Group sucks

Venting type post. Sorry in advance.

I had been so angry, then I calmed down Tuesday. Now I’m furious once again. I am never ever going back to that group again. I wish I hadn’t gone. I also feel bereft.

Due to traffic, I didn’t get there until the minute group started. I was pretty scared, and that fear didn’t get a chance to go down much.

A started right in on his feelings. I could care less. Everyone else chimed in too. One thing I guess I do like better this year is there is no longer the ‘first talker’ rule. Pretty well every night, everyone has something to say, and Ron will go into anyone’s feelings, not just the person’s who talked first.

Because I felt full of fear and also anger, I didn’t know what to say, so I just listened. At one point E started crying because she’d been crying last week, and no one had asked her about it. Then no one responded. So I said I’d seen she was crying, and did feel some concern, but because our interactions have been so negative, I’d been reluctant to engage her.

I didn’t mean it badly. It was honest, and I wanted to show that yes, I had noticed. Anyway, she predictably took this very badly and as proof that no one cared. So I wished I hadn’t said anything.

Others said that they’d often felt badly at the group, and no one reached out to them either.

I ended up feeling so overwhelmed I did need to leave the room, and I stood looking out the glass doors for maybe fifteen minutes before going back in. I know I needed to speak but there was no room. E was crying and then explaining why she was upset.

I eventually did go back in. It was difficult to sit there. What happens though, I realized, is when I get that frustrated and upset, I fragment. So I’m feeling bits of body memories swirling around, and other parts piping up to say things. So if I can sit there and let that happen, I can stay, I no longer panic and need to leave. The leaving is to stop this from happening to me. I’m not interacting with anyone, but I can remain in my chair.

In the last five minutes, my frustration did come out. A was going on about his feelings, so I leapt into a pause and said I wanted to say something to Z. Which was that I have lately noticed she is able to give her strong opinion much more. But when I try and compliment her on it, she rejects it, so I don’t feel like bothering in the future.

Z is having these agonizing conversations with A, where she points out something he has done that distresses her. A responds with a bunch of psycho-babble. Z then makes it all about her – how she has these deep character flaws that make her distrust people. A then gets to respond how ‘sad’ that makes him feel, that she should have such distrust.

GRRRR….I tell her to stick to her guns at one point. She won’t. It has to be all about her flaws and failings. God forbid A should actually have done something that hurt or upset her in any way.

Ron lets this happen, he doesn’t see how A wins here every time. Seeing your own flaws is supposed to be good insight I suppose. Hurray for therapy. Too bad people use it to continue beating themselves up and hiding from the truth of things.

So I say to Z that I feel she doesn’t accept a compliment. She asks for further clarification. Then Ron says something about how my own feelings get mixed up with what I’m saying. The minute he talks to me, I am furious with him again. I say I don’t want to talk. He says you want to leave. I say yes, but I bravely stayed. That was good, no? Ron has this negative ‘I don’t think so’ look. He says I could have talked about how I felt. I tell him when? It’s a very complex situation. All your clients have these complicated adult problems. When was I going to be talking?

I’m furious.

E. I think I did a good job staying. And I did a good job last week too.

Ron does not respond to this.

The group is over and I stalk out, the first to leave.

Furious once again. I hate how Z lets herself be railroaded and out-manouvered by A. I hate how Ron lets it happen.

I hate how I didn’t get a chance to speak. I didn’t have anything that made sense. I still wanted to punch A, nothing changed there. But yes, I didn’t have a whole lot of adult type conversation to contribute, besides this analysis of Z and A, which just crystallized for me on the way home.

  1. weareonebyruth said:

    Sounds to me that you write you feelings better than you say them. I think I would be annoyed if I had a similar situation. You are speaking out a little to comments. Perhaps you can write a post here about what you wanted to say.

    • Ellen said:

      Not too sure what comments you are referring to Ruth? I didn’t really know what I wanted to say tonight, beyond how I felt I suppose.



  2. harrietmwelch said:

    Ooh, this sounds so difficult, I would be angry too. And once again you say something that is important to you, and once again Ron does not respond. I guess that is a trigger for me, maybe because my husband doesn’t respond to most things I say, so when you write it, it jumps out at me. I don’t mean to always be picking on Ron for his non-responsiveness. But, you know, you do write that an awful lot. I think you did a good job staying, I know it is very difficult for you, and you did it. That is an accomplishment.

    • Ellen said:

      It was difficult. To be fair to Ron, he does not approve of my leaving the group for a ‘break’, and I’m supposed to talk it through instead of acting it out. However, I couldn’t do that last night. So he didn’t agree that I did a good job. However there wasn’t time to get into it. So he didn’t say anything. I understand it. My anger is kind of separate. I’m not sure where it’s coming from or what’s causing it.

      I’m sorry to hear your husband acts in such an uncaring way. That would be very hurtful to live with.

      Thanks for the encouragement Harriet!

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