Group – abandonment

I want to jot down my impressions of group before my session, when it’s all going to get jumbled around with Ron’s input.

This time I arrive a few minutes early, which helps my anxiety quite a bit. I’m still shit-scared though to tell the honest truth. I chat a bit to the others there, and everyone says hi, so I guess they do like me – I was thinking they don’t.

Ron walks in and yawns.

I start, and this time for some reason the focus stays on me the whole evening. I feel I waste everyone’s time to tell the truth. I needed to say my piece, but then it would have been fine to go into other people’s stuff.

On the other hand, it feels good to say how I feel, and have people listen. Everyone responds to me in a more or less caring way, and I’m not expecting that, so that part is really nice.

I say that I felt the discussion last time was all about myself and A, yet not one person spoke to me, all the discussion was directed at A. And that it seems most in the group are very concerned that A should like them.

Ron encourages me to describe my feelings about the ‘A incident’. I say I felt rejected. A says some more things about being too busy to respond to me.

E. OK, so I understand what A is saying, it makes sense. You want me to talk more about how I feel – do you want rational or irrational?

Ron thinks for a minute.

R. Irrational.

So I talk about what feeling rejected is like for me….different people who have rejected me…a conversation I had with a friend where she said therapy was bad, and how I felt rejected in that.

After a few minutes my fear of the group evaporates. It does feel good to say my feelings. Feedback from Ron and the group is I am stopping myself – I should get into it more. I reply I don’t have a huge story about it – I just feel angry and rejected. And that when I had a conflict in last year’s group, it didn’t help me to vent, and I didn’t think it helped anyone else.

Ron says that attacking someone’s character is not helpful, but my feelings are my feelings and are OK to express. I did slip in a few angry comments about A’s character I have to admit.

In the end, A is sitting there looking upset. I no longer feel angry, though I know I will be again if he starts talking much. I say this. Also that I can see A is upset but I don’t greatly care. Ron thinks I have transferred my feelings over to A, so now I no longer have to feel them.

I find this a hurtful comment. I have been asking Ron how I should be expressing this, he has been urging me on, then when I do it, I’m told I’ve transferred my feelings to someone else so I don’t have to feel them.

I feel Ron is completely on A’s side. They sit beside each other, and it’s kind of funny, because they both cross their legs in the same way, towards each other, as I am speaking, with a similar expression of painful endurance on their faces. When A speaks, he echoes a criticism Ron has made of me. I tell him he seems merged with Ron.

Well, not diplomatic.

The other interesting thing is that E gave me some feedback and it was basically sympathetic, and somewhat helpful. That is a surprise. Hopefully we can put last year’s difficulties behind us.

I go home with very mixed feelings. I feel sad about a lost relationship. I feel good that the group wanted to listen to me and talk to me. I also feel suicidal. Maybe because this touches my abandonment issues. I go right to bed, I don’t brush my face or brush my teeth. But I do sleep.

I feel that Ron has no sympathy for me whatsoever. It does break my heart to lose that caring from him.

  1. Ruth said:

    Nice to hear you are feeling liked by the group. Not so nice that you are not feeling the same about Ron. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. My counselor would assure me that he was not my friend and it was his job to have me face my feelings. Some days, I really did not like my counselor but I saw the steady progress of improvement in my relationships with other people. Hard work happening, you are doing great.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it’s a real change and I hope it lasts because it will make the prospect of group less frightening for me. I also am seeing progress in other relationships, while mine with Ron heads south. Thanks Ruth.

  2. aallegoric said:

    So great of you to talk about this in your group! Well done! But I’m sorry that you feel that Ron doesn’t have any sympathy for you… hope you can sort this out.. xx

    • Ellen said:

      Oh, do you think so? Thank you. 🙂

      The relationship to Ron is taking a LOT of sorting out. Sigh. Take care A.

  3. catherineintoronto said:

    i’m not discounting that A imitates your therapist, in an effort to make himself look better. but at the same time, maybe there is some validity in what R is suggesting? and it’s not about him not siding with you. stick with me.

    i don’t think your associated memories and feelings of rejection is you speaking from an “irrational” place… associations are one of the most useful things i do with sharon… they help me figure out the dimensions of that feeling, whether it’s fear, hurt, abandonment, jealousy, a crush, and so on. A behaved badly. you were hurt by this. you are explaining the dimensions of that hurt. all rational.

    but rejection is such a big thing… i don’t know what the transferring feelings is about or how that would work (sounds like some psychotherapy theory i’d have to have sharon explain to me a couple of times)… but what if you are not done exploring and feeling the rejection you have experienced in your life? it is about A, yes, and it isn’t, it’s about so much more. maybe what he is really saying is “stick with this emotion” … keep delving into it… it’s not done.

    hope you were able to reconnect in some way during your session today.

    • Ellen said:

      I’m not sure what Ron is suggesting that you endorse Catherine?

      About irrational – yeah. I think of it this way – that the irrational is valid. Same idea. It’s true. It all comes from somewhere, for good reasons, just it’s not exactly a measured response to what A is saying. It’s still good to talk about it.

      Where does Ron say stick with the emotion, it’s not done?

      I agree with all you say, just I’m not seeing how Ron is saying this. Thank you Catherine, take care

      • catherineintoronto said:

        i think i was responding to the part of the sentence about not feeling your feelings (he thinks you are doing this by transferring them… i know that part of it doesn’t feel true to you)… but the sticking with the emotion bit, it’s not done yet is just me talking…. probably channeling sharon!!

        • Ellen said:

          Oh, I see. Yes, that would be a hopeful way of looking at it, and I’d agree with that. I think I’m reacting to things in a panicky kind of a way. Thanks for seeing it more positively. Or should I say channeling…. 🙂

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