She didn’t consider herself to be an impatient person, but the audible ticking of the waiting room clock set Elizabeth’s nerves on edge.707Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡohGWWMb2km
Every Tuesday, at 4 PM sharp, Elizabeth would arrive at her doctor’s office situated above a Starbucks coffee shop on the corner of main street in her hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon. No matter whether it was sun, rain or snow, she would walk downtown from her high school in Riverdale. Upon arriving, She would drop her bag unceremoniously beside her, flop into the plush, green, leather chair, and begin to riffle through the outdated magazines scattered across the pale varnished coffee table that rose barely to the height of her knees. She would casually leaf through a select magazine with disinterest, trying to draw her attention away from the constant, metallic-sounding clack every second from the wall-mounted clock — the same kind that they used in her school classrooms, reminding you every moment that class felt as though it would drag on forever. She found the noise to be obnoxious and irritating, and felt as though it had been placed there simply to annoy her and other patients as they waited for the consistently late appointments. She didn’t know why she bothered to arrive on time when she knew her doctor would never be on schedule, but at this point it had simply become her routine — and having a routine helped Elizabeth function on a daily basis without feeling overwhelmed as most other teenagers did.
It was late November, two weeks before her birthday, and SAT season was right around the corner. As such, she instead flipped through her detailed class notes. She tried to imprint the information into her brain, committing the vague concepts into fully detailed concepts. She was a diligent student, with top grades due to her exemplary notes, but hated the act of studying. She found it to be a tedious task, and usually became disinterested after an hour of re-writing her notes — the strategy she found most effective in the shortest amount of time.
She had picked up a coffee from the cafe just before climbing the stairs to the second floor offices, and now twirled the cup, warming her hands while her eyes skimmed her detailed notes. She attempted to commit the information to memory with minimal effort, as she had a term paper coming up soon and wanted to finish it before her birthday in two weeks. She would be turning 18. In her final year of high school, her grades were more important than ever, and she needed to focus all her energy into classes — however, that didn’t mean she couldn’t take a single day and night off in order to celebrate her ‘coming-of-age’, as her friends liked to call it.
“Elizabeth, come on in,” a clearly recognizable voice beckoned her. Elizabeth’s light brown eyes turned up to see her doctor standing in the office doorway, a thick file folder in hand that Elizabeth recognized as being her patient files. Extensive records had been kept on her since age ten, when she had started seeing this psychiatrist for what had been diagnosed as schizophrenia. Elizabeth had never originally agreed with the diagnosis, but years of therapy had convinced her to overcome the condition none-the-less.
Elizabeth gathered her papers back into her bag and followed her doctor into the warm office. Elizabeth set her coffee down in order to remove her over-sized red, downy coat and hang it by the door, already feeling the change in temperature. Underneath the coat, she was wearing a loose-fitting, backless tank-top. Now freed from the hooded confines, she picked her coffee back up and used her free hand to fluff her long, chestnut waves so that they danced and tickled her back. She then took the offered seat across from where her doctor sat down. Dr.Brunet opened the file folder, leafing through the pages in silence for a long moment. She quickly reviewed her notes from their previous session before opening up a blank page and clicking open her pen.
“So, how have you been this past week?” Dr.Brunet started every appointment with the same slew of five mundane questions, which Elizabeth had learned to answer with minimalist, stock replies in order to avoid further inquiry.
“Fine,” Elizabeth replied lamely.
“How is school progressing?”
“I consistently achieve top grades.”
“Are you remembering to take your medicine?”
“Every day,” Elizabeth assured her confidently.
“How are your stress levels?”
“No stress to speak of.”
“And any dreams lately?” This was the question that Elizabeth hated the most.
