I have to get this out of me. My brain has been obsessing over this since last night at art therapy. I can’t stand it and am on the verge of quitting going to iOP on Wednesdays even though I need iOP and art therapy used to be my favorite group.
It started with a previous post entitled: Devalued, Disrespected, Unfairly Accused. In fact, that is what changed it completely, not just for me but for others as well.
There was this one project we did called The Book. It unfolded in different ways to reveal those things we wanted, or positive thoughts that would inspire us. I brought mine home and worked very hard on it. After last night I deleted the pictures so can’t show them here. In July I am planning on upgrading so I can upload videos and if I haven’t thrown it away, I’ll do a video to show it. Last week was when the group shared that project but I wasn’t there because of the procedure I had so I brought it this week, excited to share it with everyone.
At the beginning of group I asked if I could share it and I was immediately shut down being told that I could “only if” there was time, at the end. So right off the bat I was given the message I wasn’t important, and also (in my mind) punished for not being here last week. Another thing that set the mood for me was a new girl came in and the art therapist never bothered to have all of us introduce ourselves to her so she sat there all through group not knowing who any of us were; can you imagine?
We were told to draw a house before coming. That caused huge anxiety for me but I did it. I was given no instructions or reasons for why so I didn’t know what kind of house to draw. I’m sorry but I need instructions. I can’t just do something based on utterly unknown factors. Does this woman even understand people with eating disorders?????
So okay, we have our house. She then said to turn it over and draw a copy of her template. I started but she looked at me and asked if I used paper from home, which I did. She said it wasn’t big enough (it was 8 ½ by 11) and I had to do it on her giant piece of paper. I wanted to do it on mine but she insisted, dismissing me. The thing is, the girl across the table was using a smaller piece. I can’t help but feel singled out especially after what happened in that previous post. She even said she’d single me out if she felt I was being disruptive. So I guess wanting to do the project on my own paper was disruptive.
I’m drawing the template. Then she said to do the inside but originally she didn’t say that so now I’m confused. Okay, so I start drawing the inside but no, we have to draw one line at a time as she tells us. I like precise lines so I’m clearly being too slow for her. She starts telling us what to label them but a lot of us can’t write it fast enough. She doesn’t care. She dismisses us by saying we’ll get a copy of the instructions after so we can fill it out then.
Now we have to work on it. It is not easy. We are supposed to list behaviors we want to change, as well as emotions, secrets, support, protection, on and on. Are you kidding? I can’t just do this in 45 to 60 minutes. I figured I’d do a collage since sometimes words pop out when I’m looking through magazines. I didn’t get done. I really couldn’t understand the detailed instructions and nothing was coming to me. As far as I was concerned, this was like 3 private therapy sessions worth of work with my own therapist.
She stopped everyone to have them share. We can choose to share or not. No one wants to because pretty much everyone is afraid to talk. That, again, goes back to that previous posts explanation. There is another new girl so she shared and then a couple others did. No one gives feedback to anyone anymore either. Because of that we are all squashed like we don’t count and no one cares. We used to give feedback and lively discussions ensued but no more.
In the end I shared my original house that I did at home. She was saying how we ought to google house psychology as houses are very revealing, especially in dreams. I shared my house out of curiosity but she then said no, it was only dreams she was talking about. Our houses were simply houses. I was a tad bit put off at that point and she said “what is going on Lexy?” How can I open up? If I said that I felt dismissed or felt like I was made to feel unimportant, that I don’t count, that I’m afraid to talk, she would take me out of the room and accuse me of being passive aggressive, something my therapist assured me I’m not.
I want to talk to the director today but I feel like I’ll just be complaining. My therapist had instructed me several weeks ago to just go with the flow and try to get what I can out of group. You know what I go? Grief, feeling crushed, feeling unimportant and afraid and worst of all, NOT safe.
I see my therapist in about an hour and am going to lose more time working on my core issues because I’m going to have to process this garbage.
By the way, I never got to share. She supervised dinner and we barely talked. One of the girls that has been there a long time was like, “tick, tock, tick, tock.” Wow. Thank goodness she only does dinner once every 2 months.
Oh I forgot to mention, because I took this weeks project home I’m not going to be able to process next week. Actually we don’t process, we just share and that’s it. Are used to process but it changed at some point, maybe when I wasn’t there. When she first started she would let us take projects home to finish and then give time at the beginning of the next session to process which is why I asked if I could share mine. But now, if we don’t finish it in the period of time she gives us we won’t have an opportunity to process even when she says their “may” be time if the next project doesn’t last all period, which it usually does. Even in the treatment program we were given extra time. It is sometimes difficult to figure out what to do. From now on I’ll just speed through and do the best I can. But honestly, I’m not sure what the rush is. It makes me not even want to bother. I’m not going to do the project I brought home, what’s the point?