I Got Kicked Out Of My Grief Support Group

I got kicked out of my grief support group. During the last meeting, the facilitator told us there was going to be a big influx of new people to the group, though why there would be an influx and how he knew this, he didn’t say. What he did say was that if we were able to function, if we were able to go about our daily activities, we were supposed to leave the group. He also said the group was too social, but isn’t that the purpose of a group? To support each other? We did talk before and after the meeting, but during the meeting, we stuck to the subject — grief — which was why we were all there. It was the only place we could continue sharing our sad tales and talk about what we were feeling. The rest of the world has passed on, leaving us alone with our emptiness and our tears.

In order to break up the group, the facilitator said he was going to cancel meetings for a month so we could evaluate ourselves, and then if we really, really, really needed the group, we could return. This stunned the heck out of me. Because he thought some people had overstayed their welcome, he was going to leave the newly bereft without any support for a month!! With Father’s Day almost here? He finally agreed to cancel only a single meeting, but still, the whole concept is appalling.

Apparently, a group in another town turned into a social gathering, and to change the focus, that group was cancelled for a month. Only two people returned after the meetings resumed, and the facilitators congratulated themselves on a job well done. But no one checked to see why the others didn’t come back. Perhaps, like me, they felt betrayed. A place that was supposed to be safe suddenly became dangerous. Sure, I could go back, but I’d never be able to open up again. I’d always be wondering if I was being judged, if I wasn’t going through grief fast enough to suit the facilitator, if I were depriving some other poor soul of a say, if I were being too social or too articulate. (Apparently, my ability to talk articulately about grief is a drawback. Though why, I don’t know. Just because I can put into words what others feel does not mean I’m not feeling grief myself.)

The facilitator kept saying, “This is hard for me.” He never even looked at the shocked faces of the group participants, just kept saying how hard it was for him. Who cares how hard it was for him? He shouldn’t have said anything in the first place. (I’m not supposed to talk about what goes on in the group, but since I am no longer a participant, I can say what I want. Besides, it was more my group than his. I understood what people were going through. He didn’t. How could he? He still has his spouse. Until you’ve lost a long-time mate, you cannot know, cannot comprehend the vast physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual changes such a death brings to one’s life.)

We were originally told we could keep attending meetings as long as we needed. In fact, Medicare demands that hospice provide bereavement counseling for a minimum of thirteen months. Nowhere in that regulation does it say grievers are prohibited from attending if they could function in the world. Besides, if we couldn’t function, we never would have been able to attend in the first place.

I’d stopped going to the bereavement group for a while, then returned to help support a friend through the worst of her grief, but it’s come full circle and I need the group for me again. I was okay for the first two months after the anniversary of my life mate’s death, but the truth — that he is irrevocably gone — has seeped into the depths of my being, and I am feeling heartbroken. I need to be with those who understand this upsurge in grief. Who don’t mind my tears. Who know that the calendar means nothing when it comes to grief. Who realize that yes, the newly bereft need support, but so do those who are further along.

35 Responses to “I Got Kicked Out Of My Grief Support Group”

  1. Joy Collins Says:

    I’m appalled at this. If it were me, I would be complaining to someone – the facility responsible, the insurance company who pays him. Someone. This is cold and heartless. I agree with you. I think as the shock of the loss starts to wear off and the reality sets in, a whole new wave of grief takes over. I know it is happening for me. The finality, the foreverness is what is so difficult for me now.

    It is what we mental health professionals learned to look for in depression. Sometimes the most critical and risky time is not when the patient is in the throes of the worst of the depression but when the depression starts to lift. It is then when a patient is most likely to be suicidal, when they have the energy to do it, not when they are rendered immobile by the depression.

    So it is with grief. The worst grief is when you are feeling again, when you are able to realize just what this means to lose your soul mate, your best friend. When you are able to actually feel the big empty hole left inside where you used to reside.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Joy, I was going to complain, but he has an out. He did say anyone could return if they needed to, but the breech in trust is impossible for me to overcome.

      While working on my grief book, I came across a comment I wrote in a blog a year ago, “Sometimes, or so I’ve heard, the second year is worse than the first as the reality settles into one’s soul,” and that helped me understand why I’ve been awash in tears lately. This second year/second wave of grief is much harder than I thought it would be. The first year was mostly about dealing with pain, with grief. Just surviving the days. Apparently this year is about dealing with the foreverness, as you called it. And that is heartbreaking.

