Countertransference land.

On Tuesday evening, I asked Sienna for a check in. And we did that around 9pm.

I took control of the call and basically really clearly set out why I was really upset with how the session had gone. I outlined why her bringing up boundaries was hurtful, and unnecessary and pointed out her pattern of pushing me away/disconnecting before a break or in times when she’s busy and can’t meet my need for her.

I can’t say that the call resolved anything. In fact if anything it’s just made me feel more insecure.

I don’t have the capacity right now to really write in any detail about it and I probably shouldn’t quote it word for word anyway.

But the key points seem to be that she hadn’t felt like she was pulling away from me, but she was perhaps starting to unconsciously wind things down for both of us as the next break approaches. But she took on board that I’m very sensitive to tiny changes and that I’ll notice any distancing before she does.

She admitted that she didn’t know why she felt the need to talk about boundaries or pull the relationship back to the contract/more traditional place. I asked her if she felt out relationship had moved too far away from that because I didn’t. She thought about and said that no, she didn’t think the lines had blurred and we were working the way we’d contracted for.

She said she was going to take it to supervision to try and work out why she does that with me. But she does recognise now that she does it. She said that she often felt a huge pull from me and the strength of that pull can be exhausting especially when she’s tired or ill. Yeah, that was good to hear. (#sarcasm)

I asked her “ a pull to do what? What’s the pull?” Because I am not aware of pulling at her. Again she said she didn’t know what the pull was and it was something she’d need to work out in supervision and she did say it may not be anything that I am doing but rather something within her.

I don’t know if this pushing me away thing especially when tired is some sort defence or attachment based behaviour. And perhaps she feels safer at a distance when her resources are limited.

I don’t know, a whole ton of things were said that I just don’t have the mental of physical capacity to type of right now.

But once again this is all counter-transference land. And it scares me. And I feel insecure and sad. That my needs, my personality, does this to people. It makes me feel like I’m too much for everyone. And that now it doesn’t feel safe to tell her things.

I have therapy tonight. I am going but I have no idea how it will go.




14 thoughts on “Countertransference land.

  1. heartsetonliving says:

    Hi Sirena,
    I’m reading all your posts as ever but haven’t had the capacity for commenting.
    I am sorry you’re having to deal with this with Sienna again. I can hear how frustrating it is, understandably, and how hard.

    I hope I’m not repeating what someone else has already said, I haven’t read all of the comments, but have you thought of clearly laying out to her what a ‘soothing’, for want of a better word, session might have looked like after the weekend when she was ill? So, rather than her banging on unnecessarily about boundaries and ‘reality checks’ – I really bristled at that phrase because it doesn’t sound at all like you needed one – she could have reinterated what you have – the positive qualities of your relationship. She could have said that she heard that her unavailability felt hard, even though you know logically that no relationship can be 24/7. She could have hugged you THEN. She could have reminded you of the snow globe and why she gave it to you. She could have suggested perhaps that you got out some art stuff, perhaps to explore some of those hard feelings on one page and to create a representation of the strength and safety of the relationship on another – basically, something to help hold you, as she puts it, when the feelings around access and availability are difficult.
    I hope I’m making sense. I just thought that maybe some of that would have been more helpful to you than how Sienna chose to react, and that as well as saying that it’s not helpful when she pulls rank, disconnects and talks ‘reality checks’, it might be useful if you could also tell her what she could try instead.

    Good luck with this evening’s session. I’ll be thinking of you and look forward to your update.
    Heart xx

      • heartsetonliving says:

        Bless you, I wish it had too. I just wonder whether you need to really spell out to Sienna what a helpful session in those circumstances can look like. You shouldn’t have to but perhaps she’s got a bit stuck and needs it?

      • heartsetonliving says:

        Absolutely! I don’t think you should have to say it but it just seems that at the moment, for reasons of her own that I hope she’s going to work out in supervision, that she can’t see it for herself and needs to hear it from you to get her back on the same page as you.

  2. Secret Keeper says:

    I think you are doing the best thing you can to resolve this. Speak up and ask questions and seek out understanding. This sounds very frustrating and difficult. I’m so sorry. I hope you collect some peace around this together this evening at your appointment.

  3. alicewithptsd says:

    Awe, Sirena. I’ve been reading and just really wanting to give you a hug. I’m so impressed with your capacity to continue to stay in the relationship, even when it’s hard. I love that you took control of the call, and that you really talked to her about what was wrong. I hate the distancing before break thing. I feel like Bea tries to wind things down, or close the lid on the jars of yuck we opened together. I know she does this because she doesn’t want me to be alone with it all while she is gone, but I don’t like the way it feels. It’s really hard.

    Sienna’s comment about the “pull she feels”….Ouch. Just ouch. Because I know how those comments can hurt. I’m so sorry.

    I hope things get somewhat resolved tonight, at least enough so you can feel more comfortable and grounded. Xx💟

  4. manyofus1980 says:

    i’m playing catch up. so brave of you to speak up and speak out about all that. I have to admire you and applaud your courage. Glad things worked out in the end even if the rupture isnt completely over. xo

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