Write! About what? ‘If you can speak, you can write anything!’ This bounced around in my head, while I sat behind a computer screen. Then I remembered being told, ‘it does not matter if it is published or just for personal pleasure, just start typing away and do not think about it.’ If I had to say anything what would it be …
I would have to go back to April 2009, I had enough, enough of everything. I was at my ultimate low! The constant attacks and lack of sleep wore me down to the bones. Moving from one location to the next. Continuously watching my back, my brain was ready to have a meltdown. Isolating myself as much as possible from society as I possibly could, having few associates as possible. Security, observation and detachment was the key to my endurance. Yet even that did not seem to be enough, my enemies still seemed to find a way to get their grips on me. I was discontented, cynical and questioning why me. I had made my inquiry to teach myself what was happening. Did what was required and still, this emerged to be ineffective. Recollecting that his voice was gentle and peaceful. ‘Sit down Miss Fox!’ Dr. Reed said
Relaxing in the chair that was in front of Dr. Reed desk. This was the third psychologist that I had met in my lifetime. Shortly after entering the office I noticed that Dr. Reed had a bald head due to his hair loss. Placing him somewhere in the 60s. He was the average height for a male, and perhaps slightly overweight. He had the doctors white jacket on, over a light blue shirt with black dress pants on, plus shiny black shoes. Though I could be wrong, this is what my mind wants to remember, he at least was more memorable verses the other psychologist.
Once he sat in his chair, I was able to tell that he had hazel eyes. Pictures had been displayed in the office, and he had a gold ring on. Dr. Reed was married and had five children, two girls and three boys. The photos were old, guessing at the time probably twenty years ago. To me, the office seemed quite small and cramped with all these metal cabinets in the office. What broke the feeling of being smothered, having the four walls slamming on you, was a window to my left. Funny how a small room can give you a sense of claustrophobia.
It is a common question I guess ‘How are you feeling?’ That was the first thing Dr. Reed asked me. At the time I thought that he must have done this same question a thousand time over and over again. I think it was a way to seem welcoming and pleasant. Now for me, it was the same old same old kind of thing. If you do not really want to know what is on my mind, do not ask. I am more than sure that Dr. Reed did not want to know what was directly on my mind.
I recall Dr. Redd glanced down at the small pile of papers in front of him lifted one slightly, places it down again and continued to make eye contact. I remember Dr. Reed pointing out my file with a calm tone, ‘I see that you were brought to the hospital, due to the laceration to both your arms. Do you want to talk about this?’ I was fully aware of his question, looking at the doctor briefly then down to my hands. Fiddling with my fingers almost to suggest I was nervous to even say a word. This is something I had done oh so many times, thank you drama class. What I was really thinking was nope, I really do not think you would be able to comprehend how I received these gashes! What I did say was something on the line of ‘There’s not much to talk about!’ It was like I could see the hamster on the wheel, running around. ‘Why did you do it?’ Okay so it was not as awkward or short as I put it, I just shorten it from a paragraph to five words.This question had been on a lot of individuals minds. A famous question that is asked when a situation like this comes to past. Why does anyone do what they do? It does not have to make sense to you or me, but they have their own reasons. They probably do things because, well they can! If I had been the person to cause the lacerations, why would I do it? It had to be realistic enough of an answer, it is simple really ‘to stop the pain!’ I did not have to tell him the truth, I just needed to say to him what he wanted to hear.
I should have known, Dr. Redd was not like the other doctors that I had been around in the past. Dr. Redd was sharp and appreciated his job and position. Dr. Redd proceeded to watch his new patient or should I say, actress. Noting down brief notes on the paper that was in front of him. “Can you describe your pain?” I must have had a white glare on my face with little life in my eyes. I would have to say a blank sheet of paper possessed more character than I did at that moment. What I relayed to Dr. Redd was not too far from the truth, “It is like knowing that your legs are doing what your mind has willed them to do, but cannot feel your legs actually moving. Knowing that you can see, there are objects all around you, but everything seems to be in a haze and not really clear. Seeing peoples lips moving yet there is no sound, even if I hear others talking and there is little to no interest displayed. Hollow, running on autopilot, and saying what you know others want to hear. Fragments of your soul are being cut away with a dull knife. You are bleeding from the wounds, but no one sees the blood or the pain. And if something should slip out of your mouth, you are told to get over It! Everyone has troubles and stresses in their lives, so what do most do … they hide the truth!” I was distant, sharp and honest, probably the most honest I would ever be with this man. Dancing in my mind were the words, ‘no one could possibly help me.’