      Hugs and tears, Joy. It’s good to know there are those who understand, though I wish with all my heart neither of us (or anyone, actually) ever had to lose the one they loved.

    • mickeyhoffman Says:

      Maybe some of you can just carry on without that A**h***?

    • garnet Says:

      i got separated from a grief group because the leader took me aside after a meeting and told me I wasn’t grieving I was traumatized. I guess I was too much to deal with in a group. I have lost my 3 brothers and my younger sister… my brothers in sudden loss and my sister in the year after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. this last year I lost both my parents within 4 months of each other after trying to save them for over a year and my shih tzu boy puppy I got to help me get through it all somehow… she said she thought emds could help me but she didnt have any openings that fit in with my work schedule.. basically because I work days 40 hours a week. Its effecting my work in that I have all the sorrow my heart can take… I think about killing myself often… I’m on an antidepressant and I can take ativan if I remember in time.. my relationship with my daughter is strained and my grandson is 16 and no longer needs me to give him the love his mother had trouble with… I feel so alone. My other little shih tzu Mysha was traumatized from losing her half brother and I had to pretty much hand feed her for months and she was traumatized by my grieving and has had to give up trying to save me because she came into heat and got accidentally bred to another pure bred shih tzu and had 5 beautiful puppies that I tormented myself with the thought of losing her and now losing them and now losing anything else because i just cant bear it… can you feel the hot tears pouring from my eyes… i used the book How survive the loss of a love to get me through the suicide of my boyfriend when I was 24 but it didn’t tell me how to put my life back together and now… i have no life… i just go through the motions… i just looked down and little Mysha is sitting there looking at me and wagging her tail.. she deserves so much better

      • Pat Bertram Says:

        Garnet, I am so sorry to hear about all your losses. No wonder you’re traumatized! Still, it wasn’t right for them to kick you out of the group with no hope of any help. Is there another grief support group in your area? If not, there is one online you could check out: http://hovforum.ipbhost.com/ You shouldn’t have to suffer through all that trauma alone. And you need someone to help you figure out where to go from here.

  2. Dana Fredsti Says:

    I am speechless. This is so wrong I can’t even begin to find the words… I agree with Joy.

  3. run4joy59 Says:

    wow…I don’t even know what to say…this is just wrong….you’ve all already suffered tremendous loss and then to have your support ripped from you…not right…I sincerely hope your writing gives you some solace…

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Run4joy — thank you for your comment. Normally, my writing would give me solace, but I’m writing a book about my first year of grief, and that is bringing its own trauma. But in the end, yes, it will bring solace.

  4. Wanda Says:

    I can’t believe this ‘facilitator’ is considered competent at his job. This is an appalling situation. I believe he should be reported to somone because he is horrible at his job. Even with his ‘out’ someone should know how his clients feel. I feel such anger on your behalf I’m not to express it politely.

    My best wishes always to you, Pat and I hope your writing helps you to deal with this new phase of grief. I believe your book will be important to others.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you, Wanda. It’s always nice to have you on my side. I wonder if I’d have enough material for a second book: The Second Year of Grief. Everyone writes about the first year, but grief doesn’t go away that easily, at least not for those of us who have experienced such a significant loss. The really ironic thing about this, and why we need the support group, is that when we lost our mates, we lost their support. Which is one of the many reasons losing a mate is so devastating.

  5. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    So sorry to hear of this situation, Pat. It sounds to me like it was handled just abominably. I hope that eventually you can find another group where you can continue to work through your grief – maybe a church or community ed program that offers a growing through grief support group? You are right – it is important, and there should be no time limits. I’m with you – I wouldn’t trust this Bozo again even if he begged you to come back. A door has closed – I hope a window opens for you in the very near future.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Sherrie, there are no other groups around here, which is probably why this group is growing (though not as rapidly as I would have expected. A new person every three months or so is not a heavy influx.) I’ll try to look for an open window.

  6. ~Sia McKye~ Says:

    What bullshit! As if grief has a time limit.

    In my opinion, the second year is the hardest part of the grieving process. Knowing you’ll never be able to pick up the phone and chat, never be able to see the beloved face again, or sit and have coffee…that’s really hard. Yes, the first year is how to deal with the shock of the pain and loss.

    Pat, don’t let this facilitator keep you and your group from drawing strength. Meet together on your own. You know the ropes. Besides, it’s not the clinical words that heal. It’s being able to talk about it with people who understand the grief, loss, and rebuilding your world. What’s wrong with being social and, god forbid, learning to laugh and live again??? Y’all can do that without Mr. Callous.

