Group was OK yesterday. I went med free for the first time in fact. I was scared, but just that degree less scared that I could walk in the door without anything. I’ll just write a short summary.
I talked right from the start, and he focus was on me about half the time. I actually liked the attention I must admit. I talked about how scared I was of the group, and how they maybe reminded me of my family, where I was ignored, and how my father had pretended I was invisible for so many years.
People asked me some questions. Then I talked about troubles at work, how I wasn’t interacting much with people. I said though that I am paying more attention to eye contact, and it’s getting better. Then some people in the group said that yeah, they notice I’m looking at them more.
R. said he felt I didn’t say hi or seem friendly. He said last time he’d said hi to me and I’d just grunted and looked down! I have no memory of this at all. I was kind of annoyed because I’d greeted him first, when I passed him on the stairs going in that night.
R. When you respond like that, it’s really off putting. I want to stay away.
E. (whining) I thought you said you liked me, last time.
R. I do. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
And then, for some reason, I launched into the story of how I first went to therapy many years ago, and then a brief history of my unhappy marriage. I have no idea why I got onto those topics – it must have been answering questions. Then also onto who was my abuser, and when did it happen….It was a lot.
Also I talked about going to the movie on the weekend, where my friend was so angry, and how I’d been depressed from therapy and had really really wanted ‘tea and sympathy’, but that it didn’t seem possible to talk to her as she was angry. And how in general it’s difficult to say things about what I’m going through to people, because it makes them uncomfortable.
I said a couple of times how I understood other people’s point of view, and how my ex wasn’t a horrible person or anything, though he did petrify me when we were together.
R. pops up and says it seems as if I’m making a lot of excuses for other people and not staying with how I feel. Which was a good observation really.
At some point while I was talking I started to space out, and then I could no longer understand people’s questions, I was too spaced. Spaced out is a feeling like a white wall coming down. I can still function but can’t take things in. It happens when I’m overwhelmed. I hit on a lot of really painful painful topics really fast, holding back my emotions about them, so that’s probably what caused it. Trying to answer people’s questions and kind of leaving my own experience to do so.
The second half of the group other people talked. I was very relieved to be able to just sit and listen.
One thing that came up was the reason it might be so difficult for me to meet people’s eyes. Ron asked me what eye contact was like in my family – do people look at me. I thought probably not, though I’m not sure. Then I said that I tend to feel that there is some horrible thing wrong with me – sometimes I feel that I’m horrendously ugly for instance, or horribly damaged in some way. Then I fear that people will see that if I meet their eyes.
I’m glad I talked in the group, though next time I do I want to focus on one thing and maybe, here’s a thought, feel some of the emotions of that. This time was OK though – practice talking and having people respond in basically kind ways.