It bothers me that I can’t remember what Ron was wearing in my therapy session yesterday. I always think if I can’t remember someone’s clothes, I wasn’t actually seeing them as a separate person. I cannot for the life of me remember. I know for the group, he was wearing a striped shirt and washed out jeans – he looked pretty funky actually. So I was seeing him then. Very odd.
The kid usually makes some comment to start. This time I was struck by Ron’s coffee mug, which had little black knobs down the side, so we chat about that for a half a minute. Then we sit. I can’t decide what to talk about, and talking feels somehow dangerous to me.
R. It seems harder to start this week than usual.
R. Have you thought about whether you want to go back to the group in January?
E. I don’t know….
Sit. Well you get the idea. We sit in silence for quite a time.
E. I saw E. on the way in.
R. How was that?
E. She looked a little freaked out to see me….Well, maybe she was just processing her session.
Ron looks at me enigmatically.
I was trying not to leap to my usual negative conclusions about how people respond to me. E and myself do have issues though, mostly unspoken, in the group. Who knows, she might have been complaining about me in her session, and was now embarrassed to bump into me. Who knows. Ron would never tell.
E. So group last night was interesting.
E. I was irritated with D. And with E. also actually, but she attacks so severely, it’s more scary to say something.
R. I thought you were solid in the group. You made strong contributions.
E. Yeah? I left really angry. With D, and also with you. Especially with you, because I don’t really know the other people, but I know you…
R. Why were you angry with me.
E. Because you never looked at me. I looked at you all the time. And you never respond to me. And…
Ron wants to say something but I keep going.
E. And also, I thought you thought I was childish. And I ask superficial questions. But you know my struggles….how hard it is for me even to stay. You should be cutting me a lot of slack, I think. I know I fiddle with stuff a lot, I shred kleenex….it’s hard for me.
R. When did I say you were childish?
E. You never said it in so many words. I just thought you thought that. You did say I ask superficial questions though.
R. When did I do that? I don’t think I did that.
E. Well, not right out like that. Therapists aren’t allowed to say stuff like that. A few weeks ago, when R was speaking, and just E and I asked questions, and then you told R they were superficial…because he didn’t like the questions.
R. How did you know I thought you were childish?
E. Well, I could be making it up. I just felt like that. I felt like you thought anything I said was bad, just childish. Because the people in your group are tending to say smart things, they analyze, and I don’t do that. It hurts too much for me to do that. And anyway I don’t think it helps.
R. How do you feel about what I said about your contribution to the group?
E. That it was solid? I don’t know….that is new information. I’ll have to think about that.
R. How can you hold on to that. Could the adult part of you remember it?
I don’t say anything to this. This is not really how the parts are working. Most of the kids parts adore Ron….it’s more the adult who is skeptical and distrustful. I think. I’m not sure. Anyway it’s not simple, so I don’t say anything.
R. I actually wish more of the group members would do what you did. Just ‘here is my reaction’ – simple, that’s it.
E. Yeah? Oh OK.
E. You know, if I wasn’t going to the group, I wouldn’t be having these issues.
R. You wouldn’t be having the issues, or they wouldn’t be happening in the group?
E. Well, they wouldn’t be happening in the group I mean. I wouldn’t be having these problems with you. You would just be my therapist, and I wouldn’t be worried about other people.
R. So you’d still be having the issues….
E. I know. I understand. I’m not stupid.
R. I wouldn’t want the group to be re-traumatizing for you, creating new issues…
E. (impatient) No, I know. If it was doing that only, it obviously would not be good and I wouldn’t go.
Conversation peters out, and we sit again.
I’ll continue later. Now it’s time for a nap.