Group last night. Therapy today. Both were a lot better and I feel relieved. I also picked up some fish and good salads on my way home, so had a decent supper and glass of wine. So things are OK. I again feel that Ron and I are on good terms, and I’m emotional but I don’t feel abandoned anymore.

First group. I was pretty scared. Before hand I started watching Tangled, a retelling of Rapunzel, which calmed me quite a bit. The kid loves these movies, so when I’m in that space, they’re excellent to watch.

We sit at the beginning, waiting for someone to speak. Ron never ever makes this part easier. This night, no one wants to start. We sit for over five minutes, which is a long time when you’re waiting for someone to break the silence.

Finally A talks.  She talks about her family (FOO)….A is a very young woman, and so when she is angry with her mother, she reminds me of my troubles with my son. I say something about that, about how he was so very angry with me, and that I rarely talk to him now. I wasn’t going to talk about that, because it doesn’t seem that helpful, but, I start to feel really panicky, so I’m thinking it’s good to say what’s on my mind. And it is. A few people ask questions about that, and then return to A.

Ron is different this evening. He’s more reserved, not delving into anyone’s stuff in that one-on-one way, kind of staying neutral. I don’t know if it’s the trouble we’ve had over last week’s group, but I appreciate this. I like him staying kind of neutral.

E. says one thing about something I’ve said. The first time she says it, I blank it out. Then Ron (of course, always stirring up trouble) asks her to repeat it. I’m really wary of engaging E. I just don’t want to do it. She says something like ‘I can’t imagine how hard it would be to engage a 23 year old…’ (my son’s age). I don’t feel like replying, so I just say, I don’t know what to say to that, and leave it.

Here’s the thing. I have issues with E. She pushes all my buttons, and then triggers off reactions involving Ron. I just think we have nothing to discuss, unless we discuss this. It’s pointless trying to discuss other things. So I just leave it. It feels fine.

Right at the end of the group, Ron really gets into A’s dilemma, the way he would in a session. And I start to completely panic. So I interrupt and say it.’I’m sorry, I’m really panicking. I want to leave. I’m really scared.’

Ron stops talking to A and looks at me. There’s a pause and no one says anything.

Then Ron says – ‘So is it better now?’ I wonder how mad he is that I interrupted.

‘It’s easing off a bit actually, now I said it.’

‘I feel so bad I interrupted. I know it was deep and complex. I’m really sorry.’

A looks at me very sweetly, and says it’s fine, she doesn’t mind. Two other people say they’re glad I spoke up, they’re fine with it. Z says it’s better than my leaving the room.

I continue. ‘I feel guilty for interrupting. I want to die. What is it I’m supposed to be doing then?’ I’m speaking to Ron.

Now Ron says a bunch of stuff to do with it’s OK to be yourself or something like this. I was very emotional so I can’t remember.

‘So I feel we’re not getting along. You’re saying basically kind things, and I’m feeling really irritated.’

So Ron responds in a soft voice, ‘So that adds another layer of complication…’

Then no one says anything. Silence for maybe a minute.

I feel responsible for this, so I can’t think of anything except to say how I’m feeling. ‘So I feel guilty and ashamed for interrupting. I wish I hadn’t spoken. I hate myself for being like this.’ I feel waves of guilt and self disgust. Shame.

And time is up and the group is over. I deliberately don’t dash out the door. I have stayed with how I was feeling, so I have done what I’m supposed to do. I slowly move my chair to the side of the room, and take my time putting on my jacket. I am not dashing away.

Now comes a part I liked. I’m walking away from the hall where we meet, and R comes up behind me. Instead of just letting him pass, I start talking to him. R has been friendly to me for months, and I am bursting to talk with someone. I tell him how odd I find it that no one talks to each other after the group, what a strange situation it is, when we are all going through this intense experience. He agrees it’s strange. I tell him how I quit the group several times last week, and how Ron didn’t take this on board at all.

R takes the subway, so I ask him if I can give him a lift. Turns out he lives very near where I do, so I drive him to his place. We chat the whole way, both kind of smiling, happy to be talking. We have these huge things in common – Ron and the group. R has been in therapy a lot longer than I have, and this is his third group. He is a writer. And he has written a book, and poetry. That’s all I know. I have no idea how he lives, as he hasn’t sold the book or anything.

It is lovely to talk to him. I think I am desperately lonely in fact. I’m going through experiences which I have no one to tell about, this blog excepted. It was great to talk to someone who believes in therapy and who is interested in it. R thinks he has parts also, which may be true. It’s sweet how he brings up his parts. It’s not the same thing, I think, but I don’t say it.

Men are so cute. Why did God make them so cute? I would kiss R at the drop of a hat. But alas and alack he is much too young for me. Ah well. 

I get home and I’m kind of tense, but feeling basically well. I will be friends with R if I can arrange it.

  1. Laura said:

    "Here's the thing. I have issues with E. She pushes all my buttons, and then triggers off reactions involving Ron. I just think we have nothing to discuss, **unless we discuss this. It's pointless trying to discuss other things.**", in this case, you blanked out what she said, and Ron had her repeat it. Do you think you just routinely dismiss what she has to say? It seems like you couldn't blank it out because of the content – because you didn't know the content…?When Ron was getting into it with A and you felt panic… what was going on there? did you feel as if you were losing him?

  2. Ellen said:

    @ Laura – Yeah, that's a good point. I don't know what someone is going to say before hand. Maybe my internal threat level just goes on high alert, so then I blank out what they are saying to me? No matter what it might be? Could be. I don't know what causes the panic. It happens at pretty much every group, and I used to deal with it by leaving, now by talking. So I don't know if it's situational – i.e., what is actually happening. It's true they were demonstrating closeness and so maybe I didn't like that….Again, I'm in the dark as to what is happening.thanks for your thoughts Laura

  3. chewingtaffy said:

    I have a love – hate relationship with group therapy.Love your blog! šŸ™‚

  4. Ellen said:

    Hi Taffy – Me too. Really nice to meet you Taffy, thanks for commenting.

  5. Interesting that you got talking to R on the way home. I wonder if that will go anywhere… I'll have to keep reading I guess!

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