He fills in for what I’ve lost

parental touch

For people unfamiliar with the psychological term “transference”, it is defined in the The Free Dictionary by Farlex as:

The unconscious tendency of a patient to assign to others in the present environment feelings and attitudes associated with significant persons in one’s earlier life; especially, the patient’s transfer to the therapist of feelings and attitudes associated with a parent or similar person from childhood. The feelings may be affectionate (positive transference), hostile (negative transference), or ambivalent. Sometimes the transference can be interpreted to help the patient understand childhood attitudes.

Transference is not limited to patients for their doctor or therapist, anyone can experience transference when they encounter a person that reminds them of a person from the past. For example, you might meet a person that unconsciously (or consciously) reminds you of an old love. Some of the feelings you experienced for that old love become alive to a degree with such a person, negative or positive. It can affect your interactions with them.

I briefly mentioned transference in my post My 1st through 10th painful incarcerations (Part 1) when I described Dr. Ripley. In that post, when I first saw him he left a lasting positive first impression on me. It was sort of adoration at first sight. I’ve now known him for almost 13 years, and the feelings are still strong for me.

I see Dr. Ripley as almost an angelic figure. He is very tall and handsome, with caring eyes. Unlike some other people in my life, he really listens to me carefully and fully understands my plight. He has a mellifluous voice and his words to me always seem carefully chosen. He represents great strength. I guess you could say I have a crush on him, despite him being 26 years my senior. Though he doesn’t affect my loving relationship and adoration for my husband, he fills in a missing gap in my life. It took years for me to fully realize this, and for whom.

When I first met Dr. Ripley, I had recently lost my mother. I was still deeply grieving her loss. I grieved that she lost her precious life, and also that I lost her precious gifts of caring she gave to me. She was the closest person to me besides my husband, but close, obviously, in a parental way.

When I lost my mom I felt I supported my dad emotionally more than the other way around. My husband supported me greatly, but again, he was my husband and not a parent. I do now believe Dr. Ripley sort of took my mother’s place in my mind and heart. It’s strange that he is a man and not a woman, but I guess that doesn’t really matter. Yes, I have a crush on him. I never had a crush on my mother like that, but I guess adoration presents itself in different ways.

swan with chicksI see Dr. Ripley frequently. More than I even see my dad or siblings. When I need Dr. Ripley’s support, he always calls back the same day. When ill, he seems to always have time to see me or suggest remedies. Though my mother knew me well, she never knew me at the worst of my illness. Dr. Ripley does. Actually, no one else completely does in the way he knows. There is a huge comfort in that.

When I don’t see Dr. Ripley for several weeks I must say I miss him terribly. I’m guilty of talking about him a lot in between appointments. My husband is quite tolerant of it (with only occasional rolling eyes), but I know he understands.

Someday there will come a time when I no longer see Dr. Ripley. I wonder if it will seem like the death of a beloved parent again. I sometimes wish for more from him (a hug or hand holding), but he’s kept strict physical boundaries these years. Perhaps on the last day I see him, when I’ll surely cry. I also wish I could write him, though I’m not sure if he will want that. I hope he does. In any case, he will always live in my memory. A lasting significant impression.


17 thoughts on “He fills in for what I’ve lost

  1. Hussein Allam May 24, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    Very true, I feel that we sometimes copy others of what they do, tasnsfernce is probably happen to me, if I have been influenced by someone who has positive attitude, and I wanted to be like him, great post! Updownflight, your is the spirit of the day, love this post thanks for sharing it❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hussein Allam May 24, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    Thanks for having a blog rich of valuables things, and internal messages. Damn, you smart way in writing👍

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hussein Allam May 24, 2017 / 7:53 pm

        My pleasure, i am so much happy to be one of your followers honestly, I take your posts as adavantages, I learn how to achieve strength from yiu, the narration of your story is so powerful, free of ambiguous things, stuff are covered clearly by your side!👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight May 24, 2017 / 8:03 pm

        I so much appreciate that you see this in my writing. Some of it perhaps I have not been privy to myself. I know I have said before that your writing is so wise. It inspires me daily. And your support is surely affectionately appreciated by many.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hussein Allam May 24, 2017 / 8:10 pm

        Other personal things, it should be privy, because we sometimes should not reveal everything about us, but sharing your experience could help others out of troubles, it’s educating your posts, keep it up, updownflight🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. stoneronarollercoaster May 24, 2017 / 11:21 pm

    What a beautiful post. Informative emotional and totally makes sense.
    Reading this i just had an epiphany.
    Your words filled a few gaps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica Bakkers May 24, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    Considering all you’ve been through with Dr Ripley (whom I can’t think of without seeing Lt Ripley from the Alien franchise) it’s no wonder you have strong feelings for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight May 25, 2017 / 1:14 am


      I had to see what Lt. Ripley from Alien looks like. Oh! It’s Sigourney Weaver. No, my psychiatrist doesn’t look much like her, but I like that actress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jessica Bakkers May 25, 2017 / 1:14 am

        Hehe, I’d hope your Dr is a bit more handsome! It’s just the name. In my deranged head it’s now synonymous with face-hugging aliens!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight May 25, 2017 / 1:16 am

        Dr. Ripley is much more handsome than a face-hugging alien.

        Kinda funny comparison considering my feature photo. As I said, I’d love it if Dr. Ripley would hug my face.

        Liked by 1 person

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