It’s what one of the group therapy leader assistants said to me. Yup. I seem to be spot on for being the first for a lot of things. But patterns dictate first in worst case scenarios.
First to call Athena out. First to walk out in the first 15 minutes, leaving all her stuff behind because it was the flight instinct. First to spend half an hour crying in the bathroom because there was nowhere safe to go. Then to leave because there was suspicion I was vomiting. First to sit outside the building because I had nowhere safe to go. To continue crying. First to be fully triggered in “the safety of DBT Group” and by the leaders themselves. First to sit in the observation room, in the corner, crying the entire 1.5 hours of group until everyone left. All the while scratching and pinching my arm.
It’s crazy. I have been having a really good few days. Today I forgot it was a holiday and went to the mall–an issue on it’s own. My eating plans kept getting thwarted but I still ended up getting the fruit and cheese box at Starbucks–something healthy.
I went to group happy and chatting with my group mates; smiling and having fun.
We start group off with a mindfulness activity every week. One week, Newby group assistant leader led us on a body awareness. I straight up said I hated it because it made me extremely self conscious.
Today, her newness led her on the road to my demise. I finally have opened up about my struggle with anorexia in the group. So shit why not push me over the edge! Newby decided to do a mindful eating exercise.
Sidenote: we have rules for group. One of which is no food in group because it is triggering for some and this is a safe place.
So now, as if my internal struggles aren’t enough, everyone watched me as I don’t take the snack pack out. Then we all “eat together” so everyone keeps offering me their snacks to share.
So no one listened to me and my feelings on food when I straight up said two weeks ago I stopped eating again?
Then they eat “alone” and one lady keeps trying to offer it to me. I sit there BEYOND panicked. All are looking at me not eating. No one else is struggling. Just me.
Isolate me. Fear of judgment. Not good enough to be part of the group.
Then mindfully eat the snack.
I can’t even do this with my therapist without dry heaving and passing out in addition to tears. Ya group setting will be easy.
Newby asks us to share. I sit there panicked and quiet.
She asks if there are any questions. I wasn’t going to say a thing. Out of nowhere my hand is in the air and I hear my voice saying, directed at Athena, I thought we weren’t allowed to bring food to group; that it’s a rule.
Pretty sure I’m death glaring her as she explains that it slipped her mind and how she apologizes for breaking the rules. She’s looking at me. Someone next to me tried to defend Athena. Fuck you suck up. No excuses. Safe environment my ass.
But no one else gets it. Their fears and problems haven’t been forced down their throats to confront in a VERY large exposure session. Nope. Theirs won’t ever be. But it’s cool, Cassie, you’re worthless so your feelings don’t matter. You even fly under the radar in regards to your concerns and fears with your group therapist. Validation: worthlessness. Begin hopelessness.
Athena admits she forgot and basically tries to defend her actions–like I’m the bad guy. I’m the bitch for being hurt in my safe place. I broke the rule. I fucked up. But I’m the one who still isn’t good enough to register on her radar. I’m worthless!
The lady who kept offering me her snack says she appreciates me voicing my discomfort. Fuck that.
Athena keeps looking at me and asks what I need.
Panic is still coursing through me. I have to run. I want to go somewhere safe but at this point anything is better than there.
“I need 10 minutes”
I walked so fast out that door, Nalgene in hand because it was all I could grab in flight, that the therapy leader can’t find me. I head straight to the bathroom, drop my pants and cry. Just cry.
I didn’t know why at first. I silently cried when people would come in. When they left I let it out; blew my nose. After 30 minutes I heard the clerk start to ask about me outside. So I actually peed, washed my face, and walked out. I was mortified. I had to get out but didn’t know where to go. Tears were falling on their own and people just stared.
I was AMA but no one gave a shit. Who cares about me? Well I thought 2 people but now down to one: Cherry.