I was accustom to doctors writing down things in between questions. After the doctors would finish, they would bring their attention back to me with another trivial question. ‘What would you say your relationship is like with family, friends and co-workers?’
I would have said something on the line of ‘Well I would say my relationship with my family sucks. After the death of my mother, my siblings do not talk to me due to the choices I made. Though I guess I could try to get in contact with them through social media, I just do not want to continue with the fighting. I made my choices and besides I think it would upset my mother to see us fighting. For co-workers, I do not have a relationship with them. Co-workers are nothing but a bunch of clucking hens. They have the tendency to talk about themselves and spread gossip about others. At least this is my past experience when I did work in a group setting. Friendships that department is small, very selective, kept at a distance, I think I would call them more like associates.’ By the time Dr. Redd had gotten to my love life. I really wanted to yell at him ‘No, there is no one is in my life, did my answer of friends not give you a hint, I do not like to be around others.’ I would say by this time the good doctor’s analogy of me was not full of sunshine and skittles.
While he was asking his questions, listening to me, writing things down, I had noticed that he had two lazy eyes also known as ptosis, though the right eye was more distinct. Highly unlikely for Dr. Redd but ptosis also can be caused by trauma stroke or even a brain tumour. Most likely in Dr. Redd’s case, this is due to age and natural causes. Pyosis would be worsened if he was tired. Judging by how his eyelids are drooping, it looked like he was exhausted and worn out. Probably also close to retirement. He might have a year possibly three years to go until he could retire depending on how long he has been a psychologist. How do I know this, well I have ptosis, left eye is very noticeable. It does not mess with my vision, I only really notice it when I look at a mirror. Dr. Redd’s lips were in a straight line. His square jawline along with his eyes and forehead to anybody else was signified the lack of emotion. I fully understood the purpose of this. Something Dr. Redd has mastered over the many years of working. This would allow the patient to feel as those they are not being judged. The patient, do not want to be judged for they already possibly feel judged by society, family and friends as it is and they do not need a professional to express judgement as well. Though what the patient does not realize is that they are being analyzed to better assess their situation hence they are being judged. Not regarding moral judgement, something that society loves to do, but concerning prescribing the correct medication to subside their condition or conditions. As a professional, they can not display their thoughts at any point. They have to remain calm and relaxed in front of the patient. Building trust is crucial. This allows the doctor to find a program that will better suit what is ailing them, to work out their problems. That is assuming that the patient is of the norm of society. Pretty much meaning that their issues dealt with money, social interaction, or the loss of a loved one and so on and so forth. But that is not my case, I am out of the norm which would mean that the doctor here could not assist me in getting over my issues. To help me he would have to be like a bodyguard.
Dr. Redd is good at his job, there is no denying that. He had open a line of communication with me. That is the first step next he had attempted to get me to further open up to him. I’m going to assume for one second that I was not his first patient that is closed off and in a sour mood. He had kept his eyes focused on my face when he was not writing down something. Several times I had looked away from him. This was a way of saying that I am not willing to open up completely. Words were not the only thing this man was paying attention to. My body language would give away many things. A lie, comfort level, willingness to share information. The tone of voice was another indicator. Has he struck a nerve, once again am I lying. Everything about me to a seasoned doctor can be read.
‘At this point what does he think of me?’ That I would have to step out of my shoes and hop into his. He is not a fool, as I do believe I had stated before. He has done this job for many years he knows when somebody is hiding something. Something of great importance that could possibly mean life or death. I had tried very hard to show a lack of empathy, emotion and communication. I had my reasons! Knowing fully well that this meant that my stay here was going to be for a while. It is the past that has taught me, say nothing and let the fireworks do the job. At the time, they deem me not a threat to the public but a danger to myself. Society as a whole does not like to read hear or see anyone that has committed suicide. In society’s books, there is always a means or way to help individuals with mental disorders. Society strongly believes that there is still a reason to live. That the person that commits suicide is being selfish. Passing their pain onto loved ones. Society is also very blind and has a hard time accepting the truth, they can not handle my truth!
