Weird question: how I sense my T

This is a really random thought that I keep having and I’m just wondering if anyone knows what I mean, or can relate at all (or if I’m just weird!).

Sometimes when I am away from my T, whether that’s the normal week before and after my session or when she’s on a break like now, she feels kind of soft and warm and loving and affectionate…. it makes me want to write things and open up and be soft and vulnerable.

But then when I see her, when I’m in front of her I feel her as being strong and firm and sensible and clever and it makes me feel less able to be that vulnerable.

It’s mad because she has never given me reason to sense her that way. She isn’t hard or firm with me. It’s just the way I’ve realised I feel with her sometimes…. like she’s a “no nonsense” kind of woman and so I try and be stronger and sensible around her.

In my dreams, or when I have any distance, I feel her as the softer, more open T.

What is that about?

13 thoughts on “Weird question: how I sense my T

  1. I understand what you’re saying a bit. I’ve often found that in the place between sessions I come up with all kinds of very honest things that I need to and should talk about. Especially things related to our relationship and attachment. But when in the room I tend to clam up because the boundaries and limits of our relationship are more concrete and recognizable. When they aren’t in front of us, I think we remember them in the most ideal form as a way to keep the connection, if that makes sense.

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    1. I can’t articulate what I mean very well. I’ve been playing this through all day trying to make it more coherent but I’m struggling.

      It’s like…. I think of her when I’m not with her and she’s this soft, cuddly, open and affectionate lady. Then when I am sat in front of her, she’s much more firm and less likely to be the soft cuddly person I imagine. It’s so odd….

      It’s what prevents me from sending certain emails when I want to, because I know when I actually see her, I’ll feel stupid. It’s not that when I see her she is in any way cold or anything…. shes always lovely. God it doesn’t make any sense lol xx

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      1. No, I think am getting a sense of what you mean. Like the way you hold her in your mind outside of the room is different than when you’re in the room with her? Even if she is lovely, you tune into certain mannerisms of hers that make you sense her firmness/structure when you’re with her? I can see how this would be hard to articulate!

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      2. Ha you’re doing well to make some sense out of my blabber, thank you so much for even trying to understand me!!!

        So I keep thinking, when I was younger my mum went away a lot. Mostly on holidays for two weeks at a time with men. Whilst she was gone I used to really look forward to seeing her and when she came back, within an hour she was horrible again. I am wondering if there’s a link with that somehow? Like perhaps it’s transference or something.

        You put it well, she is always lovely but yes, certain mannerisms make me sense her differently. Spot on. It’s soooo hard to articulate lol!

        I wonder if when she’s out of sight, it’s the fantasy mother I’m holding rather than her? I don’t know….

        So for example, I dreamt about her last night and I woke up feeling moody (which is usually because I need to cry and I’m sad). I went to email her to tell her about it and I’ll start writing, then decide not to send it to her. It’s like my image of her and actual her don’t tally sometimes and in my dream that came to light because I was at her house having a session, and she was lovely – but I was offered to stay for dinner and a film by her kids and I wanted to so much but I was scared I would see the “real” her and I wouldn’t like it. I cried because I didn’t know what was better/worse – see her for longer but being busy and detached and firmer and disinterest…. or see her for less but have her entirely devoted to me and being lovely…



  2. I understand and feel very similar about my T. Sometimes when I’m with her I can almost “feel” her as soft and warm (which I believe she truly is). But other times, I feel her differently. Sometimes it’s me…being vulnerable as a kid did not go so well for me and I still assume that she will be like those bad people from when I was growing up. But sometimes I believe it really is her that feels different…I know, I know she has this whole life apart from me with things affecting her that I know nothing about. Doesn’t make me feel better though, how surprising, right? And I also think that my young parts try to keep their idealized “mama I always wanted” version in mind because that is all they’ve ever wanted…to feel loved, chosen, special, etc. and the reality when we see her that she is just T, not mama, is a slap in the face to those young ones who then become distraught. Then the protectors come along and try to push away from T and present a false strength and capability…anything other than vulnerability. I find that I vacillate between the idealized “perfect mama” version and the “she’s just T and your just her job” version. Especially when apart for long and the young ones realize that she’s not going to come to them and comfort them and love them like a mama. Or worse, that she didn’t love or want them enough to take them with her…they’re like “if you love me, how can you leave me?” Soooo, I understand and I get that these dizzying, complicated feelings are so brutal! You are not weird, you are learning and healing. At least that’s what I try to tell myself 😉

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    1. I totally get what you mean about the vulnerability and about the fear the repeat will happen. I 100000% get that. I struggle with the whole “other” life she has, in fact that’s pretty much the struggle that came from my dream last night where I was at her house and her kids and friends etc were all there.

      I think the last thing you said is how I’m feeling today. I think (and I know this sounds awful) that it’s the fantasy mother I crave and hold and imagine all week…. then I see her, and she’s her – not fantasy mother – there are differences between the two. Like the real actual her I can’t imagine her cuddling her kids (or me), whereas the her in my mind would. I know this sounds bonkers. I think I also do what you’ve said and present a false strength. I can cry about something an hour before my session and then talk to her about it calmly and totally adult – I’ll often come home wishing I’d cried and knowing I would have felt better if I had. Xx

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      1. Oh my gosh, me too….I can cry at home, alone, but still feel too afraid to cry with T. And so often wish I could! Hang in there! Thinking of you and sending positive, healing thoughts your way!!


  3. Yeah I get this a lot! Obviously just with ideal dad instead of ideal mom transference. I get quite poetic and soft and smoeshy if I think about him and our work out of session (when there is no rupture, therapy hangover or very tough session). But when I am in front of him, my brain cannot help but pick up all the body language and meaning behind his words and over interpret that so he feels hard, serious, disinterested and tired quite often. So it suddenly goes from fantasy father figure to absent/punitive father transference, based on my dads. It’s tough finding him as he truly is 😕 painful dream btw!! How are you feeling now?

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  4. Isn’t it great that we can pop onto WordPress and find “me too’s” and some explanations for things??
    For me it’s the opposite, I think my therapist is warm and lovely in session and outside of it perceive her as uncaring and cold.

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    1. It is because google isn’t helping on this occasion lol!!

      See now that I actually understand better, that I can put down to object constancy…. mine being the opposite doesn’t make sense to me but I think it’s got to have something to do with the good mother bad mother split or transference xx


  5. My therapist is always very warm and caring when I am in her office, but outside of it I feel she is cold and she angers me. Now don’t get me wrong she has never done anything to me, but say for instance if I email her when I’m struggling she wont email me right back or anything. This angers me yet I understand she has a life and family but that doesn’t make me feel any better.

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