"How are you, Joyce?" The psychiatrist asked when she approached me in the reception area. It was the first time I'm being seen by a psychiatrist.
I smiled and replied, "I'm fine, thank you."
"Good, excellent, follow me." She smiled widely revealing the dimples on each side of her cheek. She led me downstairs into a dark hallway. She looked left and right and finally stopped outside a room. She pulled out a bundle of keys from her back pocket and unlocked the door with a key that looked like any other. "Come on in and take a seat." She said in the same bright voice.
As I took my seat across from her, I immediately noticed a security camera in the upper corner of the room, it stared right at me. The room had no windows, it looked just like a small studio apartment without the bathroom, I thought. I turned my attention back to the psychiatrist sitting across from me.
She was a student at the university practicing to be a psychiatrist and I'm like her practice patient. So instead of paying $100 per hour, I'm paying $1 since I have next to no income. She folded her notepad to a new page and said, "My name is Shanna and I will help you to get through whatever you need. First, please tell me about yourself so I can understand your situation better."
I took a breath and retold the information I told the counseling center administration lady last week. "As you know, my name is Joyce Davis and I am a Freshman at the University. My papa died when I was about 5 years old. So I can only remember him so much. Right now, I live with my mom and I go to school here. That's it."
"Tell me about your relationship with your mother?" Shanna asked.
"Um, there isn't much to tell except my mom has a hot temper and she gets angry and frustrated at the slightest irritation." I said.
Shanna nodded and asked, "How do you feel about that?"
How do I feel about it? Nobody has ever asked me this question before even myself. I've lived with mom for so many years that I became lost in touch with my feeling after all these years. I reached inside me to find all the feeling I've hidden for all these years. "Sad and angry." I answered quietly.
Shanna scribbled those words onto her notepad. "Why does it makes you feel this way?" She asked.
"It makes me feel sad because of all the innocent things she'd said when she's stressed out from work. It makes me angry that she's taking it all out on me." I said. "I just wished there was something I can do at this point. I've been unsuccessful at finding a job and I don't have money of my own."
She placed both of her hand under her chin and nodded, "Have you considered moving into the dorm?" She asked.
I stared at her. Didn't she heard what I just said? I'm broke. I nodded. "The thing is I don't have any money to pay for it."
"There are dorm room scholarships that will help you get into the dorm free. Just pay attention to the scholarship bulletin in the spring and apply then." She explained.
"Really?" I asked putting some doubt in my voice. Of course I knew about scholarships but I've never had much luck with those. I didn't have stellar grades in high school, only A's and B's, big whoop, scholarship people only pay attention to straight A's. So what's the point of spending all this time writing essays if I wasn't going to be granted the scholarships.
"Hmm Hmm." Shanna nodded and smiled. "So our hour is almost up, is there anything else that's bothering you?"
I wanted to tell her about mom's latest plans to kick me out but then mom's just stressed out, she didn't mean to say those things. I comforted myself. Maybe next time after all, I've already opened enough of my feeling to this stranger and now, I need to close that seam back to my enigmatic self. I shook my head and smiled.
We stood up, "I guess that's it for today, then." She wrenched open the heavy door and gestured me to walk out. "Let me walk you back upstairs and you can schedule your next appointment." She reached for that bundle of keys again and locked the door. "Same time next week?" She asked. I nodded and we walked back upstairs silently.