I nearly died laughing when Dr. Redd had asked me if I found it difficult to express how I felt to my friends? Or do I have the tendency to keep your feelings to myself? Communicating things had never been an issue. It is the tone that was a big problem. Though I will be the first to admit if I were in the wrong, I would straight out say so and correct the wrong. I think that has only happened ten times in my life.
I recall looking out the window thinking about my associates. Allowing my mind to drift and use my mind’s eye to see each one of them at a time. Just like so many people, I am no different, my demeanour changes for each person that I spend time with. I know who I can trust and express my opinions too, and who I keep a tight lip around. There are just certain things that should not be said. I believe that there are people that have a positive influence in life and then there are the others. They are there for just a short time.
In my younger years up to my mid-twenties, I did converse with shady individuals, but they are cool enough to hang out with assuming they do not start any drama. If someone causes enough tension, I get rid of them. It was something I really had no issues with. I will acknowledge that this behaviour is cold. Think about it for one second though … I do not talk to my blood family, and there was more than a mere annoyance. This is a straight out feud that is going on with them! Getting rid of drama is nothing to me, it is so much easier to deal without drama. After giving the great doctor this information, he had wondered if I wanted to talk about my family? I had asked if he was truly sincere and wanted to know, or was it just a question on his piece of paper.
In truth, everything all summed up to the differences in lifestyle … different choices in life … this equals me not talking to my blood. I did mention to Dr. Redd something that my mother had said to me once. She believed that my middle sister was the black sheep of the family. It may have been when we were all young, it ended up that I was the black sheep. When I moved away, my siblings stayed in the country setting.
I think it was my last year of high school, my mother and her boyfriend decided they were going to move to this old town. They were so far behind in time this town did not even have the internet. To reach the 2100 people in the population, I swear they counted the cows, pigs and dogs. I am cursed, but what was my mother thinking about moving to a place where the convenience store was also the post office. They did not even have a bar! What place does not have a bar … this place! So yeah as usual, what mom said goes! Moving out on my own for schooling, the family had assumed that I was moving back to the dark hole. I told everyone that the only way I was going to move back to this hell hole was in a casket, I was not going back for nothing if I had it my way! As time when on the rift between myself and my family grew, more so when my mother became sick.
I was expected to do things, I did not comply. It did not mean I did not love my mother, it meant that I was not going to do what was presumed of me. The death certificate will say that my mother died in her sleep. What she really died from was Multiple Sclerosis. When the diagnose was final my siblings were there at her side since I had been the oldest, everyone thought that I would move back to look after my mother. That as you already know, did not happen. It was not like she did not have a nurse to help her, she did! That was still not enough for my siblings. In their eyes, I had no sense of duty or honour. I am pretty sure that my siblings did not know that I asked mom if she wanted me to move back to help her. She told me no that my business was where I was living. The other fact of the matter, I did not want to watch my mother die a slow and painful death. Knowing that she did not want this life but because of our laws, we can not do a damn thing, this was more evident nearing the last five years of her existence. Dying with dignity is not allowed! As she got worse, I slowed down on showing up and visiting. It was not that I could not visit my mother, I chose not to. I took the easy road out of watching what my siblings did, I will give one thing to my siblings they were a lot stronger than I was, to witness my mothers suffering that is something I could not do. I have no shame in my choice, and my siblings can hate me all they want but nothing will change.
The topic of my father was brought up. That was simple, I did not know the man. My mother played the role of mother and father, judge jury and disciplinary. For a male role model, I had my grandfather from my mom’s side of the family. After a while of talking, I had nothing to say, and Dr. Redd ran out of questions. Everything he kept on asking about was non-existent in my life. Dr. Reed pulled out a pad of paper from one of the drawers. Dr. Redd started to scribble on the notepad. He ripped the top page off. Informing me, that I needed to give this paper to Denise! That she will make sure that I get this at the right time when they give everyone their proper medication. Citalopram was the drug that he wanted me to take. He went through all of the side effects and how to take medicine. I nodded my head as if I was entirely on board and understood everything that was being told to me.
Dr. Redd said he would see me again this time next week and off I was out the door.
Just an FYI … I did not take the drug!