Group

Group on Thursday was fine. For a change. I stayed calm throughout. I neither left, nor interrupted, nor switched the topic to myself, and I didn’t even shred kleenex, which I oh so crazily do usually.

Part of the goodness was the supplement I’m taking in the afternoons and evenings – 5HTP. It’s a pre-cursor to the amino acid tryptophan, which is involved with the neurotransmitter serotonin. It’s making me feel more calm and relaxed, and a lot less threatened in general. I think I’m addicted to it actually – I look forward to taking it and the feelings of comfort it allows.

Also, I left work a few hours early to work from home. That allowed me to rest. And then, as a final touch of goodness, E was away that evening.

The group focused on R who told the story about how he was rejected by his family. I am amazed he can talk about it for so long. Maybe because I really like R, I found it a compelling story. I was very conscious throughout of wanting to be ‘good’, that is not interrupting, etc. I also felt that Ron would be judging anything I ventured to say, so I didn’t say much, beyond a bit of feedback and banter at the end of the group. But besides this Ron problem, I felt ‘normal’ and as if I could attend to others and not be a freak-out.

There was also a kind of warm and unstressed feeling within the group with E’s absence. I actually experience it as being happy with the warm glow of the light in the room. Not having that continual source of conflict was a relief for everyone I think. Maybe it would be similar if I was away. Sad thought. Then R responded very warmly to everyone’s feedback, adding his thoughts to what we’d said. Really one of the only group sessions where I felt everyone was supportive and comforting.

I didn’t rush out the door, I didn’t linger. I would have liked to talk to R, but I wasn’t sure if it was awkward or odd, so I didn’t try to leave with him. Maybe he wants to process the group without the complication of talking to a group member separately. Then walking along the street, R caught up with me and asked for a ride home. Which I was very happy to provide.

It was lovely to talk with R I have to say. I of course pour out my tale of woe concerning Ron and myself. R is sympathetic. I tell him about the extra session, and how it made things worse, and R laughs and says he’s been through the same thing also. Then he advised me not to let it go – to keep coming back to it. He says that Ron actually likes it when you raise issues like anger at him….I say that yes, Ron used to be like that with me, it was so great, but now he seems to have taken things personally.

R also thinks I should really face the issue with E head-on, really explore it in depth. And in general, he doesn’t think I talk a lot at all. He says I say a little bit, but then stop.

So by the time I drop R off at his house, I feel pretty good. R after all does know Ron and the group very intimately, so he knows what I’m talking about really well. He also doesn’t care for E. Which is not fair, and we don’t discuss it much, but…..Well, it’s not fair. What can I say.

Anyway, I wonder if this is how the others are experiencing the group. Interesting, involving but not a crisis every week. I could get used to this.

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7 comments
  1. Laura said:

    do you not have a rule barring outside contact with group members?I suppose no one would comment on the different atmosphere, without E there. Or, perhaps it was the tryptophan-like haze you were in!

  2. Laura said:

    Did Ron go one-on-one with R, as he was doing with E?

  3. Ellen said:

    No explicit rule Laura. Just that we have to bring anything upsetting or untoward back into the group. And R has not upset me. R actually commented on the nice atmosphere without E there, on the ride home. Not sure I was in a haze….maybe more like respite from severe anxiety which was my state last time. I guess I'll see next time if the haze continues to happen with E back. :-)Thx for commenting

  4. Ellen said:

    Not to the same extent Laura. Don't know if it was my criticism of him last session that did that…probably not. But Ron was much more restrained. He did talk to him a bit, but not to do the individual type of insight therapy. The group feedback was much more central this time, and I'm more comfortable with that personally. cheers

  5. Ruth said:

    Nice to have a calm week. Just a thought, it may have been calm but do you feel like you learned anything?

  6. Ellen said:

    Good point Ruth. I did learn more about R, and that I too can listen quietly. Getting all upset does teach you more I suppose. thx for the thoughts

  7. That's really interesting about the tryptophan precursor. I was just reading the BNF a few days ago (it's the British National Formulary: basically all the drugs that can be prescribed… what a nerd!) and reading about tryptophan based drugs used in depression. I was thinking about how it's an amino acid and it's found in turkey and I was wondering if there's a way one could naturally increase it. Very weird! Did you buy the H stuff on the internet? How are you finding it now?Also, don't want to put more doubts in your mind but don't you think it's interesting that Ron didnt go all deep with R the way he seems to with E? I am suspicious. I just think maybe your paranoia about his relationship with her isn't so much paranoia but more astute observation.I'm so sorry if my comments are upsetting if you are in a different place now. Part of me feels I just shouldnt say anything as they're old posts and I dont want to stir up old feelings but then I read each post and my feelings about it come up and I just cant keep my big mouth shut. Sorry Ellen.

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