I’m supposedly working, but the work has dried up. So I’m at home, getting paid. It’s good, but worrisome, because companies don’t usually want to keep paying for no work. But I’ve told the supervisor I am ready for another project, I’ve told her twice actually, so if I ask any more I’ll be a pest. So OK, I’ll do my own things then.

I feel a lot better than I did on the weekend. The memory has subsided back into the depths, with just little nibbles on my toes once in a while. And I’ve finally shaken off the flu / cough that has been dogging me, so no memories are being triggered by coughing. What a relief.

I do feel lonely. I haven’t emailed Ron since after my last therapy session, and I miss telling him things and getting a response. But since I have not felt too bad, I felt I didn’t want to trouble him. The last email was on the body memories my session had stirred up, and also the gayness issue, or non-issue, or whatever it is. Very strange how I felt that he thought I was gay. Now at a distance, I can’t really remember that feeling, why I felt that. He wants to talk about it.

Tonight I go to my group. I actually have a few things I want to say to people. I don’t so much want to explain my issues, more respond to what others have brought up. It’s taken me all this time to get the idea of group therapy, that I am actually supposed to say what I think about what people say, or what I feel. I am so not used to doing that. It’s the opposite of what I was taught to do as a child.

I’ve thought quite a bit about R, who asked me how I was last time, when I was shaking and not doing well. I’d also said, previously, ‘what does it mean you care?’ to the group, who were saying they cared. ‘So if I phone you up on the weekend, and say I’m lonely, are you coming over?’ and the people I asked shook their heads, no.  So the next group, R responded, ‘I was thinking about you last week, and I was thinking, I actually would come over, if you phoned me….’

For some reason, I believe him. It won’t be put to the test, since we are not supposed to make friends in the group, and usually I don’t believe things like this, but in this case, I do. And I’m touched. I’m kind of clinging to this feeling, because I really don’t feel like I’ve connected to others in the group, but for some reason, R seems to actually like me. I’m going to mention that I was touched by his comment and appreciated it.

What I like about R is his ability to state how he really feels about people, and stay calm. R is the fellow who analyzes, whom I used to resent for doing that. He’s done less of that lately. He has thoughtful responses to people, and he is able to state them very calmly, even it it’s a somewhat negative response. I wish I could do that.

Then I may comment about how I resented E’s comparing the silent group to her, in her mind, incompetent colleagues who wouldn’t step up. Maybe I’ll say this. And then, I might say that D seemed angry underneath the kind of martyred acceptance, when I interrupted her. Maybe. And then I might way that I miss Y, who used to talk and seems to have gone quiet, and that he seems to be feeling a lot, because I can see all that emotion on his face, but he doesn’t talk about what he’s feeling. Maybe. I’ll see what’s going on. But I do have things I can say.

I might mention how much I cried after the last group. But I never did figure out what the problem was. It actually made perfect sense to me at the time – of course I was upset, of course I was crying, because….But then the next day, when asked, I couldn’t figure out what it was. Ron did say that when we change patterns, it hurts and is upsetting. Maybe it was me changing the pattern of leaving – speaking up instead. Not sure at all. So if I bring this up in the group, they’ll ask me why, and I once again will not know the answer.

I’ve gone for a walk today, and out for tea. I’m a little depressed, so I feel like lying down. I’ll go to the library later to pick up my holds, including a book on group therapy. And…I really must vacuum. Must must must…..

I’ve also been thinking about attachment in therapy. This is a whole new concept for me, so reading some blogs that delve into this topic has been enlightening. Ron’s type of therapy involves my relationship to him, to a large extent. There’s also my life, and my past, and the group….but my relationship to him is key. And though I’ve tried a few rounds of therapy with others before, that was never an issue.

When I first realized I was attached, as they say, it seemed a really bad thing. I was suddenly dependent on someone else, and I felt I had no control, and would be endlessly hurt by this. But it hasn’t turned out that way, once I figured out I can reach out to Ron if I need to and he will respond. If I couldn’t do that, it would be bad. I could fall into horrendous anxiety, if I decided for instance that he didn’t like me, which happened especially at the beginning. I remember being literally afraid all week one time, so bad that I kept having to go home and lie down, because Ron had looked at me oddly in therapy the last session. Now I know I could write to him, and he would respond, and I would be able to calm down. So it’s OK to be vulnerable to some extent at least.

And the positive of attachment is the kind of caring I sometimes feel from Ron. It’s a kind of safety and being met, even in a really painful place, that I never experienced before.

I suppose it says a lot about me that the negatives of attachment are immediately apparent to me, while it takes me a while to appreciate the positives.

  1. If they are giving you money that's a very good thing! Clients can sometimes say "It's a bit quiet, take a few days off". If they are giving you money or other "make-work" projects it means they want to keep you around for something good in the future.If they don't want you around you are gone. Contracts between clients and agency often have zero notice clauses and clients generally use them.There are only two things to care about:1. Is this role giving me skills that will help get the next contract.2. Is my vank account increasing each month I stay here?

  2. P.s.Two things you might find elpful:1. Peter levines "Waking the tiger book"2. vido page, second video on trauma 101 – it will give you a roadmap.

  3. Ellen said:

    Hi Mike,Really nice to hear from you! I guess the answer to the two questions is yes, so perhaps all is good. I don't think it's legal over here to let people go without any notice, even contractors. I'd get two weeks notice. I'm gaining more meeting facilitation skills I'd say, so I am getting something besides money. Good to look at these things rationally.I have read half of Waking the Tiger, and must get it from the library again. Levine does somatic re-experiencing, or something like this, I believe. Not the kind of therapy I'm doing, but very interesting. Thanks for the reminder. And I'll have a look at that link.thanks and take care now

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