It's therapy time with Doctor Collins.
Chapter 3 – Don't Go On Me
“So, what's up today?”
It was always that same question that opened my therapy sessions with Doctor Collins. That one thing never changed, no matter how bad—or good—I happened to be doing. I knew from experience that many psychiatrists had this technique, using a constant repeated phrase. I figured it was to give the patient the feeling of familiarity. Though it took a while to get over annoyance, I had to admit that among other reasons, this sole phrase made me feel much more comfortable with my doctor. I felt that he would always be there for me, to listen and to interpret my troubles. I wasn't quite sure why, however. It must've been some sort of crazy psychology shit that was far beyond me.
That set aside, today, when the phrase was prompted, I did not start opening up about what had happened during the past couple of days. Because I knew that he would not be there for me. Quite contrarily, he had resigned —a nice way of saying he had quit on me. What was I to do now? My new “therapist” was, in fact, my own mother, although nobody would believe it. Being forced to talk to her would only fuck me up even more. Then who knew how long it would take to get me back to even the mental state I was at today? It was all Doctor Collins's fault for leaving; why did he have to leave, anyway? I needed his fucking help. I gave my shrink an ugly scowl.
He contemplatively tapped a ball-point pen against his clipboard, “Frank...this is are last session together. Don't you think we should use our time to discuss the incident in the intense care unit?” When I continued glaring at him, he put his hands up in defeat, “Okay, then. We'll just sit here.” He set his notes face down on the side table and gave me a smile.
It was taunting, because the worries deep inside my chest were becoming increasingly overwhelming as the seconds ticked by. I could feel an awfully familiar fog of depression drifting into my brain. It made me turn numb, as if my body was waiting to be harmed in some way. This was a sense that had taken a long, painful year to develop. I bit down hard on my lip and my eyes fell to the floor. I began to realize that this was the start of a huge relapse, for me. In the past two days, I had had a complete breakdown, rewitnessed a terrible memory, seen my mother after three years, been strapped down like a madman, and now, was about to lose my doctor...the only person who had the ability to help me handle all that.
Tears stinging my eyes, I blurted out, “Why are you leaving?”
Doctor Collins looked taken aback. His face appeared thoughtful, formulating the correct words to say.
“Um...well, Frank, as rewarding as this job is, I'm growing old. I—”
I cut him off, “I don't care if you're old! I doubt anyone else does either, so...just stay.”
For once, his brown eyes were overcome with sadness, “Frank, I know this is hard, but we've been through this before. There's no possible way I can stay. I have a family. Being here takes up so much of my time. Don't get me wrong, I love this job. I want to spend my last years with my wife and my kids.”
“Last years? What do you mean? It's not like you know you're gonna die soon! Look at the Rolling Stones. They're like 90 years old or something, and they're still alive. And who knows, you could even live to be the world's oldest man! Wouldn't that be cool?” I folding my hands, as if I was begging, “Please, please don't leave. Why does everyone fucking leave me?”
Doctor Collins huffed, “Frank, you're taking this all wrong. I'm not leaving you. I'm leaving...” he paused mid-sentence and I sensed that something was wrong. My breathing hitched when he continued speaking, “I've recently been diagnosed with cancer. They caught it at the last stage. I have three months left.”
I felt like I was a balloon that had just been deflated. I was simply stunned. He had to be kidding. He couldn't...couldn't die. He was a doctor. My chin quivered.
He carried on, “You've made so much progress since you first got here, it's great. But it's you whose made the progress, not me. You don't need me, because you're a strong young man. I know you can get through this. And I've worked with Dr. Nestor in the past and she is a wonderful doctor. She'll help you, and you'll be fine.”
“But she's my mother!” I squeaked, “She's back but she's pretending to be this Dr. Nestor person.”
An odd look crossed my shrink's face and he picked up his clipboard again, back to therapy mode, “Why do you think she's your mother?”
“She looks exactly the same. It's my own mom, I could recognize her anywhere,” I said practically.
“Well, you've never seen her quite clearly yet. And it's been three years since you've seen your actual mother. Don't you think Dr. Nestor simply resembles her in some aspects?”
“No!” I stomped my foot, “I know that it's her, I just know it.”
“Hmm...” Dr. Collins tapped his pen, “Why do you suppose she decided to come as your doctor instead of merely visiting you as your mother?”
The tender skin off my lip was peeling off, “Revenge. I was...I was the worst son ever.”
“Do you really think your mom would want to hurt you purposely?”
“I hurt her purposely,” I murmured.
“I never told her I loved her...and I was mean, and vicious, and rebellious to the point that I made her cry every night,” a tear slipped down my cheek. “And I didn't feel bad about it then. I never listened to anything she said and I went out of my way just to make things difficult for her. And the night she left...” Choking on the words, I stopped talking. I couldn't say any more.
