That and she was the only of the countless therapists over the past decade who hadn’t quit or fired me for one reason or another. But at this point our meetings had begun to seem more like something I did just for human interaction beyond the smalltalk of passing acquaintances. But even then- beside the obvious inadequacy of a psychotherapist in place of a social life- I had begun to feel distant and misunderstood with her too. For most of life, I’d never really felt known or seen but for a few exceedingly fleeting moments- But I guess that’s one part of being human that we just come to terms with, and I wonder if anyone really knows anyone.
“Well, looks like you’ll be taking that ‘break’ you’ve been neglecting for the last few years,” she gave me her signature ‘it is what it is’ shrug and half- smile from behind long, curling red locks.
“Oh yeah,” she dug around in her purse and set a candy on the table. “I won’t be your therapist until you’re back out of treatment, so one for the road.” It was a peppermint candy with a red bird on the wrapper; she’d given me one every single meeting since the first time I came into her office, feeling still such a child. I felt like I’d aged at least 20 or 30 years since then. Things had only gotten much worse since that first meeting as my life continued to implode until suicide seemed the only option; ultimately leading to her advising my parents to no longer let me live there until I went through multi- targeted treatment again; a thing that could take anywhere from 6-12 months. But the ER first issued a 5250 hold and started me out in the most notorious psych ward around.
The doctor finally got around to the room, a young blonde man who had clearly been in a huge hurry all evening. He rattled off a few lab results, the drug panel was clean, Ct was clear;
“A little low sodium, but no electrolyte disturbance significant enough to trigger a seizure. BUN/ creatinine ratio is rather elevated, indicating dehydration or malnutrition. Looking at your chart, you’re a decent weight but I still recommend you follow up with a nutritional consultant. I see here a certification for intensive treatment has been issued, so I can’t legally discharge you home. You’ll have to figure out what facility your insurance will cover, to be transferred there. We’re going to run a 24 hour EEG and then transfer you after that’s cleared. Unfortunately, by law I have to report your seizure to the DMV who will likely revoke your drivers license for at least a two year period. Do you have any questions for me?”
“I already have a facility that said they will take her anytime,” sherice interjected. “Paperwork’s done and scheduled for intake anytime this weekend.”
I shot her a look. That was news to me. What was she getting me into this time?
“Okay, sounds good. We’ll go over this again in a day or two,” he rushed back out down the hallway.
“When in the hell did you do all that? Thanks, I guess?”
“I called a couple places, and talked to the director while you were asleep. We talked for a couple hours, all about you-” with a playfully intimidating tone- “Her name’s Shawna, you’ll love her.”
“Of course it is. I’m starting to think there’s too much Sh- in my life Sherice,” I replied dryly, “but don’t worry, I’ll attempt to conceal my enthusiasm.”