When I was 10 I went on a school trip to the Isle of White. During the trip it was my 11th birthday. The trip was in celebration of finishing primary school.
On the evening of my birthday I was allowed to use my boss’s phone to call my mum. I remember phoning her outside with him that evening. He was standing with me. She asked if I was having fun and asked me what I had done – I told her, various things like an assault course, a talent competition, fencing, quad bikes… she oooh’d and aww’d appropriately (but fake) and then I had to hang up. And then I cried.
In my head, going home would be warm and welcoming and comforting. It would be safe. There would be affection and genuine conversation, attention, attunement and all the nice things.
That obviously wasn’t the case, but I guess the hope was so strong and so I would cry from wishing I was home with her and not far away.
The reality of being home was very different to the fantasy. Just like the reality of being at T’s is very different to the fantasy.
Now that I understand things differently, perhaps I was crying for the closeness I knew I didn’t have. Perhaps it was grief. Or maybe I was just in denial.
Taking that story and thinking about the here and now… here I am about to go away for a holiday – over my birthday…. and I am crying that I will miss being separated from my T.
I wrote how I wish I could have warmth and comforting things like a blanket, like a cup of tea… that we would have (genuine) chats and closeness. Basically that she would love me.
Sounds like a bit of a repeat doesn’t it? Transference.
I guess that the emotions I felt on Thursday after our last session were a bit of a repeat of that memory: I even spoke about wishing I could see her on my birthday. It is me feeling the same things as I did when I was that 10 year old girl. Just 19 years later.
19 years. 19 years and I am still drowning in the same pain. That’s quite incredible.
As far as I understand transference, it’s the redirection of feelings for a significant person (mother) onto the therapist. It’s a repeat of a childhood experience.
Apparently transference is helpful because it teaches us (me and T) the issues that need to be healed. I just don’t really understand HOW. I understand it will give T an insight into the things I’m thinking or feeling…. and I understand having a kind witness would be helpful but I don’t see how it can actually “heal” these wants and needs.
I said to my boyfriend earlier “do you think T will text me on my birthday?” And he said no…. he asked has she ever before and I said no. It seemed like he wanted to say “obviously not, she’s just your therapist, not your friend/family”…. yet it feels so different to that for me.
That’s the painful thing. I hate the fact that I’m so desperate for T’s love and to her and everyone else, that looks rather pathetic. It’s like being in love with someone who has put you in the friend zone and yet you stay there hoping one day things might be different. Maybe just for me, just this one, T will break the rules and will take me under her wing and invite me into her life.
Of course I know this isn’t going to happen but I hope nevertheless.
It’s hugely painful and shameful being an adult who is so desperate for a mother.