TRANSFERENCE – Out side therapy

Transference is largely explained as the experience of feelings towards a person that actually belong to another person.

It was first described in psychoanalysis by Freud as a revival of infant-parent bond and the attachment , affection could be of unusual degree not as a result of actual shared experiences between the therapist and the patient.

However , transferences are in no way limited only to therapeutic situations.
When some one you have met just few hours ago, develops an unusual attachment
or attraction / anger / hatred towards you , it has usually very little to do with what you have shared , however you have some how triggered the feelings that belong to some one else in the other person’s life. This could be an unresolved relationship issue that the other has projected on to you.

The so called ” Love on the rebound” in lay man’s language is a synonym for this. You can feel thrown and completely amazed as to why this is happening and wonder several times ” Where did I go wrong ? / right ?( Depending on your own unfulfilled need for affiliation at that hour )

But depending on your own honesty to not partake in the feelings that do not belong to you ,efforts can be made to understand or know the past of the person and gently point out to her or him that this may have to be resolved with that other person.
If you can identify the real owner of those feelings.

Then there are situations where the other person is dead or is emotionally unavailable for resolution , and for their own reasons the person who is directing these feelings towards you is not psychologically minded enough to accept your insight or interpretation and continues to harp on the magic of love at first sight! Any thing or everything you say or don’t say may be taken to mean more than what you say and it could get very difficult. By the time you realize what ever is happening , you may be so embroiled in it as to find it difficult to get out.

People who display traumatic transferences can get very intrusive , by stalking you relentlessly . They have the need to settle scores with someone from their past and you become an innocent target. They want to undo a mistake they committed in their past , again you need not become their replacement absolution. Anger & hostility can be particularly annoying even in civilized environments. And in repressed cultures , eroticized transference can be difficult to ward off. And any sort of interaction can be viewed as an encouragement and if you are a skilled communicator you can try till the doom’s day to get it across to another verbally while he or she may persist in acting out and not understanding what ever you are trying to communicate.

Some times opposite poles do attract each other and marry , and despite not sharing any of the traits of your partner , in a social and political manner the wife or even the child of the man become the soft target for aggressive or assaultive transference. This can be particularly tragic when the woman is already vulnerable in the marriage and also has to take on the wrath of her partner’s enemies.

Does it mean everything is always transference ?
Definitely not. If you have resolved most of your conflicts with significant others always , then and there, if you have spent a good amount of time introspecting , and if you have tried to ally with the conscious , reasonable element in the other person’s psyche and been honest with the other about your feelings, chances are that it is genuinely close and empowering.

However there will be discrepancies in the perceptions depending on the power differentials in your relationship , however hard you try to neutralize it some gaps can not be bridged.

Genuine intimacy demands absolute honesty and ability to work at it every day , on some difficult days every hour . And some times sex is just an easy escape and a false sense of security and a very superficial , deeply unsatisfying interaction when it is used as a strategy to avoid knowing , caring and suffering for the other person. All love can be verbal , including that between lovers. It can only enhance intimacy when you feel understood.

The strict masculine , feminine gender dichotomy is encouraged in some cultures and when you are strongly inhibited from expressing your qualities that are condemned as masculine or feminine then a sort of soul hunger dominates your relationship. And can topple an unequal relationship. Some partners are stuck in this ” Self sacrificing nurturing parent mode ” and others are receiving forever since their own mother or father neglected their needs , or even worse abused or exploited them. Is that fair in the name of love ? Will it work forever ?

It is important to take help from someone outside the bond during such times. You may get used by some one younger or older in the name of a relationship ( You end up being a sexualized parent or sexualized child ) and accumulate resentment that is unnecessary.

Anima and Animus as mentioned by Carl Gustav Jung a student of Freud is a wonderful concept , that your other half lives inside you and you probably are searching for someone who lets you express your entire self or lets you be yourself….

The moment I heard a love story
for the first time ,
I started searching for you ,
Not knowing how blind that was
Lovers don’t meet finally somewhere
They lived inside each other all along.- RUMI

I would add these lines,

Please ask your self
what is it that you love about me ?
Is it really me ?
Or is it her , the one I never knew,
How can I imitate that which I never knew…
How can I be the missing line of your past ?
None of us can go back and correct or edit
whatever happened.
I was not even there then !
Do not condemn me to enact her script , just so that you
can change yours. You cant. I am not her.
Even if the script changed , it is because
I did not act the part you wanted me to…..
Life has to be lived forwards………
Today can not change yesterday…

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST UNFAIRY TALE

A young girl Swathi was hacked to death in a crowded street where she waited for public transport few days ago in Chennai an Indian city, a state with woman chief minister. Later it was known that the man was stalking her despite her refusing his advances several times. In India “Stalking ” often leads to a marriage. A girl is supposed to be angry when a man stalks her out of love at first and usually “nature” takes over and the girl accepts him as a suitor! Perhaps the most aggressive and perseverent of the stalkers wins the hand of the girl. Mills and Boons a favorite series of romance fiction, Photo romance darling etc prescribed to this plot for many years. I have not read them in the recent times. Women did not know if there were other choices available to them , when they were pursued relentlessly by an aggressive man whom all others feared. Freedom is a myth when this happens.

