Oh so unruly

I am still trying to come to terms with what happened in the oh so unruly group on Thursday night. It’s a long weekend here, with absolutely flawless weather, except a little to hot for my taste in the middle of the day….and here I am obsessing about what some woman said to me in my therapy group. Seems ironic – shouldn’t I be luxuriating in the sun, lolling about drinking beer and eating barbecue? Canadian summer is short – I should be out there soaking it up.

I think I was pretty dissociated from the group experience, still in my session on Friday, so I didn’t get to explore things to any great degree. Now I’ve ‘thawed’, I feel beaten up and stunned at the rage and hostility E apparently feels for me. I’m thinking it’s no wonder my interactions with her seemed fake, when we were talking about other things, pretending….If that was going on for her in the background.

I do not feel that kind of rage at her at all. I’ve felt our interactions are fake…..and she has reminded me uncomfortably of my sister…and I’ve felt jealous of Ron’s caring for her when he didn’t seem to care for me….But I have not felt a murderous rage, where I want to see her hurt and dismembered, I really haven’t.

I’ve sent off an email to Ron. I want to explain how I feel, since I didn’t get to in my session with him, due to still being dissociated. I wished he would have stood up for me, when E attacked me, especially  when she said she ‘wanted to kick my f’ing head in’. Ron explicitly reassured her that it was fine to say that. Why is it fine? I keep picturing what it would be like to have my head smashed in…I can’t seem to let that image go. It hurts.

I would have liked Ron to stand up for me, or at least ask me how I felt about all this. He didn’t do that. Is it fine to say anything at all in the service of expressing your feelings? Would it be OK for E to say she would like to seem me tied up, raped and tortured? That she’d like to stab me with her kitchen knife? Is there any line at all?

Ron said that sometimes we have to go to these ‘primitive parts of our minds’ and express that. What about the person on the receiving end? I certainly did not express anything like that to E. I said she was ‘mean’, and I happily take that back. That’s just ridiculous, she is not mean. Or if she is I have no evidence for that.

I feel like I’ve been assaulted. It does remind me of my ex-husband’s rages, where he would smash furniture and destroy things. And my son’s rage. And come to think of it my former sister in law’s rage. She moved into our house when  I was pregnant, and we did  not get along, and it was awful.

Maybe I’ll be able to learn to deal with conflict better through this. Right now it just feels really awful – that I was attacked, that no one helped me, that I am alone.

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4 comments
  1. (((Ellen)))I'm sorry for what E said about hurting you. I think there should be limits to what people can say to each other. You aren't E's therapist and therefore you didn't agree to accept whatever she projected onto you and acted out. Did Ron every set some rules about what could be said or done in group? I think this is the first story about your group that makes me feel angry and unsure about how helpful the group is. I hope Ron responded to your email and the response helps.Di

  2. Ellen said:

    Thanks Di. He hasn't responded yet, I keep checking my email. He's out of town. He still responds then, but it takes longer. I wish this hadn't happened over the long weekend! He's away until Thursday. Ron actually told E that it was fine to say that. She asked him….I'd spaced out by then, so I didn't say anything. I'm really feeling upset and I would like to hear from Ron. Thanks for seeing my side. Cheers

  3. Laura said:

    I think that people (like us) who come from homes where feelings were not spoken of, can give words and expressions of feeling TOO much power. It's as if being verbally attacked and being physically attacked are almost the same. Part of therapy (speaking for myself) is learning that words are only words.Sometimes, when I feel beaten up by the people around me, Howard sends me a kind word, and other times, I have to realize that I am standing and unscathed – no bruises, no wounds. If I were in your place I would somewhat relish my innocent victim-hood – everyone can see that you did nothing to deserve what you got.I hope you're out enjoying the day.Hugs to you.

  4. Ellen said:

    Hi Laura, Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. There's something to what you say – we can just be unused to verbal expressions of anger. I know that was an issue with my ex – he was from a background with lots of yelling, I wasn't, so for me everything was a big deal. Ron got back to me and I felt better. He never says much by email but it still helps if he seems to hear me. My day did get better. Hugs

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