Coming of Age American Adventure

I am a savior.

You might recognize me as Dr. Aldaine.

My self-healing books touched millions. Their voices flutter, grasping at a rope I provided. Tears from calloused eyes ripple like waves in my soul. It’s easy. Too easy. Psychology is an easy subject. It’s so moving.

Saccharine words echo from a hollowed mouth. My mouth. Words don’t need to have any meaning. A person on edge looks for any hopeful glimpse—like a tightrope walker. Their minds, beaten with despair, glisten with rage.

Rich authors can write poor characters. Pigs can feast like gilded kings. Some politicians can claim they can fix the world. Everyone lies. So, why can’t I? Oh, and my lies actually help. It's healing even if I don't mean it. Trust me.

Being a therapist widens my horizons. Voices ring out: cries for help, squalls for love, howls for attention, and whimpers for grief. People don’t expect a psychopath. I gaze into every nook and cranny. I find their inner flaws. I can see people at their most vulnerable. Now, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Patients hollering and squawking make no difference. Whenever someone tells a lie, I slice it with a scalpel. I diagnose and nick the most fragile organ: the mind. I mince and hash away. Someone like me pushes past normalcy—a very sacred thing. Being ordinary protects humanity from turning into dogs.

Only insanity changes the world.

Gazing into that void makes my heart flutter. Patients take off their masks and platitudes. They share their raw, unfiltered emotion. It streams out of their minds. My heart skips a beat. But, I stayed back. They’re tender! I’m a voracious wolf gawping at quaggy meat. That rush fuels me. A raw, unfiltered conversation with a stranger.

So much trust in a stranger! Magical.

I'm not like the movies. Television shows misrepresent too. Sure, I have minimal arousal to stressful situations, but I’m not an unfeeling husk. I’m like a grey-colored painting. I experience happiness in a fleeting way. Rage bellows. Sadness even exists.

Yet, an emotional barrier separates me from the world. That’s why highs associated with trauma fuel me. Trauma flows like honey, smoothing an enriched mind. It brings out my suppressed emotions!

I desire love too. My eyes twinkle as I hear the applause of my supporters. I’m less likely to develop bonds with others, but I cherish my family. Even if love remains a mystery, I still hope to conquer it. I want to hold it in my hands. I empower them to shower me with love. As a victor, I cherish the vanquished. I’m an emotional rollercoaster. People need to love me. Without others loving me, I cannot start my day; and, I become very angry.

With empathy, I have a blunted sword. I can only sharpen it by imagining someone’s position. Only then can I sharpen my words. Cognitive empathy helps. I scan for facial features, heartbeat rhythms, tone of voice, and body language. I’ve wondered why people would shed tears at such tragic sights. Someone told me about a dead pet. There was a heavy sadness so damp that you could cut it. In my life, I never got that.

Patients claw like desperate dogs panting in the heat. Pure sunlight burns them and their darkened souls. They stay fixated on feeling normal again—to feel special and loved. I pity them. Their tarnished hearts. In my humble opinion, desperation calls for love. I want to feel their hearts, and their fragile organs, so tainted with pain. I want to guzzle their vibrations and quaff their mind’s racing juices. I breathe and gasp inwards.

It makes me feel so alive.

I am a redeemer.

Saviors proffer sustenance to the malnourished. I will do that!

Saviors proffer refreshments to the dehydrated. I can do that!

I remember this one patient: Anna Verlice. She was a child abuse victim. Anna was my first ever patient when I was a nascent sapling with my therapist practice, located in the Californian paradise known as Santa Barbara. Palm trees flourished in the climate, gleaming. A caricature. California was heavenly on the outside, but poisoned on the inside. Could fame hide the pot-holes, deadly needles, and an expunged homeless crisis? Well, no.

Anna gave me my first fix, if you will. She trusted me with her life. Imagine having that much power? Would you relish it? Haha. 

Anyhow, she recounted stories upon stories of her brightened experience in college. Yet, her parents, well you know, didn’t think she was skinny enough. She exercised and exercised until her legs dropped from the pressure. She never ate, only salads here and there. The very people meant to protect her were damaging her. I felt pity as her facial expressions changed from happy to sad, from angry to bitter, from love to hatred. It was an immense journey.

