I’ve had this brain wave thought this morning. I’m not quite sure where it has come from, but I feel like I might be onto something.
I was thinking about regression in therapy and the ways in which I’ve become and felt regressed there recently. I did my usual Google search, not really sure of what I was hoping to read but searching for the answers regardless. I often do this and actually sometimes the things I’m searching for give me a clue to what I’m thinking about, weird as that sounds.
I looked up things about the therapeutic relationship, regression, transference, maternal transference and a few other bits and bobs. It got me questioning what is my transference with my T?
I feel small and helpless when I am in that regressed state. I become weak and hopeless. A victim? Maybe, a child, for sure. I clearly regress with her a lot these days which I guess is natural in part and probably helps us to “do” the therapy but having read lots about transference, it has got me thinking… is it transference that I feel so young and helpless around T? Maybe it is. Maybe that is how I felt around my mum. Maybe I still do to an extent? Obviously I was actually a kid with my mother so some of this feeling could be memories, but that isn’t quite what I’m talking about.
I become a child with her. I am hopeless. If she is away, I am lost. When I am with her and we are accessing trauma stuff, I want her to hug me and make me feel better. Maybe make us a cup of tea? Because tea makes everything better. Perhaps she would offer me a blanket and I could kick off my shoes and curl up on her sofa with my tea and we could just chat about nice things, not therapy things.
When I leave her sometimes I cry, sometimes it hurts a lot. I panic she will leave, go away forever. It makes me feel like I could break and why?
Because I am a child and she is the mummy.
An actual child without mummy would naturally feel those things, but I am nearly 29 years old. I’m an adult. I’m a step-mother. I have a home, a job, a car, bills… so why do I become that lonely, lost little girl?
Why do I become “little”?
Is it because I’m secretly hoping she will become “mum” for real? Or is it a defence mechanism? Little to me is innocent, good, cute, harmless….if I stay “little” then maybe I will get mothered? If I stay little I won’t get told off or punished because I am little and innocent you see! I feel like I am on the cusp of really realising something, but I’m not quite there yet…. Agh, what is it??
By doing this, I render myself incapable. I make myself overwhelmed on someone else “saving” me.
Maybe it is my mother’s internalised words. “Behave yourself” – the undertone to that obviously was “or else!”. I didn’t want the or else. She could say it all with her eyes. That look, the one all mothers seem to possess. I got told off a lot when I was younger for whatever “bad” stuff I did. I once had a bar of soap shoved in my mouth because she caught me swearing. I got told off big time once because I brought her husband at the time a cd for his birthday and apparently that wasn’t good enough. She used to tell my nan every time we saw her that my room was a mess and that I was dirty. I was so far from messy or dirty it’s ridiculous, I had proper OCD when it came to my bedroom. She just said that to annoy me. She used to say that I thought the world revolved around me and that I was selfish. I guess that I learnt that to be loved, you had to be good all the time and so perhaps that’s why I am always trying to be the good girl. But that’s not real is it? When I cried as a child she would ignore me and would tell me she would “give me something to cry about” or “knock me from here into next week”. Even crying wasn’t allowed but bad moods – oh no, you do not get bad moods. Bad moods were not allowed.
When I was very little, maybe like 4, I had a troll. It was a soft body with a hard face and I got a biro and scribbled all over its face in anger. I got VERY told off for that but looking back, I think I was wishing it was her face. The troll was my transitional object after all. It represented her. A troll! Harsh but true.
In reality I’m not just a nice girl who doesn’t have moods and doesn’t swear, is never selfish or rude. Sometimes I am snappy and sometimes I leave my house in a mess and sometimes I don’t want to do things that I should do. Some days I am far from cute. Today is actually one of those days. Today I had a “strop” because my hair wouldn’t go right and looked a mess. I looked a mess. Another topic that me and T have recently been talking about. My inability to tolerate “mess”. Physical or emotional and I think I know where that comes from……
I feel like I’ve become stuck in being little. Being under 5 foot doesn’t help that. People often say I am cute. I’m not cute. I want to grow up now and stop being so weak and little. I want to come into myself authentically and stop pretending to be something just to be safe.