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Transference - can someone point me to a website please?

(11 Posts)
MyCatHasStaff Sun 31-Jul-11 22:55:22

Just what is says really. XH is projecting his behaviour onto DS, i.e says DS is being 'difficult' when he truly isn't, but XH definitely is. Even blamed DS for the travelling time between them, even though XH moved. I'm a bit exasperated with it, and DS is very upset, so a definition would help DS and I can email to XH, although I don't expect it to have much impact. Thanks in advance.

madmouse Sun 31-Jul-11 23:13:43

I would caution about you ending XH information about what you have diagnosed him with in his absence. It is easy to read as inflammatory, insulting and designed to upset even if you don't mean it that way.

If there are problems caused by his behaviour write to him with your specific concerns about his specific behaviours.

madmouse Sun 31-Jul-11 23:14:10

aargh tired and dodgy keyboard

I would caution against you sending XH etc

MyCatHasStaff Sun 31-Jul-11 23:21:00

Thanks madmouse, I've tried and tried that. Apparently, I'm not concerned about DS, I'm bitter hmm even though I'm very happily re-married, and have been for years. Mostly, I'm trying to give DS something to help him understand. XH definitely has a PD.

NanaNina Mon 01-Aug-11 20:51:59

Transference is usually something that happens between a client and a therapist and the therapist reminds the client of someone that didn't like (maybe from much earlier in their life) and they transfer their feelings about that person on to the therapist. Counter transference is when the client reminds the therapist of someone they had difficulties with in their past and this is transferred to the client.

I totally agree with madmouse and would caution you from e mailing something to your XH that he won't understand and is not really appropriate to think of transference in the situation that you describe. When you say XH has a PD - do you mean Personality Disorder? You do need to take care about diagnosing someone, unless this diagnosis was made by a relevant professional.

What age is your son and how frequent is contact, and have these problems been there from the outset, or has it got worse more recently. I don't think that talking to your son about transference and projection is going to help him at all. I would think you need to listen to your son to find out what he really feels about this contact with this father. I know you have tried to talk to your XH and that hasn't worked and if he does have some kind of personality disorder (or is simpy a difficult character) then it isn't going to work is it.

Maybe you have to think whether it is actually safe for the contact to continue. Was the contact order made in court. If so that's a bit tricky but if your son is really distressed and you are concerned, then maybe you have to restrict contact or look at another kind of arrangement.

Without knowing more details it is difficult to advise.

MyCatHasStaff Tue 02-Aug-11 17:44:37

Thank you, it sounds like transference is probably not what I'm looking for. It's a complicated situation (would probably out me in RL if I gave too many details) but what you've said makes sense of what I was told years ago by the health professional who told me he most likely had a pd but it was difficult to be sure at that stage because there was substance abuse involved. Another part of it was him lying and denying and refusing to take responsibility, but all that comes with drug addiction, and it was explained to me as chicken and egg - do these personality traits lead to addiction, or does the addict develop them, and that we would know more when the addiction was conquered. I don't want DS to know about this episode in his father's past, it was before he was born and I don't want to bring it into the equation now.

I'm 100% certain there is no substance abuse now, and there's never been physical violence, but the emotional manipulation is just as hard to take ime. I'm just trying to help DS (14) see that it is not his fault that he is being treated so badly by his dad at the moment. If I could show DS something relevant to read that was objective it might make him feel better and understand what's really going on, without it looking like I'm having a go at his dad, which is really not my intention. I just can't bear to see DS so confused and hurt. Thanks for the advice, I definitely won't be sending anything to xh.

Madmouse - I looked at your pics and your little boy is beautiful smile

NanaNina Tue 02-Aug-11 18:16:31

Mycathastaff (love the nickname) glad you have decided against sending anything to XH. I think that your son has to realise that his dad is a difficult person and gets angry about things when there is no need. I'm not sure about a 14yr old reading something. I mean the reality is that you XH is difficult, does blame others for things they aren't responsible for etc etc. I appreciate that you don't want to run his dad down, but I'm sure your son already knows what his dad is like anyway as he is on the receving end of some of the anger. Again, I think you need to have a conversation with your son about how he feels about contact with his dad, and you can tell him in a factual way that you know about his dad's difficult behaviour.

If your son is really distressed, would it be an idea to make contact less frequent, or stopped altogether. Was the Contact Order made in court or is it a voluntary agreement between you and the X. Either way, many teenagers decide that they no longer want as much contact as they start to grow up and want to be with their friends etc.

Madmouse - how do you access pictures - someone told me just to click on profile before but I couldn't see anything like that. I'm not nosey (well maybe just a touch!) but I'd love to see your mouseling. If you don't want me to have access I know you are straight enough to tell me! Hope you are feeling bit better by the way.

madmouse Tue 02-Aug-11 18:59:56

MyCat - I'm so glad that your son has you to help him deal with his dad, I understand your position much better now! Please be aware that emotionally abusive behaviour from your ex can do as much as damage as physical abuse and don't be afraid to take steps as necessary in reducing contact.

NanaNina my pictures are visible to everyone who is logged in on MN. Click on my name, then about halfway down my profile you will see 'view madmouse's pictures' and then you click on that. There are no really recent ones on there really, should update them, he is changing so fast!

NanaNina Wed 03-Aug-11 14:22:13

Aaaw Madmouse, your little boy is soooo sweet - and is that you behind him on one of the pics with his walker. If so you are nothing like I imagined you! Much younger looking! I build up a picture of some posters, and am often curious about what they look like. I'm not clever enough to post pictures, but for the record I am 67, 5ft 1 inch, at least 1 stone overweight with grey hair that I try to keep well cut ...........my grand daughter of 11 says she likes my hair shorter and spiky, cus the way it is now I look like a "regular old woman" - think she meant typical! You need a big ego with grandkids!

madmouse Wed 03-Aug-11 15:09:20

LOL NanaNina I wish I was that young - she's the lovely physiotherapist, newly married too smile

MyCatHasStaff Wed 03-Aug-11 20:26:33

Thanks to you both for taking the time to reply. I'm taking a deep breath, and waiting to see what happens next. DS is remarkably resillient, bless him, and I've told him how strong he is to deal with his difficult dad in such a mature and intelligent way. The crux of the problem is actually not enough access - he only sees his dad a couple of times a year (XH's choice), and DS was basically saying he felt excluded and rejected, and XH did not respond well (can't really say on here). I have always encouraged them to have a relationship, but I think DS is right when he says that talking for 5 mins every couple of weeks is never going to add up to anything meaningful sad. In a perverse way, I think when you live with constant manipulation and emotional abuse (as I did as a child, then again in my first marriage) you become 'trained' in the correct responses, but DS doesn't live in that toxic environment, so can't understand why he can't have an honest and calm discussion about how he feels.
Thanks again for calming me down.

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