This was the reason she was presently required to attend therapy, and had been for nearly the past eight years, since she was ten years old. As a child, Elizabeth had suffered from the disillusion and inability to discern the difference between dreams and reality. She spoke of her dreams as though they had been physical events and not something of her subconscious thought. She would speak of her fanciful journeys through magical realms. About fighting off dragons and monsters, saving other people, about seeing unicorns and fairies, and of wielding powerful magic. She had been absolutely adamant that these were real events, while she lay sleeping in her bed every night. Eventually, exasperated with attempting to explain the different between dreams and reality, her mother had sent her to see a child psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis. After a lot of research into specialists, she had decided on Dr.Brunet — a young but highly skilled practicing physician with a double degree in child psychology and social work. This made her highly qualified to work with delusional and troubled children. She had been tasked with convincing Elizabeth to get back in touch with reality before the dreams began to affect her waking life — and before others began to talk negatively around her. Despite her mother’s best efforts, Elizabeth often heard peers, friends and family speaking poorly of her mental state once she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia — characterized most commonly by a disconnection with reality. The social stigma had followed her through her childhood into adolescence, but she had become accustomed to the unwanted attention it garnered from those around her. She knew her teaches and classmates looked at her with disdain, but decided long ago to shrug it off and live her life as normally as possible.
“Nothing I can remember,” Elizabeth replied after only a moment’s thought. Dr. Brunet nodded, writing something down in her notes. Elizabeth used to find herself insatiably curious to know what her therapist was writing about their sessions, but as she grew up she discovered she no longer cared as long as she wasn’t labeled as being crazy anymore. So she made the appointments on time, she took the medication she was prescribed, and she otherwise lived a normal, healthy, teenager life.
“Are you telling me the truth, Elizabeth?” Dr.Brunet asked skeptically, looking over her glasses directly into the teenager’s eyes. Elizabeth swallowed hard, trying not to be intimidated by the woman who had kept control over her life for so many years. Elizabeth just reminded herself that soon enough she could move out, move away, and never have to attend therapy sessions anymore — she was so close, she had survived eight years already, she just had to keep up this charade of compliance for a little longer. She began to twirl a strand of her thick, glossy hair while taking a sip of her coffee.
“Everyone dreams, Dr.Brunet,” Elizabeth began to reply, carefully crafting her answer to best appease the doctor, “however, I recognize that that’s all the are: dreams. They have no direct baring on my life, so I disregard the ones I do remember.” She smiled as best she could and Dr.Brunet seemed appeased with that response.
“I’m very pleased with your progress so far, Elizabeth,” Dr.Brunet praise her. Elizabeth internally gave a sigh of relief, assured that she wouldn’t have to elaborate on the mundane aspects of her life once again. However, she was soon disappointed. “However, let’s talk about the dreams you do have.” Elizabeth cussed internally but continued to feign a polite smile. Her doctor wasn’t a bad person in any way, but Elizabeth still disliked her. She felt the doctor was, at least in part, to blame for the stigma she had lived with for nearly half her life. In part, she also blamed her own mother — something who she felt should have been on her side from the beginning. Her disappointed in her mother steamed further than that, but she rarely had the chance to actually speak about topics of her choice within her appointments. “What do you dream about lately?” Dr.Brunet asked, her pen at the ready.
“Mostly about failing the SATs,” Elizabeth lied her ass off. She still had many dreams about what she used to call The Other World — the fantasy realm she visited only in her dreams. She well recognized though that the dreams were nothing more, and had no difficulty discerning her reality from fantasy. However, when she had attempted to explain this in the past, her doctor didn’t believe her and would pry further into the meaning behind the dreams — something that Elizabeth thought was a complete waste of her time.
Dr.Brunet nodded in understanding as she began writing notes. “Understandable, it is a very stressful time of year, I imagine. Is there anything strange about these dreams?”
“No,” Elizabeth replied. “They’re typical teenage dreams from what I understand.”
“You didn’t deny the stress comment, despite earlier claiming you weren’t suffering from any stress,” Dr.Brunet accused, beginning to pick at her word choices. Elizabeth silently cursed herself for losing her cautious nature too soon. She had dropped her guard, finding herself too irritated with the infernal ticking of that clock — which she could still hear from through the closed office door.
The rest of her hour long appointment was spent discussing the upcoming SATs, her impending birthday plans with family and friends, and her prospects for school and work once she graduated from high school. She intended to move as far away as possible from her hometown, mostly in order to escape the social stigma that had followed her since she began seeing a therapist, and begin a new life for herself without feeling as though she were damaged or labeled as crazy. Dr.Brunet asked questions, and Elizabeth feigned interest in her mundane aspects of life.707Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡUkWfN4AwT9ns 18.104.22.168da2