Therapist going on vacation…anxiety rising.

Our therapist is going on vacation for a couple of days this week which coincidentally happens to fall on my couples therapy day. I’m anxious. The last attempt Dave made was
last summer and it was while our therapist was on vacation. Granted at that time our therapist was on a longer vacation but the state our relationship is in at this moment has me worried.

Where’s the worry coming from? I recently changed jobs, I’m exhausted and a bit snippy when I arrive home. Dave’s been stressed at work. Two tired stressed people equals conflict. For Dave to go four weeks without therapy–scares me (we go to couples therapy on alternating weeks and Dave is not interested in individual sessions).

I pinpointed my nerves last Tuesday night. On Wednesday I decided that I would call our therapist to schedule an extra couples appointment. I called Dave to find a time that would fit both our schedules. Dave didn’t think we needed an extra appointment. He said he would be all right.

I said to Dave, “For me, I know if I’m moody, tired, hitting rock bottom–I will get through it. But for you–a seemingly ‘mild’ issue piled onto another ‘mild’ issue, increases/escalates your stress and things can get deadly.”

I asked Dave, “Do you promise you won’t make any attempts between now and our next couples session?” Dave said, “I promise, I won’t. I really won’t, Beth.” He sounded sincere.

I asked him to identify what he would do if he felt irritated by me. He said that he would go to McDonalds or Starbucks and take a break there. Or he would call his friend who Dave already spoke to about being his go-to-guy. Also Dave said he would call our therapist if he needed to.

It sounds good. So how much faith can I put in his promise and the safety plan? Not much.

I know Dave. When I push the right button at the right time, he shuts me out, he goes into extreme tunnel vision mode, and he will not put his safety plan into action.

Right now I think the best thing is prevention. And I have to admit that I really am snapping at him and irritated by him. It could be the whole, he’s the closest person to me, so the safest to project my anger on concept, but I think I am just really angry at him. I’m not irritated or angered by anyone else, just him. So exploring and getting some self awareness for the full picture of my anger at Dave may help me to decrease my negative reactions to him.

I’m going to schedule an extra therapy session for myself. The bottom line is, I want to get help because I am so afraid I am going to lose him…And that it will be because of me.

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