Yesterday When I Cared

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nick visits a Psychologist in hopes of clearing some issues that have been troubling him. It's a conversation that leads to a decision that will change Nick's life forever.

Submitted: September 12, 2016

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Submitted: September 12, 2016



Of all the things I could have been doing, the last thing I wanted to do was have a conversation with a shrink. The idea sounded very appaling to me. Paying some one $300 for an hour of them telling you that you are wrong and that you are the foolish one. I could have found a better way to spend the money. I could have upgraded my computer, went on my dream vacation to Marina Del Ray, or bought a new car even. The possibilities were quite endless. 

But yet, here I was. Wasting a Tuesday afternoon in the office of one Dr. Leslie Horsley. She was Ridgeview's only Psychologist. Highly rated by many associations and organizations, she had an ability to reach the most difficult people. Publishing a lot of articles in Medical magazines, she had a theory that one feeling can dictate an entire lifetime. I didn't subscribe to that notion. I fully believed that people were responsible for their own actions. I couldn't wait to tell this quack that theory.

I had been feeling a lot of weird emotions lately. I couldn't get any work done. I had found a lot of sadness and despair in my body. My drinking had heavily increased. I had avoided friends and colleagues. I just felt like becoming a hermit, a reclusive figure that made very few appearances in public. I was ok with this at first, but as the days came on, I felt this uneasy feeling of acceptance go through my body. So I sought some help and found myself at Dr Horsley's office. 

I was sitting in the lobby of a converted studio apartment. The walls were a forest green with jet black book cases lined up on opposite sides of the room. A woman came out to tell me that Dr Horsley would see me now and escorted me into her office. Her office was very large. With the standard couch in the middle of the room with a desk on the opposite side of the couch. There were books and magazines scattered on the coffee table. I saw Dr. Horsley sitting at her desk.

She was an attractive woman. With short blonde hair, a black business suit and large oval framed glasses. She was writing down something on the legal pad in her hands. She looked up at me and motioned for me to sit on the couch.

"Please have a seat, Mr. Brennan." Dr Horsley said.

I sat in the middle of the couch, waiting paitently for her to finish writing. I ended up looking at the pictures and posters all over her wall. Various quotes from Jung, Hawking, Walt Disney and oddly enough Jim Morrison. Books on Psychology and mental disorders and diseases were on the bookshelves. I found myself more and more just wanting to be at home and not in this office. But I knew I had a problem, and needed it solved.

"Thank you for seeing me," I said.

"My pleasure," Dr Horsley said. "What seems to be the problem?"

"I guess I have been dealing with a lot of guilt lately." I said.

Dr Horsley moved around the desk and moved in closer to me. "How so? Why do you say guilt?" Dr Horsley asked.

"Well, I've been struggling with work for a while. I haven't been able to write as easily as I once could. I have been avoiding all kinds of people, friends and associates. I have just been prefering to be alone. It seems to make life easier." I said.

"We all need somebody, Nick." Dr Horsley said. "Mind if I call you Nick?"

I nodded that I was OK with that. "I know we do. I have many people that are important to me. I have developed relationships with them that are both fufulling and rewarding. But lately, it seems as though I want nothing to do with them. Anytime that they call me, I do not answer the phone. I move the opposite direction from them as I see them in public. When I have someone come up and ask for my autograph, I tell them to leave me alone. People are how I make my living. It is not a good thing to tell them to leave me alone." I said.

"I see," Dr Horsley said. She was writing some notes down on the notepad.

I shook my head while watching her write things down. I waited for her to look back up at me. She put her attention back on me. 

"There are feelings of abandonment and trust issues that need to be resolved. Have you ever felt abandoned when you were younger? Do you prefer solitary settings to crowds?" Dr Horsley said.

I let that sink in before I answered. "What, do you mean as if my mother abandoned me and my sister when we were kids?" I asked. 

Dr Horsley chuckled. "No not exactly. What I was asking was if there was ever a time in your life where you felt when you needed someone, that they abandoned you. Left you in the crucial moment." Dr Horsley said.

I had to think about it. This was hard to answer. I couldn't really narrow down any particular event to where I was abandoned. I was sure that I was. 

"I'm sure I have at one time or another," I said.

Dr Horsley wrote that down. "When did it really hit you? These issues have been there for some time. When it first appeared, it must have not been as noticable. But now it has appeared in a hurry. We have to figure out when it appeared. Once that has happened, we can go from there." Dr Horsley said.

"So how does this work? I get a pen and paper and start making random notes? Play Magnum PI?" I asked. 

"A lot of people have different approaches," Dr Horsley said. "A writer could probably come up with a good approach."

"Touche," I said.

We both sat in silence. I know that I came to her, but I felt as though she was condescending me. Perhaps she wasn't. It was probably more of my irrational feelings that I have had as of late. An idea suddenly came to my mind. 

"I came back to Ridgeview a year ago today," I said.

"Ah ha," Dr Horsley said. 

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"There is the moment we were looking for," Dr Horsley said.

"When I moved back to Ridgeview?" I asked. 

"Yes," Dr Horsley said.

"When you moved back to Ridgeview, you must have had something happen that made you come back. Something horrible, that made you return to the source of your problems. Ridgeview started it. You must have been looking for some closure. But instead of closure, you have had the issues piling up. Now it is at the breaking point, if you will." Dr Horsley said.

"I did come back to Ridgeview for that reason," I said. "I wanted to make myself at peace with my past in this town. My parents brought my sister and I here when I was 11. I never forgave them for it. I had a different future planned. One that never would have involved writing. Growing up in this town has created feelings of hatred and rage. It has made me a harder person. I have friends but I feel the best when I am alone." I said.

"It sounds like you have a plan in mind for what you want to do," Dr Horsley said.

I raised an eyebrow. 

"You wanna do something to make peace with it. You wanna just let it go in one setting. When it is gone, then you can move on." Dr Horsley said.

I let what the Dr said sink in. I did wanna move on. I was in my mid 40's. I had no real reason to keep holding on to the past. It did no good for me and for anyone I had cared about. I was pretty desperate to move on. As I let the words sink in, I did have a plan. 

"I know what I want to do," I said. "I know how to let go of the past."

"How's that?" Dr Horsley asked.

I leaned up on the couch. I stared at Dr Horsley. 

"I'm gonna move away from Ridgeview," I said.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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