4. Sometimes the first step isn’t enough

“I don’t know how to do this.”  I say as I sit down in the tacky orange chair in her office.

“Just start talking.”  The psychiatrist pushes her glasses up on her nose while not looking directly at me.

“Mmm . . . about what?”  I sniffle.  I have cried pretty much constantly for three weeks.  I’m only not crying when I am sleeping.

“Why are you here?”

I take a deep breath, then let it all out in one long string of words, “I cry all the time and don’t sleep at night then in the morning I can’t take it anymore and I fall asleep for about two hours then I get up and start crying and do it all again and I  am so tired of this I can’t do it anymore.”

“Well, what do you think is wrong?”

“I don’t know!” I wail.  I instantly feel stupid and dramatic and like I am wasting time and space.

“But why did you come to see me?  Me in particular?”

I am baffled by the question, so I explain my rigorous method of calling every pscyhiatrist in the phone book until someone called me back.

“I think you are trying to replace your mother with me.”

“No . . . you just called back.  No one else called back.”

“I think you are trying to replace your mother with me.”

I am the one crying.  I am the one not sleeping.  I am the one who secretly prays for a gas leak in the house to kill me in my sleep to spare my family the sadness of an intentional suicide, so I assume I am the crazy one.

I let this woman give me drugs.  The wrong drugs.  Drugs that will never help and will only make me feel more crazy, more dependent on her dimestore psychiatry.  And for a year from this first meeting, I will get sicker, never believing that she could be at fault, because I am the crazy one.

And it will leave me jaded, for awhile, and confused why or if she ever thought she were trying to help.

Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 10:25AM


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