    He feels bad? Here, give him a violin to accompany his sorrow. I have no patience for people like him or his lack of professionalism.

    Sia McKye’s Thoughts…OVER COFFEE

  7. leesis Says:

    I am so sorry Pat. I personally left the whole profession due to my absolute disgust in the lack of empathy that reigns supreme. These sort of callous acts…many swear words come to mind.

    Pat as a suggestion, when you meet for your picnic invite all to your backyard to meet…or the local hall, or…well somewhere. The only thing to do when we are disempowered by the ‘system’ is to empower ourselves. I know many of the group will be feeling it nearly impossible to get through each day let alone take any responsibility for organising a support group yet equally I know there will be one or two of you who can step up. And forgive me for saying this if it irritates you but I absolutely know you yourself would be able to be of excellent support for others.

    I cringe even suggesting this, thinking of all your potential responses, all the reasons, the pain you yourself are experiences…but maybe…
    with love

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Leesa, No, of course you didn’t irritate me! I value your opinion, and have from the first time you came here. You’ve been a great source of wisdom. In fact, I contacted hospice today, explained the situation, and asked if we could use their meeting room for a “transitional” support group. They didn’t seem receptive, but said they’d see what sort of resources were available. I told her we didn’t need resources. We needed a place to meet. I’ll let you know what, if anything, comes of it. If they can’t/won’t find a place for us, I’ll start calling around, see if I can find something. We still need the safety of a regular place to meet.

      Oddly enough, after that meeting, the facilitator talked to one of the women and told her I was perfectly capable of running my own group. If that were the case, why didn’t he talk to me before his announcement? Try to set something up so we weren’t left out in the cold? In a way, he’s right. We don’t need grief counseling, but he’s wrong in the way he said it, and wrong in not acknowledging we do need the support of others in the same sitution, especially those finishing their first year and those of us struggling with our second year.

  8. LV Gaudet Says:

    It sounds like they have fallen into the same pit-hole as everyone else – trying to put a time table to grief.

    Perhaps the group has become more of a business to them than a support group. Probably, they are patting themselves on their backs for having successfully “cured” all these people of their grief.

    Does AA kick out alcoholics once they have successfully stopped drinking and are managing to function in life once again? Does that make them cured and no longer needing supports groups?

    With something as deep and deeply personal as grief, how do you get the support you need without their being a social element? How do you share your innermost feelings of grief in a business meeting setting with people that feel strange and distant?

    And maybe becoming social and maybe even making lifelong friends with fellow grief survivors will help to continue living with the grief and moving on.

    I don’t think grief ever really goes away. I don’t think it can be cured by cancelling grief counselling. Heck, I don’t think it can be cured at all. And sending these people off with no one to talk about those feelings with, making them bottle them up inside once again, to live with their thoughts and feelings alone and in silence, can`t possibly be helping anyone.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Lori, I truly don’t know what his problem with the “social” aspect was. A group, by definition, is social. Admittedly, a few of us went on a couple of day trips together, but we did that because we needed more support, not less. I am still flabbergasted by the entire sitution.

  9. Yosis Says:

    Oh my, Pat. that’s so very unconscionable on the facilitator’s part, I’m just stunned. Does everyone else see what seems so obvious to me (??): Pat is a natural for forming and leading a group of her own!!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Yosis, I’m trying to find a place for us evictees to meet. I don’t know if there is anyone around here who will let us use a meeting room on a regular basis, but I’ll keep trying. I really didn’t want to lead a group — I need to be able to just sit back and listen to what everyone else is going through, but if it’s a choice of forming my own group or dealing with this horrendous second year alone, I’ll opt for the group. I’ll let you know what happens.

      • Yosis Says:

        Yes, please keep us all posted! I know you will likely blog about the situation as it unfolds….but you should know you have an entire blogosphere of fans who are supporting your efforts to fill this void that was just (unnecessarily) thrown into your world.

  10. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    This blows me away, Pat! It’s as abhorrent as the very outdated “throw the kid in the water and let him sink or swim” attitude. I don’t know what to say other than I think your “new” group should prepare a letter to the facilitator’s supervisors with a copy to the local media for a little extra attention. But of more immediate importance is finding a place where you can continue to get together as long as you feel you need the support. I hope you’re able to settle somewhere soon.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Carol, It really is aburd, isn’t it? We lost our support “group” when we lost our mates, so this is creating grief it’s own sort of grief, or it would if we let it. In a way he’s right — we don’t need the “getting through the day” kind of support we needn’t at the beginning, but we do need to be with people who understand.

