As some of you may know I am writing a book…and this is going to be…let’s say a possibility for the intro. Hope you enjoy!
“Chapter One: Hello, Therapy.”
Tick. Tick. Tick.
The clock on the wall seems to have more to say than I do. I would normally find that behavior to be rude, considering I am the one footing the bill, but today I was grateful that it was filling the silence that weighed heavily on the dull room. Funny how context changes how you feel about a situation.
My tired, grey eyes scanned the small space, taking in my surroundings like a wounded prey animal. It was simple. Entirely uninteresting. It was a place made to comfort those who were uncomfortable in their own minds. Those that were disturbed in the one place that should be safe. Bland colors, blander decor, dim lighting. Absolutely no fear of over stimulation, unless you were particularly scared of beige…then this would be your worst fear.
My eyes landed briefly on the only thing remotely lively in the room. A fragile thin woman, legs crossed, her face framed by narrow, metal rimmed glasses that hung on the end of her crooked nose and matched the gentle red stain that was on her lips. Calico colored beads draped off her glasses and around the back of her neck, ensuring that her glasses would not fall off her person. They went well with her light brown cardigan…some might even say it was beige.
She took my glance as an invitation start conversing. “So, Miss Reese,” she started slowly, careful not to come off too strong. Her meticulously chosen tone of voice made the side of my emotionless lips twitch upwards into a meek smile for just a moment. I have spent much of my free time studying the human psychology, always trying to understand the humans around me, as I have often felt alien to the outside world. That being said, I was acutely aware of all the careful tactics that she had hand picked based off what I am assuming she read off my chart. It was quite full. I was one of those particularly difficult people to deal with seeing as I was educated about the way the mind works but thus far have not been able to glue mine back together.
She gave me a small smile, an attempt to remind me that I am in safe hands. But I doubt her thin hands would be able to catch me if I fell. I am hilarious I know. “How about you tell me why you are here today?” She set aside her notepad on the side table, to give me comfort that I am talking to a friend. I am aware, however, that my words would be jotted down in doctor’s shorthand. The scribbles of a scrambled mind, you could say.
“Did you not read my file?” I know she’d read my file. I am just being an ass to avoid the real answer. Rather unfair to her, but what can I say? A girl has got to do what she’s got to do. I saw a small hint of disappointment flash across her face. I would have missed it if I wasn’t waiting for it, because it wasn’t even a full second before her smile was back in its proper place. Damn, she’s good. She might just be the one. Love at first therapy session as I always say.
“Of course, but as I am sure you are aware, your symptoms or diagnoses are not a reason you are here. As inconvenient as they may be…people ignore symptoms all the time. It isn’t until the symptoms get in the way of something people want that they come to see ‘The Doctor’…so what is it that you want so badly, that you are willing to submit yourself to this?” she gestured to the room around her. She is giving up the padded conversation and replacing it with being straightforward. The woman could see my boredom with safety. I wouldn’t be able to talk this one in circles. Good.
I let out a sigh. Out of relief or reluctance, I am still unsure. I stayed quiet for a moment, realizing no one had asked for the reason behind the reason before therefore meaning I didn’t have a pre-selected answer. Finally I looked back up at woman in front of me, prepared to give my answer. “I am tired of being vividly self aware but still mentally ill. It’s exhausting.”
She nodded and after a moment she asked,“Why’s that?”
Why’s that? What an annoying open ended question.
“I suppose it’s because I know sitting here, in front of you might help me temporarily. Put a bandaid on my metaphorically gushing wound. Eventually, though, I will be reminded that therapy will just be you taking me through what I have taken myself through what I have millions of times before. I am aware of the lies my mind whispers to me, making me unbearably sad, anxious, and heartbroken. I am also aware of majority of the reasons why my mind does what it does. I am aware enough to know how to smile and act like a stable human being. How to laugh and say what people want to hear. But when I go home it’s like trying to untangle necklaces that have been knotted beyond repair. Trying to separate reality from the mess that’s inside my head. Being aware of my own disaster and also being educated on the tools to fix it…all the while being too broken to implement those tools…It’s like a small fire starting in your house…and your hands on the fire extinguisher. But you’re too weak to pull the lever…so instead of fixing a fixable problem…you have to sit back and watch the house burn.”
My unexpected speech was now over and we sat there in silence. She studies my face while I waited for her to give a generic response meant to hold me over until I step out of the office and she never has to see me again. She studied me a bit longer before taking in a deep breath. Here it comes…but that generic response never came.
“Skylar, then why on earth would you be here if you didn’t think I could help?”
“What?” I was surprised by her question.
“Why are you here, if you don’t think I could help?” she repeated herself, more sternly this time.
“I…I don’t kn-” I stopped short as she cut me off.
“I think you secretly have hope, my dear and that’s terrifying to you because hope leaves room for disappointment. But it also leaves room for change. So if you don’t mind, have a little faith in me, you are only eight minutes into the first session. Sound fair?”
I didn’t respond. I was still trying to absorb what was happening.
“I will take that as a yes. Now, let’s get on with it shall we?” She raised her eyebrows, her eyes waiting expectantly above her moon shaped glasses for my answer.
I again responded with dumb silence.
“Good. Now, I have looked you up, my dear, you have that cute little blog, correct?” I nodded, curious as to what had to do with anything. “I think I might just have the glue that can finally stick all those pieces you found all on your own…back together. It’s just going to take a bit of time and patience. Are you okay with that?” She waited for an answer this time.
I cleared my throat. “Uh, yes. What’s my blog got to do with…glue?”
“You have so many chapters in the brilliant mind of yours. All the pages are there…just out of order. Your merely missing a binding to keep them in place.”
“I still don’t understand…I-”
“You, my dear, are going to write a book.”