A lot to go through. I think I used up a good portion of my NaNoWriMo count writing about my conflicting feels about group therapy. I'll aim for a concise version here.
DBT Validation in group comes off not only insincere but condescending and patronizing. I understand it's not suppose too, that I'm suppose to feel validated, and that the leaders of the group trying to make me feel validated to help with insecurity and esteem and other things which I can't think of right now, but wow.
I'm sorry, but generalizing and formulaic responses to what I say don't work on me. That doesn't make my experience feel valid. My experience already is valid.
1) It feels de-personalizing, which for me is triggering.
2) It makes me feel like I'm not being listened too or respected because the feedback is utterly simplistic. It's also triggering, because it reminds me of every time when I was talking about my feelings my ex would generalize and gaslight me. It also reminds me of every time a doctor generalized my condition which almost killed me.
3) People congratulating me for basic things often feels sarcastic. That's my own projection, which I know isn't the aim of the group or the intention of the leaders.
I watched the video on validation, which was given to me in the comments last week, but that comment now seems to be eaten by kinja. Here's quick reading, the video was over 50 minutes. I've read a few more things, and I think that the validation is being mishandled in this group. Maybe not on everyone, maybe the other people need to hear basic nice things, whereas I don't. I'm finally in a place where I like myself. And a stranger patting me on the head (metaphorically) and telling me that I'm good isn't helpful. You could say that about anyone.
I was explaining how coming to the hospital is really difficult for me, and that I have to make myself angry to stop being afraid.
"Well many people feel that way about hospitals, it's a common experience."
Me trying hard not to cry: "It's more complicated than that. And that's really invalidating."
Other leader 'Well everyone here has had something bad happen to them, and we don't know everyone's situation....." (I can't remember what was said I went into trauma mode.)
Neither was validating. I know I'm not a special snowflake, but being afraid of hospital and having PTSD from medical malpractice is different. I think that difference should be acknowledged, because it isn't the average experience.
After that I went into full self care mode, and basically spent the rest of the class shivering because I was so cold.
I debated staying after and trying to explain myself, but I choose not too.
Part of the reason was my own 'negative behaviours'. I assumed I wouldn't be listened too or respected, because I didn't feel like I was in class. I know that feelings aren't facts, but my instinct about people and their ability to understand my feelings is pretty on point. I'm sure if I tried it would be different, but I didn't want to risk further invalidation. My experience as a patient is constantly invalidated by people, I can't even take it. I don't see the point in risking it, because explaining it, never results in "omg I understand you." It usually results in "Well, everyone has a bad experience." or in psych "That's not as important, we need to look at your history of abuse."
I also left because Another group mate was complaining to the leaders about another member, and I didn't want to hear it.
Instead I walked out and used the mindfulness stuff. It's not about me. They're at a different stage, the leaders will handle it. Not my problem. Not about me.
As I said last week, I'm gonna stay, get what I can out of it. Do my best, because some of it will be useful. But I don't think I do 6 months of DBT.
I can't deal with someone who is gonna de-personalize and generalize my experience. The gross generalizations that come off as victim blaming.
"You know that your bad behaviours are what got you into bad situations."
That's not true. Some stuff is totally my fault, and those things I can fix and work on. Other stuff, was literally out of my control. No one in my situation could have done it better.
Situations are never black and white. I refuse to perceive them that way. There so many causes that create 'bad behaviours' part of it is cultural indoctrination. Becoming interested in feminism has done a lot for me. It's undone a lot of the internalized misogyny that convinced me to stay in a bad relationship
So stop telling me this is my fault. Because it fucking isn't
I went and saw my private therapist after. He validated my experience. We discussed the useful things I could get out of this group and acknowledge that it would be difficult for me because I think at a deeper level. Not that my group mates won't be able too, they will, but I've got 2 years of private therapy under my belt and for a lot of them, this is the first time they've tried it. And it's going to be difficult for everyone for different reasons.