      No one seems to want to house us, so we’ll make do week to week until we can find a static place.

  11. latise Says:

    Ms. Bertram I would like to talk with you more on this. I am hoping you can be of help to us. I am a bereavement coordinator/counselor and we are dealing with some issues the counselor said he was. I am sorry you were left feeling this way, i wish he would have worked with you all on this rather than decided on is own. I see the way he did it was not right and it took alot from you all including your trust. I am sorry to hear this. I however would like to know your opinion on how facilitors who are running such groups are to deal with group who has become more social. On the flip side we are told…years in a group creates dependency and sets people up for another loss (*group) when they do leave. Also, many people dont return because they feel like they have walked into a closed group. I have had this happen many times in 7 yrs. I have had people tell me “I am not going to come back there and be there like those people of 2 and 3 years., I am tyring to get better not relive this for years.” Many times they do turn social and it turns away those who feel like they dont fit in with those who know each other, There is nothhing wrong with this… socializing is encouraged, but mostly outside of gorup. When alot of time is taken during the gorup talking about what lawn person does thier lawn, we know it turning. Now dont get me wrong…this is also grief too…and i will say..”It must be different since your loved one used to take care of that.” I try, but not always does this work. it is not always grief related talk, which is ok at times.
    So I would like your feedback. Unfort. we dont have the ability to run groups where people are in diff stages. If we did we would be doing groups all the time, which is unlikely for most agencys since the counselors are also doing inidividual counseling too. We tried to do a peer run group after one felt they were able to move from the inital group , but people do miss those the others in the initial group, so it didnt continue. I know there is no time limit on grief or phases..i know it is a true process where you learn all over again. We understand and hope the group will become part of your new life, however, facilitaors have an obligation to all attending the group. When we dont see a person moving along in the direction of healing, which does mean less counseling, we are concerned we are not doing something right.
    It would be wonderful if facilities could offer an ongoing berevement group where everyone in all different phases of grief could attend as long as they wanted. This can be done, but not always with a facilitator who works for an agency, but possibly the bereaved willing to do so. It is not an easy task to help all at one time. Our agency did a quarterly night event (bingo/movie) to invite those back for the social part, but it phased out. i do think once they leave gorup (as you said) it is hard to come back the same.
    So i am wondering…with your experience, what is your advice to the facilitators who are running groups with these very issues that are there.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am so glad you asked! I’ve had a lot of time to think about that group, how good it was for me and how badly it ended, and what an idiot that facilitator was. Truth be told, he was a preacher and not a grief counselor, and he had no experience with support groups, which makes the whole situation even more upsetting. He had no business running the group.

      It was a small group. At the most, there were fourteen people, but generally only six to ten. Two old ladies who had been coming to the group for three years had no friends or resources and they came to be around people once a week. One of those women suffered a significant loss each of those three years, and so had every right to still come, regardless of the reason. The other old woman was gradually losing her hearing, her sight, her autonomy, all of which needed to be grieved. The rest of us ranged from one month to fourteen months into our grief. Yes, we bonded, and occasionally we went out to lunch together, but we weren’t a social group. We were there for one reason only. To find support with our own kind. There was no one else to talk to about our problems with grief.

      I especially bonded with one of the newest widows who had lost her husband a year after I lost mine. Her experiences mirrored mine, and I knew what she was going through. I could see it in her thousand-yard stare. She would look to me for answers to her questions because she knew I had been there and could understand. The facilitator hated this. He’d read a couple of articles about the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, and tried to fit everything anyone said into that grief model, even though it wasn’t at all what this woman was experiencing. He hated that I had a different perspective than he did. (He was still married, often talked about how supportive his wife was, and didn’t have a clue that one of the things we were grieving was that lack of support.) And he hated that I printed out my blogs that showed the new woman what I had been going through. As I said, he was ignorant of support groups and didn’t understand that it was the nature of a group for the “older” members to help the newer ones, to be co-moderators in a way. And seeing how the newly bereft are dealing with their grief helps the older ones see how far they have come. This is why it’s important to have everyone in all stages of grief to be in the same group rather than to separate them out into special groups.

