I know from experience that meeting with Doc right after he has wrangled with my insurance company is usually Bad Idea 101. Strangely, I always forget until the next time he has to fight with them.
And so it was Bad Idea 101 …
To summarize, Disinterested Insurance Company denied Doc’s request for extended length sessions. I think they also gave him a hard time about my prognosis, but he did not elaborate extensively on that, for which I am very glad because as mad as it made him I’m sure it would have bothered me immensely.
After a few minutes of ranting and venting on Doc’s part we start the session, and from the start, it’s a difficult one with frequent interruptions from him where I have difficulty completing a thought. I also felt like he wasn’t getting what I was trying to say. In the midst of a sentence where I was trying to explain myself he cut me off and said we had to stop the session as we were out of time. Usually, in the past, he gives me a warning that the session is about to end so that I can get to a stopping point. There are no clocks in his office that are visible to me so I do need his warning. And then the abrupt manner in which he stopped me in the midst of my sentence upset me.
I left the session just steamed, and I started to think about not coming back to see him. I even convinced myself that I didn’t need anyone to treat me at all, least of all him.
I stewed and marinaded in this feeling for two days until my next session.
The morning of my next session I woke up with that cloudy fuzzy feeling that I had not had in quite a while upon waking. I felt pinned to the bed, and the world felt dark and out of reach. I managed to find my phone on the dresser, and called him to cancel.
“Doc … I’m not coming. Charge me what you want, but I’m not coming.”
“Does this have anything to do with our last session?”
“Uh … uh … uh … yeah … but I am NOT coming.”
“Please come. It does not matter how late you are, please come so that we can work this out.”
“I’ll be at least 20 minutes late …”
“It’s okay, please come.”
And so I drove there. Somehow, I was able to get myself there.
I don’t recall the beginning of the session. At one point, early on in the session, he apologized to me for being so curt when we last met. He admitted that the interaction with the insurance company had him riled up, and leaked into the session. I do remember that at the start of the session it was Letty who was doing most of the talking.
I became aware of what was going on at the point that Letty said to Doc, “We wanted to quit you Doc!”
“I’m glad you came back …” His voice cracked at this point, and I realized he was teary. This turn of events was effective in getting me more present in the room. He then said, “I am very sorry for what happened last session …”
I could feel Letty jump into action. “Doc! Doc! You’re good inside! You’re good inside! That’s why we came back Doc! It’s okay, Doc. Don’t be sad.” The sound of that little voice just moved me, the way she was trying to make him feel better.
And then I faded out again at that point, but I could tell from the tone in his voice that he was grateful and apologetic.
The next thing I became aware of was Letty crying. It felt like I was tuning in late to a tv show. From what I could gather, Letty was upset because the whole mess with Doc was a reminder of being rejected by my mother when my father disappeared.
“I can’t find my Dad, Doc! I can’t find him! Help me find him!” She cried and cried and cried.
“Letty, you are stuck in a flashback. It’s the past. It is not happening right now. You have me and Beatriz to help you.”
“I just want my Dad! My Mom don’t care about me .. She don’t care, Doc … she don’t care … nobody cares … She make us three girls share a little pizza. We gotta share it, but we still hungry .. always hungry … hungry … every day. I see the cafeteria ladies always have extra food, but they don’t give me any. I ask every day … every day … they always say no … always. They throw the food away instead of giving it to me. I always hope that maybe today God will tell them to let me have some food … but it never happens … never … I always hungry …”
And with that, I finally realize why getting hungry sends me into a tailspin, even today.