Walking on eggshells

I left group this week feeling really angry. I struggle to get a word in edgeways. This is partly because of people interrupting and talking over each other, but it’s also my own issue; I find I need a few seconds of silence before I can speak. I imagine this hesitancy is another one of those gifts from my less than idyllic childhood.

My father’s unpredictable temper probably taught me to walk on eggshells. At times I’d do just the opposite, deliberately pushing him into losing his temper just so it would be over and I wouldn’t have to deal with it hanging over my head, the not knowing what would happen next. There were few ways I could take control over the situation, and escalating it to get it over with was the way I chose.

I’ve been told for years by my family, as a child but also since then, that the conflict in the family was my fault because of this survival strategy. That guilt and the belief that I caused all these problems is a part of my core, and something I am struggling now to put into perspective. My therapist has challenged me on this, but it is an idea of myself that snaps back into place at any opportunity. There are moments when I glimpse alternative points of view. I suppose I just have to build on those.

In my individual session this week I talked with my therapist about my frustrations in trying to get myself heard in the group, and we touched on how I’ve been doing (badly) in the aftermath of talking to her about something I’ve never told anyone before. I’m not quite ready to go into that here.

I also had phonecalls with the crisis line and my social worker this week due to my self injury, which was escalating rapidly beyond my control. I didn’t find the crisis line helpful but the talk with my social worker has helped me feel that there are things I can do in terms of harm minimisation. This means I feel less out of control, though things are tough emotionally right now. I feel a sinking dread and an irritability I can’t shake. It is painful to be around others.

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2 thoughts on “Walking on eggshells

  1. It’s good that you can interpret the triggers in the group as being part of your own issue and how it relates back to childhood. It sounds as if you are working hard. Feeling down and irritable is a difficult price to pay for healing.

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