After some searching and asking around I found a support group for adult survivors of child abuse. It’s a 10 week course that focuses on helping members with various things from coping mechanisms to having healthy relationships. Everything this group is going to work on, I could use some help with.
I had to do an assessment to get a diagnosis… Apparently I’m not crazy. That’s a good thing haha. I was excited to see that I was not diagnosed with any real disorder. In the past I suffered from depression and was on antidepressants. I stopped taking them and just decided to deal with life. I guess that I have been successful in that pursuit. I am thankful for the small things or I guess that can be categorized as a big thing.
We had our first meeting on Wednesday. Sadly there are only two other people in the group plus the counselor and an intern. Not quite the meeting of the minds and scope of perspective that I had been hoping for but as one of my friends put it, I’ll definitely be getting my allotted amount of talk time.
The agenda of the first meeting was just getting to know people, rule setting and ice breakers. The usual introduction things. We talked about our pasts and what we’re doing now and mentioned one interesting thing about ourselves. I actually found it hard to think of one interesting thing about myself because I think I’m pretty run of the mill. I ended up telling them about the table I fixed up and showed them pictures. One of my group members seemed pretty interested and wanted to know if I was selling it haha. No chance bud! We set up ground rules. One of them being that we will not discuss each others details outside of the group. This for me means that I will never say anything about their past or any real details of their present and I will never give out their names.
The last thing we did was an ice breaker. I hate ice breakers. I don’t like the spotlight on me and I don’t like to share about myself until I get to know people a little more. I’m not sure if that’s normal or not, probably a trust issue haha. I just feel ridiculous saying I like to read and I love summer haha. Anyway our ice breaker was an art therapy centered one, which makes me cringe. I’m a champ at stick figures, a failure at everything else.
We had to draw a tree as we saw ourselves; short, lots of leaves and a few nicks and scratches. We had to draw ourselves as water; the ocean meeting the beach, all tranquil and relaxing. We had to draw ourselves as food; pasta and meatballs, my worst drawing yet haha. I’m small with a ton of hair and a few scars, nothing makes me happier than sitting on a beach in the sun with the ocean stretching out for miles in front of me, and I come from a large family, we’re part Italian and family is everything. My drawings were kinda awful and I was embarrassed but I still showed them and I participated. It helped me to see a little more of what’s important to me.
This group will be a good thing for me. It’s not what I expected but what in life ever turns out the way you expect. If I even take away one thing from it, I’ll be the better for it. I’m not judging my group members but I can say that they had it worse than me. I don’t think they ever found support within their families. It made me grateful for the opportunities that I was given throughout the years. I’m also grateful that I am 25 and taking care of this now. I could be 50 and still living with it. That would be tragic. One last thing I will say is that one of the group members is a mother of two with a healthy marriage. That gave me hope. You can make a life for yourself that is nothing like your past. I can have a husband and babies. I can be loving and healthy.