A 100 day project ~ #100daysofgrouptherapy…

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There has been a lapse between my last post and this one. I went from having a very hard time to slipping into a wordless state. I am finding, more and more, that hard times are more easily managed by not trying to push things that don’t want to come, and by going with the flow. In this case with a brain muddled by medication, it has been easier to slip into painting and I have been painting a lot, and then something unusual came up. There seem to be a lot of these around the internet and I always thought, “Whoa nelly, with my stuff going on in my addled brain to keep up with something for 100 days, ha ha ha ha ha, as if.” But then…

I was on Instagram one day — I truly love Instagram, you can see photos of my life ongoing everyday in the Instagram widget in the right column of this blog, or at the Instagram site, and there I found this: #the100dayproject, and I loved the premise. You were to make up your own project and put it’s hashtag with the above hashtag and join the larger project with your own. Somehow I was just captivated, and, well, Gooseberries! I have no idea in the universe why this came to me but my project sprang into life almost on it’s own and Monday I will be doing it for 2 weeks and I am IN it. The project, #100daysofgrouptherapy. You will find the whole thing at Instagram and everything that gets added will show up here... (My main Instagram page is here.)

It may be a mystery to me until the end of time why I chose this topic. Honestly, I find it just plain peculiar that I picked this, or I did. The day or two before the project officially began on Monday, April 6, the starting date for the larger project, I just started drawing these women, and then it occurred to me that they could all be involved in group therapy. The funny thing, well, funny-odd, oh well, kinda funny-ha ha too, is that I was in group therapy one time.

I hated it, I hadn’t wanted to go, I am definitely a one on one person in life and I fought with my therapist about it and was given an ultimatum. Group or no therapy at all. That stunk. So I went, and not long after was kicked out and in a whole lotta trouble. Well, another woman and I were kicked out because we broke the rules. You were absolutely NOT to have contact with the other members outside of group but we really hit it off and we were both scared and one night walking out to the car we kind of talked shyly to one another about getting a coffee and talking. And we did, and we became friends and kept going out to coffee, and then things went, well, wrong. I won’t go into the details but we both got in trouble and got the boot. From group and I lost my regular therapist too. I am NOT a bad person or a trouble maker which makes me very nervous. I just wanted a friend to kind of go through it all with. And we didn’t think it affected group but what did we know? We both got kicked out on our keesters and that was that and I have always felt terrible about it.

And then, while not group therapy, I have been in many women’s groups and seen the amazing healing power of women in groups, and while this setting is more to my liking than a traditional group therapy it made me wonder, or perhaps feel it would be fascinating to write about women coming together in this way, and 4 of the 5 participants have my diagnoses and it will be a way for me to do research, as I am into all of them, and gain more insight into my issues. One of the women has DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder, and I am doing a tremendous lot of research on this even though I am won’t be¬†delving deeply into it, just to get it right.

What started out as a whimsical project has gotten much deeper and more serious and each day I draw something related to the series and post it with notes or portions of the stories and it has just swept me away.

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Lucinda

“Lucinda stepped off the sidewalk into the street to the taxi cab just pulling up for her and for just a sliver of a second she felt the movement that if not medicated and consciously using all the tools Magdalina had been teaching her these last 3 years Judy would have come right out. Lucinda leaned her head against the door of the cab for a moment and breathed deeply as waves of nausea passed through her. She clutched the door handle so tightly her knuckles turned white. She was prepared for this but it shook her badly. Only a year and a half ago Judy would have taken over. Tears ran down Lucinda’s cheeks as she got in the cab and gave the cabbie the address.

Lucinda was quiet and shy, easily frightened and pushed around. Her most prominent alter, the hardest to control had been Judy. Judy was a very loud, brash, pushy Butch lesbian. She took care of Lucinda, had since she was 13. Part of Lucinda wished she could slip away and let Judy go to group, but Magdalina had worked so hard with her and she really did want to get stronger. She would do this, she could do this. No one needed to know that she had a heavy gold link bracelet in her pocket. She could slip her hand in her pocket and just hold it. No one would know. At least she had Judy’s bracelet. She had never met her, but she knew she would make certain that Lucinda was okay.

She¬†closed her eyes and for a few moments slipped away. She sat up suddenly, a little bit dazed, as the cabbie said more loudly, and for the 3rd time, “We’re here miss, we’re here.” Lucinda closed her eyes tightly for a moment, took her hand out of her pocket and paid her fare, and opened the door. She could do this, she would do this, she had to do this.”

Each day another drawing, another piece of the story, of a puzzle all of whose pieces have not been created.

I started writing this blog post yesterday, struggled with it all day, didn’t finish it or do my daily drawing for the project which sent me into a tail spin last night but I will start again today. I was so exhausted, spent the evening in tears, and finally collapsed. Put on a documentary which I fell asleep to on the couch with the pugs and got up at 2 to go back to bed. But I will not give up.

Today is another day. Like the women in my project I have to take one day at a time. And I am, and I do, and on I go. I will pray and ask for help and go gently on my way. That’s all I can do.

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Comments

  1. I so love your project. I am happy to scroll through my Instagram feed and see your lovely ladies. I like the idea of combining story with painting. I started my own painting project today and the other thing I would have liked was 100 days of inner critic short stories but two at the same time or combined as you are doing is too much right now. Maybe for the next 100 day project.
    I hope you are in good spirits today. Be well.
    Blessings from Switzerland, Corinna

  2. Olive Appleby says:

    Hi Maitri,

    Another wonderful blog post. Interesting where life can take us, your journey has just started and is an intriguing one. Many of us cope with varying types of ‘conditions’ and getting through the day can be frightening, but here we are, doing what we do best….just being ourselves. Much love. Olive. Xxxx

  3. Pamela Whitt says:

    I love you
    nuff said!

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