Skipping group

I skipped group for the first time ever tonight. I don’t think I’ve even missed due to illness before.

It was actually a project to skip it. I was so aware that the time to leave was coming up, then the time when the group started and ran was constantly at top of mind.

So now I don’t have my feelings all stirred up, as per usual post group. I just feel calmly sad and lonely.

It seemed to me in my last session Ron was saying how I come across as uncaring in the group. Then he was trying to change me. I heard that as that no one likes me in the group, which is a sad feeling, when it’s somewhere I go every week hoping to heal.

We exchanged some emails yesterday, when I had to tell him I wasn’t coming tonight. At first, I said nothing about why. We’d already discussed the group in my session two days ago after all. Then, when I couldn’t sleep, I sent him a longer email outlining my concerns with the group.

I’m pretty fed up that after so much time, half the group is pretty well silent every single meeting. There are only six of us, now maybe seven, so that leaves only three who participate beyond a few sentences. Actually only two of us talk a lot, myself and E. And E doesn’t like me.

So I end up exasperated with the people who come every week, pay their money, and then find it safest to simply sit.

Ron gives me feedback about how what I say isn’t ‘right’ somehow. But I really think his problem is that people are not taking part. And I think it’s his job to at least point this out. He thinks it’s my job to do that, since I’m feeling it. I’m tired of saying difficult things to the group and then being attacked for it. I don’t see this as my job at all. It’s about group dynamics, which as group leader, he should be addressing, IMO.

At the same time, I’m very sad that I’m not liked. It feels like once again I’m in a no win situation where I’m not liked, and there’s not much to be done about it except leave.

Anyhow, Ron wrote me back to say I should be bringing all this up in the group, but that if it’s ‘too hard’ we can discuss it more in my session. So playing the coward card – group is just too difficult for me. I didn’t bother replying to that.

It’s kind of good to skip group. It’s following how I feel. Of course, as soon as I do that, the parts of me that want to go, that yearn for connection and to see Ron, pop up and give me hell. But the part that wants out of there is very real, and it feels kind of good to brave the other parts for once and just stay home, stay away from the badness.

I feel completely disconnected from Ron. Unheard. It scares me, because I use him as a buffer when PTSD symptoms wreck havoc. Plus, who else do I have?

I’ll have to decide whether to go to next week’s group. My next session is not until after that. Well, it’s a long time away.

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15 comments
  1. Natalya said:

    That’s pretty crummy how the group seems to be going and how Ron is acting. I’m sure there are others in the group feeling what you’re feeling but aren’t brave enough to speak up. But you’re right it’s not your job to be facilitating the group. I hope you can talk things through with Ron so you don’t loose your PTSD buffer!

  2. Still reading, Ellen. I am sending positive thoughts your way. Remember, it is a process and there will be ups and downs.

    Aaron

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Aaron, appreciate your support.

  3. weareonebyruth said:

    Tough to feel disconnected and alone. Keeping you in my thoughts and hope that you feel some measure of peace that you need. Sometimes there are no easy answers. Take care, Ruth

  4. attached said:

    I’m sorry that you missed group. I agree that there are probably others who are unhappy about how group is going but haven’t spoken up. I hope that you can talk with Ron about group and not feel like he is telling you that you are “wrong” and disconnecting from you. It is a process but that isn’t much comfort to me when I feel down. Hope you are feeling different this morning.

    • Ellen said:

      That is how I feel – that he is telling me I’m wrong. Plus he condescends now, which he didn’t use to do.

      Thanks Di

  5. Harriet said:

    It is curious why half the group rarely speaks. And how Ron does not encourage them to speak. It does sound like you and Ron aren’t connecting at all right now, and I hope you two can move through this and get back to a good place. But I think you were smart to listen to your intuition telling you not to go to group.

    • Ellen said:

      Very curious, I think so also. Thanks for backing up my intuition!

  6. Totally get the need to take a break, I took 2 days off from school this week ‘cos I just needed some time away. But… please remember… you have been through this with Ron before. Felt that he was condescending, and stubborn, and difficult and uncaring and cruel. And… you were able to work through it. This isn’t an all or nothing, quit therapy/quit group moment, although your need to flee is palpable. Question your perceptions. Bring them back to him. Bring them back to the group. Are you really uncaring? I don’t think so. Are there problems with communication in the group? Yes. And they are *not* all because of what you say/don’t say. It is a *group* dynamic. So my unsolicited advice is keep going. Keep going to group. Keep going to therapy. Keep talking. Keep telling everyone how you feel, how you perceive you are understood/misunderstood and how much it hurts. You are an awesome person – and you are doing awesome work on your healing journey. Dig deep and keep going.

    • Ellen said:

      Good for you for taking care of yourself when you need to Catherine. Hmm….it’s true (I guess) that I’ve been down this road before. I hate to admit this. I do feel that I’ve already tried to bring my feelings back to Ron in session – I didn’t describe this session BTW. Too discouraged. He wasn’t receptive.

      I was thinking the group might fall into shape better without my presence. I wonder how they did without me.

      What I thought was I might work on my feelings of Ron not being supportive / being critical right in the group. That’s about the only thing I can think of to do. It would be difficult. Honestly, me launching into how I feel about people who don’t participate – I don’t want the consequences of that. Already the people who do talk have anger towards me. Then it would be everyone. Maybe I’m seeing this all wrong, but I’ve been down a similar path last year, and it got me nowhere I wish to go.

      But, now I’m again thinking I could go back to group, so I’ll see. Sometimes you need a break, a little protest as it were.

      Thanks for the kind words and encouragement! Hope your, ahem, Family Day is good. Could we name this something else? Just for people who don’t relate to Family Day? take care

  7. laura said:

    seems like you discovered that when you skip therapy, nothing bad happens, but I’d point out that nothing good can happen, either. You won’t discover that you’re not disliked, for example. You don’t particularly like the people in group, do you? why does it matter that they like you?

    • Ellen said:

      Well, the good was that one, I followed my feelings, and there was some satisfaction in doing that. Two, I registered a bit of a protest, after Ron was totally unable to hear me in session and by email. And three, it was kind of interesting to see what feelings came up for me in skipping a group I have attended faithfully for so long.

      Anyhow, I may return this week. Or not. Can’t decide. Thanks for the input.

      • laura said:

        yes, you’re right, you followed your feelings (or, one of them!). Punishing people by withdrawing from them when you don’t like what they say or do, seems manipulative, though. Like treating them to cold silence when you’re angry. If you want to protest, protest! I think that’s what Ron was trying to say.

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