Second Eden group was today. It was hard going. I find group situations incredibly challenging because I don’t know what version of me to be – it varies depending on who I’m talking to – and I can’t read the room, other than to be aware that there’s a fairly high level of discomfort going on. Or at least, that’s my perception of what’s happening, I can’t imagine I’m the only one finding it tough.
What was possibly hardest about today was the group exercise that we did, although it wasn’t the doing of said exercise that caused problems, but rather what it made me aware of. We were given a desert island scenario, and a list of 15 items that we had to rank in order of priority, working in threes to come up with the order. That part was fine, but led to some uncomfortable realisations. To be fair, none of these were new. I like to be in control, we know that, but I also like to avoid conflict, and as a rule will generally defer to whoever has the strongest voice. As it happened things worked very well with the group I was in and we reached a consensus remarkably easy . But we didn’t get the order of things ‘right’ – there was an ideal case scenario which we heard afterwards. Obviously, the general level of understanding of desert survival wasn’t quite as important as what it demonstrated about how we interact in groups, but I was disproportionately annoyed at having gotten it ‘wrong’ (there’s a whole other post right there), which led me to think about why I thought my way was the right way in the first place.
It was a plane crash scenario, and it made sense for me to walk away from it, to try and save ourselves. It never even occurred to me that digging in and waiting for rescue could possibly make more sense. I was pondering it on the drive home, and had the thought that that is how I react to problems in general – find the quickest escape route, convince myself it’s the most viable one by whatever means possible, and take it. I detest asking for help, and if I feel like a problem is of my own making (which I generally do) then I will jump to fix it myself, now, if not sooner. Usually I jump feet first. If the situation I find myself in is bad or makes me uncomfortable in any way, I have got to remove myself from it, preferably physically but when that’s not possible, emotionally will do. I’ve been through the same thing time and time again over the years with Therapist. How many times have you heard me say ‘that’s it, I’m done’?? Or what about shutting down the blog? Even in the group today, before we ever got to life and death scenarios, I was incredibly anxious and wanted to just run. Last week I hid behind my scarf. Today, I hid behind my scarf, a large cup, and eventually a cushion.
It’s the emotional discomfort that I just cannot handle, and I think it’s that that makes me want to run, to avoid, to hurt myself………whatever escape I can find. Physical discomfort I can take, it’s something to focus on, something to distract from my mind. But I can’t keep hiding from emotional discomfort. The box is quite full, and there’s only so much that can go in there before if comes back to bite me in the ass. It’s not nice to face these things head on, it left me feeling pretty shook. But I guess that’s the whole point. If I don’t face up to these things, I can’t change them, and if I can’t change them, I’ll always be running or hiding or hurting…………..
This will all be so much easier (or something??!) when I finally have a therapist to talk it through with!