Without my stuff I couldn’t leave and go home like I wanted. So I sat on a bench, crying. A leaf floated into my lap and I took some comfort from it. I felt like it was a sign that one of my deceased loved ones was watching over me, feeling for me, reaching out to give strength. I held that leaf.
I don’t know how long I was out there, crying. Felt better than the bathroom.
Oldie, experienced group assistant leader, came out to talk to me. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. The only one would have been Athena but she beyond hurt me and didn’t seem to care.
Oldie and the rest couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back in. I told her they broke my trust, it was no longer safe, and all my fears were in that room. That I was trapped because I wanted to leave but couldn’t.
Somehow Oldie finagled me to stay thinking I would talk to Athena. I wasn’t going to but I wanted my stuff. So the only open isolated place? The observation room. So I went to the farthest corner, put 3 chairs around me, sat on the floor in fetal position, and kept crying.
Because, ya know, it’s great to leave an anorexic to herself in that crisis moment.
wtf Athena. You’re an eating disorder specialist. You pulled that shit. Then leave me alone? Guess what happens?
I sat there scratching and pinching my arm. I was trapped, angry, distraught, in crisis. None of the therapists who KNOW my harm behaviors, looked at my arms. The time flew by. I had no concept of time. I guess crying does that to you. And Ed’s voice sure does. Reminding me how I’m worthless and how even my therapist validated I’m worthless.
When group was over, Oldie came for me. I asked if all were gone and she said no she’d come back when they were.
Athena came and asked to come in my room. I said no. She wanted to talk. I said I have nothing to say: she broke my trust.
I went in the room to pack my things and leave. She tried to talk to me and Oldie and Newby ran out. She thought I was coming back. I told her nope. I want to go home. She says she is hurt and upset [something that implies I’m hurting her because I refuse to talk this out]. I tell her well that’s how I felt as I cried for the last 1.5 hours because of her. That I just want to go home.
I grabbed my stuff and ran out past her. Obviously still crying. I think I might make her cry tonight.
Good. She tucking deserves it.
Her excuses about how shit is good for others. I told her she could have warned me and she has excuse after excuse like I don’t fucking matter. Thanks again for validating those thoughts. Ed you full yet?
I had made my mind up while crying: it’s over. I give up completely. I’m calling out tomorrow for Cherry’s session. And again next week. I’m not going. What’s the point?
I can’t even do a stupid task in a safe place. I’m selfish for being upset by this task and not brushing off something that’s difficult to me that no one else understands. I’m a horrible person.
Thanks Athena. Nailed your job!
I came home and got straight into bed. Frankly I’m still crying.
My dad texts me “you still alive?”
My response? “Wish I wasn’t. Why?”
Him: “haven’t heard a peep from you”
Me: “you must be excited”
He comes up to see what’s wrong. I tell him I’m not ok. His immediate comment: did you get fired–oh wait can’t be possible since you didn’t work today and won’t work.
I said no this happened and show him my arm. It is nothing but redness and inflammation. It’s cut up and bruised.
So he storms away: “well I guess we won’t have a Christmas tree up again three years in a row” (referring to how I was supposed to help clean).
Cool. I just opened up and showed him how I hurt myself and he just walks off and worried about himself.
My mom comes up and yells at me. Tells me to knock it off. “Stop your pity party you’re fine”
Wow. No one even asks. No one bothers. This is beyond atypical behavior for me. No one even flinches.
If someone even bothered to ask me, “what are you thinking?” I knew my response: finding reasons to stay alive.
No one asked. No one cares. Made me regret not having ended my life in August.
I’m apparently a fucking imposition. I’m not appreciated. I was staying alive for 2 people: Athena and Cherry. Now it’s just Cherry.
Part of me wants to die from anorexia with a note to Athena–thanks to you. Make a point.
I can’t hurt others so I can only hurt myself.
I’m not going to Cherry for the foreseeable future. I sent her an email telling her if she has questions ask Athena.
My last strand of hope to hold on? Just cut. Why bother?
Shit. That’s a first. I seem to be great at those.