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Reply to "Update on Transference"

I fell asleep last night thinking about boundaries and how much I can struggle with them, how painful it can be when I bang up against them. I had been reading a book which covered transference and countertransference. I woke up an hour later and realized that my mind had done one of those lateral slippages where it all finally comes together, that you've been working on it somewhere out of sight, unconsciously and I had one of those moments of insight where I experience the knowledge instead of just knowing it. I realized that the boundaries feel so painful not because of what I'm not getting from my T, but because of what I didn't get from my parents. I needed to be loved, I needed to be cherished, I needed to feel like I was someone special, and I needed to feel like my needs were important enough to be met. That's still difficult to say. I didn't get those things and its incredibly painful. I'm letting myself feel what it felt like and it hurts and leaves me grief stricken. I'm struggling so hard with the boundaries because on some level I believe if I can just force my T to give me what I want then I won't have to experience the pain of the loss. Which is why my T could never do enough, even if I was all he paid attention to 24/7, even if he said everything I thought I wanted to hear from him, it wouldn't change a thing. Because I had very deep needs that went unfulfilled and it hurt. And I was furious and angry that I wasn't being taken care of. I get angry at my T because I want him to make it not have happened. (How's that for an unreasonable demand?)My T has been telling me this in one form or another (with a great deal of patience) for a while, but I'm now getting it in my gut. I need to let myself feel this so I can mourn it and heal. My T can't make it not have happened but can give me a safe place to let the feelings in and grieve and be met with understanding.
I have been struggling for a long time with wanting to be held by my T. I've barely been able to speak about it because I couldn't be sure that expressing my need to be held would be met. My T has told me a number of times that I'm not willing to express a need unless I knew it could be met. I didn't get that before but I think I'm finally understanding that too. What I really want is physical contact, an embrace, that is about taking care of me and nothing more, one that won't turn into a demand, that won't turn out to be about another's needs. But I also realize that there are good reasons why that's a line you don't cross in therapy so I couldn't even talk about it because the thought of having my T say no was just too scary and painful. I promised myself a long time ago that I wasn't going to put myself in a position to hear no again and be hurt that way. And it feels scary to even want to be held because I know where that always ended up. As if wanting to be held, especially as a child, is anything but normal and healthy. Actually, realizing how many normal things and my understanding of them were warped is part of the grief.
This hurts very badly but is strangely comforting. They're my feelings and its a relief to feel them. And I know that I can feel them and be alright. I won't always feel like this; I don't always feel like this. And I know that my T will be there no matter what which is really comforting. I am thankful he has given me what I needed instead of what I thought I wanted and helped me find the strength inside myself to know I could endure feeling this.So I will grieve knowing that I can also rejoice and rejoice knowing I can also grieve. There's a wonder and a mystery and a terrible beauty to that but above all it feels like I'm alive and present. Which makes experiencing the pain more than worth it

I emailed all of this to my T last night (I'm going on vacation tomorrow and won't see him for three weeks) and got a wonderful reply. Working through the transference is one of the hardest things I've even done but I continue to be amazed at what it has revealed about me to myself.
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