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.