working hard in treatment! I began planning things I wanted to do for myself
during the two weeks vacation time. I would make a list. I began to relish the time. And, a few years later, I had healed to the point that I barely noticed the absences. In fact, I felt some relief. Whew, a couple of weeks off!

To answer your question directly, I did feel dependent on him although I don't think I was aware of that as dependency for some years. So, the awareness of it is a good place to be.

As for friends: I have collected friends from volunteer work environments and common interests. And that has been pretty consistently how
I have found friends in "real life." Rare friends can be there for crises, others (more commonly) for coffee and chats, creativity, music, movies- no one person can fill a void. I forget who described it this way, and so I cannot give proper credit, but someone once said to think of friend connections as a "web" or a "net." I appreciate them all for who they are, for the unique and special gifts they bring to life, and to my life as well.

For back-up, I have to say that the Samaritans Hotline was my emergency line. You can look them up- they have offices all over, and you may find a toll-free number. It is anonymous, and no one will ask you who you are or where you are or tell you what choices to make. They are, in
my experience, very supportive. I believe that they saved my life more than once. Or, more accurately, they helped me to save my own life.

Beyond crisis, self-care is critically important and I struggle with it even now (as most of us do). Sleep, nutrition, exercise, and meaningful activity are all important. Find things you like to do, or have dreamed of doing, and experiment. The vacations from treatment can be times to begin taking some
steps in self-care and adventure. Go to a poetry reading, a book discussion group, plan a picnic or a walk in a garden, visit a place you've wanted to visit, write a letter.

As I realize that I don't really miss my therapist now, I am amazed. But that tells me that so much of that attachment and sadness were issues that I needed to work out within that safe therapist-client relationship. Again, the most important part of managing absences were my therapist's preparations
with me. The advance notice, asking me what my plans were, talking through how I felt, deciding what I could accomplish during that time- a time that transformed from a traumatic absence to a mini-vacation for me over the (many) years to complete self-sufficiency and wishing him well on his

You are, I think, in a neat place because you are aware- you can begin to make choices for yourself about how you will care for yourself when you are hurting. The question you ask tells me that you are, indeed, healing! I wish you the best.



Dear Jan,

One suggestion is to make your own lists of people you can safely call to discuss problems. You will want to be selective. Not every "friend" is a helpful confidant. But if you have a few other people in your life who are trustworthy, who will listen and be kind in their responses, they may be good substitutes for the therapist for most of your concerns.

And if you don't have anyone in your life you can trust to that level--it's probably a good idea to figure out how to meet new healthy people and slowly build trusting relationships. You may want to talk with your therapist about that!

Good luck!