Why do people say “group” and not “the group” or even “my group”? I don’t get that.
In an earlier post I mentioned that I’m going to group therapy. A few of you have asked me how it’s going, so I thought I’d post some initial observations.
This is a group of eight women. All of us with different experiences but all of us survivors of hideous cr@p in our childhoods. All perpetrated by men – fathers, brothers, grandfathers, teachers and strangers. Despite these differences, we are all screwed up in pretty much the same ways. We are all, to varying degrees, afraid of the dark, afraid of strangers, have trouble feeling safe at home, have trouble letting other people in, blah blah blah.
I am in awe of some of these women. The Creative One, who is a little mousey but who stood up to her grandfather until he could take no more. The Pregnant One, who brings the hope of new life to all of us, and who prosecuted her father for his deeds, despite the pain and family horror this unleashed. The Angry One, who frightens me with her rage (even if it’s not directed at me) and who is absolutely gorgeous, but struggles with relationships. And the Strong One, who isn’t any stronger than I am, after all.
It’s quite weird to sit in a room with other people, knowing why you’re all there, but not really saying anything. I mean, of course we say things, but we don’t get into details. It’s weird to sit there with people for whom the fears, the anxieties, the panics are “normal”.
One of the reasons my therapist suggested this is so I can see that there are people out there just like me: people who didn’t grow up in feral families where violence and abuse is as common as fast food for dinner. People who work, have relationships and lives, but who also try to deal with what happened. In this respect, the group has already achieved its aims for me.
This week we’ve agreed to talk about “Loss”. Loss of many things – like innocence, childhood, family, education … whatever we have lost because of what happened. I’m dreading it because this is a big one for me, has been for as long as I’ve been in therapy, I think. It is what David once aptly described as “The loss of what should have been, and will never come again.”
I am hoping that both the Wonder and Back Up Therapists are right and that the anticipation will be worse than the actual session. I’m not sure I could stand to fall apart in front of the others.