“Whatever I say is confidential doctor?” Jeremy asked, not sure if he should continue. This was day 5 at the Mind’s Eye Health Center he voluntarily committed himself to.
“Yes, it is.” Dr. Wooden replied. “Our sessions are held in strict confidentiality. That’s the spiel I give everyone, but I mean it. Now we were talking about the progress you are making controlling your temper.”
“Yeah, well I’m doing as you told me. Just let things go that I can’t control. I do it when they bring me milk instead of orange juice with my breakfast in the morning. I do it when I think about Ruby, the girl I met on the internet that blew me off after we had a thing.”
“Tell me more about her,” the doctor interrupted.
“Well she said I was trying to buy her love, but she was the one that was asking me for cash in her chat room. I let the thoughts go as you suggested, you know…the anger and resentment I felt being used. I lost it when she stopped taking my calls and made me pay online like the other guys for her time.”
A warm glow flushed Jeremy’s face, after his admission of the one-sided relationship. He felt better when he compared Dr. Wooden’s blonde hair and blue eyes to the fiery red hair and brown eyes he remembered the girl had.
“I see. Have you put to use what we discussed any more?” she asked as she turned on the audio/video recorder to document the session.
“I did the same thing when I was driving home yesterday from a late office party. A guy on route 101 gave me the finger after HE cuts Me off. I started to go after him but I thought about the consequences, my mental health like you told me. I was able to let it go. I kept my temper in check.” Jeremy said proudly.
“This was yesterday you say?” Dr. Wooden asked.
“Yes, it was.”
After taking some notes Dr. Wooden continued the conversation, starting with praise.
“That is how you do it,” she encouraged. “Apply the principles we’ve gone over and you will be able to remain calm under more and more stressful situations. Our next step is to find the root cause of your anger so you can make a full recovery.”
“The thing is doctor, I was able to figure that out already, the root cause thing. I know what makes me lose my shit. I understand that now, so I won’t have another outburst. I’m remembering things before my break down happened. The more I remember, the more I can take control and heal my mind.”
Jeremy suddenly stopped talking and stood up from the chair he was seated in. He walked over and laid down on the doctor’s couch. Pulling his sweat pants up over his waist, he exposed sockless ankles and orange colored slippers. He buttoned a grey vest over a wife beater of the same color. Dr. Wooden studied him as he stared at the ceiling. She spoke calmly and continued to take notes.
“This stuff takes time Jeremy. I doubt that you could have figured things out so fast by yourself,” Dr. Wooden said. “I say let’s explore the reasons why you feel this way. I have an opening tomorrow. Why don’t you come in for another session?”
“I’d rather not doctor, unless it’s for a date. I have feelings for you,” Jeremy replied while looking under the desk Dr. Wooden was sitting behind. He checked her plaid two-piece suit with grey heels, the color of his vest. He liked the grey. The internet girl Ruby wore grey panties and bra during their private chat. He smiled at the doctor, seeing a face he once craved.
“You know I don’t date patients.”
“Yeah, but I can stop being a patient. Then it would be OK.”
“I don’t date former patients ether, Jeremy,” she said with finality.
“Then there’s no need to come back here. I’m cured” he said, looking at the doctor affectionately while smiling at her.
“Jeremy, I understand you feel you have gotten to the cause of your outbursts, but believe me we have just touched the surface of your extreme mood swings and erratic behavior.”
Jeremy sat up, finger pointing at the doctor.
“But that’s where you’re wrong,” he said. “As long as I satisfy the REASON for my anger, I’ll never lose my temper again.”
“What do you mean by satisfying the reason for the anger?” Dr. Wooden asked.
Jeremy pursed his lips as he looked at the doctor’s mouth. He thought about kissing her red lips like he kissed Ruby’s but decided now wasn’t the time. Getting on his feet, he stood in front of her desk, towering over her. Breathing in her perfume aroused him as he answered her question.
“Well, take this guy that cut me off the road as an example. Some Mexican beaner driving a supped up low rider with a loud exhaust gave ME the finger after cutting ME off!” Jeremy recalled.
“But I did as you told me. I let it go,” He said proudly, oblivious to his racial epithet.
“I was fine until we met again at a traffic light. We looked at each other, then back at the road. When the light changed, he honked his horn to get my attention and damn it, flipped me the bird as he peeled out! But I didn’t get mad. I just decided he was the cause of my condition. He was the trigger of my angry behavior, so that trigger had to pay. I knew once he paid, I would be alright.”
Jeremy walked back and forth getting worked up. Breath and pacing increased while he told his story. Dr. Wooden stayed seated, documenting his behavior.
“Without getting upset I tailed him at a distance to keep his hackles down. Then when another light put us side by side, I honked my horn.”
Jeremy waited for the doctor’s reaction but saw no obvious tells from her poker face.
“Do you know the smuck refused to turn and look at me? I took out my gun, rolled down the window and fired a few rounds inside his car. His windows exploded, the side ones and back,” Jeremy said smiling. “He took off like a bat outta hell, without waiting for the light to change. He paid. So I continued on my way calm. Problem solved.”
Dr. Wooden had 10 years experience with patients that were unstable, but Jeremy’s story made her nervous. Pretending to reach for a note pad in her desk, she pushed the panic button that quietly summoned security. Before Jeremy could continue his rant, two large men entered the room. One held a straightjacket and leg restraints. The other had a syringe filled with a clear liquid.
“J.B, time to go back to your room,” the man holding the jacket said in a sing-song voice as the other man tested the needle. A few drops expelled from the tip, falling to the floor. Jeremy took off a slipper and held it menacingly at the man with the syringe. The men laughed.
“You stay back!” he yelled while looking at Dr. Wooden, eyes begging for help.
“Just follow their instructions and we can talk about this later,” Dr. Wooden told Jeremy as the men overpowered him quickly. With his arms held, the needle was buried deep in his neck. They dragged Jeremy from the office incoherent, babbling about something red.
Dr. Wooden turned off the office video cam, making a note to herself to edit the ending of the feed. She wrote on his chart ‘prognosis is bipolar with split personalities. The patient is harmful to himself and others. Recommend he stays in psychiatric treatment for mental disorders indefinitely.’
Just a stroke of luck that I was given Jeremy Bolden as one of my patients, she thought. I remembered him from my college days when I danced online on men’s websites to make ends meet. Soon he will fully remember me and how I used him. I’ll be the reason for more of his anger. There will be questions from my colleagues in spite of his illness.
“I’ll spend the rest of his stay here slowly erasing his memory of 21-year-old Ruby Red,” she said as she put in an order to double his medication.
“My past will stay in the past and my social media followings will not be tarnished,” she said as she prepared for the next patient.
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