Back from my group. I spent the day in this obsessed state, researching air purifiers, as I was suffering quite a bit from nausea. Then rushed out and bought in haste. I now have two I have to return. I had no idea the air purifier selection was so complex. I think too, it’d help if I knew what I’m allergic to, so I can figure out how much I have to spend. The better ones are very f’ing pricey.
I drove to group just at dusk, so lovely today. The sky all blue grey with wisps of sun and bits of yellow leaves.
Group was tough. This time I was not in what I call social coping mode.
The first two-thirds of it consisted of discussions by other members. I started to want to leave really really badly. But what I found was, it was hurt parts coming up, for some reason. And if I could just sit and let them say a few things (quietly, to me), and sit with feelings of sadness, hurt, self-destruction….that they always bring with them, then I could continue sitting, and not have to leave. I didn’t really participate in what was going on much, but I stayed.
It’s actually good if I can feel. A lot of the time, everything is walled off, and it breaks in on me under stress. Sitting there and allowing parts to be there without taking over is a really excellent thing for me.
The tough part came when I was actually participating.
It’s my friend anger again. It is so tough to deal with. I find I can express it. In fact I want to express it. Then the guilt following…man oh man. Very very guilty. Because everyone in the group is damaged, is suffering. I don’t want to add to the damage.
My ex-friend A. (I used to call him R., but since the A from last year has left the group, I’m going to switch to A. to distinguish him more from Ron) had an issue. He talked about it for a while, it obviously caused him pain. Everyone was sympathetic, everything was sweetness and light, except for the badness A was discussing.
I got more and more angry with A. And we’re supposed to express our reactions, not stifle them madly, as is very tempting to do. So I said it. I said I actually felt like punching him, he’s not so perfect.
Real mature. Oh well. Then I explained about the summer, how we’d begun a friendship, how he’d dropped me by not returning my call.
I explained I was pissed off, and hurt, and I’d expected him to do me the courtesy of returning my call, at least, even if he didn’t want to be friends anymore.
A’s response kind of pissed me off more. He said he’d been very busy….then after two weeks it seemed too late to call. He didn’t think it was a big deal. He responded at length, in this circular way he has. At one point he said maybe he should have called. Then he said that he’d decided this wasn’t a good relationship for him. (I thought he was too busy?) Then he said actually, the more he saw me, the more he liked me.
Well. I stayed mad. I told Ron I thought we were supposed to express how we felt, but I felt worse – freaked out, afraid, and still angry. Expressing it made me feel worse. Ron said the purpose isn’t to feel good right away, it’s to work things through in a way we might not in the outside world.
Three people responded. One was E., whose response I didn’t much care for to be honest, so I didn’t reply to it. The other two expressed some sympathy to me. Z responded at length, and it was very interesting. It was the first time in a year I’d heard her voice her actual, really complex and thought out, opinion. Wow.
A. got put on the floor for being a withdrawing kind of a person. And some other things.
He did look upset.
End of group.
I was furious the whole drive home, with background guilt. But at this moment, I’m glad I got into it with A.
I wonder sometimes what readers will make of what goes on in group therapy. It’s a little difficult to explain. It’s not real life. It’s not how I’d act in the world, in most cases. It’s not a support group. It’s not for getting support for our burdens, though that sometimes happens.
I am interested in it. I find it interesting what happens when people say what they really feel. Painful but interesting. And I’m finding I”m more able to sit with what I feel in more social situations without needing to repress it or express it or hopefully, in my case, switch to a kid part.