There’s a monthly group held fairly locally for women survivors of trauma. I’ve not been to anything like it before. There’s a few reasons I tend to distance myself from ‘those women.’ Most notably is that I feel my experiences aren’t ‘bad enough’ and that I’m not worthy of anyone’s time. I have therapy because my family depend on my sound mind and it complements my psychiatrist. Also I find it impossible to cry for myself. But let me hear someone else’s stories and I could cry like a baby. Hardly ideal for a group setting.
When I did my stint in the Priory in the UK, there were groups to participate in, ‘gently expected to attend’ should I say. Managing anxiety, managing stress, some new age ones involving writing about trees or something and the old favourite mindfulness. Everyone else, unless they were still in the throws of plotting escape/suicide/sneaking in drugs/alcohol gleefully seemed to skip along. Wide eyed in the hope of inspiration. I was more like Oscar from Sesame Street. I learnt I wasn’t a group person.
When i trained to work with Women’s Refuge before my first breakdown, I’d be exposed to some shocking stories in training. And I’d cry. On the job I didn’t cry obviously – that would make me pretty crap. But I’d lie awake in tears and ask after people all the time as they got lost in the system. Worrying that I’d never quite done enough.
With my personal experiences I’m lonely. I go to a nice website and I read things and think wow! I could have written that! I read blogs on here and think the same. It’s all I have. I guess it’s all most of us have.
So I thought id try this group.
My fears are, that no one turns up. That’s is excruciatingly awkward. That everyone is emotional. That it scares me.
But most of all, that I’m forced to realise, I belong.