One thing that therapists typically say about group therapy is that you don’t have to share if you don’t want to or if you don’t feel like sharing. If you don’t feel comfortable saying what’s going on, you don’t have to say anything. I don’t usually share much in my group with Debbie1 I am uncomfortable around many of the group members. There are at least two people who have abused family members (spouses/children). There are others who have this tendency to take over the group and make it all about them. I dislike the ones who take over the group, but I am afraid of the abusers.2 So I keep my mouth closed around the abusers from fear and typically zone out as much as possible on narcissist days.
Today the group consisted of four people; two were discomforting members. One was the urine-soaked shoe neckbeard3 dude that makes. Another is a man who had a restraining order filed against him by his ex-wife and is no longer allowed around his kids. Both opened the meeting with their complaints, then it was my turn and then another extremely shy member’s turn. I said I was okay, as did the other shy person. Neckbeard took that to mean that we had no real problems and sort of taunted us. I partly wanted to say, “fuck off. You don’t have any clue what I feel or go through.” I didn’t say it because talking to him would make it worse. I didn’t say anything.
I sat there.
And I started to sob.
Slowly and quietly at first, but it eventually turned into an ugly cry-fest.4 My issues started feeling like they were getting worse every second. I kept thinking about various stressors. I kept feelings every negative emotion or thought the therapist described of this article written by a woman with depression.
The therapist had to stop to ask if I was okay. I told her I was and managed to get my crying under control. Eventually I even participated in the coping skill portion of the session. But I never shared what bothered me.
At the end of group, neckbeard said he hoped I felt better. I guess he felt guilty over what he said. I thanked him. But I don’t plan on opening up to him because he still makes me uncomfortable.
I just go while I wait for the PTSD group to start back. I want my Debbie visits to be individual sessions, but until I have another steady way to be around other people, I don’t think it’d be healthy for me to not be in a group. It doesn’t feel healthy to be uncomfortable or scared every session, though. Therapy should never feel this stressful. And my crying is probably keeping the other group members (including the scary and annoying ones) from being as open with their issues.5
Debbie is the only real name you’re getting from today’s session–other than mine. ↩
This is also the group where two members wanted to confront & attempt to provoke the abuser of another member right before the group session started. ↩
he has one ↩
Snot and all. ↩
I’ve been told that my quietness makes some of the members more anxious. ↩