grassesWhoa. I’m not depressed. At least no more than is standard for me. I’ve done all kinds of things today. This morning I went out and read the paper at an outdoor cafe, while the local street musician sang old Bob Dylan tunes. This afternoon I went for a walk in the local park, and lay under some trees for a long time, reading. It is great not to be processing trauma on a weekend, to be able to do things.

Music is making sense to me. I’m listening to CDs I got from the library, and they’re nice. When I’m down, music is irritating – meaningless noise.

The ‘trauma’ of the group and session is fading quite a bit. I still feel it, a pain in my gut, but it’s no longer overwhelming.

I’ve decided I want to go to the last group session. I don’t feel any need to say goodbye, actually, but I don’t want to let PTSD win. I run because of fear. I don’t wish to keep running. My plan is to go, and simply concentrate on staying, that’s all. I am very scared at the start of every group, until I have talked for a while, but this time I don’t plan on talking. I’m going to sit through the fear, and I am going to feel proud of myself that I did it.

Once I decided this, I felt better about things. I am not a runner. Or if I am, I try again.

Because the group is extremely inhibited, I doubt very much anyone will engage me if I stay quiet. A and E were both very clear that they mainly needed for me to stop talking. That’s not why I’ll stay quiet though. I’ll stay quiet because I am trying to stay, and not talk out of anxiety. I know this may be hard to understand, but my reality is a PTSD space where fear rules. I do a lot of things out of fear, including talking in group. I know it’s the opposite for most people. But for me, this is how it is. So to stay, when I’m frightened, is good practice.

That’s one reason I sat at the outdoor cafe this morning, and why that gave me such a boost. I was anxious sitting there on the sidewalk. Then I gave the busker some money, and sat right by where he was singing. For some reason, I then felt very awkward sitting there. But I stayed for quite a long time. I thought he might be staring at me, and was afraid to look at him. Stupid. But the main thing was I stayed. And I enjoyed the music and the sun and the paper.

I remember now one thing that tipped the balance for me and made me run from group. It was the look of contempt on A’s face as he talked about how he wished I wouldn’t talk. I just wasn’t expecting contempt. This was someone I used to care about after all. E never pretended to like me, so I don’t feel as hurt by her.

The other thing was, the ‘attacks’ just came out of the blue. I didn’t engage negatively with anyone on my own steam – just built up bad feelings I guess. And I’d thought A and I had made headway the session before in accepting each other. I thought wrong, at least on his part.

Then, I don’t see why Ron seems to lose all his therapy abilities at once. He started lecturing me about how therapy works, in that creepy soft voice, and telling me what I should be doing. He wasn’t able to offer any support at all. It was too much for me, taken altogether, and I ran.

It’s distressing me again now I’m writing it out. However. This whole debacle hasn’t increased my PTSD. I am not depressed or dissociated. I see how I need to outlast my fear more, how it is imprisoning me.

Now I’m writing this, I’m no longer sure about going back. I would also still need to clear it with Ron. Ron assumed I wasn’t going back – he said I drummed myself out of the group. Not sure what that even means. He may not want me to go back, so I’ll see.

My worry is with outlasting the fear, if it is severe, I’ll end up out of my body and dissociated. That’s happened before where it’s taken me days to get back. I think since this is the last session, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

My main accomplishment last session with Ron, was that I stayed put and didn’t leave. The urge to leave was there the whole session. I told him I was making a huge effort to stay. I found we were completely disconnected, but no matter how hurtful he was being, or how obtuse, I stayed and stayed. I feel proud I did that, and that is why I feel I want to go back to the last group.

Today I’m grateful for the busker and his music.

  1. laura said:

    it sounds bizarre and nightmarish, Ellen. I wouldn’t know what to do!
    I’m also working on sticking with the plan, whatever I determine it to be, and not follow every impulse, and also to be for myself.
    thanks for the photo! glad you had a nice day.

    • Ellen said:

      I wouldn’t have expected this response from you Laura. Thanks for understanding my confusion.

      I think a plan is good, when we begin to try to change habits and traps. A simple plan that can be remembered under stress, preferably.

      Thanks for liking the photo. Thought of you when I posted it. From my walk today.

