On my way to session I ended up going through a huge check stop on the major highway I travel. I was on time for the session but ended up being the last one in which meant I had no choice of where I sat. Besides having to sit in a close circle this bumped up my uncomfortableness a notch.
As usual when I sat down I pulled my chair out a bit. I don’t even notice when I do this. But this time the person I had to sit next did. She commented to the effect of “what do I stink or something?”. I just smiled at her and “no you don’t” and left it at that.
We had a new person join us this week so now it is a group of five. We spent a bit of time bringing her up to date about last week. After that we spent about half our three-hour session goal setting. It had to be a goal we would like to start working towards during our time in group. We had to draw a mountain putting our goal at the top. On one side of the mountain we had to list the steps we would take in attaining the goal. On the other side of the mountain we had to list what we might do to sabotage ourselves in attaining our goal. I think one of the hardest part of this goal setting exercise was narrowing down the goal from something broad and unspecific. Making it realistic and doable.
My goal was ‘lessening the unrealistic boundaries towards other people’. As we discussed this among the group I said that I would like to lessen my personal space. It is mostly unreasonable. The therapist commented that in me coming to this group I was stepping way out of my comfort zone. “oh yah” I responded. I admitted to them that just sitting in this close circle feel like a major intrusion into my personal space. And then one person clued into and commented on my chair pulling out quirk. I said yes and if I had my way I would be sitting in the far corner.
Then the person who made the first comment about her ‘stinking’ finally clued in. We discussed how it wasn’t about her at all. It was about my own issues. How her perception of what I did was about her and not about what was going on with me. And how she reacted was her issue and coming from where she was at. We had a good conversation about this.
Near the end of the session we moved to a table covered with paper. The facilitators asked us to draw what would be our perfect acreage. Immediately I drew a dark square and around the square I drew big jagged mountains. Within the square I drew a thick forest and within the forest a field which was my acreage. There was also a river flowing through it and winding through the mountains. I didn’t give much thought to what I was drawing I just knew it felt comfortable. It wasn’t until we started discussing the pictures that I realized I had many boundaries within my picture. I was amazed to see how everyone’s drawing reflected their boundary styles especially when boundaries weren’t mentioned when asked to draw.
This visual of what I drew showed me how strong my boundaries and personal space really are. It makes me wonder if there is any chance of making any significant changes in this area.