      If most of the people in your group have been there for two to three years, you do have a problem. If you have no new members, you can do what my group did — cancel it for three to four weeks while everyone searches their conscience to see if they still needed the group. If it is not feasible to cancel the group for a while because of newly bereft members, it would be better to talk to each person individually, asking how they are dealing with their stage of grief, ask them what they want from the group and how you can help them move beyond the group.

      Or you can cancel the group for three to four weeks, but still continue with the newest members during that time, saying you need to give the newly bereft special attention. (The people who have been around a long time should respect that — they themselves had once been so bereft.)

      The newly bereft should never be penalized by long-term members. Those first weeks and months are so horribly painful that sometimes the only way to survive is a group. They are the ones who need special consideration.

      Other things you can try:

      When new people come to the group, focus on the new people. Have each group member introduce themselves to the new person, tell them who they lost and how, and how long ago it’s been. Then have the new member tell his or her story. Focus on the new member. Let the new member talk as long as s/he wants while the others keep their mouths shut. They all had their opportunity to tell their stories.

      Make the group more focused. Set up a specific question, and have people answer only that question, starting with the newly bereft. Making sure the newest people get their say first in case there is not enough time for everyone to talk. (You can get some sort of “cards” with topics and choose a separate topic each time.)

      Set up the group like a grief-orientation class. When I first started with the group, it was set up as a ten-week class, each class focusing on a different aspect of grief. When one set of classes was finished, the series began again. Gradually, the older members get bored with the repetition and leave the group.

      Have the members only address the moderator or the person who is telling their story, not each other.

      Make sure only one person talks at a time. If any of the long-time members have side conversations, ask them to take the conversation outside.

      Do not allow any conversation that is not strictly grief oriented. Do not let anyone but new members (who desperately need to talk) to monopolize the group.

      If it sounds harsh to focus on new members and pretty much ignore the members that have been there for two to three years, keep in mind that at these later stages of grief, vocalizing isn’t as important as it is at the beginning. In the group I was in, most of us who had been there a while had no real need to talk about our grief. It had all been said. But we did need the comfort of being with our own kind. (And in my case, I needed the comfort of passing on what we had learned so that all my pain didn’t go to waste.)

      Many in the later stages find just as much comfort by listening. And if they don’t, if they only want to talk (or talk among themselves), then they don’t belong in the group.

      To give you the short answer to your question: drastically restructure the group.

      I hoped this helped.

      Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

      • latise Says:

        Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. I do think we are on the right track, after reading your words of wisdom. I had two groups some years ago and I talked to them as they always wondered why people came and never came back. I let them know what was being said and eventually they all moved to the peer group for a good year. I always invited the new comers to meet them after the main group ended because after that the peer group used the room (which we make sure is open so they don’t feel a double loss). After about a year, they faded away from our facility, but many do keep in touch as its been 7 years since. In fact after two years,this morning, I called one of the women just to check on her and the others. My 2nd group became the same way…more of a social group, so I did have to take more of a stand by talking with those people who I knew were coming because this is where they found their new life and new friends. They were lonely and didn’t have many other outlets. All except one of them was over 70 years old and like you they didn’t find comfort talking to others who truly did not understand. It began to happen again though, the newbies would feel like outsiders and some older group members would monopolize or have their own conversation during group, or they would take a lot of time planning their next outing or sharing pics of their last one, all during group. Now a lot of times it was wonderful to have these older but still newly bereaved share their new beginnings with those who lost someone so recently. Hope was given. However, other times, this did not work and turned people away. As you know people are very different and we try our best to accommodate them in the manner we say we will. Grief support group. Many comments I received were stuff like..”its like a party, or I am hurting and they are laughing, etc.” This however was not the norm. most new people were accepting. I ended up talking to the group and concentrating on those after the 13 months time since their beginning group (not 13 mths since the death) we did a written assessment with them and reviewed goals and plans. If they agreed they were no longer meeting need for immediate group, that is when they were asked to move over to the peer group, which began right after this group in the same room. They were welcomed to stay in the immediate group if they felt they needed it. Well about 2 weeks later, during group…they all came together and told me if one left, they were all leaving. They didn’t want to join the peer group because it wasn’t their group. so they all left our facility. They named themselves “The Spectacular 7.” They meet for lunch every Thursday. They had T-shirts made with their group name on it. I continue to keep in touch with them and invite them to speak at our Holiday Hope program for the last 3 yrs. they always start off with…”SHE KICKED US OUT…” Sound familiar? However, we processed this and I am truly ok when Harry begins his talk that way…because we all know it is more than that. I wrote an article about them called “The Group that grieves together, leaves together” in our Perspectives Newsletter. From this we also developed an educational component that is a 6 week class with a book. Very powerful class for anyone who is grieving. We started this in 2010. We still have our open support groups, but yes…they are challenging in some ways. I saw and see the power in groups. People need each other and I can now understand what one meant when she said “You all need to build apartments for us to live so we can have support and friendship forever more.” It would be so ideal to do so.
        So until then…we will take your suggestion to heart…for their hearts. And we will keep our promise to provide grief support to all who walk through that door …the best way we can. Both myself and the other counselor are licensed social workers who are experienced, but we will never be as experienced as you and those in our groups. So , again …Thank YOU all for inspiring, teaching and showing us how to be better for you.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Sharing photos during a group session is never acceptable if there are others in the group who didn’t go to the same outings. The first day I went to my group meeting, they were all laughing and joking, and I felt out of place, but once the group started, the moderator (a different one than the preacher who kicked me out) started the group with introductions and lessons, so there was no more socializing, which made me feel better. (I had a different group for the first two months after his death, a very small group where there were only a few members, and once I was the only one who showed up, but I had to move away from that area.) I was also quite a bit younger than those in your group, so I had to deal with sorrow of his early demise. (Though I’m sure it always seems as if people die too young no matter what their age.)

