Still having trouble communicating, but I want a record of my therapy, otherwise it seems like it will be lost. Maybe a summary will do.
I have absolutely no idea what Ron was wearing. Not a good sign – I probably wasn’t seeing him.
First we discuss the previous night’s group. I’d gone to group racked with anxiety, which I’d talked about in group. It helped to talk about it, but no one really responded, and I didn’t find out why I was so anxious.
R. Just because no one said anything doesn’t mean they didn’t have responses.
E. Well, how would I know the difference?
R. That’s true.
I’d talked about how I’d felt the group boundaries were not being respected by suddenly having a new person there….and how in general, I’d been struggling with feeling violated by the surgery, even though I agreed to it. And I said also how the last group had upset me, but at the same time I hoped M would benefit from the group, and how I was worried that something I said could make her feel worse than she already did.
No one responded, but I felt better for getting it off my chest.
E. No one said anything to me – and you didn’t say anything to me the whole group. You responded to everyone else who talked, except for A….
R. What does that mean to you, if I don’t say anything?
E. I think that maybe what I was saying wasn’t very interesting….or that I’ve been taking too much group time.
R. What almost always governs whether I respond to someone or not is whether I think I have something to say that the rest of the group may not say. Otherwise I like to leave it to the group.
I guess this makes sense. I’m relieved to hear Ron’s lack of comment wasn’t about not being interested. In fact, he seems to be saying he thought the group had things to say about what I said, but were holding back. He’s said before that a big hindrance in our group is the amount of holding back that happens.
After I’d talked, E took over and the rest of the group focused mainly on her. She felt very depressed about the group and her life. She said that she had cared very much about the group last year, at the Christmas break, and been so upset that perhaps everyone wouldn’t be back, but now, she no longer cared about anyone in it and didn’t think we cared about her.
This drew a lot of response, so people went back and forth about caring and authenticity and such. I told E that personally I did care about her, not as much as for my own child, but that I did think about her sometimes during the week and wonder how she was doing.
E. Well, with E saying she used to care so much, and now she doesn’t care about anyone – I don’t know. It’s like she’s in a bit of a dream. That’s black and white thinking.
Ron nods his head. Huh. He never usually agrees with me about anything, so I’m surprised.
E. And A, bringing up our fight again. I was thinking about this on my drive over. I actually can’t think of any kind of relationship with him that would be comfortable.
E. Yeah. It still hurts that he dropped me. But getting together again to be friends, that would feel kind of fraught also. It’s all uncomfortable.
I don’t think Ron says anything to this. I really don’t know what could happen that would make me feel OK about A. It’s one of those awful tangles that nothing can put right.
E. And D said nothing all evening. I’ve given up on D.
R. Does it make you angry, that she said nothing?
E. No, I just give up. If she’s going to sit there, after a year and a half, and be afraid to talk – I’m not going to try and draw her out anymore. I’ve tried, and that’s it now.
Actually, now Ron says this, I do feel angry / irritated with D. I think it’s actually a choice she’s making, to abstain from comment or participation. It seems safest to her, most likely. As this is my mother’s tactic in life, yes, this does irritate me. I mean, why then go to group, if you’re going to try and stay completely safe?
…to be continued