Rain today. I went out anyway, got my hair cut, went to the library. Braving the grey day felt good for a while. Not shrinking away and staying home – going out even it it was a bit unpleasant. Staying home all the time is depressing. Better to venture out and have some kind of experience. Bad experience, good experience, it’s OK. The bad is certainly not very bad when all it is is some rain!

I have lost my desire to note down the details of therapy and group. Group is going better for me, ironically, now it’s about over. There are two sessions left. I’d decided I wanted to still engage with some people about things that had happened, so I’ve been doing that. It’s interesting, but hard. But the thing is, I’m not getting overwhelmed by it as I was. Not sure if this is a breakthrough or why this has happened, but there it is.

Last group I brought up that I feel that one of the members dislikes me. It was hard to say this. When I said it, I felt more and more unlikeable – bad looking, badly spoken, and foreign. lol. I suppose because I was from another country as a child, so when I’m embarrassed, I feel foreign.

She was upset by this, said I was ‘closing the door’ to us. Nope, I don’t think so. I was trying to open the door a crack. Her solution was mostly to not bother talking to me – that’s what we do IRL afterall. And with the pain of facing this, I can really see why. It’s a lot less painful in the short term.

So first of all she denied that she felt that way and she was upset with me for saying this. Then Ron asked her if there was any truth in what I felt her feelings to me were – any kernel of reality. And talking to him, she said yes, she didn’t feel she wanted to talk to me or have a conversation. I’d interrupted her in the past….and something else too I think.

So I said well, that’s how you feel when you don’t like someone. You don’t want to talk to them. She said dislike was too strong a word.

She never at any point asked whether I liked her. I’ve said in the past I care about how she’s doing……

So that was about it. I felt relieved that my perceptions were actually based in reality. I often think people don’t like me, which I said too, so I knew it could be that I’m projecting this altogether. I’m not, so it was kind of good to have that information.

Some people are just never going to like you. They may tolerate you, but they won’t warm to you. I don’t think it’s anything I did. I feel she’s massively projecting bad things onto me. Even trying to talk to her, was like facing down a tunnel of badness.

At the end of group though, she was talking about problems with her hub, and the discussion turned to divorce, so I talked about my experience of divorce, and we had a bit of a connection around that.

Then A piggy backed on this discussion of liking to launch into how he feels about me, which alternates between like and dislike. With A, it seems like such a completely different situation. He’s all passionate about how he dislikes me….similarly to how he liked me before. The feeling I get from him  is so different from the feeling from E. He is interested, while she just wants me not to be there.

I talked about how his anger had reminded me of my ex’s angry outbursts…and how on some level, I felt I deserved anger. Not that I agreed with what he said, but that somehow I deserved to have some man angry with me.

A talked about how he’d been blamed in his family, and how he is trying to protect something. He talked mainly to Ron. I didn’t totally follow – it’s always a complex story with him, and I lose the thread.

But the upshot was, we both felt better about each other. We didn’t really engage back and forth, just talked about our own feelings and experiences, and it seemed to help.

The big anxiety point for me, that woke me up that night, was as usual Ron. I felt Ron was even handed about it all – I didn’t experience him as taking sides. I was jolted by the way he said my name at the beginning of group, right after I started talking. He usually names everyone very gently, but this time he said my name so loudly and harshly – like I was a problem child, a woman who won’t stop talking…..someone he doesn’t like.

Stupid in a way. In my session, Ron said he hadn’t been thinking anything of the sort. But….I kind of think sometimes he doesn’t care for me much. Maybe he was real tired from his day. In the session I said fine, I’m imagining things. But I don’t think I was. However, it stopped bothering me the next day. If Ron sometimes doesn’t like me, it’s OK, as long as he mostly does.

In group, I’ve decided I’m going to talk when I want. I’ve spent a lot of energy trying to not talk so there’s space for the quiet members, but I’ve given that up. They don’t talk anyway, and it’s their loss. I’m not going to sit in silence for minutes at a time when I have things I’d like to say. I feel relieved with this decision. If they need to be quiet, I need to talk, so it works out. Evil laughter….

  1. Cat said:

    It might feel ironic that you are only now enjoying the group just as it is ending. However, it also shows how far you have come.

    They say whatever/whoever bothers us in a group is usually what is causing problems on ‘the outside’. The person you shared your issues with sounds like she was closing the door. This is probably how she behaves on meeting similar challenges throughout her lifetime.

    The fact you were able to be honest, despite the discomfort, is testament to how you are responding to therapy….pat yourself on the back!

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it is ironic, but I think I’ve learned a lot. My issues and everyone else’s are basically playing out as they would outside of group also, but I can try and figure things out more inside group. Thanks for the encouraging words Cat.

  2. Cat said:

    You are most welcome. I appreciate how difficult therapy is, but reading through some of your blog, it is obvious to me how things have progressed for you. Of course, you might feel more work is needed, but it might help to take time to draw breath

  3. Gel said:

    This is where it seems like a lot of growth happened:

    “But the upshot was, we both felt better about each other. We didn’t really engage back and forth, just talked about our own feelings and experiences, and it seemed to help”.

    that you could both express yourselves in front of each other and not go back and forth….and that it seemed to help.

    Maybe because the group is ending it gives you freedom or confidence to take more risks (?).
    Nice work.

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