What happens when you take a bunch of people who tend to avoid group situations and put them all in a room add some CBT, a lil DBT, a large dose of mindfullness and mix it all together with some psycho education? Well apparently an 8 week group for those diagnosed with Anxiety and or Depression.
I completed my eighth session of group this week and thus graduated (i even got a certificate) from therapy group. My first group there were 15 other participants my last group I was one of six. I’d like to say I was more comfortable as the group came to an end because I was cured of my neuroses, but realistically it was just because so many others had graduated before me and had not yet been replaced.
So if I wasn’t cured, what was a the take away from the group? Well I was reminded that I’m not as fucked up as some people of course I was also reminded that I’m more fucked up than others…or maybe it’s not the people but that I’m more or less fucked up in various ways than others. Regardless of how you frame it, it’s a nice reminder to have. I was really hoping for new ways to cope with my anxiety and panic, unfortunately we really just revisited skills I’ve already tried (most of which I’ve ruled out. I mean seriously anyone tried square breathing? it drives me batty I dont understand the people who say it helps)
As I walked back to my car Tuesday night I tried to figure out what I’d gained. During their last session some have said that they always left feeling better or having taken away something. I can’t say the same. Some days I left feeling good, others I felt completely drained, and once or twice I left feeling it had been a complete waste of time. And yet I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I made myself go to all eight sessions, because as I fiddled for my car keys in the rain I realized I’d never really come out to the group.
I’d talked about my son and my son’s mom. I’d mentioned adoption as being one of my triggers. But never once did I say “I’m Katja and I’m a birth mom”. Never once did I pause to explain my relationship to my son or his mom or his brother. I just said “my son’s mom called today…” and no one ever asked for clarification… I realize that it felt freeing to talk about Kidlet without stopping to clarify and I realized that I am now closing the ever revolving door of the birth mom closet.
I’m done coming out just to have to come out again with the next person i meet. I’m out. I’m a birth mom. I will talk about my son and his family and our interactions and I won’t pause to explain the relationships. If someone has questions fine they can ask and I can clarify, but I’m not going to offer an explanation as if i’m apologizing for having a complicated family.