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Old 10-24-2016, 01:21 PM
 
Location: PA
839 posts, read 957,758 times
Reputation: 1753

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I am not one for talking about the loss of my parents, but I thought it would be healthy to join a faith based grief support group to have the opportunity to discuss and also reiterate that others are going through the same thing (hear their personal stories). Its just a way of managing and processing my grief, and maybe make a few friends based on shared experiences. I have been going to this group for two months, and finally decided to open up and share an intimate detail about my parents passing (basically about watching the physical act of dying and the flashbacks I get to watching the plug being pulled for my Mom specifically - that I miss holding her hand at times). They basically shut me down, with people unable to look me in the eyes and some woman making a snarky comment that some people shouldn't talk about it as much as they do, and I was told I should journal the experience to talk about it to myself. I was taken aback, and really know my options are to:

1.) Keep going and don't let these people get to me - enjoy the course materials for what it is (although there is a huge temptation to be snarky back)
2.) Find a different group - assume that not everyone is going to be like this (although I am not sure - maybe people are like this anymore).
3.) Just stop going to a support group all together, as maybe this is a sign I shouldn't talk about it. I really don't like the judgement I get from opening up about personal stuff, and I typically don't open up about stuff (keep topics of conversation typically shallow with people and talk about things like weight loss/dieting, gardening, traveling, pop culture stuff, hobbies, etc. just for the sake of being social)

Has anyone else had this happen to them? Is it the nature of group support groups, or did I stumble upon a bad one? Should I just give up and keep to myself?
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Sac
5 posts, read 5,204 times
Reputation: 52
Default Grief and the hard details

I'm so sorry you are experiencing this! Sounds like the details of your parent's death was "too triggering" for some to handle. Yet, it is something you clearly need to be able to talk about and find resolution about. I would approach the facilitator and see what he/she recommends. Perhaps he/she would be available for some one-on-one sessions, or could recommend someone. Don't give up! You need to be able to work through this, and I know there is someone our there who won't be freaked out and will be able to help you.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: PA
839 posts, read 957,758 times
Reputation: 1753
Quote:
Originally Posted by revtrudy View Post
I'm so sorry you are experiencing this! Sounds like the details of your parent's death was "too triggering" for some to handle. Yet, it is something you clearly need to be able to talk about and find resolution about. I would approach the facilitator and see what he/she recommends. Perhaps he/she would be available for some one-on-one sessions, or could recommend someone. Don't give up! You need to be able to work through this, and I know there is someone our there who won't be freaked out and will be able to help you.
Thank you for the encouragement! I was considering talking to the facilitator, and I really didn't mean to trigger some feelings with some of the folks at the group. It was relevant to the discussion at hand (i.e. flashbacks), and frankly no one was talking during the shared experience time so I thought it was good timing to bring up this concern I had. Even if they couldn't help, even pointing in the direction of someone or a group that could. I went to a therapist for a time, and was basically dismissed because I was done with treatment. I don't have a lot of lingering issues and a workable plan for my grief, but it is nice to share my feelings once in a while with someone who has gone through it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,577 posts, read 4,780,727 times
Reputation: 16477
I bet the people in the group have been there quite awhile and it is more of a social occasion for them. I have seen this happen.

Don't try to make friends with people in the group. What you have in common isn't something you build a relationship on.

Try a group that isn't faith based. Too many differences of opinion on death and the afterlife so you wouldn't want one geared to one belief.

Good chance the facilitator is a volunteer that went to a few classes. Bad group usually means bad facilitator.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27639
I'm sorry you had to experience that. Bless them for what support they offered you in the past, then cut them loose and move forward. Very simply, they were not supportive with those remarks and reactions. Those are their problems, not yours.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:47 PM
 
4,797 posts, read 1,344,677 times
Reputation: 4769
That's very surprising, to say the least.

You could certainly try going back once or twice to see how you feel about the group.

But personally I'd suggest looking elsewhere and beyond. I'm not saying you shouldn't talk about it (maybe if you are haven't problems you should see a counselor), but from your post, it's been at least two months, likely more, so you've had ample opportunity to do the basic talking. I would suggest you think about looking for groups or friends based on shared interests - not on death. Of course you're mourning, but your parents would want you to gradually move on, and heal, cherishing their memories but allowing the grief to abate.

