I'm a second year computer science PhD student. I switched research areas during my third semester and did an independent study with Professor X. He basically gave me a bunch of papers and textbooks to read so I could get up to speed on the field and told me to ask questions as they come up. Things did not turn out too well because (1) everything moved online (COVID) and (2) I had a breakdown, ultimately resulting in me barely communicated with Professor X. I'm in a small reading group he leads, so he knows I still exist, but we have not actually exchanged speech in months.
To briefly explain the breakdown: I grew up with alcoholic and abusive parents and had everything under control for years, but my emotions just exploded out of nowhere. I've been seeing a therapist, and I am faring much better now.
I did read the papers and most of the textbooks, but it took much longer than it should have because of my breakdown. I also came up with a few research questions I'm interested in pursuing, but I don't know how to proceed after ghosting Professor X for months. I want to hear what he thinks of them, and if he thinks they're good, ask if he has any advice. However, I imagine he does not have a favorable opinion of me right now. I'm not sure if a professor would want to work with a student after something like that, and quite frankly, I feel horrible. I emailed him to see if we could meet, saying that I fell off track last semester and want to make better progress. I haven't received a response yet, and I do not know if this was the right way to proceed.
What can I do to help this situation? How should I explain my lack of communication without providing personal details? Will I have to find a different professor to work with? If anyone can offer any advice/insight, I would greatly appreciate it.
Note: Professor X is not technically my advisor at this stage, but I use that term in the title for brevity.