I’ve just finished reading a book called When the Past is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships and I am absolutely blown away by how transference and projection can impact relationships.
The reason I ended up reading this book is because I was beginning to get swept up in fantasy land with a man that I know. I was super fortunate to be able to talk through the experience with him (well some of it, I think I managed to conceal a majority of my craziness). I explained that I had a strong pull towards him, that his words held more meaning than other people, but that I was also scared of him to the point of avoiding him and struggling to have a conversation. Luckily this lovely man is a pretty switched on fella and reflected back that it is possible I am projecting, I asked what he meant and couldn’t quite see that I was (durr). He also said that he got a sense that I was giving away my power to him and that it wasn’t his to have. Top marks that man!
So I explained my slightly neurotic situation to a good friend and she recommended the book. I got in over excited Lesley mode as it was there in black and white, I was TOTALLY projecting but there was also transference at play. Transference is basically when we carry unresolved wounding into present day relationships. The best thing about reading this book is that it isn’t just me being a bit weird – it happens to EVERYONE and in fact transference is quite often one of the reasons why you are attracted to someone. We’re hard wired to seek out a partner that will recreate what we know from the past. It is so epic being human, right? I stress the sarcastic overtone there!
I’d like to put a side note in here. So far on my love enquiry I’ve learnt that the process of falling in love is a strong chemical cocktail in your brain based on evolutionary selection bias. I’ve learnt that fireworks are created in a relationship when an anxiously attached person meets an avoidant person, not because he is “the one” but because their attachment needs are going unmet and their bodies are stressed. NOW I’ve learnt that I fancy someone most likely because of projection and transference. The romance in love is certainly starting to fade the more I understand the processes of love. I can just imagine cupid trying to shoot me down with his arrow, not to fall in love but to stop me from learning about all this stuff. Kill her off quick before she shares the secrets any further.
Now I know this insightful love information I feel like I’m seeing the world through a some what humorous lens. Especially when I reflect on this blog, this one and this one….alllllll transference. I feel like I have my power back and didn’t even realise I was giving it away. So the conclusion, like with most of my posts is to tune in, notice what is going on for you, go inwards, visit the past and pinpoint where the hurt originated from (if you can) (maybe do it with a therapist or something). Then come back into the present and look at the person before you. Notice if you can look beyond your story or idea of them and really see them. I guess that is where true intimacy begins.
So my burning question is…I wonder if this now means that I will actually be able to hold a conversation with a man I find attractive without completely shutting down? That would be nice!
I’ll keep you posted. ♥
Photo by Kirill Palii on Unsplash