Group last night. It was OK – I didn’t talk this time, though I responded a bit. The group was focused on E., who talked in the last two minutes last time about being ‘jealous’ of the relationship she thinks Ron and A. have.
Almost at the start though, A. wanted to respond to that. It’s always kind of heartbreaking to me when A speaks, because she is so young and so vulnerable. She spoke about how E.’s comment last time sent her into a week of feeling horrible – flashbacks to her suicide attempt, how Ron was the only person to visit her in the hospital, how important he is to her. How the pills tasted in her mouth.
Then she said she felt especially strongly about E., wanting her to like her and be like a mother to her. I was kind of surprised she could feel that intensely about a group member, as we don’t really know each other. She said she fixates on certain people and has strong feelings about them, and that it’s part of her disorder. Huh.
E. apologized for causing all that pain, and went on from there. She seems to be a lawyer, so she mostly stays in her head, so what she was talking about was complicated and long. Basically about first being jealous, then about her relationships to people, how she caretakes but can’t be herself.
She said she was also jealous of one other person in the group, R., because Ron seemed to care a lot for him, but it wasn’t as strong a feeling as with A. Now I started feeling kind of bad because none of these guys would think that I was any kind of a threat. Not that I am. But E. took the youngest and cutest to be threats to her exclusive relationship with Ron. I am not young and I am not cute. I know. And Ron and I don’t exchange meaningful looks either. And yet…I think we have a meaningful relationship and that he cares about me.
I was struggling to be present the whole time, and it was hard. I didn’t physically leave the room this time, but did end up fairly dissociated – OK, depersonalized it’s called. But not as badly as before. What happens is the parts start screaming for some reason, once I sit down in the group. I am trying to reassure them that it’s safe. I keep taking sips of water and suck on a candy. One part keeps playing with the water bottle, tipping it back and forth to make the water swing around pleasingly. Then I try and stop that behaviour. Then the bottle crunches and makes a noise, so I try and stop doing that also.
E. started crying towards the end of the group. I handed her the kleenex – my contribution. She said she thought it was bad to cry in the group, that people would reject her for it. I said I thought crying was good…and I didn’t feel like rejecting her.
I guess I do feel that no one in the group particularly likes me. It’s such a familiar feeling. But then, in order to stay, I think about Ron sitting there. I know he likes me, and he knows about the parts problem and accepts it. So I just concentrate on him, and I start to feel less panicky, and that’s how I manage to stay. I know he can see my struggle to stay to some extent. It feels like Ron is putting forth little wavelets of reassurance.
Now I’m somewhat dissociated. I feel a line across my pelvis. I can’t hear the parts at all – it’s as if they’ve gone into a deep freeze. But I did appear fairly normal in the group and functioned as an adult. I wish there was some way of talking just a bit, to anchor me and help me stay, without taking up too much group time. It’s so difficult to stay by myself.