MBT Group Week 10

Trigger warning: Self injury

It’s really embarrassing walking around with recent cuts on my arm and having people stare. These memories of my dad are haunting me more than I can explain.

Today in the group I managed to say what I wanted to say, namely that:

  • I was discharged from hospital last Tuesday afternoon
  • Not before having a blazing row with my partner when we stopped to get food on the way back to the hospital.
  • I’ve been feeling horrible since coming home, so I’ve just been trying to get through each half an hour or so at a time.
  • I’m starting to feel a little bit better now, but I’ve been cutting myself again, so that’s kind of shitty.

I think sharing this was a big achievement for me. I also talked about what my dad was like when I was a kid, and how I always talked back to him/acted up.

One of the group leaders said it was important to see where my dad was coming from and that perhaps my dad perceived me as hostile and that’s why things escalated.

Other members of the group launched into talk about their kids and how it’s so hard to handle badly behaved kids and kids that talk back.

One person said that they could understand where I was coming from and that he was the adult after all. One of the group leaders tried to say something to a similar effect.

The sum total of the group today was that I feel more blamed than ever. I feel more at fault than ever. I feel like it is affirming my view of myself as a naughty, badly behaved child, unworthy of love and deserving of the physical and verbal abuse I got from my dad.

I feel wretched and horrible. I feel unworthy of love now, as an adult. I feel gawky and ashamed. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

I feel angry and like the group have let me down, I opened up and I didn’t feel safe with their response.

I felt totally detached when I was talking about my dad. I found it hard to talk and mostly just answered questions. I used to be so scared of people asking me questions in the group but I actually found it helpful. I couldn’t have said half so much without being asked things specifically.

I feel exposed now though. Are they judging me?

Another upshot of this is that I am so glad I don’t already have kids yet. It also makes me apprehensive. Will I ever be ready to have kids? I don’t want to screw them up with my own issues. (That’s aside from the practical aspects of me having a child in the first place.)

Lots to take to my individual therapist on Thursday…

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6 thoughts on “MBT Group Week 10

  1. Ouch. Those replies about your dad would have bothered me a lot. I’m not sure why it would be important to see ‘where your dad was coming from’. After all, you’re there to heal the damage done, he’s not. If you feel he acted in a damaging way, then that’s how it is for you. I’m glad one person pointed out that he was the adult and you were the child.

    I also talked back a lot to my father, and he did not respond in a caring way, as an adult should. I totally know what you mean about that.

    Hope you can stop beating yourself up on this. Just because people say things doesn’t mean they are in the right. Good for you for talking.

    • Thank you Ellen. I’m feeling quite broken about it at the moment. Not sure where to go with it. I’m hoping my one to one session will help me make sense of things.

      As always thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment x

  2. I must confess to feeling a bit irritated by the reaction you got from the group. I spent years making excuses for my parents behaviour in detriment to my own feelings – maybe I did chat back, perhaps I was disobedient and yes, I know I was difficult….. But, why were we like that? Because we were desperately unhappy and they did not take the time to find out WHY…

    We are the innocent children – albeit misbehaving ones – and they are the adults who made some bad choices.

    This is YOUR therapy – YOUR heartache. Who cares why your parents made those bad choices? During therapy, YOUR issues and YOUR feelings are the centre point. Maybe one day you will be able to see some thing’s from the parent’s perspective, but for now, you need to concentrate on how YOU feel about the past.

    My first impression on reading this is that the people, who are justifying bad reactions to misbehaving children, are probably making some very bad choices with their own kids, leaving behind even more damaged children.

    This would have troubled me a great deal and I’m not sure where I would go from here. Obviously, it is a topic for your 1-2-1 and I imagine your Therapist will be saying much the same as Ellen and I. Personally, I would need to share with the group how this has made me feel. The dynamics of group therapy are intricate and those other members have their own issues to deal with, which often spill over into yours. I’m sure whatever you have to say will take them on their own personal journeys

    • Thanks Cat, you’ve definitely given me some food for thought. Your irritation is similar to my own anger that I now feel about the group. I’m worried about how to bring that up, I expect my individual therapist will suggest that I do bring it up in the group. My fear of conflict makes me nervous about that.

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