Stupid group

Well, group was difficult. But not as bad as sometimes. Maybe it was me that was difficult.

It was sad basically. For me. People had trouble talking….so we talked about that.

I had just been having a difficult evening before the group, because I’d been going through some body memories. They hurt so much. They are so painful and lonely and scary to have. But anyway, I rested and then I went to the group. I was actually shaking when I first got there.

R actually asked me at the start if I was OK. I just said yeah, I was fine, did I look like I wasn’t? And he said a little. Nope, I’m OK. Really nice of him to notice.

Maybe I should have talked about the memories and how I was feeling. But I’d been determined that I would listen this time, as I’d talked all last time. So mostly I listened.

I panicked twice. And I told the group about it. But then I couldn’t explain what the panic was. The second time, I was going to leave as per usual, but I interrupted the woman who was talking, D, who by the way had never talked before and, get this, her issue that she was talking about was being pushed aside and ignored by her stepmother for her whole life. And I interrupt her. Nice.

So Ron probably wasn’t too happy with me, because he wanted this woman to talk.

But anyway, he talked to me for a minute or two, and then after a bit the feeling subsided and I didn’t leave. And he turned back to her as soon as possible. Which I understand, but I didn’t like. It’s like I’m a kid.

Now I feel freaked out and sad. Sigh. I guess I can do what I plan to do in the group, but I’m not good at modifying my plans to take into account new information. For instance that I’d just been re-experiencing an assault, and needed to at least mention it a bit. Probably that would have been better.

The problem is too I don’t feel I can share Ron with anyone when I feel bad like this. I see him on Saturday this week, not tomorrow.

Bye. Take care.

I will reply to the last comments very soon, thank you for leaving them.

  1. Laura said:

    wonderful job Ellen. you stayed in the room (both physically and by sharing what was happening), and Ron supported you. You planned your course without knowing what the weather would be like – that's the way it is. that's a complicated calculation to accomplish while you're in a crisis (whose experience is more important, at this moment, whose experience will the group think is more important – the person who's never spoken, or the person who spoke last week? the supercomputer is probably still working that out – who trumps who.I think it's great that you broke the pattern of one person speaking while everyone else politely waits for the day when they can speak – and goes home depressed and disconnected.the only thing I'd argue with you about was your plan NOT to speak, because you'd already had your turn. It's great that you were flexible, in the event.Yay!do you not feel even a little triumphant?

  2. Ellen said:

    Thanks Laura.The aftermath of this group was very difficult for me – I cried for about two hours, even with xanax and red wine. (in moderation – a half a pill, two glasses of wine, it could be a lot worse). Today I feel like I was run over by a truck.I think the main problem was I was in this flashbacks type crisis, but hadn't planned to be of course, so then I didn't know what to do. Maybe nothing would have helped.And the fact that this group member, R, reached out to me like that, (are you OK?), and then I didn't take him up on that, but pretended I was fine, when I was physically shaking from the memory…it threw me afterwards. No one usually gives a s… is my experience. That comment about the complex calculation is right on – how much of a selfish bitch do I want to be? If that's who I really am, is that what I should express?Thanks for the pat on the back for staying and speaking – it was my plan, and I did it, so that part was good, thanks for reminding me. 🙂

  3. Laura said:

    what caused the difficult aftermath – was it what was coming up during group, or was it criticizing yourself for one aspect or another of speaking? or that someone cared? it's not weren't being a selfish bitch – your hair was on fire. I remember from being in group that I would make a mental calculation, kind of like evaluating a poker hand, about who had the best (or worst) hand, and was most entitled to speaking time, a combination of how much time they'd spoken, how recently, the obviousness of their struggle, their stated history (abuse trumps neglect for example). we're taught that good little girls don't take the biggest piece of pie for themselves, and serve themselves last.I wonder if people aren't indifferent, they just don't know what to say – your experience seems unusual and frightening (and you're frightened) and they don't want to say the wrong thing.

  4. gniz said:

    From my POV, I think sitting in on a group like this would be extraordinarily difficult even if I was simply witnessing and not involved much, and even if I was in a relatively good state of mind.I feel like there's so much difficult stuff coming up. Others are in pain, your in that room and feeling that overall vibe, swimming in that soup so to speak. And then you have your own internal issues and everything is getting mixed up, not to mention the realities of dealing with your therapist in such a new setting.Who wouldn't get stressed and freak out?I wouldn't go if you paid me. But then again, I am not in a place where it might benefit me much. It seems you do find benefit from it, and so all of the stuff it brings up becomes kind of a necessity.This is another way to work through everything, and from the sound of it–it seems to really be working. I feel like its making you stronger. It feels like you're essentially going to the gym and hitting the heavy bag, sparring, kind of "getting your butt kicked" and then you're that much stronger out in the world.Maybe I'm wrong with this line. I don't know enough about group therapy to be very aware of the ins and outs. I'm going off movies and then the stuff you're reporting back.But either way, it feels like the biggest thing you still do is second guess yourself and berate and criticize yourself. That's so painful. It might be hard to stop, it might be even impossible. But if you could only see the hard work you're doing and accomplishment and really feel it and be softer with yourself, especially in difficult times.You are doing great, fantastic even, and you are truly courageous!Please see it and don't be so hard on yourself.

  5. Ellen said:

    @ Laura – Those are good questions and I don't really know the answers. I suspect the difficult 'before math' had some effect. And someone caring touched me, but why would I then be so deeply upset. I don't know. My hair was on fire – I like that. 🙂 Yeah, my experience is not usual, so people can't relate to a lot of it, and I don't even try to explain mostly. Thanks for telling me about your group experience and following up. cheers@ gniz – Thanks for the sympathy. 🙂 It is truly difficult. I suspect it is helping me also. I have such a fear of groups, it's helping me work through it perhaps. And issues of how 'real' to be, what to say to people…it's kind of interesting. I hadn't noticed I was beating myself up. You're right though. Hmmm…I could see that Ron wasn't thrilled with me interrupting D, who had never spoken yet. It was as if I was being childish. At the same time, I really was panicking, and he'd told me to do this if that happened. So why beat myself up. I'm trying to do what I think I'm supposed to do. Thanks for the kind words. take care

  6. Ruth said:

    My perspective you made some real progress. You stayed both physically and mentally. I have done group sharing and I have had flashbacks. Either one of them can kick your butt, together in a one-two punch you survived. That is good. You faced two big challenges. Hope your session you can explore your feelings about both.

  7. Ellen said:

    @ Ruth – thanks – that is true. Once I recovered from the whole experience, I realized that actually I'd done fine in the group. I don't really know why I was so very upset. @ Laura – Thanks for the link. The first part of the article is OK, simple explanation. IMO, and I think this a lot about PT articles, the advice at the end is stupid, if you really have a problem. Yes, I know it's not rational. If I could talk myself out of the feeling I would. That's why I'm paying for therapy – I cannot do that. Not to criticize you, Laura, just the article. It's like they live in a make believe universe, these writers. You're right about Ron – he said I did the right thing and seemed a lot more open in the group than before. thanks

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