“Whole world loves a lover” In India this takes a sad turn when a girl refuses. Especially if the boy is blessed with some disadvantages and girl is not. Women try to be inconspicuous and try very hard to blend , by following a dress code , interacting with men only in groups , never being seen alone with a man however old or young fearing gossip or fearing ” Giving the wrong idea” or ” Leading on a guy”
Some women have an upbringing that encourages fitness , grooming them selves and they are at logger heads with a conservative society that equates attractiveness as inefficient,arrogant and loose morals. This stereotyping is very hard to break. An attractive woman has to work twice as hard as any man to be taken even half seriously.And all her friendships with men are viewed under a microscope. Acid attacks are feared and are prevalent. Even now a boy can be seen with many attractive women and hailed as a “stud”. But woman in the same shoes is termed a “slut”

Women in India are not safe in public spaces , including the cyberspace. Most often they work for their bread and make a bee line to go home in traffic choked streets.

If Swathi was not murdered , all the world may still have loved the lover.
“What did she do to attract the man?” Women are blamed for being passive or proactive. If you do you are damned , if you don’t you are damned.

By-stander syndrome exists. But what is worse is people even join in the kill, if the aggressor is socially prominent or a head. Very few think against the system , when the system is working in their favor.

Dr.Frank Farnham has worked extensively with stalkers and classified them as
Rejected stalker
Intimate stalker
Incompetent stalker
Resentful stalker
Predatory stalker , He has a clinic in the UK . The very first clinic in the world for this menace. His blog is called “Free Thought”

Non Suicidal Self Harm

Those children who were abused either emotionally or physically or sexually in childhood , even once ( Being bullied , poked fun at ) have a strong sense of self hatred. They internalize anger and struggle to cope with hyper arousal or hypo arousal both in a social context and when alone . So, many of them either sleep through the day or stay awake for days. The numbness which follows abuse often leads to cutting self as a means of self affirmation . Such children , adolescents or young adults are highly shame prone…..

Typical belief of shame prone person is that they are viewed as inadequate in some way by the world. They try very hard to please the world and build a social image , yet they feel they have had so little impact on others that they “do not exist” or they are “invisible”

It closed up

When people touched it

It shuddered and shut up

Even for a rain drop.

It was by the road

Lest it crumple

I did not touch

I spoke

But it closed up….

I suffer since I understand

The flower of the touch -me not plant……..

When they do make an impact that can not be refuted , they think it was a mask that won and not their true self. Sometimes they think they have an undesired quality that caused abuse. Some believe they were abused because they were arrogant and become self negating. Others believe they were abused because they were ugly or fat and no one would believe that an abuser found them worthy of being a target , hence work at acquiring beauty. Many believe that their attractiveness caused it and work at becoming ugly. Rarely an intelligent victim is unable to reconcile to the stupidity of decisions that put them in a vulnerable spot or unable to forgive self for not seeing a trap and disown their intelligence and memory , the spine of intelligence. Many blame the freedom to choose that lead to foolish decision making , hence willingly cage them selves….or give up their freedom….or even surrender to a jailer , another abuser.

14% of childhood victims of abuse are vulnerable to re abuse due to these factors.

Whenever I tried to hide

I was lost

Since no one found me.

I thought no one could find me

So only learnt to hide

Behind walls …….

I saw another wall

May be you were also

hiding

Fearing lest you lose me

In finding me in ways that I disrespect

Like others before….

by traps or games

I tried to seek you….

Honestly breaking my walls

Losing my self

Crashing against your wall

I now,  know you are a wall.

Behind me , ruins of a wall

Against me another wall

I am lost

I am trapped…

I am lost hiding , I am equally lost seeking……

No wall is a door not even you……..

Body image disturbances have a tendency to recur when the person is under social scrutiny or criticism . It is a challenge to balance between the urge to disappear and the wish to make an impact. And also to realize that abuse is abusive irrespective of how it occured or by whoever and the only quality that attracts abuse is vulnerability . There fore the universal impact of abuse is numbness . An abused person may recognize that they are not guilty at all but still feel damaged or spoiled. 

Some of them play at being an anti hero , since they think they can never be heroes ever again. They enjoy being called an abuser , since it takes away the label of victim . This phenomenon is more common in men who were victims. They do externalize anger and often target vulnerable persons or fellow victims . They dissociate in to an abuser when they encounter a victim and this is portrayed in popular films to depict multiple personality disorder. Many victims dissociate in to victims when they are cornered by an abuser , though other wise they know to keep their boundaries and fight back. Mindfulness is a useful technique to prevent dissociation and also gathering social support against an abuser.