Bad day

I am doing worse. I’ve fallen into a kind of anxiety / unreality, a kind of state, that isn’t letting up. I almost long for the greyness of depression.

Ron replied to my apology and said he would hold me time for me, and if I did leave, we should meet to say goodbye.

I decided I would leave group but go back to therapy, since it seemed the stress of group was wrecking my relationship with Ron. So I wrote him that, and he hasn’t replied. I feel grief stricken about losing the group. I know I’ve complained here about the difficulties, but I learned a lot and I’m attached to the people there.

I wish Ron would have replied. His email replies to me in the last weeks have been formulas, not responding to anything I say. I seemed to remember he used to reply, briefly, but still touching on something I’d said, so I looked up some emails we exchanged last year. I was right – he did use to respond to at least one thing I said in the email. He no longer does that.

When there was trouble, he used to move towards me, offering extra sessions or phone calls. He definitely no longer does that. I long for it to be last year when Ron still responded to me. Maybe he got tired.

I fear Ron is angry with me for leaving his group. No one has left before, unless it was planned for an outside reason. It’s a small group so it will be very noticeable that I’m not there.

Ron is someone I loved. The rift with him is tearing me apart. Yesterday I couldn’t function at all. I looked at some work a couple times but couldn’t actually do any. I spent the day lying in bed, in this weird anxiety state. I felt my body was split in half, I felt unreal, and I felt the overwhelming sense that something was very wrong. As if someone had died perhaps. I wondered if this is what psychosis feels like. In a normal state of mind I just would not be able to lie in bed all day doing almost nothing.

Hope today will be better.

  1. I am so sorry that this is so hard on you, Ellen… I hope that you are able to find a more comfortable place soon, whatever the path to that place might be…

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you Cat’s. I appreciate your kind words.

  2. I felt this way last week. It really sucks. Feeling this way for a day is well within normal. It is how long you stay this way that makes a difference. Sometimes a planned retreat to working in the range you know can function is a good idea. Maybe keep an open mind on rejoining the group at a later date. One of the things I needed to learn was that options can be kept open. Hugs. I hope your day is better today.

    • Ellen said:

      I’m sorry you felt like this also Ruth. I’ve been feeling similar since Friday, though yesterday was a bit different again with more dissociation. Hope you are better.

      I am keeping my options open. It does feel like I have to choose once and for all, but that isn’t really true. I think I’m trying to manage how I’m feeling with these moves – quitting therapy, quitting group. Though I think there are good reasons for taking a break from group beyond trying to change how I feel. Thanks for the kind words. Hugs

  3. It can be terribly hard to stand up for ourselves and set boundaries–deciding not to go to group is a boundary you are setting for your own well-being. Often, this wasn’t encouraged or allowed in the past. Self-protection has in some cases meant being subjected to violent rages or cold withdrawals.

    Ron might be angry at you for leaving his group. His feelings are his problem–not yours. If it feels like he’s going to make it your problem, I strongly suggest you look for a new therapist.

    Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      I know a lot of people with my particular issues do have a lot of trouble with boundary setting. This is one area that I do not struggle with much. My problem tends to be allowing anyone in rather than saying no. So currently, I have almost no obligations to anyone, but I also have almost no one in my life.

      I do not know if Ron is angry, and I don’t think you can either. He will not want me to leave the group, and I committed to staying in it for a year. He hasn’t said anything negative to me about it yet. His feelings are both of our problem, because we are in a relationship, though a therapeutic one.

      I’m not sure that I’m not trying to manipulate actually – threatening to leave, then coming back, leaving group, but maybe not for long. There is something wrong with how I relate to people I’m pretty sure, always leaving and rejecting to try and feel better.

      Whew. I’m obviously in turmoil. Thanks for braving the waves and leaving a comment. 🙂

  4. Hi Ellen. Yes, you are in turmoil. While you are feeling so fraught, having a clear sense of the issues is nearly impossible. Things will need to settle down in your body and mind before you can start to even grasp what the real situation is. Even then, it will just be your sensations of what the issues are, and those can change over time as well.

    For instance, you might go back and read Ron’s emails to you in a week from now and see something different, something positive–whereas right now you only see him withdrawing from you. But maybe he is actually withdrawing for a variety of reasons, many of which you can not know for sure what they are.

    It is true that you are in a therapeutic relationship and that much can be gained from seeing how you behave and the feelings that come up for you in response to the relationship. However, it is still going to be based on your willingness to see beneath the surface layers and into the basic foundational ways you approach relationship(s). If you cannot allow yourself to have insight above and beyond the basic push/pull of your interactions with Ron–then I wonder how much good will come of it…

    In other words, the content of what Ron says or what you say is less important (imo) then you starting to see the patterns of your reactions and feelings. The recognition of basic patterns of how you react to Ron and how you feel about his different behaviors are the key here. Because in all likelihood, these reactions you have are the way in which you are approaching many areas of life. Feeling that others withdraw, that they don’t like you, that you’re alone.

