I really feel bad. Going to try and write it out.

I started group therapy last night, and today had therapy. Bad experiences. Though I was doing OK with the group one until I went to therapy today. Now I just lie in bed and think of death basically.

I’ve never been to group therapy, just support groups and 12-step. So what happens with this group therapy is everyone sits in silence until one person talks. There were five of us, with two more to come next week apparently. I’d had a long day and was feeling horribly fragmented and anxious. All I could think about really was wanting to leave. Or at  least go to the washroom for a long time. But I stayed.

A few people said things. I explained about my day and immediately felt a bit better. Then one woman who talked a lot said she felt I thought she was talking too much. Which was kind of true. So I said some things….It was OK though really. One young man was trying to play therapist, copying Ron to some extent. I fobbed him off with a jokey kind of remark…..we’ve just met 10 minutes ago, sorry, I’m not going to explore my pain with you, thank you very much.

Today I went for therapy and Ron was in what I think of as analytical mode. He wants to analyze and discuss very rationally. So I kind of do that. He wants to discuss the group – fine. I say a bit about that. Then my problems at work. Then I go totally into adult mode and explain my work situation so at least he knows the background. Then I ask him if he believes these parts that talk to him are real.

He says a bunch of stuff about the unconcious and things like that. And the point about everyone having parts of them that they deny, and that it’s a spectrum, and that for me, they are more seperate than most.

While discussing how I get angry at work, I start feeling that familiar choking humiliating angry feeling. I feel like something is in my mouth and I’m being held down.

Then Ron says I’m doing this to myself. I was held down and humiliated, literally or metaphorically, in the past, and now I do that to myself.

E. No I don’t. I do not do that to myself!

Ron says something about the part that is angry and saying No needs to be strengthened. Or something.

Then I start telling him that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to experience things the way I do. That I can have several contradictory points of view or wishes at once.

Then he says something or other, and I tell him he’s being stupid. (!)

R. How am I being stupid. What am I not understanding that you need me to understand.

E. Of course you’re going to ask that, and then I have my usual difficulty explaining things to you.

R. Then this is the work.

E. Whatever. So you don’t believe in the parts.

R. That’s not what I said. That’s the opposite of what I said.

E. You said you don’t believe in them. But speaking from those voices is the only thing that’s helping me. This analysis cr…stuff doesn’t help me.

R. Then that’s what you need to do. I thought at one point you said you were angry with me, that the ten year old part was, we should have explored that. But you didn’t wish to do that.

That’s the end of the session. I can see Ron is angry – he kind of clenches his jaw and turn more pale than usual. We’re both angry then. At least I’m having an effect.

We also talked somewhere in there about how I get angry with him, but still need him to like me, and how it’s difficult. Good point it seems to me.

I hate it when Ron is in analytical mode. He can be a really good therapist many times, but he gets sidetracked with this analysis stuff. I want him to be empathetic and to believe that what I tell him is the truth. Not believing in the parts hurts a lot. The kid part is really hurt by this, and did not talk at all. How can he not believe in me? Lament.

And when he tells me this choking stuff is metaphorical, I always hate that. It feels real to me alright. Not like a metaphor for oppression.

So now I can neither work nor feel much of anything. I want this day to be over.

  1. gniz said:

    Ellen,Sorry for the pain. I believe you, I believe your parts. They are very much real.I do think that Ron also believes in your parts, but that unfortunately you had a miscommunication. I think (it sounds) as though he was trying to analyze WHY those parts exist with you. Something along the lines of everyone sort of having kid parts, teenage, adult, etc. But that not everyone experiences them as being "separate" in quite the way that you describe.However, it sounds like in saying this he made you feel denied, that he was explaining away what you experience instead of empathizing. I think you might want to write him an email or maybe in a future session tell him that you would like him to empathize more rather than analyzing. Maybe that will help him see where he has missed the boat, since it does seem he wants to understand you.I hope I haven't made this same error just now in explaining what I think Ron's actions might mean instead of empathizing more? :)Also, kudos to you for doing group therapy. That takes courage. I mean, it's pretty scary from my POV, so great on you for handling it and doing it.All in all, you're still walking this path and doing the work. I love that you stepped up and expressed anger and told Ron what you were feeling. Do you see how big a deal that is? You may be feeling like "death" now, partly because when you acted out or spoke out as a child, you were shunned by your father. I don't know why for sure that I say that, but it seems plausible. Sorry for my armchair psychoanalysis. I hope you don't mind. Take it all with a grain of salt.Hope you are well, still reading, as always.Aaron

