For the love of transference

This whole week since my last appointment with R I’ve been feeling good. My body image issues have come out to play, but depression-wise I’ve been doing good.

And it’s funny because I think it has a lot to do with my crying last Thursday in my appointment with her. Like I said, I released a lot of pent up negative energy and things I’ve felt and wanted to say for who knows how long.

I saw her today again, and she noticed I’m doing better. I told her I was sorry for crying and taking her extra time last week, and she said “But it was good for you, because you’ve been doing great these past few days.” I’m glad she noticed and I didn’t have to say it. I love it when G and R simply see things in me and I don’t have to tell them. It means they’re aware, present, and paying attention.

So, I had the dreaded transference-related conversation with her. And it actually went way better than I expected. For me, that is, I wasn’t expecting any less from R, but I was expecting to feel more uncomfortable than I actually did. I mean, it was crazy awkward, but it went smoothly.

I explained to her that I realized I was having this transference problem when I saw G this week. The thing is, when I see G I usually finish the appointment feeling energized, whereas lately when I see R I finish the appointment feeling a lot of emotional baggage. And I realized at that point that the problem was probably because I’ve been seeing R as a mother figure I could potentially replace my real mom with. This is something I’ve done since I was a kid, and it’s pretty embarrassing. I used to do it with teachers, a lot, but I didn’t want to accept (until two days ago) that I’ve been doing it with R lately.

And it’s been interfering with my progress to a certain point because child-me wants R to be my mom so badly and do motherly things for me, but obviously “in real life” she isn’t ever going to to provide that for me because she’s my (very ethical) psychiatrist. So, the reason I’ve been so emotionally charged in my last appointments with her, I concluded, is because I want her to provide that motherly love, but I’m obviously not getting it.

I told her all of this. Oh it was so embarrassing! But it was so necessary.

We discussed it at length. And I’m happy we both agree it’s not a hindrance to my being her patient, but merely something I have to be aware of and work on.

Funny thing is, after discussing all of that with her today, I felt closer to my own real mom when I got back home. I think I really had to let all of that out last week so I could continue to heal. I really want my relationship with R to help strengthen my relationship with my own mom. It’s something I really need so that child-me can finally heal after all these years.

So, the conclusion is: always tell your therapist everything. They’re used to hearing and discussing embarrassing shit. It’s their bread and butter, and in the process it’s going to help make you feel better.

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13 comments
  1. my therapist is a psychoanalyst and i always fear the dreaded transference questions as well, but as you mentioned, it leads to so much insight in the long run! glad you gained insight into your own process…its amazing what insight and self-awareness can do! happy to hear you’re feeling better these last few days 🙂

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    • Hey! Oh yes, it’s so ridiculously uncomfortable to talk about those things, but afterward I always feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And like you say, in the long run it leads to so much insight. I’ve learned a lot about myself just thinking about transference and analyzing my relationship with my therapists.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I have to think you released more than you even know. It takes guts to talk about transference face to face. When I had my emotional flashback of sorts a few weeks back I ended up writing to my T. It was brutally honest and embarrassing but I so needed to get out that I thought she hated me, wanted me to be done with therapy, that I wanted to rip my skin open or throw myself down the stairs…omg, transference at its best and it was an awful place to be in but I feel better now and not as if she or anyone really hates me.
    So I digress but wanted to let you know I stopped by and rapead and have been reading and yay you!!!

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    • Hey, yeah it’s so difficult talking about transference really. It’s something that’s still difficult for me but I was practically unable to do it at first when I began therapy. With time I’ve just decided it’s better to break the ice than to keep dancing around the issues. So, give yourself some credit! Writing about these issues is not easy to begin with! I still think you’re stronger than you think 😉 will keep rooting for you, and as always thank you for reading my ramblings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ever so welcome LoL I’m at work now trying to get work done at my desk and obviously not concentrating and playing on my phone.
        I can be strong and thank you. I find the transference stuff rather fascinating and my T seems to be trying different things as a result of my “transference email” and we are both stepping out of our comfort zones. I so want to be present with her but seem to fall back to the past as soon as I hit the waiting room. I don’t think she has ever experienced the professional pulled together and almost confident me, ha…bet ya didn’t know I even had that side!

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      • Haha! You made me chuckle because I’m just the same with “the professional pulled together and almost confident” part. But you know, it’s a sign of progress that you’re even *considering* and *allowing* yourself to work with transference! 😉

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      • Maybe so as I even told my T that it feels godawful to deal with and her response was “It is an honor to witness the courage it takes to show up especially when it feels unsafe to be such “a flipping mess”. ” lol gotta love it

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