Cafe Hitch-hike


Can't explain

The conference was one of the freakiest things ever. Let's see, you are corralled in a room, listen to a guy speak about how we should live our lives, and then do little ice-breaker exercises with people that eventually spiral into extreme invasiveness.

Of course, the point is to confront some hard truths about ourselves that keep us back, they claim. I tried these things, with an open mind, but I felt so poked at and raw when the sessions were over for the day. By the third night, I felt like I was dissected, with my skin pulled away and pinned on some wax disssection tray.

It got super freaky at this point: "Tell others your deepest, darkest secret."

I said to John beforehand (it was his idea to go to this thing), "I'm not going to spill my guts..."

Why? It does no good. The memory of what was said/done does not go away. Sure, its weight on the psyche is gone most of the time, unless something brings it back for a while, and then I deal with it and it goes back under. Yeah-man, I don't repress my "secrets," but I don't bring them forward for the hell of it. I think I've tried everything I could, in my power, to cope with them, so what good is in spilling them?

As a result, I felt extremely violated. I felt hurt and told one of the associates after one session, and she only looked at me robotically and said, "oh, yeah, it's tough at first."

Eeew, three weeks ago I was watching American Movie and they had a short on Borchardt's film, Coven. It's about a troubled guy who is pressed to join a very dubious support group. I laughed and thought, "gee, hope that isn't like John's group..."

It was. This crap was cult-like. I remember those units on sociology where they talked about cult-like groups, and yo, this fits it to a "T". It's one thing to go to a place and "take what you need, and leave the rest," but this stupid racket implores everyone to bring their friends, family, and employees. It also insists on participating in graduation ceremonies, repeats, and other activities. I didn't say "suggest," they "INSIST." After all, this is what need to be done to maintain "awakeness." After all, it is through this group where we can meet others who are "awake."... This big, bad world is full of people who are "asleep." I didn't like the allegiance it demanded.

I was so nervous and sick for the entire week after the conference. I felt like I was hit by a meteorite. I wished I ran out the door, jumped in my car, and drove my ass back to Michigan.

They are having a "graduation" ceremony this week, and I told John that I refuse to go, and refuse to have any part in that again. It was invasive, painful, and nearly dehabilitating!

If that weren't enough, John freaked out on me a couple days after the conference and shot, "you don't want to see me anymore, do you? Do you?" I felt really weird a couple days after the conference and really wanted to be alone; sometimes John isn't the person to talk to with some matters, and I didn't think he needed to listen to me complain more about his group. It was then when he shot his accusation. I was ready and willing after that to break up, but we didn't, and things have been weird between us ever since.

I'm over the biggest part of the shock, but I still feel so weird. I can tell John feels weird around me, too. John and I had a talk the night after his "do you?" speech, and we said we will work things out. I don't know, I feel like the relationship has turned onto a new street. Sometimes disputes can strain a relationship for a while, but this one feels awfully strong.

I've been aware for a while that our relationship has limits, and I've been living and responding to them to see how things develop. It just really hurt that he shot that at me after being mentally in a wringer.

I do know that if he cannot accept my decision to keep away from his group, then I will gladly use that as my "Get out of Jail Free" card. It would upset me that something as nice as what we had would get screwed up this way, but life will only go on.

downwind | upstream