I finally gathered up enough courage to go to a group therapy session yesterday. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience. As I sat waiting for the session to start, a couple of the patients kept trying to have a conversation with me. They were way too friendly. I wondered if happy pills were the culprit. All I could offer were one word replies. I’m a bit socially awkward and it takes me a while to warm up to people—especially strangers that seemed a little too happy for happiness sake.
When I didn’t answer a question to their liking, they would ask the nurse about me. I guess they were just curious but it made me feel uneasy. I told them that I wasn’t much of a talker. They didn’t seem too thrilled with the response. It was quite intimidating.
The dreaded moment came. I had to introduce myself. I was the center of attention. I hate being the center of attention. I only said my first name. There was a long awkward pause. Maybe they were expecting my life story or a musical number. The participant in turn introduced themselves to me.
This session’s topic was about anger management. The moderator read several pages about the topic from a handout that she probably downloaded online. It was quite boring as she breezed through each page. She read about the different types of anger, dos and don’ts and coping techniques. She also passed out a handout which she also read aloud. I felt like I was in grade school. A part of intelligence felt a little insulted. This was for the birds—those cuckoo birds. I felt too big for this nest.
The Q&A session rolled around and the moderator honed in on me. She asked if I had any questions. I told her that I didn’t have any questions. She asked if I had anything to share on the topic at hand. Of course I had several stories about anger. I could have shared that I suppress anger it like it’s going out of style. Or about how passive aggressive I am and don’t say how I truly feel. Or that I let my anger boil over and spill into other parts of my life. Or how I resent people for days, months and years on end but I declined to share that. I feared that I could get emotional and the walls I’ve built to protect me from flood damage would collapse.
She also asked if I would come again on Thursday. “Hopefully,” I awkwardly replied. “Hopefully.”