I am feeling anxious after my group tonight. I’ve fairly quickly drunk two glasses of left-over white wine in an attempt to come down, so I’m a little dizzy. Not a big drinker obviously. Though a frequent drinker, yes, I have to admit. A glass of wine with dinner often happens.
My frenemy E took centre stage AGAIN tonight. At one point towards the end of the meeting, both R and myself raised the issue of how the group runs. My issue was that whoever starts talking at the very start of the group is who Ron pays attention to for the rest of the time. No matter what anyone else then says, Ron will always bring the focus back to the person who talked first.
E’s issue was that she didn’t feel close to Ron in the group, while he was the most important person in her life actually. So she talked and talked and talked.
I’d had this really difficult day, and barely made it in to the group. The suicidal voice was screaming at me, and I was basically feeling like the crazy lady of the group.
I tried to stay present, giving E feedback that I too find it very difficult to share Ron with other people. Then I talked about the whole sister scenario – how my sister sucked up, how my father favoured her. That is so so painful for me. Ron didn’t pay too much attention to this – he just returned to E, asking her more questions. He kind of does individual type therapy with whoever is centre stage. I just think this is stupid – why then is there a group. Shouldn’t the focus be on our group interactions? Is it really the place to do this sensitive, personal one on one in depth therapy?
It’s hard giving my reactions, if they are negative. It’s a risk that I will be rejected. Then, Ron goes ahead and rejects me for doing that. No wonder most people are reluctant to provide their reactions. Really, myself and R are the only ones who ever venture to say anything negative.
I was feeling so much pressure from my bad day. Plus now I had to listen all evening to E’s problems as well, to top it off. Very stressful. So I asked Ron if I could have some time to talk after E had finished, and he said OK.
When I finally got some time, in the last few minutes, I had trouble using it. Finally I had everyone’s attention and I didn’t know what to say. I talked a bit about feeling dropped. I talked a bit about my family scenario. I did say that I always wonder what the people who don’t talk, or don’t talk much, would say if they talked.
Then all the people who don’t talk spoke up and talked! It was kind of cool. I think Ron’s method of having one central person per meeting really excludes those of his clients who don’t want to be the centre of attention all evening, who need to approach things a little sideways.
Then finally I go into my rant. How difficult my day was at work, how I hadn’t slept properly, how I was thinking of jumping in front of the subway on the way home, how strange it was to come to a group and everyone was scared to talk, how I had to listen to middle class problems when I was not really coping. Then I threw in the fact that I went to meetings this week without taking medication, but then I was scared and didn’t do a good job.
Phew. OK. That felt better. Nice and crazy and I didn’t care what anyone thought.
Ron was not supportive. He looked kind of puzzled and didn’t say much. In contrast to when E was talking, where he constantly asked for more info and made interpretations.
So I guess he doesn’t much like me. I interrupt his group, I criticize him, I criticize one of his clients. He doesn’t much like it.
So I’m anxious. I want to say how I see things, at the same time, I need Ron to like me. A dilemma. I feel like quitting the group.