Appointment number two has arrived.
“How are you doing, Liz?”
“Fine. A little edgy, maybe. I can’t seem to shake the anger.
“That’s certainly understandable. As we discussed in our previous session, an emergency c-section can be a huge shock . . .” Her voice trails off as I fade her out. Don’t know why I do that. But soon enough, I adjust my antenna. “. . . At least you’re being proactive in seeking treatment. I’m impressed. Most people don’t realize there’s a problem until they go through drastic mood changes, anger binges, and crying spells.”
“Yeah, well, the anger thing bothers me. I feel it's way out of proportion to the situation.”
“Not really, Liz. You feel like someone didn’t do their job. It almost cost you your life. Perfectly normal to be angry about that.”
“Maybe, but people make mistakes. No point in throwing a hissy fit about it. There are worse things in life.”
She furrows her brow and thinks very carefully about what I just said. Something’s buzzing in her brain now. I can sense it.
“Tell me what happens when you get angry, Liz.”
I glare at her. Did she just insert an alien probe into my mind? Seems to me, we’re chartering off course. I don’t like it. “Why? It’s no big deal. I just pop off a bunch of profanities, then calm down.” Squirming a bit, I mutter, “Anyways, it doesn’t happen very often. Once every two months or so.”
Suddenly, the chair seems to tilt to the right. The room gets darker. My lungs decide to take a mini-vacation. I look around for a window. There isn’t one. My foot begins to tap, tap, tap, faster and faster. I swallow. Is it my imagination, or am I getting smaller and smaller? Soon, I’ll be a speck of dust on the chair, and Dr. Penguin will need a magnifying glass to find me.
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
“Huh? What? I’m sorry I didn’t hear the question.”
A look of concern crosses her face. I sit up straight, determined to regain my status of normal client in her eyes. Somehow I feel the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, breeding a sense of foreboding in Dr. Penguin. She confirms it in the next question.
“Tell me about your childhood, Liz.”
Well, hell. How did I not see that one coming? Dammit. “Why? I don’t see the relevance here.”
“There might be. Clearly, you had anger issues well before these traumas. And if you really want to resolve the anger problem, we need to dig deeper.”
“Oh.” But I’m getting an irritating tic in my eye as I spew out the four sentences that comprised my childhood. “It wasn’t bad. Could’ve been better. Lots of people had it worse. No big deal.” I stand up and make noises about leaving. She backs off and we set up another appointment.
At that point, the voice inside my head explodes. “What the hell does that have to do with the price of rice in China, lady? Stick to the point. It’s none of your goddam business! Who do you think you are, anyway? . . . A fucking nobody! That’s who.”
Good thing I’m finally wising up to the fact that Psycho Voice is coming from within my head and not out of my mouth. I smile warmly at her, take the appointment card and leave.
On my way out, I scrunch up the card and toss it. Fat chance, lady. Slam dunk. We’re done.