“I’m not crazy,” I say; my arms crossed over, feet flat on the ground.
“I never said you were,” she replies, her grey hair slicked back, her shiny glasses reflecting her eyes like two giant moons. She always has to be right, always has to be that voice of reason, which always makes sense. I hate it.
“Yeah, but you make me feel like I am. Look at you, you’re sitting there with your notebook on your lap, and I bet that everything I’m telling you is going through some kinda process in your head, and all those terms you learn in your weird psychiatrist dictionaries are speeding through your brain and you’re just looking for the one that matches me the best.”
My eyes tear up and my leg hairs stand on their ends, I’m suddenly cold and afraid. I clutch the thick black fleece of my hoodie.
“You always wear that jacket to our meetings.”
I bite my lip, should I even bring it up? Oh, what the hell.
“It was my boyfriends,”
Her eyes shine a little, and her ears perk up, like a vicious dog who has heard the distant cry of a cat.
“Was?” she asks, always listening so intently.
“Yeah, we’re not...” I fight the lump in my throat, forcing myself to believe that it’s not so bad, “We’re not.”
“I see,” she inhales, readjusting her robotic posture, “so then why do you still have that jacket?”
I think of a smart comeback but my mind is blank, it’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the past four months.
“I- I don’t know.”
“You clutched at it, just now, when you were defending yourself. Do you feel safe in that jacket?” She asks. I remain silent.
“It’s very basic human nature to hold onto something that makes us feel safe, just as infants do with their mothers, as you do with that jacket. I have a question, who left who?”
“He left me.” Three syllables tap against my teeth, I’ve grown so used to saying it to myself through the days but every time I do, the pain is re-awakened.
“Ah, I’m sorry. So he left you, he broke your heart. You still hold onto that jacket, wear it every meeting, and hold onto it when you’re scared.”
I bite my lip and look at my lap; the tears are surging up to the rim of my eyes. Please. Don’t. Fall. Please, don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
“Do you still feel a sense of longing, or need for him?”
I nod. My parents are burning holes into their pocket for this lady to “fix” me. I may as well cooperate.
The clock behind her reads 3 minutes to two, our session is coming to a close.
“I’d like you to think about it. Write all your thoughts down into a notebook and bring it next session, we’ll discuss it then.
“You have to allow yourself to let go. You may experience symptoms of withdrawal, but that is entirely normal. Here, take this to the pharmacy, they’re sleeping and eating aids. I noticed you looked a little thin.” She hands me a yellow piece of paper with the names of different medicines. I hold it loosely between two fingers.
“Why are you so cold?” I ask, bluntly.
She doesn’t flinch; she’s probably used to it.
“I am a psychiatrist, not a shrink. If you have a problem with that, maybe you would like to discuss it with your parents. We’ve reached the end of our session; I’ll be looking forward to seeing you.”
“Like you even care,” I snap, my temper rising. I can feel one of my infamous tantrums coming on.
She gets up from her leather armchair and walks me to the door, a hand on my shoulder. That’s the most affection I’ve ever received in the past 8 sessions I’ve had with her.
“I do care. You are a very interesting girl. And believe it or not, you’re making a lot of progress. Goodbye.”
She closes the door as soon as I step out into the hallway. I give a polite smile to the boy in the waiting room; kids like us are always nice to each other because we know we’re just the same. I think about her words, ‘very interesting girl’ and ‘progress’. She always finds a way to leave me hanging at the end of every meeting. I guess that’s how she always has me coming back.