Oxytocin Cocktail. Hit me up.

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I was reading tonight about a client who’d gone through many years of 3-4 times weekly psychoanalysis. She wrote about how after around 8 years at that frequency her maternal transference, all the longing and tears of not having her therapist as a parent and all the drama that comes with maternal longings has finally been resolved.

She said she could sit with her therapist now and not feel any of that stuff at all and how lovely it was to just view her as an old friend almost. Someone she’s just very comfortable with.

It is nice to hear that the mommy stuff can be resolved with enough time. But a thought struck me – “ I don’t want to not feel the transference, I don’t want it to go away.”

I do NOT enjoy the pain of maternal transference. I do not enjoy the agony of wanting to merge with my therapist and her not allowing it. I don’t enjoy longing for the safety of her all the time and not being able to access it when I need it. I don’t enjoy being plunged into the depth of despair when I am triggered by her temporary lack of attunement or by her absence or perceived rejection/abandonment.

Maternal transference is hell on earth.

But the flip side is the heavenly bonding moments. The warmth and caring, the cuddles, the mothering to fill the gaps that were left by my birth mother, the protective anger she feels when someone has done wrong by me and the gentle advice she gives me, the education on all things I missed learning first time round. The joy of hearing her say she’s proud of me or that she loves me or the little tears that escape her eyes for both happy and sad reasons. The warmth and security of her stable influence in my life. The moments we share that leave me floating on a big oxytocin cloud, a huge big “ I love her” fest.

I don’t think I want to lose that. Ever.

Is it possible to keep that? I don’t know. I won’t know until I get there.

I do know that there have been a couple of rare moments in the 3 years we’ve worked together that all my parts disappeared. I was just one. An adult. And as such, I viewed my therapist as just a normal human being. Someone just as flawed as the next person. I didn’t see a golden light around her, I didn’t have her on a pedestal and I no longer had much need for her.

And I didn’t like it much. I liked not having the bad side of transference. But I really missed that delightful innocent love and blissful oxytocin hit. I missed the intensity of the relationship. I felt a bit empty and sad.

Luckily (or unluckily) all the parts and all the maternal transference gradually flooded back in.

I am guessing we maybe grow out of needing that intensive mothering. We get to a point we are filled up enough to go out into the world and develop other relationships.

But it makes me sad to imagine seeing her as just a normal human. And to not feel that motherly-ness, that safety in her presence, to not feel filled up by her attuned responses. I don’t want her to be reduced to “ normal”. I like her just where she is – on her pedestal, glowing in warm safe light.

If I had a choice, she’d always occupy a very special place in my heart and in my life. She would be someone I could return to, she would always be “ home”. And when life got too real, too exhausting, too stressful, I could go “home” and be a child for a while and find my center again before heading out into the big adult world again.

I have no idea if it’s possible to keep that feeling or whether it’s linked to very young under-developed child parts who really need that right now.

 

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16 thoughts on “Oxytocin Cocktail. Hit me up.

  1. Lina says:

    Yes. This. I can relate and understand this and definitely feel it with my own therapist. I am so scared and saddened by the idea that one day I won’t “need” her or that our relationship will change and be different and I will lose what I have now and what means so much to me. Yet I know that will also mean progress and growth. It’s scary. I feel shame for even feeling this way, so it’s helpful to read how others relate. Thank you for being vulnerable and open on this blog. It helps me so much more than i can ever say

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beatley Halb says:

    Oh yes!! I remember calling up a friend one night and saying “T is just an ordinary human being”. And she’s like, “Man, Beatley, you sound HEALTHY!” and I’m like “no, I always know she’s human. But she’s just so REGULAR!’ And she’s like “Beatley, are you going to the opposite extreme? I mean, she’s helped you a lot..” And I was like “no, I still think she’s an incredible and an ever better therapist. And not perfect. But there’s so nothing SPECIAL anymore.”
    She didn’t get it, but oh man, was it a letdown. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

      • Beatley Halb says:

        I’m actually on a two month break from her (basically implemented to decide whether I’m ready to leave), and it’s been interesting to see how my view on her has cycled in the past few weeks… In the beg, there was both major idealization and also lots of anger. I needed her so much and thought she was the only one who could make me feel good, and at the same time hated her for what I perceived as rejection (yeah, that’s how my brain decided to interpret this break.. 😉 )
        Our break is nearly up, I should have be seeing her this week but it’s been a busy one so I’m going to wait till next Sunday. At this point, my feelings have normalized. I think of her as a normal human being, awesome therapist, and one of the best things that have happened to me. I miss her like I would miss any other yummy relationship… I think about her often, wish I can see her, but almost with a nostalgic ‘old friend’ kinda feeling if that makes sense.. I’m not sure if seeing her again will change things…

        Like

      • Beatley Halb says:

        Writing this out was cool, actually, because I didn’t see this so clear before… Maybe I’ll print this out and share with her when I see her 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Beatley Halb says:

        And I just skimmed through your original post again and got some new insights… I think that your sentiments about the fear of losing the ‘special T’ perception, and of having to be and adult in the relationship may be part of what’s holding me back…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. charolastra says:

    This all resonates with me too, thanks for sharing Sirena. Could you possibly share the link to the article you mentioned at the start? I’d like to share it with my T as she seems to have lost sight of the process and thinks therapy is not helping me because I’m still stuck sometimes in all the attachment pain 😦

    Like

    • Sirena says:

      It wasn’t an article just a forum post from someone. ☺ I can recommend a book that explains the attachment process and the decompensation in clients through the therapy process. It’s by Janina Fisher and it’s called Healing the fragmented selves.. or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. charolastra says:

    Thanks, I’ve just ordered it 🙂 It’s been on my wish list for a while, but if it deals with the fact that things are still getting worse in some ways after 2 1/2 years then it is definitely needed at the moment!

    Like

  5. smcbelle4141 says:

    Lovely post! You are a very skilled writer. There is an eloquence in the way you write about your therapy experience. Thank you for your continued vulnerability and honesty as you navigate your journey. Transference is quite a beast at times and is a fight between our logic mind’s perception of it all alongside being wrapped up in the feelings it evokes. I can definitely identify with this! Also, does the person you mention at the beginning of the post have a blog as well? I only ask because I am in psychoanalysis as well and it is so hard to find blogs or much from a patient’s perspective!

    Like

    • Sirena says:

      Thank you very much,smcbelle4141.
      The person I mention was writing in a short post on a mental health forum. There are many blogs on WordPress about therapy experiences though. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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