I just got an email from Jen, and I feel awful. There’s a knot in my stomach, my throat feels tight, my chest aches and it seems like I’m not quite getting enough air. Everything is blurry and my head feels light. When I look at things in my room, it doesn’t feel like I’m behind my eyes. I don’t know where I am, but I’m somewhere else.
It was a short, simple message. “We haven’t seen each other in a little while. Just checking in – how are you? Kind regards, Jen.”
I’m angry. Or hurt. Maybe angry because I’m hurt. Finally hearing from her reminds me of how long she went without contacting me. Calling it a little while? It’s been over 5 weeks. I’ve been seeing her weekly for almost 2 years and I’ve only cancelled a session once. A little while? Really?
I want to send back something unhelpful – like “I’m fine. It’s been five weeks, though – not exactly a little while.” I want to test her, I guess. If I’m snarky, will she keep trying or will she just let it (and me) go? Will she apologise or get defensive?
Will she make it better?
I might feel vindicated sending something that pushes her away and tries to make her feel guilty, but after the initial relief of lashing out, it isn’t going to make me feel better. And if I didn’t get a response, I would be furious with myself for sabotaging the only professional support I have left.
So I’m thinking of sending something a bit more real. I’m uncomfortable about it, though. Her emails go to her reception staff, who read them and either respond on her behalf or print a copy for her to look at. This is not really something I want to share with them.
“I’m doing okay at the moment. It’s been over 5 weeks since we saw each other – in context of seeing you every week (bar holidays) for almost 2 years, I don’t really consider that a little while. I’m surprised and sad that you didn’t check in with me after Anna quit. I was very devastated that she gave up after promising to be around for the long haul and I now have to start all over again. I know you’re busy but I guess I thought you’d find time to check if I was coping.”
I’ve been crying as I’ve worked through this post, but my body feels more settled now. I guess I’ll sleep on it, and make a decision in the morning.