Okay, I am going to try to clarify the journal that I sent out earlier. I have gotten several different responses on it, none of which quite understood where it was that I was coming from. I am going to try the cataphatic path now and define my potion from how it differs from everything that I am hearing.
For different people I am going to be paraphrasing so you can see how I understood what you said and if I get your impetus wrong let me know.
‘Not doing the sharing of experiences was a judgement call and perhaps it should have been put up to the group for a vote. Dealing with V and SRHC was an important issue for most of the group and I think that it served as a matrix for discussion of interpersonal relationships in general that I think are pertinent to the group as well.
‘It is not feasible for everyone to all dump out all of the issues that they are dealing with; there isn’t time. If you needed to talk badly there are other avenues that you could have explored; finding someone after the meeting or catching someone some other time. “We simply didn’t have time.”
[So long as I’ve got A’s voice, I’m gonna have some fun. Though I know how to use a spell check. ;)] ‘”Am I missing some part of the point here?” Usually your thoughts are coherent. This statement seems unrealistic in what it is asking. Surely you understand the time constraints.’
‘Why didn’t you get to talk to the group? Should you have been more aggressive? Should I have figured it out? Where does that responsibility lie? I don’t think that there is an easy answer to this. “I’m sorry I wasn’t as conscious of your needs as I wanted to be.”‘
‘I think that by the way we have things set up, talking about V was a part of the sharing experiences time, so we didn’t really skip that.
‘I do not think that all meeting will go like this last one did. It is not possible for all 15+ people to get to say all that they are thinking about.’
‘Maybe we should have done the meeting differently, but the past is the past and there is no sense dwelling on it. Let it go. This is just one meeting. Just for one meeting you didn’t get to say all that you wanted; big deal, you’ll live. I’m not saying forget about you issues or subliminate anything, but this is not that important.
‘I hope I wasn’t too harsh.’
H: (Watch for heavy projection here. I’m gonna let it flow. Either I’ll be empathic or really clouded.)
‘As MM said, we did do the sharing time. We were just focused on a specific issue and the people who weren’t sharing were working at supporting. [Stop focusing on yourself and support other people.]
‘I could have used some support, but I moved my issue. [You can to, you are being selfish.] I think that you are doing a victim drama where poor pitiful you is done unto in horrible ways by the world and you feel justly victimized and weak rather than coping healthily. Do you see this?
‘I again agree with MM; this meeting was not a usual occurrence and you need to maintain that perspective.
‘I think that you are doing victim dramas, would you check that out?’
(Well, it didn’t really flow, but there is some of the process that I label as projection though the clinical definition disagrees with mine.)
‘I think that you had time to say something right at the end of the meeting. I was frustrated when people started to leave when I had my hand up, but they stopped. “Its not our job to take care of you and to remember exactly what Will wants to have done.”‘
Let’s see, where to begin. I think that I’ll start with D, since I have heard her perspective before and it is one that I have been arguing about since Christmas. I disagree with you that you don’t have a responsibility to help me. That is exactly what I was saying about me and V last semester; “I am not responsible for him. What he does is what he does and it is not my responsibility.” I think that I was wrong.
From an absolute perspective, yes I have no inherent responsibility to V or to anyone. I do what I do and they are responsible for themselves. That world is a disconnected and unsatisfying one for me.
This is one of the things that I picked of over Christmas that is about love and connection that I haven’t been able to get into words adequately. In short, when I turn my back to my responsibility to love and care for and help other people I do myself damage that can only be overcome by accepting my responsibility. I have choice in the matter the same way that I have choice to breathe.
From an absolute perspective there are no inherent requisites on my existence. I do not have to keep on breathing, but I am going to because I do not want to die. In the same way I am going to continue to work at respecting my responsibility and connection to other people because I do not want to die.
No, I do not want you to hold my hand and do it for me, but I want respect and I don’t think that I should have to be rude in order to get it. I could have told everyone to shut the fuck up (I’m getting angry) but why can’t we respect each other enough so that is not necessary.
I don’t think that it would run perfectly all of the time, but I think that it could be surprising how well we could work as a group and how supportive and connected we could be. (anger is 93% gone)
The victim drama is there to some extent though I am not sure that it is the one that you are looking at. I could be playing, “look at how everyone got what they wanted but me; boo hoo.” But it is more “look at how everyone else is messing the connection up. I’m trying to connect to the group and everyone else is being stupid and messing it up; poor me. If only they understood like I do; boo hoo.”
