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Reacting (without overreacting) to minor manipulations

Today was the second meeting of my depression therapy group. It runs from 10-11:30am weekly, and the facilitators were quite strict about attendance and punctuality in the first meeting. I entered the building at exactly 10am after a 30 minute walk to get there (bus drivers are on strike). The receptionist said that they had already gone back to the meeting room and that I had to sit and wait until the facilitator came to check for stragglers. I didn't like being characterized that way since I had arrived on time.

After waiting ten minutes, the facilitator came to get me (everyone else had apparently arrived earlier than 10am). I told her that I had come on time because I was worried that she would think badly of me since she had to interrupt the session to come get me. I asked if I needed to arrive early and she said no. I told her that the situation made me feel very anxious. The session itself went fine, but it took me at least thirty minutes to calm down enough to take it in.

I felt a bit manipulated in this situation by a "moving the goal posts" action - that is, I was told 10am was "on time" but then when I showed up at 10am, I was somehow "late". I know that I was triggered by this because my narcissistic ex used to do things like this to me all the time. It doesn't help that the facilitator was in a position of some authority - I had been on a waitlist for so long and I didn't want to lose the opportunity to be part of this group.

I've had a few of these situations happen lately and while I always maintain my composure in the moment (a lifetime of practice 🙃), I don't like the fallout afterward. I've been feeling it all through my body this afternoon.

I understand that this was a very minor issue, and that no one was hurt by it. But I feel like I am at a place in my journey where I just don't want to deal with these things anymore. "You're going to manipulate me? Fine. You don't get access to my life anymore." It's like an overreactive way to take back my power. I have felt so powerless for most of my life and now that I've learned how to get perspective, I'm just done with it. I don't want it in my life.

Realistically, though, these situations are going to constantly come up in my life because humans do these things. Even I do them to others. I am still figuring out how to navigate relationships in a healthy way.

#manipulation #Gaslighting #movingthegoalposts #Relationships #EmotionalAbuse #NarcissisticAbuse #Therapy #GroupTherapy #power #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety

31 reactions 11 comments

I’m trying to ignore my embarrassment from the last evening

In my last post I wrote about an anxiety attack I had last evening in a group of people.
Now I am just trying to ignore the embarrassment by watching movies and reading books.
The thoughts come and go and I review the moments of the conversations and my reactions time to time however I try to distract myself from it.

4 reactions

I had an anxiety attack in the group anxiety therapy session I am attending.

Today I had a terrible session of anxiety group therapy.
I was targeted directly by a member who was sad about my previous session comment and I felt so guilty and regretful which resulted in a anxiety attack in the season which made me more embarrassed and it took me so much time to get rid of physical symptoms and I am still obsessed after 5 hours.

Last session, after one of the members expression of her feelings, the therapist asked others about what they wanted to say.
I thought a lot and I felt I should tell her that a part of healing is acceptance.
I knew it was hard to do it but we all could have comments and I normally tried to be caring about everyone there.
I also had comments when It was my turn. Although I didn’t like some of the comments but I only listened.

This session she came and made an introduction that she was in pain because of a comment and she wanted to share it. Then she said that it was my comment which bothered her.

I was so anxious as she started to talk . I was waiting whom she was going to complain about.
When my therapist asked me if I wanted to say something I burst into tears unintentionally to tell that I didn’t want to bother her.
I couldn’t breathe well and my body was shaking while I was sweating.
I couldn’t hear others anymore and I was embarrassed because of my reaction and I was embarrassed because I couldn’t stop how I was feeling.

I left the session for 5 minutes and went inside because the therapist request.
It took me a while to be able to talk again in the session. I wasn’t okay till the end any way and I still don’t feel good and I even think maybe I shouldn’t go there anymore although I will go anyway.

#Anxiety #AnxietyAttack #GroupTherapy

7 reactions 6 comments

"What's said in group stays in group." is a blatant lie.

At any point the facilitator of the group will communicate your statements to the entire mental health team. This needs to be communicated, otherwise it is a breach of trust and can result in feelings of betrayal and anger.

#socially isolated


Is is right to put a 62 year old male into a group therapy with the other members and 3 facilitators being younger females? #GroupTherapy



First time therapy group session tomorrow morning

I have been on a wait list for six months for this depression/anxiety therapy group through public health and it is finally starting tomorrow on Zoom. I've been trying not to think about it too much, but the anxiety is starting to build tonight (right when I'm trying to go to bed ...).

I told my personal therapist yesterday that I would be starting this group and he said he sometimes led these groups. In his experience, they focus more on specific tools and strategies to help manage day to day coping rather than actually talking and sharing with each other.

I think I'm also at a point of feeling like a bit of a fraud because my depression and anxiety aren't that bad right now. I feel like I don't deserve to join this group because I'm not suffering enough. I understand that these concerns are not good reasons to avoid the group, but they are running through my head.

If you've ever done group therapy (esp. virtually in 2020), I'd really appreciate some advice and support.

#GroupTherapy #Therapy #Firsttime #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #AdviceWelcome #Upallnight


They gave me another chance! #GroupTherapy

I really easily get locked into all or nothing thinking which can result in a lot of self-condemnation. Back in March, as soon as I got on a public health insurance plan, I visited the local mental health resource centre. They said I could be eligible for group therapy, but there was a wait list and then there was also a further delay due to the pandemic. They called me in July when I had just moved, dealing with a new work schedule, struggling to balance everything - and I kept forgetting to call them back. I convinced myself that this meant I had lost out forever and it was all my fault because I had failed (once again) to follow through like a mature, responsible adult. (Sorry for the negativity - but these are the thoughts that go through my mind...)

Just now, someone from the centre called to ask if I was still interested in group! I'm feeling settled in my new apartment now, my job schedule has sorted itself out, and feeling as ready as I'll ever be for something new. It probably won't start until November, and it will be on Zoom. They will contact me by email instead of phone which will be much easier for me to manage (less anxiety).

Sooo, please pass on your tips for a good group therapy experience! I want this to be a helpful and hopeful step forward for me, but I'm definitely a bit nervous about it too.

#secondchances #GroupTherapy #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #AllorNothing #sharingiscaring


Dropped group.

This morning I started zoom group therapy from my local provider.

In introductions I was the 5th or 6th person asked about why I came and all that.

I told them I didn't feel safe enough to talk.

They asked me well if I didn't feel safe why did I come.

I said I didn't know I was going to be the only man. Now that I am I'm I've been asking myself that question too.

They said this is a safe place.

I said I've heard that before. I don't want to be a sounding board for women's problems.

The council got mad at me. The woman started to chime in on me. The counselor said she was going to have the doctor call me.

I logged out and about 30 minutes later the doctor didn't call me. I told him I didn't feel comfortable in that situation cuz I've been through it before. That I didn't want to be a sounding board before women's problems. I'm a gay man and I've never had sex with a woman let alone had kids but I didn't want to hear about how I'm a bad man or an abuser or a bad father. I said that it's happened every time that I've been the only man. When I wasn't the only man if there were just two or three of us we shared being the sounding board.

He reluctantly agreed and moved up my accounts and appointment

#GroupTherapy #BipolarDisorder