Who's There?

Many years ago, I had this professor from the graduate school of psychology. They called him "Fr." because he's a Catholic priest.

Gradually during classes and on campus, I experienced difficulty relating to him until I was at his throat. I transferred feelings of rage from inside me onto him. Angry as I was at him, I hung in there and, surprisingly, I still received a very good subject grade from him.

Who's there? Consciously, I say, "It was Fr., my psychology prof." Yet, only after several years later did I have a self-analysis breakthrough where I suddenly saw how inappropriate the intensity of my feelings were for "Fr." Locked in the grip of what psychotherapists call "transference," my behavior shrieked a different answer: "My own father."

Aha! It's definitely helpful in recovering to know who's really there.