And what can I do to stop the drama? (well, stop, duh) I am trying to express what I see to other people so that either I can see something that I am missing or maybe someone will find something in what I am saying. I hear you talk about connection and sangha; do these things just happen? I don’t think that they do. I have a whole new concept of interpersonal connection than I did two months ago. It is still in process, but I am doing as good as I know how to do. (There isn’t victim there, I just checked.)
I think that I have a different perspective than I am seeing in most other people. I want to see cor come together as a group.
One of the things about support is that while the members of the group have to be willing to support they also have to be willing to be supported. I have been trying to open up and commit to the group. I don’t think that what I was asking was unrealistic. I didn’t want to take half an hour and tell all about everything that I had been feeling and thinking for the last week; I just wanted a minute or two to say a couple of words about a really taxing week that I had and get a little bit of support. I didn’t even want to hear anyone say anything, I just wanted a couple of minutes to speak. Could everyone have had a couple of minutes? No, not with the time that we had. Did everyone need a couple of minutes? No, last week was the first time that I have ever come into a cor meeting wanting to say something and hoping to find some support. If everyone were to fall apart at the same time, then conceivably we could have problems, but if that happens we would probably need to extend the meeting anyway. =)
About moving issues, I moved the issue of not being heard after it happened and then I moved it back to write about it. I am getting better at such things. I wrote about it not because it is eating at me, but because I am not sure that the fact the I had to move it is a right one. I still ask if this type of support is something that we as a group are about working towards. If I get some commitments from people then I am going to continue to work at supporting and being supported. If not, I want to know so that I can think about it.
This is very hard for me to do. People scare the bejesus out of me and opening up to them is a constant fight, but I see potential in this group. I really do think that we can do it. I haven’t figured out exactly how yet, but one step at a time, right? =)
MM & MC:
I think that the difference in what I am saying and what you are hearing is that you are describing a situation where everyone is talking about everything that they are currently dealing with. I am talking only about rare incidents where I or someone else has an issue that is important enough that they want to be supported on it. For me this doesn’t happen that often, at least not to the extent that I would inconvenience the group to ask for it, but when it is there I think that it is important enough to run late or whatever.
Isn’t being inconvenienced to help someone else all of what we were talking about at the last meeting? I ask again, are we about that? Are we connected to each other and responsible for each other or are we a bunch of strangers who do things together and who meet once a week, but when you get past all of the superficialities are essentially separated? I think that it is a choice.
And I don’t even think that it is necessary to run late most of the time. I guess that it could come up on occasion, but for me, connection to other people and working on relationships is one of the main reasons that I am in cor. I can learn new ideas anywhere and for most meetings (this last one being an anomaly) the only thing that supporting the members of the group would cut into is some discussion of ideas. I love to argue and to think and that doesn’t bother me at all.
My personal best picture at the moment is asking at the end of the meeting if anyone has anything that they have to say and if someone, realizing the repercussions of inconveniencing other people, thinks that they have an issue that is important enough to warrant hearing then they talk about it. If someone decides that they have higher priorities that they must attend to than they can leave. I don’t think that this would be an issue all that often, but I like the picture of the group that is willing to accept that inconvenience rather than saying, “oh, it’s 7:00, that means that our little bit together for this week is finished. Bye everybody.” How connected are we if that is how it works?
I would also like to have some pictures of what it means to run 10 – 15 minutes late. As for me, I can certainly handle it. Even when I have a ton of stuff to do, even half an hour isn’t anything I can’t overcome if I stop whining and buckle down. The stop whining thing was not an attack. I start to whine when I don’t want to work. =)
I liked C’s response the best because it didn’t start with the assumption that there is a problem with me asking to be heard. In H’s it was a victim drama, in A’s and MM’s it was unrealistic because of time, and in D’s I had a chance to but didn’t. I thought that C looked more at the issue of why I didn’t speak and also he was involved with me. It wasn’t all my fault and it wasn’t all his fault. I liked that.
Thank you to everyone who sent me replies and thank you to everyone for reading this voluminous e-mail. I think it is neat that I am recognizing and seeking to fill emotional needs such as support. I am somewhat afraid that I am building unrealistic pictures of what I can do in relation to the group and what the group can do as a whole, but I’m watching and if anyone sees anything let me know.
Also, I have some questions as to how open to other people’s perspectives in this response. I didn’t change my mind very much, but I also didn’t see many people really addressing the exact issues that I was dealing with. It’s another thing for me to watch for.
Thank you. -Will
I would like to hear from some of the more T people, am I being fuzzy and stupid? That’s a neat perspective.