It sounds like maybe your big personal project should be to broaden out your social circle so that eventually you end up with a few close friends where your relationship can go beyond the shallow conversation.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:36 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,628,561 times
Reputation: 33226
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
I am not one for talking about the loss of my parents, but I thought it would be healthy to join a faith based grief support group to have the opportunity to discuss and also reiterate that others are going through the same thing (hear their personal stories). Its just a way of managing and processing my grief, and maybe make a few friends based on shared experiences. I have been going to this group for two months, and finally decided to open up and share an intimate detail about my parents passing (basically about watching the physical act of dying and the flashbacks I get to watching the plug being pulled for my Mom specifically - that I miss holding her hand at times). They basically shut me down, with people unable to look me in the eyes and some woman making a snarky comment that some people shouldn't talk about it as much as they do, and I was told I should journal the experience to talk about it to myself. I was taken aback, and really know my options are to:

1.) Keep going and don't let these people get to me - enjoy the course materials for what it is (although there is a huge temptation to be snarky back)
2.) Find a different group - assume that not everyone is going to be like this (although I am not sure - maybe people are like this anymore).
3.) Just stop going to a support group all together, as maybe this is a sign I shouldn't talk about it. I really don't like the judgement I get from opening up about personal stuff, and I typically don't open up about stuff (keep topics of conversation typically shallow with people and talk about things like weight loss/dieting, gardening, traveling, pop culture stuff, hobbies, etc. just for the sake of being social)

Has anyone else had this happen to them? Is it the nature of group support groups, or did I stumble upon a bad one? Should I just give up and keep to myself?

Sorry that happened to you, but why is your group going on for so long?

The reason I ask is they're normally for about 6 to 8 weeks.

As one poster said and from your number 3 it sound like it has gone off track and become social.

I have been through two different groups and now help facilitate one and neither were like that.

No one would ever or should ever shut you down for those reasons.

Again, sorry that happened but that is not a grief support group.
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:29 PM
 
Location: PA
839 posts, read 957,758 times
Reputation: 1753
I think you guys are right, and it is turning into something that is not a support group.

Still, it would still be nice to find people that understand what I am going through with the first set of holidays not having both sets of parents. I know its been hard on Thanksgiving the last couple years thinking about my Mom not being there and seeing her empty chair. This will be first year without my Dad, third without my Mom. I would like to still have a traditional thanksgiving dinner. I extended an invite to my sister and her small family, but she does not want to come to our house to celebrate with us, and is opting to go to a very fancy $50 a plate dinner a 2.5 hour drive from us. This was in "protest" for all the thanksgiving dinners my father "made" her have that were plain. I won't drive that far for a dinner, and I won't pay that much for a dinner, that is just nuts! Plus the menu sounds scary to me (I am a very plain eater also, just like Dad was).

This year, I am thinking just have the football game on blasting in the background and focus on the games, making a big turkey for my husband and the dogs (they will love it) and early black Friday shopping after dinner. Heck with family stuff! Maybe that is just the best way to deal! Just stop making a big deal about these holidays??
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:35 PM
 
15,824 posts, read 18,434,141 times
Reputation: 25604
Links to in person and online grief groups. You have a right to your feelings....It sounds like the group you are in is not very supportive. Look for one that you feel less stifled and free to share your grief and loss without judgement.
Sorry for your loss
Online Grief Support - A Social Community - Don't grieve alone; 12,000 members and growing
Free Grief Support Site for Loss, Bereavement, Healing - Powered By phpFox
Bereavement and Grief Chat Room - Bereavement and Grief Forums - Bereavement and Grief Community - Social Networking - Online Bereavement and Grief Support Group - HealthfulChat
GriefShare - Grief Recovery Support Groups - GriefShare
http://www.griefwatch.com/support-group
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,466 posts, read 15,905,878 times
Reputation: 38730
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
I think you guys are right, and it is turning into something that is not a support group.

Still, it would still be nice to find people that understand what I am going through with the first set of holidays not having both sets of parents. I know its been hard on Thanksgiving the last couple years thinking about my Mom not being there and seeing her empty chair. This will be first year without my Dad, third without my Mom. I would like to still have a traditional thanksgiving dinner. I extended an invite to my sister and her small family, but she does not want to come to our house to celebrate with us, and is opting to go to a very fancy $50 a plate dinner a 2.5 hour drive from us. This was in "protest" for all the thanksgiving dinners my father "made" her have that were plain. I won't drive that far for a dinner, and I won't pay that much for a dinner, that is just nuts! Plus the menu sounds scary to me (I am a very plain eater also, just like Dad was).

This year, I am thinking just have the football game on blasting in the background and focus on the games, making a big turkey for my husband and the dogs (they will love it) and early black Friday shopping after dinner.


Heck with family stuff! Maybe that is just the best way to deal! Just stop making a big deal about these holidays??
Look at it this way, hubby and the dogs are your family, so you are celebrating with family.

Or, invite a few single friends, foreign students or senior citizens to join your celebration.

BTW, I would never drive 2 1/2 hours for Thanksgiving at a restaurant, no matter who was there.
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