Group Thursday

Back from group and therapy session. They were both hard.

Group was difficult because I needed to talk and didn’t get a chance for what seemed an eternity. There was not a lot of silence at the start. I was very scared, as I wrote here, so I hesitated just a moment too long, and Z took centre stage.

Z’s issue involves being scared to talk in the group, especially to voice anything remotely negative about anyone. She was actually scared to talk about this, so there was lots of silence. I started to feel actually frantic in my need to talk about the previous week’s group. It’s hard to describe, but I just couldn’t relax and focus on Z’s issues.

I tried giving some feedback to her, and of course it ended up being all about me, which was likely unhelpful to Z. Ron kept encouraging Z to talk about her stuff. I blurted out that I needed time to talk about last week’s group. Ron didn’t respond to that at all. Z offered to quit talking right away, and Ron wouldn’t let her.

After an hour, I left to go outside. I just couldn’t cope any more. I’d already felt Ron hadn’t supported me the previous week, and now this week I wasn’t allowed to discuss it. It seemed like. So I went to the garden in the back of the church and breathed in blessed silence.

When I got back, the group was sitting silently. E. informed me that they hadn’t been talking, they’d been waiting for me.

Ellen. What? I almost left altogether. You guys would have been waiting a long time!

This is unusual behaviour in the group. Really strange. Ron asks me if I was trying to tell them something by leaving. I say I prefer to talk in words, it was just that I couldn’t cope with sitting there waiting to talk any more. I ask the group if they’re now all mad at me for leaving. Someone says that I should just talk. There are about 25 minutes left.

I say how attacked I felt by E, and how surprised I was. I ask her how long she’s felt this way about me, and say I don’t feel that way about her.

Then I get into the ‘kick you in the f’ing face’ comment. I say how it played over and over in my mind, how I pictured it happening.

Then the kid takes over and starts talking to Ron.

Kid. So if you’re kicked in the face, it would be bleeding? And all smushed and stuff…And Ron, there would be smushed bones and brains and it would hurt a lot Ron….You know I wouldn’t like that to happen….

Ron. So is this a younger part of you that’s talking now?

E. (switched out) No kidding.

Ron. So could that younger part talk to E and tell her how scared she was at that comment?

E. No. I’m talking to you Ron. I was telling you things.

Ron. If you could talk to E., that would be good.

E. (switched out) So E, that comment disturbed me a lot. It was really painful to think about.

Ron. So you stopped talking from the kid place.

E. Yes. I’m not going to have the kid talk to someone who doesn’t even like me. Why would I do that? That wouldn’t make sense. No way. You’re the only one the kid has ever talked to, and now she’s supposed to talk to E?

Then I talk a bit about how unsupported and alone I’d felt when E was attacking me. How absolutely no one stood up for me. Ron asks me what that support would have looked like. Just anything, I say. Like ‘I don’t want to see you punched in the face’ or ‘Man that must be rough to hear all that.’ Something.

R. says that he did support me. He did, afterwards with feedback, and I thank him for doing that. Then R continues that he has felt similar things as I did, when two group members had been criticizing him, and Ron kept urging him to keep going with what he was talking about, and how that was so difficult with no one making any supportive comments. I liked how R felt the same as I did and wasn’t afraid to say it. I ask him what kind of comment he’d have liked to hear. He says ‘Oh something positive, just something’. I hope next time someone is criticized in the group I can make some kind of supporting comment. I know now how much that can mean.

That about wraps it up. I want to mention that once I started talking, Ron was very concerned that I didn’t feel supported. He looked at me the whole time I was talking, he talked to me, and it was nice really. I wasn’t really able to switch gears from wanting to talk about how unsupportive I felt he was being, but I did notice his support at the end of the group. I wish I’d said something about it.

I give R the usual ride home. We have a more serious conversation this time. I try to explain a bit about parts, which he does not really understand. He tells me more about his struggles with his family situation. He keeps telling me how much he likes me and values me in the group. I have realized though that he is not flirting or anything.  Because he’s touched my arm and back a few times, I experimentally touch his arm and tell him I appreciate him, and he kind of flinches. Okey doke. It’s really strange how he keeps saying how much he likes me. Why would he keep doing that? It’s just odd. We’ve established we get along, I’ll give him a ride home…Not sure why he goes on about ‘liking’. Maybe I actually scare him but he’s trying to convince himself I don’t.

  1. gniz said:

    In terms of R., I'd guess he says how much he likes you because a) he sounds like a nice person and that's consistent with how a nice person talks and b) he really does like you and c)he also senses that you need to hear positive things.Seems like a great person to have around and your attraction to each other (platonic or otherwise) is a sign that you're getting healthier

  2. Laura said:

    seems pretty strange!as Ron said, things broke open last week, and this week they're paved right over again.on the other hand, probably not coincidentally, and ironically, someone who doesn't usually speak took the floor – from you!how's it feeling, now?

  3. Ellen said:

    @ gniz – It would be awfully nice to believe this is true Aaron. I hope it is – that something good is happening, not another strange thing. Thanks@ Laura – It seemed odd to me also Laura. I did address this in my session so I'll write Ron's response there. Now…I feel better about the E incident anyway. Cheers

  4. gniz said:

    Why couldn't something nice be happening?When I work hard, I notice good things usually follow.

  5. Ellen said:

    Well, it could be. πŸ™‚

  6. Ruth said:

    Something I picked up on was why did the group feel it was necessary to lay a guilt trip on you for leaving for a bit and why did Ron let them? You made a choice to leave for a bit which was a way to pull yourself together and it was like an unspoken criticism. Hugs to you. I think what you did by leaving and taking a breather was a good idea. Glad you talked some too.

  7. Ellen said:

    Hi Ruth, I'm not sure what they were trying to do actually. I was too upset to really inquire much. I know I'm not supposed to leave, which is acting out. I'm supposed to talk about it. I felt I'd already attempted to get time and failed, so I left. I agree with them it's not a great thing to do. You are supposed to fall apart, not pull yourself together. πŸ™‚ Nice that you see it from my side though.

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