    Of course when you act with anger and discord and negativity, you will tend to push people (even therapists) away. However, just because you behave this way doesn’t make you bad or unloveable. You have to see the pattern, see how it originates from the past, and start to see how to let go of those ways of relating and being that are from your troubled past.

    I believe that Ron has tried to tell you this, to help you see how to move deeper into your past pain and how it influences you now–but you resist. You’re stuck on the surface of “does Ron like me”, “do I like Ron,”, “why was he mean to me?”
    These things are not the real things, they’re just the waves on the surface. Beneath the waves on the surface, are the real, deeper currents that need to be seen and respected and accepted.

    I think you want to run away, in part, because you do not want to face the pain of the deeper emotions below these surface elements, but that is exactly what you will have to do if you are ever to truly heal and move into the present fully.

    Whether or not Ron is a part of this is purely incidental, in my opinion. Ron is a stand-in for anyone and everyone in your life, and that is why you are so attached to the relationship. The truth is, he can be replaced. But that doesn’t mean he should be.

    Best of luck, don’t stop forging ahead.

    • Ellen said:

      I’d say if you don’t have resistance, you’re not really in therapy. Don’t know if it’s the same for a relationship with a meditation teacher. Everyone has their patterns, and straying from them is horribly painful for everyone IMO. Hopefully the patterns work OK, and life is OK as a result. In my case, they don’t work too good, so life is not OK, and I tend to want to end it. So yes, I understand this and agree.

      My feelings about Ron and therapy have once again changed as I’ve come down from all this. And I actually wish to see how my past is influencing my present feelings. It’s because I’m not seeing that connection that I’m worried it’s the therapy that’s causing it.

      I’ve really been thinking about how my choices are mine to make, as you’ve pointed out Aaron. I’m trying not to act automatically.

      Thanks a lot for the thoughtful comment.

  5. BTW Ellen, I know that intellectually you have a lot of awareness about these issues. But there is a world of difference between an intellectual understanding of something, and the actual full realization of how those things manifest in our lives. To get the full understanding, it is a necessity that I dive below the surface of my typical reactions and start to observe and see patterns and experience the root emotions that drive my behaviors.

    Experiencing the root emotions and sticking with them, taking full responsibility for them, and allowing myself to then continue to go deeper–that is where the real stuff happens.

  6. Gel said:

    I wish it wasn’t so hard.
    It seems so good that you are writing here and that you are sincere in all your efforts.

    I keep wondering how the Kid is doing and when we’ll here from her again. (him?)

    Besides the hard stuff you are working on here, I wish for you to find peace and benign distractions and heartfelt connection with someone(s). It’s hard to bare the tough work of healing with out occasional breaks, and support from other people (or a beloved animal?)….Do you have a pet?

    Thinking of you.

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you Gel. I wish that also. The kid is a girl, favorite colour pink or at other times red. 🙂 She is OK but extremely upset at the idea of losing Ron, so trying to reassure her.

      I don’t have a pet, though used to have a cat, to whom I was mildly allergic. I live in an apartment so it’s a little tricky having pets. I do lack that one person whom I could trust, but I have some people in my life. I’m lucky in that I have always read a lot, so I can lose myself in a book, and am currently reading a complicated fantasy novel which I find soothing.

      Thanks for thinking of me.

  7. can you bring this post with you and refer to it? it has all the important stuff in it, expressed so clearly: that you love him. that you are grief stricken. that you feel him moving away from you, not towards you (and your evidence, and what you’d like to see him do in response to your emails), your fear that he is angry with you (i’d ask him outright: are you angry with me?) …. this is the good stuff, the meaty stuff … be fearless.

    • Ellen said:

      I’ve actually already done some of this Catherine. I wrote to Ron the day I wrote this post I think. I wanted to tell him how I was feeling, told him he didn’t need to respond. But he did respond anyway. He said he’s not angry with me, which was such a relief. We’ve already discussed the email situation a lot, and I do have to make my peace with how he responds, and that sometimes he will let me down.

      As to our next session – we will touch on this stuff for sure. I think I’ve fallen out of love at this point….but I do greatly care.

      Thank you for the advice!

  8. Bourbon said:

    There is a rift between me and Cat right now too and it is heart breaking isn’t it, to see them pulling away from you, whether that be in reality or a product of paranoid thinking. I hope these tough times end for both of us soon and we can feel we can stand on some stable ground again xx

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah exactly – the feelings are the same, whatever the ‘real objective’ situation is, if there is such a thing. I hope the same for both of us. Hang in there. xox

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