MBT: Week 2

Group session: Recognising emotions

This week we learnt about basic emotions and the functions they serve. We thought about recognising emotions in ourselves and what actions from other people can make us feel better.

It’s Tuesday afternoon, so I’m writing this right after the group session this morning to try to capture some of my thoughts and feelings about it.

Well, I feel really angry after the session today. There’s a woman who asks lots of questions of people very intensely, and then talks over people with her own opinions when people try to answer. She talks over people all the time actually. Even the psychotherapists, when they’re explaining things or moving on to what we’re going to talk about next, she’s saying “yeah, yeah, mmm” over the top and chipping in. It annoyed me so much because it’s distracting and I find it rude. It also makes it seem like she fancies herself as a bit of a therapist, like she thinks she knows better than everyone else.

I felt really annoyed in the session and I felt like I was holding in all my feelings. I’m put off talking because I know she’ll do the same to me – bombard me with questions then talk over my answers – and I feel like I’m going to lose it and get angry at her, or get upset at least. I’m scared of that happening. I’m worried then that I’m not making the most of the group because I’m so held in and not saying my thoughts. I’m not contributing.

I think she’s trying to help people by giving her opinion, and I think she doesn’t realise quite how vocal she is all the time. I suppose this should make me less angry but I just get annoyed when people aren’t self aware about such things. I want to learn to be more compassionate and I guess mentalising about where other people are coming from is something I need to learn and my reaction to this woman shows that. Everyone interacts in therapy in different ways. It’s possible that silence irritates her as much as her constant vocalising irritates me.

I know I’m going to have to find a way to sensitively broach the subject and that fills me with dread. I know I’m going to be shaking and struggling to hold it together. I’m worried I’ll hold my feelings in until I get angry and explode at her.

Individual Session: Thursday

Holy crap, it’s been a tough day. My sports team training finishes late on Wednesday nights and then getting up at 8 on a Thursday is a challenge in itself. I felt sick and nervous and very tired this morning on my way to therapy. My therapist said I didn’t seem nervous, and I explained that I often feel strongly but hide my emotions well. I guess Tuesday was a good example of that. No one in the group would have known I was feeling irritated.

I was worried about being honest with her about my experience of the group this week. I know that she and the group leaders talk to each other since MBT is meant to be one therapy consisting of two sessions a week – the group and the individual work together to form the therapy. So they need to know what’s going on with me. I was honest with her about my worries – that she’d report back and that they’d force me into a confrontation in the group.

We talked about my fears of confrontation and where they might come from. I got very upset talking about my alcoholic father’s unpredictable temper, his shouting and his violence, but especially when I talked about how I feel blamed for the confrontations by my mother and sister. I feel to this day that they always think I’m making a fuss about nothing. They don’t like to talk about feelings. They prefer that you pretend not to have any/that everything is fine and always has been.

I guess I’m scared not just that a confrontation with another group member could be scary but I also fear the judgements of the group if I get upset or angry, or that they will feel that I am causing a conflict. I cried in my individual session this morning. I felt like my therapist was so understanding and sympathetic but not coddling, and I am feeling grateful and still hopeful about our work together.

This afternoon I worked at my volunteering job and felt extremely tired and quite hungry towards the end of the day.

The bus ride home seemed endless. When I got in, my boyfriend gave me a hug and I felt tearful and he made me a cup of tea, bless him. Then I ended up sobbing in his arms and I’ve given myself a headache. A lot of painful things have been stirred up and I’m tired and feeling tender and broken. It’s hard to see how it helps to have it all stirred up but I suppose the only route to recovery is through the shit.

I’m nervous for next week’s group session because of my fears that I will be pressed into a confrontation. My individual therapist doesn’t think that will happen.

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10 thoughts on “MBT: Week 2

  1. Thank you for linking 🙂

  2. It is rude when people constantly talk over others who are trying to speak. It isn’t what is expected–it breaks social conventions of politeness. It also violates your right to hear the speaker–because you can’t always really concentrate on what is being said because of the talking-over–and it violates the right of the speaker to speak.

    I think this kind of behavior is not usually about trying to help, but about wanting to feel important. When someone else is speaking and has all of the attention, some people tend to feel unimportant in comparison, and it’s uncomfortable to feel that way. One way of coping with that is to assert one’s own importance by talking over the speaker.

    Take care. I can very much relate to what you were bothered by. It bothers me when people do that too. Good luck in handling it.

  3. On Monday, I am going for the first of two assessments at a service like the one you describe for people with Personality Disorder. I will be following your blog with interest.

    I have been in a group therapy setting and it can be extremely off putting if there is a particularly strong character within the group. It’s said that whatever issues arise within that group are usually problems we have with people on “the outside”. Of course, we are encouraged to explore these feelings and sometimes group leaders will hope for discussion rather than confrontation within the group setting.

    I suppose part of “loud-mouth’s” journey will be to realise and come to terms with her overpowering presence, including the impact it has on others. However, I doubt the group leader would expect you to raise something you are not confident doing. It’s good enough that you recognise the association you have with this and early life experiences

    • I hope your assessment goes well. I’ve been in a group once before, but it was a little different because we all had different diagnoses. I can definitely see how the group dynamics replicate our other relationships we’ve had, especially family relationships.

  4. Pingback: Borderlion – Living with Borderline Personality Disorder | MBT Week 4 – A dramatic group session

  5. Pingback: Borderlion – Living with Borderline Personality Disorder | MBT Week 4 – Individual session

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