(Even though this is marked as Phone Blog, my phone was buggy so I got to write this one on a laptop. Who knows what quality differences that could make?)
Doc thought I was crazy.
He never said it. Instead, he just asked his questions, always the same questions, just phrased differently.
“Do you feel like people are looking at you?”
“How did your parents show their love for you?”
“Are you smarter than your peers?”
Over and over, sessions with Doc, each time as mind-numbingly dull as the last. Each time, I would answer the questions, hoping I said the right thing, hoping they’d let me out.
But it didn’t matter what my answers were. Not when the questions were all the same. I got frustrated once and said, “You think I’m crazy.”
Doc had sighed and shook his head. “I think you just need to rest a bit. We can talk again later this week.”
Rest. Doc’s version of rest meant pills that put me under. Sleep, I guess, technically speaking, but not the kind of sleep that would give anyone any kind of quality rest. I did what I had to do to avoid getting prescribed those pills. Sometimes, though, it didn’t matter what you did. They gave you the pills anyway, telling you to rest up.
They hadn’t made me wear a jacket for months, now. At first, I had it on for each session with Doc. Eventually they took it off, but left the guards, one outside, one inside. Not sure why Doc felt he needed them. I’d have to be crazy to attack a doctor in a psych ward. I chuckled at the thought.
“Something funny, Mr. Anderson?”
“Huh? Uh, no, Doc, just thinking.”
“Nothing, Doc. What were you saying?”
“Did you get enough attention as a child?”
Same question as the one before, and the one before that. And the one before that. They were always the same.
The orderlies walked me back to my room. We passed the lounge along the way, and I stopped to look through the large glass window. “Come on, you’ll get your turn in a bit,” said one of the orderlies.
Yeah, in a bit. Until then, my four walls would keep me company. My cot without a sheet. For the thousandth time, I wondered why I couldn’t just stay in the lounge all day. I’d read all the books and magazines, but they had a TV with a couple channels. Since my schedule changed all the time, I only caught every third or fourth episode of each show. It was enough to drive a man crazy. I chuckled again.
“I hate when they laugh,” said the orderly. I looked up, but he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the other orderly.
“Yeah, it freaks me out too.”
I sighed. These were nothing but kids working a terrible job trying to get enough money to stay in college. Who could have seen that I would one day be escorted by a pair of college kids to my cell? Not me, that’s who. My life wasn’t my own anymore. Not until I answered Doc’s questions the way he wanted to hear them. Except, not even that deep down, I knew what answer he wanted, and I couldn’t give it to him.
He wanted me to tell him I was crazy.
I thought about making a break for the lounge, but when I looked up, the orderlies were gone. I was in my room, the drab walls familiar but not comforting. Guess I “rested” and hadn’t realized it. The way they make you take pills around here, it could make you crazy. The walls didn’t laugh with me.
“Doc, what do I got to do to get out of here?”
“Mr. Anderson, you can leave any time you want.”
“Mr. Anderson, you checked yourself in. We can’t keep you if you wish to leave.”
My mind spun; I could leave any time I wanted? And he thought I checked myself in? I’d have to be crazy to want to get into a place like this.
By the time I stopped laughing, I was in my room, rolling off my cot without a sheet. I guess I didn’t answer Doc’s question the way he wanted.
Maybe next time.