“So you think she's back as Doctor Nestor to make you regret all that?” I nodded. “Don't you already feel remorse?”
“But she doesn't know that. And anyway, it's not just plain old remorse...it makes me want to die when I think about how horrible I was.”
“Your mother wouldn't want you to die. Nobody wants you to die.”
“Yeah?” I asked sarcastically, “Well I want me to die.”
There, I had just said it. The statement that would wind me up in a straitjacket for the rest of my life. But it was unfortunately true. I wanted to die again, I was back to square one. I shut my eyes tightly before I started crying heavily.
“Why do you want to die?” Doctor Collins inquired.
My eyes flickered open, annoyed, “I told you already. I was a terrible son. If that isn't enough for you, here. I'm fucking stuck in this stupid hospital, where they treat me like a little three year-old. I can't listen to my music, and I can't play my guitar, and I can't see any of my friends. They all think probably I'm a freak now, since I'm stuck in this shithole. And all these people here are either complete jackasses, or they don't talk to me. Nobody ever visits me, to see if I'm doing okay; it's like nobody cares anymore. This place is like a black hole, nothing ever comes out! I'll probably be here, or in some other mental hospital for the rest of my life. And if I do get out, what the hell am I supposed to do? I've either missed or failed my entire high school curriculum. And who on Earth would hire a guy whose been crazy and suicidal for a large portion of his life? Of course I don't want to live like this anymore. What the hell do you expect?”
Doctor Collins's expression was dumbfounded, “Well...uh...Frank, all I know is that you're very lucky to be alive. You're lucky that your uncle could send you here so you could get better. This is very hard, and of course, when you get out, there's going to be several things you'll have to do. But trust me when I tell you that life is worth living.”
“How do you know?” I argued, “Nobody knows what happens after a person dies. Maybe their soul ends up somewhere good, how come no one thinks of that? How come they always think of the worst possible thing?”
“Why do you think of the worst possible thing for yourself?” he questioned, “You think you won't get better, you think you won't get out of this hospital, and you think life outside is going to be terrible for you. Why?”
I rolled my eyes, defeated, “Because I'm clinically depressed and I'm taking a huge step backwards thanks to this Doctor Nestor thing.”
“Hmm...maybe Dr. Nestor resembling your mother will help you cope. Maybe it will help you come to terms with your past, and it'll end up being a good thing for you. You never know.”
I brushed away his logic, “Or maybe she's actually my mom, and I'm right about her being back for revenge!”
My therapist let out a chortle, “It's not easy to fake being a doctor. And anyway, she has been known on the field for the past few years as one of the best in the state. I assure you that she is not your mother.”
I let out a breath and nodded, giving in. There was no way he would believe me, but I knew the truth, and it hurt. Nevertheless, I'd have to suck it up and deal with it myself.
Doctor Collins cleared his throat, “So, Frank, our time is unfortunately up.”
Pushing his chair back, he rose to his feet. I slowly did the same. My face hung downwards, because I didn't want to look at his face. I was embarrassed. There I was ranting about all my little worries, when he was cast with a terrible illness and was about to die. Although I didn't want to live anymore, I knew that he did. And it just wasn't fair. Once again, I had been selfishly thinking only of my problems, being completely insensitive to his.
“I hope everything works out well for you. You're a brave individual, and you will undoubtedly get through this,” he held out a hand.
I looked up at his face, unable to ignore his watery eyes. I felt terrible. “Same to you.”
He smiled tentatively and his hand fell, unshaken. As I heard the nurse open the door, an impulse ran through my body. Before thinking, I found myself giving Doctor Collins a bear hug, saying, “I'll really miss you being my shrink.”
I let him go and he laughed, thanking me. I waved sadly as I followed the nurse out. The door shut behind me and I heard a door slam shut inside me too. I had expected this therapy session to be especially uncomfortable, but that didn't even scratch how dreadful I truly felt. For what it was worth, I had actually told him a lot more today than any of our past sessions. However, it was not /worth a lot, since it had only made me come to the realization that things were going to get worse. /A lot worse. I saw every inch of progress I had made crumble before me, and one more person gone from my life.
Rate/Review. I know this chapter seems pretty pointless, but I've been feeling really crappy for the past few days and I just needed to get some things out of my chest. Hope it wasn't too boring for you guys. I'll write more plot-related shit, introducing more characters, next time.
So the song game thing was obviously a failure, aww man. But oh well. The previous lyric was from Aeroplane by Red Hot Chili Peppers - "I like pleasure spiked with pain and music is my aeroplane. It's my aeroplane, that motherfucker's always spiked with pain."