  2. Grace said:

    I always thought I have to bear the things that happened to me and I never had the courage to leave. I wish I would have left, at least once. I guess you know that I’m talking about my bullying experience here.
    Everyone is different though and you have to know what’s best for you 🙂 I personally think that leaving often takes more courage than staying. But if you think you can make it through your last group session because you don’t want to run from your fear, I applaud your courage, Ellen xx

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Grace. I think there are similarities to bullying, in that people are projecting their own bad feelings onto me, as they did onto you when you were younger, in the form of bullying. Leaving is sometimes the best option. I also wish I had left many bad situations much sooner than I did. I guess the way I see group is as more of a lab where I can try different things. Because I feel so much fear there, and I also feel a lot of fear in many other situations, it may be a good plan to try and stay. I think no one will attack me if I simply stay quiet anyway. Thanks for the compliment!

  3. Karen said:

    I feel parallels, though (again) it was in unsocial therapy for me: I’d initially decided there was no way I was going to the final session. But I did – to prove (to therapist, yes, but mostly to myself) that I could.

    It’s not easy, but I’m sure you’ll be glad you did it in the end. And from what you’ve written it seems very clear that the problems raised are issues transferred or projected from them, so hopefully you have that as comfort.

    Fair play to you regarding your determination today, and in general. You’re a very strong person who can get through this, with or without Ron’s support.


    • Karen said:

      *unsocial = individual. Bloody autocorrect!

    • Ellen said:

      I did laugh when I got your correction. Unsocial therapy is sometimes a good name for it, lol. Interesting how we are having exactly the same impulse – first to quit, then to stay and face it.

      I think it is mostly projection. It’s an exercise in seeing how projection works, anyways. Thanks very much for your support. Comforting to find someone else thinks the same way. hugs

  4. Ruth said:

    Glad you enjoyed the day. High five. You are in a stronger place no matter which way you decide. I understand the idea of staying just to prove you can to yourself. I look forward to your post about which ever way you go with this.

  5. Hooray for good days! That alone can be such an achievement. And such a welcome respite.

    Sending thoughts of support for whatever you choose to do.

    • Ellen said:

      It is a welcome respite. Thanks for the support Cat.

  6. Tilda said:

    You should feel proud, of so many things.
    Sitting at that cafe would be enough for me!
    I can relate very much to what you say about fear and running.
    I’m in two minds about you going to the final group. I can see you would be proving something to yourself, and standing up to your own fear and a room full of jerks ~ but I also don’t want to see you suffer more at their hands, they’re not worth it.
    And keep in mind, if you do go, and they start abusing you, there is no shame in leaving, you would be taking care of yourself, and that’s healthy.

    • Ellen said:

      It’s still hard for me to decide what is best. I’ve told Ron I’m going but I’m still wavering. thank you Tilda.

  7. Cat said:

    Ellen it sounds like you had a lovely constructive morning. I suffer Agoraphobia, directly linked to PTSD. I call it “selective agoraphobia”. It’s encouraging to read about you confronting your fears.

    I am also very impressed that you’ve made a decision to return to the last session. Today I wrote down a quote that I wasn’t sure was necessarily for me…. Perhaps it was for you

    “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”

    I have recently become aware that I also talk from fear. I use it as an avoidance tactic from talking about the things that trouble me the most. Perhaps it might be good to share why you are not talking and refuse to be a scapegoat for their projections.

    Totally agree what Tilda says about there being no shame in leaving

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Cat. I feel about two inches tall about it all at the moment. Ron does not think I’m handling it well. I may not be but don’t know what else to do. If I go, I know I don’t want to leave – I’d see that as failure. I’ll see. Confronting fears is no walk in the park. take care

      • Cat said:

        Ellen…. So sorry to read this is upsetting you so much. From what I can see (read), of course, you are struggling, but at least you are dealing with it. Ron might not think you are doing that very well, but at least you’re not running away. Is there anything in particular that Ron is saying that strikes a chord? I wonder if he has any criticism for the others “projections”?

        When is the next group? I am sure you will know what is the right way forward

        • Ellen said:

          Thanks. Ron said lately I need to mother myself more, I guess he means when I’m feeling criticized. That kind of makes sense to me. But he didn’t say it until after the last group. He never criticizes what others say, though a few weeks ago he said that A’s feelings are ninety percent about him. As it turned out, I didn’t know what was the right way, but at least it’s over now!

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