Chapter 17 – I Hate You


Okay, you got the idea from the previous chapter, “Tahiti”, that it was very difficult, putting it mildly, when my therapist, Anne left on vacation. Before she left for that 3rd time since I’d been seeing her, I had to pour out my emotions in a poem which I read to her before I was left behind without access to her.

I Hate You

I hate you, I do, I do, I do.

How will I ever be able to manage?

I hope, I pray I forget you

To avoid that threat of real damage.


28 days I must learn to cope.

Time will drag on and on.

I wonder if I can hang on to any hope.

Tell me, how can you leave for so long?


It’s such a mystery to me

Why these feelings are so intense.

I wonder and wonder how I will be

Because none of this makes any sense.


I met you only last December

Why is there such an attachment?

I really really can’t remember

How to put between us a fresh detachment.


Could my life from long ago

Where I learned to be aloof

Brought me to this place of woe

Though I have no proof?


Did years and years of defenses

Mold the person of whom I became?

And just now coming to my senses

Bringing a hurt that feels the same?


But how can it be known

That these feelings come from the past?

Will it ever be clearly shown

That THEN my life’s role had been cast?


And now, how can I understand this pain?

How can I heal this space inside?

What can I do to make some gain

So I no longer feel I need to hide?


You’ve brought me now so far

To a place of somewhat peace

Like the distant beautiful star

Where all troubles seem to cease.


But now that you’re leaving on vacation

Those old, old fears have come to life

Though much different I still get the sensation

Of a much familiar internal strife.


I’ve tried so hard to keep those fears contained.

It’s been my lifelong pattern I realize

With you they can no longer be restrained

A new way of being I am forced to actualize


Though I hate you, hate you, hate you

We both know that’s not true

It’s just that these feelings are all so new

And letting feelings be felt makes me feel so blue.


Feelings are ok, you tell me so often

They should not be hiding away in shame

By bringing them forth they begin to soften

And then we can meet them and call them by name.


So, now I will introduce my companion named ‘fear’

I will let her be seen and be known

It is only by bringing emotions up close and near

That maybe I’ll stop feeling and being so alone.


Trying my whole life to be what I’m not

Keeping emotions tightly and closely contained.

But now that I’m learning what you have taught

I’ll try to no longer be so so restrained.


What can I learn from your long absence?

Will I be able to succeed in this quest

To dig deep and extract my core essence

And not run away from this important test?


I will try; I will work; I will focus; I will vow

To bring the mind to rest in each magical moment

To be conscious and attentive to the here and now

And show you that I was and will be triumph

Chapter 16 -Tahiti

The destination probably was not Tahiti. I’ll never know because my therapist, Anne, does not self disclose much. (We’ll talk about that wall behind which a therapist sits in a later chapter.)

All I know is that she goes on vacation, Tahiti, Paris, or Alaska, it doesn’t matter where. That’s a horrible thing for a therapist to do, right? Unfortunately, (or fortunately) how we react to a break from seeing our therapist because they’re on vacation is a clear (or maybe just as clear as mud) signpost of our feelings of dependency on them.

If you’re one of those who have to fight back panic with the knowledge that your therapist will be leaving soon or in agony waiting for her to return, then you’ll understand my difficulties when Anne left me. And that’s how my mind perceived her vacation – she abandoned me.

Now, my rational brain knew she had NOT abandoned me, yet my emotions screamed that she had.

The first time Anne went on vacation, it truly was no big deal. I had only been seeing her for a month or so. But still, even then, there was a whisper of uneasiness. I didn’t pay it much attention and just chalked it up to the fact it was the holiday season.

The second time Anne left, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not liking it. At that time I still didn’t understand the depth of attachment to her that had developed within me. I told her that I had decided to leave town at the same time that she would be gone so it wouldn’t feel like a disruption in my routine that had been established by seeing her weekly. She agreed that that was a good idea on my part.

Before Anne left for the third time, she asked me how I would manage. I said I’d do fine because I had learned a lot about myself from her previous absence and I now was able to apply coping techniques and that there would be no problem.


I barely got home after that session when a wave of heart-stopping panic flowed over me. It was a full body experience. What the hey??? I can’t believe this.

Man, I thought I was in control. I thought I was not going to have problems in this particular arena anymore. I thought I had conquered that that pesky little irritant just like when we swat mosquito out of our face.

Anne has told me so many times that if emotions aren’t brought out into the light, THEY will be in control. It was happening again. I was defeated. I was vanquished. I was overcome with overwhelming dread.

For what? Was I losing my cool over anything important or meaningful? No. Was I losing my home? No. Was I having terrible conflict with my neighbor? No. Was I just diagnosed with a painful health condition? No. ( I have since learned that all emotions ARE important, no matter what their cause. We’ll discuss that topic later.)

It is humiliating to admit that my panic was generated by the impending absence of Anne for 14 days. How laughable is that? Can I confess this to anyone who has not experienced it for himself or herself? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to see the incredulous look on their faces.

So, I left a voicemail for Anne shortly after my session and told her that I had lied. It wasn’t a deliberate lie. I thought I was being truthful when I had told her I’d be fine. On the phone, I confessed to her that I was beginning to be consumed by fear of her leaving.

I spent a few days trying to understand this feeling. (See previous chapter, Earthquake Safety, for explanation about attachment). I thought it was so weird. I thought it made no sense. To me, it was not logical; it was beyond understanding, and it was something I had never experienced in my life before.

What I concluded after focused introspection is that the emotional part of my brain believed that loss of contact with Anne would be a risk for my survival. I saw her as my protector and if she’s gone, I WILL DIE!

Anne and I spent time in the next few sessions to find ways for me to ‘survive’ her “desertion”. Luckily, she informs her clients in plenty of time of any planned departures.

Although deeply embarrassing to affirm to her my dependence on her, it was necessary for me to divulge this fact in order to get the help I needed at that time.

It wasn’t the first nor was it the last occasion where my attachment to Anne would rear its ‘nasty’ head. Next chapter I’ll share another adventure on this theme.