Odds and sods and group

I have not been wanting to feel things, so I haven’t been writing, and I haven’t been writing to Ron either. Very self-contained these last weeks. It took me a long time to feel better after the last therapy session. I still don’t know what to do with that memory, how to make sense of it in my mind. Perhaps that is the essence of dissociation – memories and feelings seem to have happened to someone else. Even when they come back, they don’t seem like my own.

I’ve had a cold since Wednesday. Very miserable yesterday. Finally, after a day of nose dripping uncontrollably, I decided to try an anti-histamine, and what a relief. I’m getting these odd colds that combine a head cold with an allergy attack. For me, and allergy attack that is out of control is completely disabling – my eyes and nose stream constantly. Very odd, because my allergy season is essentially over. I suspect my body’s defenses are low because of the constant jarring of PTSD. So this falling apart happens.

Today was a better day. I did some work, so won’t book another day off sick. I don’t get paid for sick days, but it’s a grey area, because working from home is OK. I’ll take a one day hit for Thursday and let it go at that.

I’ve been considering how alone I am. This week it’s not bothering me, though I have barely spoken to anyone all week. I wonder if it’s something I put out – that people don’t want to talk to me or be around me? I’m not looking for reassurance BTW, to anyone who knows me. Just – how come I’m alone all the time at work, and most of the time at home?

I have friends, and I spend time with them. But essentially, I am always by myself.

I’ve been worrying / thinking about group, which begins next week again. I want to do a better job this time. I feel bad about how I behaved in the last group actually. I want to talk to Ron tomorrow about this.

For one thing, I want to try to hold on to the idea that Ron cares about me, even in the context of the group. I completely lose that sense in group for some reason, which makes me so anxious I can barely stand to stay in it.

I want to keep tabs on parts and not let them act out. That’s different from totally suppressing them. Having some scared child attack another group member just isn’t going to be helpful to anyone. It wasn’t helpful last year. Nothing really got worked out, I just stirred up a lot of pain as far as I can see.

I also want to be a supportive person. I do. Ron stresses honesty and ‘realness’, whatever that may be. But I think now, more than before, that there is a lot of value in showing kindness and support. All the people in a therapy group are suffering and fragile. We’re not supposed to be there to make friends – but what is wrong with showing concern?

I’m intending to talk to people before and after the group, not leave in silence. I can at least wish them a good week, and maybe hope that whatever the issue is gets better? What would be wrong with that? We are all fellow travelers after all. I don’t see how some expressed fellow feeling in the group is going to be untherapeutic. I’m not a therapist, I’m just a person in a group, I can act like a normal human being.

I do wish R. would not be in the group. I won’t be offering him a ride home, and if he asks, I will actually refuse. I’m not interested in working out any feelings about him in the group. If he does that, I think it will be a cowardly act actually. He had the option of talking to me directly – if he feels safer in the group and decides to air his feelings, whatever they are, there, I’ll think he is too chicken shit scared to talk to me directly.

Anyway, trying not to obsess on R. I think the last group helped me with social relationships. I’d never considered the option of ‘being real’ before, so it was practice with that. I want to feel and express more sympathy with people, (OK, except for R). That will make it more of a healing force for me.

  1. weareonebyruth said:

    You have a lot on your plate right now. May I make a suggestion? When the younger parts in my life became more aware, they brought with them needs unmet from long ago. Finding a way to meet some of those small needs goes along way to bringing a more peaceful coexistence. I found coloring books and crayons very helpful in calming inner anxiety. You may need to experiment to see what works for you. Working in a group is a challenge. Sounds like you are already working out some plans that will help.

    • Ellen said:

      OK, I’ll try colouring books. I need some way of keeping younger parts calm in the group. Last time, I constantly shredded kleenexes, which I know people found odd. I was wondering if I should try knitting…..It’s definitely a challenge. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Hmmmmm. I had a new friendship start earlier in the summer, with a woman I met in my Ryerson photo class. We had a great time in class together, and went for coffee outside of class a few times. Class ended, and we talked on the phone a couple more times. And then she called one day, and I didn’t call her back. And she called again, about two weeks later, and left another message and I still didn’t call back. Why? Because I was depressed, and anxious, and very, very suicidal. I had fallen into my old thinking… which is, why start a new friendship when I will most likely be dead by the end of summer.

    I am telling you this, because you really don’t know R’s reasons for not returning your call. Yes, it was rude, and it hurt your feelings, and it reminded you of everything you dislike in male/female relationships – when one person seems more interested than the other person.

    Maybe he will never explain, and maybe he doesn’t have that right. At least not before an apology is offered. And you have every right to not want to restart the friendship (obviously).

    But if you are starting group with a desire to be more compassionate, maybe you can reserve a tiny bit of that compassion for the person you dislike most in group. Isn’t that what Pema is always going on about?

    As for my new friendship, I wrote to her on FB and apologized, explaining what had gone on during the summer. And then followed up with a phone call. She says she understands, but I will just have to see over the long run if the damage can be fixed. I sure hope so.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for sharing about your new friend Catherine. I’m real sorry you had such a tough time this summer.

      It is good to keep in mind that I don’t know R’s reasons. However he is not bipolar…..I really do believe there was some problem in our trying to be friends, and that it’s not his mental state. He’s pretty stable IMO. I’d be surprised if he apologizes.

      If I could do anything Pema goes on about, I’d surely be a better person than I am. Well, I am trying to detach from the situation. I know my feelings are too strong for what the situation calls for. We’ll see. Hope it works out with your friend.

      Take care

      • 🙂 well i def. think he does owe you an apology, but in my experience men are rarely good about that… at least most men… as for his mental state… well he’s in therapy and attending group, so he obviously is working on some stuff. i guess we’ll never know… hope therapy was good today and good luck in group next week, c.

        • ps it’s nice to be friends with someone else who reads pema… i find it so hard to put into practice what i read in her books, but she speaks to my heart

          • Ellen said:

            R definitely has issues. I’ll see….there’s nothing I can do now anyway. Yes, Pema is inspiring! thanks Catherine

  3. Bourbon said:

    I thought I hadn’t heard from you for a while… glad to see you posting. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so ill with the cold 😦 Colds royally suck. I withdraw immensely when I am ill. Hope you feel better soon xx

    • Ellen said:

      I think you can feel as ill with a cold as with some huge horrible illness, just you know the cold is harmless really and will pass shortly. Thanks Bourbon

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