I was so very angry with Ron, and I quit the group about four times I think. I’m no longer angry and I’m once again signed up to appear at the group tomorrow. I’m not even sure what happened to me.
I sent Ron a series of emails. It seemed like a lot, but it was maybe four altogether, and mostly replies. The emails start really complex, and end up boiled down to just a few points, after replying. It’s difficult to even remember why I was so very upset.
After a whole raft of complaints I had about the group, including that I dissociate to cope with the stress of it and what good is that – I boiled it down to it seemed Ron was taking E’s side, that the whole interaction was hurting my relationship with him, that he wasn’t able to hear this, and that I needed to quit the group in order to preserve my connection with him.
In my session, Ron basically dismissed my concern that he was taking E’s side. What side? he said. Then after maybe two emails, I told him he wasn’t even able to hear me on this, let alone respond, and that the ‘old’ Ron would have wanted to hear more, not shut me down.
At which point, Ron stopped defending himself and replied to keep going – to explore more of how I was feeling about this. He also offered to meet with me before the next group, or talk on the phone.
At which point, I stopped being completely furious.
I waited a day, then wrote back that it was OK, I didn’t need to meet with him.
I am trying to figure out what went so wrong for me.
I know E reminds me of my sister, whom I am estranged from. Then when Ron takes her side, it reminds me of how my sister was favoured by my dad, especially when we were older (grade 4 on maybe). The pain of Ron smiling at E, the look they exchanged right at the end of the session, the way Ron criticized me for saying what I thought about E (not by any means the whole of what I thought, just a tiny piece), that was very very intense. It still stabs me to think of it. It seemed he completely abandoned me to back E up.
I know it’s stupid to be in my emotions to this extent. It’s not adult at all. But that sense of being completely abandoned was so strong and so devastating – it’s still difficult to see how I can go back.
Every time I said I’m quitting (by email) Ron completely ignored that. He totally assumed that yes, I’ll be going back, and he’d say something like, we can discuss in email and in the group….Quite an effective method really. All that is needed is for me to stop insisting I’m quitting, and bingo, it’s assumed I’m going back.
The thought of facing E and Ron in the group is making me feel sick. But I would miss everyone else, and I’d miss hearing more of their story. It would in fact be a loss. I just somehow have to be able to tolerate E. Or rather, tolerate the emotions she throws up in me. With Ron there to make everything worse. I feel nauseous just thinking about it.
I’m not sure I feel like talking about it in the group either. Maybe I’ll just try and surf the waves quietly. If something new came up I’d try and say it, but I don’t think I want to re-hash how I felt about the last meeting.
E. is one of the most vocal group members. Three of us basically are the most vocal, myself, E and R. And of course Ron, who has started talking more and more. Sometimes I wonder if he stayed out of it more, if some things wouldn’t go better. Anyhow, she is unlikely not to say anything next time. Just if I am centre stage, E will not talk much usually.
At this point I have regained the sense that Ron cares about me also. So I have to hang onto that somehow. And be honest in the group, not dissociated like I was last time. Last time I was thinking about suicide and feeling incredibly awful. That was kind of going on on one track. Then I created another track, that acted like everything was OK, and that part listened to E and gave feedback and tried to be a good group member. That strategy gets me through life, but didn’t work well in the group, as I ended up in a complete crisis.
So I don’t want to do that again. Luckily I’m no longer feeling as awful. So being in one piece should be easier. I’ll be as real as possible, and that is the best I can do.