  2. Ellen said:

    @ Paula – thanks Paula, and I hope you are well.@ gniz – Thanks for the kind words. Don't worry, you can feel free to analyze, as long as I am free to disagree! Yes, Ron is always conscientious and wants to do a good job, I know that for sure. And I know rationally he wasn't saying there are no parts. It's just…it drives me crazy when he starts analyzing. And I miss the empathy he showed in the past for the parts so much, when I have to stay adult and try to follow what he is saying. And I doubt these parts myself, so when he seems to do it, it really hurts.Sometimes, just between you and me, I think Ron loses his sense of self esteem or something, and starts trying to be smart. Which I find painful. I'm definitely not handling group therapy well. I've ended up dissociated from it in fact. I just let myself get talked into it. The 'feeling like death' analysis could be right or could be wrong, I have no idea to tell the truth. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement, so kind.

  3. gniz said:

    Hey Ellen,Of course you can disagree. Just so long as you admit that I am right while doing so. ;)Anyway, hope today finds you feeling better. You're probably right about Ron's analyzing, that he may feel a need to prove himself intellectually at times. That is unfortunate, but he's just human. I do believe if you explain to him how much his empathy helps you, he may cultivate more of that in session. It would be great if you could even tell him this "in the moment" when he begins overanalyzing.And that's the thing. I'm sure sometimes his analysis of a situation can be helpful, but it also seems as though he can kind of become overly analytical for you, getting into college lecture mode and making you feel kind of like your in a sterile environment.Anyway, sorry group is so tough. I'd imagine it would be, and frankly, I doubt I could or would do that myself! :)Take care Ellen. Keep feeling those feelings.Aaron

  4. Ellen said:

    Yeah, I wouldn't bother with group therapy if I were you. Though on the other hand, if it calls to you, you could try it. The theory is that people are 'real' there in a way we aren't in other situations. For me, it made me dissociated, which is the opposite of feeling feelings, so that's is not a good thing, and I'm still trying to climb out of that. I'll see. RE email to Ron – I did email him, but about being dissociated, as that's not something I need to pay to experience, I can do it on my own. (sarcasm). Anyway, my challenge will be not dissociating next time, so that's the priority for now. Thanks for the comments Aaron.

  5. Harriet said:

    I give you a lot of credit for going to group therapy, that takes courage. And you talked too, I don't know if I could do that. But I am sorry that you are now feeling dissociated because of the group, that isn't the goal I'm sure.It sounds like your session was very frustrating, but it's great that you stood up to Ron. It also sounds like a misunderstanding to me, because I thought that in the past he did say that believes in the parts. I have that conflict within myself of my t being empathetic vs analyzing. Sometimes I've said, "Why can't you just validate my feelings?" He says he doesn't really do that, and in a way I can see why. But sometimes that is what I need.

  6. Ellen said:

    Hi Harriet – glad to hear from you – you are at least recovered enough to read blogs, so that must be good. Thanks for the credit. As to the talking – it is easier for me to talk than to be silent for 1.5 hours, for sure, so I can't take credit for that part of it. Staying in my body is going to be my goal for sure for the next few weeks. I find it odd that your T would say he doesn't do empathy! Ron also is reserved in a way, but I still feel he is empathetic. Especially if I go off into a kid memory or something like that – he can be amazing. This session was confusing in many ways, the main thing being I was dissociated and didn't know it until I got home. take care

  7. Harriet said:

    Oops, I didn't write that correctly I think. My t is very empathetic, but he said he doesn't like to just validate people's feelings.

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