I don’t like this feeling. I am just surviving it. I’ve tried giving it space, meditating on it, dropping the story line. I’m still full of rage. I don’t want to be this hating angry person.
I did go to group. Kind of wish I hadn’t.
After my last post, I kind of fell off a cliff. I ended up feeling afraid all the time. I called Ron in the middle of the night, and the kid left him a panicked voice mail. (He turns his phone off at night, so it is OK to call.)
He never called back, but he replied to an email I’d sent the previous day. I saw him for an extra session Monday. That helped.
I figured out that in the second last group, when I walked out, I’d switched into a protector/defender part. That part exists to defend me when I’m under threat. She attacks. I tell Ron that there’s no point in trying to do therapy on a protector part, tell her to take people’s feelings into account etc….He doesn’t really buy it. I think what I need is for him to recognize that part is out, and to help me switch out of it. He keeps trying to do therapy with that part and it’s useless.
The Friday session after I walked out on group, I was still in the protector part. It was awful. Whenever that part is out, disaster ensues. So Ron was pretty angry….or withdrawn perhaps. He asked if I was trying to hurt him. I asked him if he felt hurt by me, and he said no. He asked if I thought M was not even human….Honestly, he asked me that.
The whole session, I had the strong urge to run. I was proud of myself I stayed. I knew we weren’t connecting on any level and just needed to get the hell out of there. But I used all my energy to stay. Running doesn’t do me any good.
By Monday, when I saw him for the emergency session, the protector part had gone away again. Different parts spoke with Ron – the kid part crying mightily. The kid part was so upset, she couldn’t talk much. The dark voice, I think. This was a week ago and things have faded. Still, I left feeling sad but not in a crisis anymore. I’ll take sadness over constant fear any day.
The next day, I felt rage, mostly at E and A. Rage burned like fire from the soles of my feet to my head. I wanted to tell E what a bitch she is, A what an asshole he is. If I’d had group that day, that’s what I would have done. I did not want to go and call people names.
By Thursday I’d calmed down somewhat. I still hated them, but was pretty sure I wasn’t going to go in namecalling.
Right at the start of group, M launched into how angry she was with me. I had made a thoughtless comment last session, which she took huge offence to. She’s talked little in group, but when she did, she talked a lot about her BPD diagnosis. So I’d said to her, ‘I thought borderlines were expressive and volatile.’
She talked about how I didn’t see her as a person, just as a label. Then she said I’d ostracized myself from the group, by being negative, nit picky, and some other thing which I forget.
I didn’t say much to this. It’s awful to have hurt someone by mistake. The thing is, this had been something I’d wondered about. Why she was so silent, rarely spoke, rarely reacted to anything.
So I just sat.
M had joined in with A and E every time I’d had a negative interaction with them. She’d always just say some little thing, that she agreed with the other person, and that I was negative for instance. I’d never told her that hurt me.
I wish I’d said it then. She stuck the knife in over and over. I wish I’d at least said it.
Ron said something about how I had to learn to take responsibility.
A says if it wasn’t for Ellen, wouldn’t you find the group did see you?
I say to Ron, it makes me angry when A singles me out as apart from the rest of the group like that.
Ron doesn’t say anything, but A drops that line and says something else to M. A bunch of people tell her how much they value her.
I tried to talk about how rejected and alone the last group had made me feel. No one responded to this. E said I needed to stop the bullshit, this was the last session, and she had things to say.
Maybe because I was so scared and so hurt, my feelings weren’t coming across.
I just remember Ron insisting that M needed to talk about all her feelings, but for me, he said nothing.
So E launched into this prepared bullshit speech, going around the circle saying what she liked about each person. It was a condescending speech she’d worked out ahead of time.
I say nothing for the rest of the group. Two of the members there don’t say anything against me, and say very little overall. The people that still accept me are the most quiet and least groupie like people.
I leave without a word. Going down the stairs, Ron passes me. Our eyes meet and the kid pops out and starts crying. ‘You know I tried Ron, right? You know I came and I stayed…’ I am crying hard.
Ron takes me to his office. It’s hard to get there because I can’t switch out of the kid, and the kid is too upset to walk almost. Ron asks if I am OK crossing the street. It takes a long time to climb the stairs to his office.
In his office, Ron and the kid talk for a while. I manage to switch out. I say a few words, but nothing about anger. I am completely confused. But I’ve switched back, so I can drive home OK.
It seems kid parts need so much attention, what I really think, or what the adult me really thinks, gets completely lost. We never do talk about the dynamics that go on in the group, or how I wasn’t allowed to express feelings, but M was fussed over like a drowning kitten.
Ron doesn’t see it like that.
I cannot remember much of my Friday session, because of the way it ended. Ron said he wanted to know what all parts of me were feeling. Which felt good, that he wants to know.
I didn’t say what I’ve said here. I explained how I hadn’t meant to insult M with my comment, that she’d talked about her diagnosis a lot, she seemed to have no problem with the label, but I could see it could be hurtful and I’d be more careful in future.
Ron said it was not about being careful, but about an attitude. Or something.
The thing is, I was in a protector part. That part has a bad attitude by definition. I don’t say this however. The discussion is kind of vague….I’m afraid of this whole topic. I feel I need Ron very much and I don’t want to alienate him any more.
Ron says I need to call on a mothering part of me to help me when I feel under threat. Because my own mother was too scared to protect me as a child, I don’t know how to do that.
Fair enough. How do I do that.
Towards the end of the session, I start to switch around so much I get completely confused. I tell Ron I don’t feel well. My face and feet start to tingle, and bang, I’m in a traumatic memory. Someone is assaulting me, I’m a tiny child, I choke and cry and I am terrified.
Ron moves forward to sit closer to me and tells me I’m OK, it’s a memory but I’m sitting in his office and I’m safe.
The memory recedes. I find Ron’s closeness threatening, so I ask him to move back, and he jumps back. I’ve never felt afraid of Ron before.
I catch my breath, trying to slow my breathing back down. I tap my feet and my legs to feel them. As soon as I can, I get up and leave.
I suppose the stress of my feelings brought on the flashback.
So everything is very confused. There’s never time to actually go into what happened in group, because parts and memories keep getting triggered. It’s frustrating.
It’s been difficult getting it together again.
Yesterday I did go and see a movie, Before Midnight. Julie Delpy is my hero. She plays a very very smart and creative woman, negotiating her relationship with her husband. They talk of masculinity, and she teases him by imitating a star struck dumb chick, telling him how wonderful and intelligent he is, and he preens playfully in response. It is too too funny.
I wish I was Julie. Of course she is a movie star and beautiful. But I wish I could articulate as she does. And of course people love her and listen when she speaks. Ah well. In the movies, battles are entertaining, and we wish we were in those battles. Not our own, sordid, crappy ones where we are inarticulate, can’t remember how we feel or what we think, where people mostly don’t care to listen, or just don’t care.