Group

I will talk a bit about my group. Today was therapy and I feel pretty bad from that. Group was better it seemed like.

I started out, which meant Ron paid attention to me, so I liked that part. I wish I didn’t crave his attention so.

I talked about how I am struggling with Ron in particular. How I was feeling he didn’t like me and how he supported E but not me. Then about how the group reminds me a bit of my family, with Ron being my father, Y being my younger brother, and E of course my sister.

Then I tried to talk about my family, but it was very very difficult. I stopped and started a lot. Ron said my father didn’t talk to me for two years, and that was ‘malicious’ and a powerful way to hurt someone.

People asked questions etc….At one point, I was hit by a wave of badness I’d describe it as. I saw myself crouched in a corner, as a young child, with a bunch of older kids beating me up. I described that. It seemed to be parts of myself beating up the part that was talking. I have such a strong inner prohibition from talking about this stuff, so it does feel as if when I do talk, I also get internally beaten up.

Towards the end E spoke up and said how upset she was about some of the things I’d said to her. I decided not to back away. Even though some things I’ve said are kind of childish, it remains true that I find her very difficult. So I said some things to that effect. Still kind of childish – that she is ‘mean’ for instance. I asked her to tell me why she didn’t like me, that I wanted to hear it, to tell me what it was., just list all of it. She ignored that. She talked about how hurt I made her feel, how I didn’t seem to think she had any feelings. How she felt bad about how I felt.

Then Ron seemed to stand up for me. He said to E that it seems as if she’s trying to change how I feel right away. She said that ideally, yes, she’d like that. Ron said it’s better to stick with her own feelings, that’s it’s a kind of violation to try to change someone else’s feelings, and that it doesn’t work anyway.

I felt like he was standing up for me. It’s difficult to respond to someone whose complaint is how I feel. Sometimes I’ve tried to go there, and it’s never anywhere good. It seems like it’s all logical, but it’s a swamp. I’m glad this time I just stuck to how I felt, although I knew it wasn’t strictly speaking ‘fair’. It’s an emotional truth.

Group ended then. E left fast and looked pretty angry. I felt OK about our interaction though. Shamed though from talking about my family. I thought I’d been boring and tongue tied.

I again gave R a lift home. It was still nice to talk to him, and he reassured me I hadn’t been boring, he’d been very interested.  We didn’t talk much about the group. We talked about Freud, about some writing R had done, and about therapy in general. I’m trying to stay away from discussing the group with R, as per our guidelines. Even though it is very tempting. It’s only a fifteen minute ride, so there’s not much time anyhow.

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7 comments
  1. Laura said:

    this is an odd post, Ellen, I almost don't recognize you, somehow! I think you must be NOT-talking about your session…do you get beat up when you talk to Ron?

  2. gniz said:

    Hey Ellen.Really interesting how you describe getting beaten up when you talk about your childhood, beating yourself up in a way.Today I was talking to my "guru" about my family stuff which has been pretty horrific lately. And about my own guilt over how I've handled parts of it, getting angry, losing emotional control, etc.He said something pretty interesting. He said that I should first and foremost forgive myself, then forgive the others. He said that nobody will ever say I'm right–nobody in my family will ever really admit that I may have done the right things. And that internally I will also berate myself for being "wrong."He said it's helpful to not listen to any of that, whether its my family or myself.For me that is freeing. Sometimes there is no way to get at any definitive truth. And not to actively repress my own thoughts or feelings, but just to let go of whether I am right or wrong and instead focus on just bringing my attention to this moment. And do the very best I can with what's happening right now.Just a little thought about some perhaps parallels with our situations. But maybe I am off base, we obviously have different families and different paths.Be well!

  3. Ellen said:

    @ Laura – well, you win some, you lose some. 🙂 I don't know what you respond to really, but that's OK.I do get beat up actually, depending on the topic.Thanks for commenting@ gniz – It's definitely beating myself up. Interesting you're also having this issue come up now.I'm personally in favor of 'losing emotional control', getting angry, etc…though our society isn't. I think there can be an automatic backlash when this happens just from society's teachings alone. From what I've read on blogs and heard people say, meditation is used an awful lot in order to repress. Even though some of the teachings say no, allow these thoughts….Most people do not. It's just easier, in a way, to repress what we don't like. I struggle with the forgiveness stuff actually. I'd think first you have to fully feel and 'digest' things, before you can move to forgiveness. Mostly that part is cut short or skipped. Forgiving ourselves though…yeah, it seems like a good plan.I think there is a fair amount of similarity in our family situations actually. And you do have interesting discussions with your guru. Thanks for sharing those thoughts. Good luck with the family issues also. I know how overwhelming and even paralyzing they can be.

  4. gniz said:

    Hi Ellen, The repressing thing is important. I've found repression to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks in my practice.It's a fine line to walk, because another big stumbling block is wallowing in stories about the past and present and future, and not attending to myself in this moment.So the trick for me has been to allow those thoughts and feelings to come up, to allow the feelings to happen, but also to try and react in new ways and not just become a robot who is always having my same buttons pressed over and over again.One thing Steve said yesterday was that the proof of whether or not I've learned anything is whether I react differently the next time a similar situation comes up.Too often I find I'm just doing the same old song and dance, reacting the same way again and again.

  5. Ellen said:

    Hi Aaron,"Too often I find I'm just doing the same old song and dance, reacting the same way again and again."Ain't that the truth. That is a good test – does anything change? I find my group is a good testing ground to see if I can change how I react or not. I like the way you explain the repression issue – that makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

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