          It sounds as if you are on the right track. The main difference between your kicking them out and the facilitator kicking me out is that I was actively grieving at the time (he’d been dead just a little over a year, and I was still dealing with realization that hits so many of us after the first anniversary that he was gone forever). The moderator also threatened to call the cops if I ever showed up again. (I’d asked him to be careful how he treated the others in the group, that it wasn’t right for him to interrupt them when they were talking to speak about his wife, and he took that to be a threat.)

          It’s good that there are people like you to “midwife” the newly bereft into their new lives. Thank you for the work that you do.

        • Debbie Says:

          I’m a graduate student working on an MSW and am writing a paper on the ethical issues surrounding support groups and allowing members to stay long-term. I’m wondering if you might be willing to e-mail me a copy of your article The Group that grieves together, leaves together? richdeb@msu.edu Thank you!!!

  12. Ceclia Maria Says:

    I was told to leave my suicide survivors support group because I was told I needed a therapy group, not a support group. But my therapist (who shared her office with the facilitator of the suicide survivors support group), suggested that I join the support group! I was so traumatized after being asked to leave the group, I tried taking my life. I woke after 24 hours of sleep, with my dog snapping at my face on the pillow. When I told the facilitator of the suicide survivors support group about this, she waved a piece of paper at me that I had signed when I joined the group, absolving her of liability for any negative outcomes from joining the group. It took me a long time to pull myself together over being asked to leave. I felt like a loser who was so worthless, no one wanted to help. I kept asking myself “Who gets thrown out of a support group???” After reading the posts above, I know now that many people do.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Some facilitators don’t seem to understand the purpose of a support group, which is being with and talking to those who have similar problems. If the faciliator doesn’t think she/he can help, it shouldn’t matter — she/he is only the facilitator, gently keeping the group focused. It’s not therapy. Even if the facilitator thought you needed therapy, you should still have been allowed in the support group. It’s not right. I hope you find what you need to help you through this terrible time.

      And yeah, a lot of us get thrown out of support groups. The problem is with the facilitator, not us.

    • Mariel Says:

      Wow, I’m happy I found this, I’m not the only one feeling this crazy sense of emptiness. It’s like why hand people knives to cut themselves? That’s what the group facilitators did to me, tell me I was too disruptive

  13. The Next Step — Hospice | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] insisted — rightly — that she be taken off the drug). And these are the same people who kicked me out of their grief support group and threatened to call the police if I returned. I do not have good feelings about them at […]

  14. Mariel Says:

    Ya, your story sounds like mine. It’s like all the locked out people should start a group called the ones left behind because after awhile, giving feedback and being supportive to others is like death to the facilitator…. I recorded the reason why I was kicked out and it still doesn’t make sense. I don’t know 🤷‍♀️! Like I’m trying not to feel like I’m not even worthy of a support group and I feel gutted and rejected from a place that supposedly doesn’t reject….

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s hard when you’re kicked out of a support group, especially when you did nothing wrong. The facilitator is only there to facilitate — the members support one another. The recovering members helping the new people. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

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