Transference is a Bitch

Transference is an absolute bitch. I get it bad with older men in authority. Always have, starting with teachers back when I was a kid in school. I feel like I’m in love with them and all I crave is their desire back. If they wanted me then I’d know I was doing it right.


Knowing what it is helps but, despite knowing that it’s an illusion, it still feels real. I’ve never acted on these feelings. I couldn’t. That’s the whole point – he has to choose me; so that I am seen, worthwhile, not invisible. So that I can believe I have good qualities or attractive features it has to all come from him. And then there’s the White Knight part of it all. He will see the good in me and come and rescue me and I’ll be saved. 

None of my White Knights have ever approached me. Once…just once…there was one and he created a situation which felt very much like he was testing the water, saying come on… It was terrifying so I ran away! I could never act on these feelings! I don’t actually want to! Not really.

I love my husband. I hate that I have these issues. In my defence they were there long before I met him, just hidden away like all of this crap in my head. I know I don’t deserve my husband. He is a good man. Not perfect, of course, but good. He gives me a solidity and predictability which is reassuring to me after such a chaotic start in life. He shows me affection in a way I’ve never experienced. He was the first person to love me for who I was. He believes he loves me although I’m not so sure. I doubt sometimes that he really knows me but he definitely saved me. He is steady.

Transference happens though when you want to have a need met doesn’t it? My husband doesn’t really do emotions. That might seem odd given my BPD but actually that’s why it works I suppose. I have all the emotions for both of us. It used to drive me crazy in the early days e.g. He wouldn’t be excited if we booked a holiday but I’d be soooooo excited and want to chatter away about it but couldn’t because he just wasn’t feeling the same thing or even close to the same intensity. What I’ve learned though is that that just isn’t him. I’ve accepted that. I’ve accepted that he’s brilliant and marvellous in lots of different and important ways; ways that mean we function well as a couple and as parents. There is balance.

However that doesn’t stop my need for a man (has to be male) to see, and appreciate, my emotional side, or my creativity, or my love of music or art etc. My husband doesn’t see those things. He comments on his appreciation for my breasts and/or arse on pretty much a daily basis but never anything else. My empathy? Or way with the children? My sense of fun? Or my adventurous attitude? And I want those things to be seen, to be acknowledged spontaneously by someone else (because that makes them real. I can’t trust my own opinion of myself!). 

So when a man, an older man, does acknowledge some of those qualities – completely spontaneously – then wow! Wow! Just you try and stop the transference! He sees me! 

It’s not real of course. It’s all just in my head although Dumbledore did say to Harry Potter:

Transference is a bitch. Real feelings for an illusion. And real consequences too. Just another secret to carry around and feel ashamed about. 

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