I still remember this one session.

Anna, don’t you see the only solution?

What is it, Mrs. Aldaine?

You have to make your feelings known. You cannot keep them hidden.

How do I make them not hidden?

Well, you see, imagine yourself as a rainbow. A powerful one at that. Your light must overpower your sadness. Your light must become reflected at your parents.

So, I have to overpower? My parents? What do you mean, Mrs. Aldaine?

I see your sadness in your stories. You have to make yourself known.

I still don’t get what you mean! Tell me without the metaphors.

I stepped backwards. No one has ever talked back to me before, which made me enraged. I remembered to count to three in my head. I was calm again. I poured her some of my favorite tea to calm her nerves. She made me angry.

Anna, I need you to do something…

Do what?!

She interrupted me. This little cretin couldn’t even fathom what was racing through my head. I wanted to stomp her with my damn shoes! Gosh!

Kill your parents. Slowly.

Wait… What?

Anna acted surprised. I told her the truth. Her parents wouldn’t listen to her cries for attention and love. So, the only antidote is killing. Would wolves listen to you through words, or through sharpened blades? A clear answer.

You heard me? Your parents hate the fake you, so show them the real you.

The real me?

Yes, yes. Your feelings go unnoticed. Make them known. Physically.

Are… are you sure? Killing is wrong!

We kill animals. We kill the air. We kill the water. We kill the Planet. We kill the ecosystems. We kill each-other. We kill life. In the end, killing is in our blood. I, once upon a time, felt enraged at that fact. I’m calm now. You won’t float like a butterfly or glow like a rainbow unless you make yourself known. So, do it.

Yeah, yeah, you’re right! I’ve never felt so alive right now!

Anna looked as tender as a porkchop, full of enriching juices. But, I wouldn’t want to appear in the news as a murderer. That would only bring me misery. My mask couldn’t fall. I have to appear as a savior to these broken things.

You finally get it. Embrace the real you. You’re a rainbow, not an outcast. Your parents don’t care about your health, so take their health from them. .

My honey words healed Anna. Her real parents would be in for an awakening.

It's time to end this session. Thank you for being my first patient, Anna.

Yeah, you’ve really healed me. I’m not going to take anyone’s shit!

Atta girl. Show the world who’s queen. Prove to your parents that they made a mistake. Prove that you’re valuable and you won’t tolerate their falsehoods!

I still remember Anna. She never came in for another session again. I don’t think what I am doing is wrong. I heal people. Do doctors really care about their patients on the operating table? They grow cold and heartless. This is their job after all. If you get too attached, your whole life fatally ends.

Afterall, I am a savior.

September 09, 2022 15:09

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Charity Jones
15:54 Sep 19, 2022

I really like your style of writing, it perfectly frames the character and shows us who he is rather than telling us. Great job!


15:59 Sep 20, 2022

It's a woman by the way, but thank you so much for the compliments. :D


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Charlie Murphy
17:47 Sep 18, 2022

What a scary therapist! LOL! Great job! You shocked me when she told her patient to kill her parents! By the way, I love your username!


15:59 Sep 20, 2022

I'm glad you love my username. Futurama is one of my favorite shows.


Charlie Murphy
19:23 Sep 21, 2022

Cool. Thank you for liking my story. What did you like about it?


04:23 Sep 22, 2022

The power to risk it all on desire. I loved that


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Trebor Mack
04:24 Sep 17, 2022

I'm glad this is fiction! I wouldn't want you treating me. Good luck.


16:00 Sep 20, 2022

Thank you. Therapy can be therapy for some psychos too :D


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
06:04 Oct 17, 2022

Where is the story


Show 0 replies
Graham Kinross
12:05 Oct 12, 2022

Sadly I can imagine reading about this in the news, therapists are people as well and not all of them are going to be good people. Well told.


Show 0 replies
Faruk Ahmed
11:20 Sep 23, 2022

Beautiful story, keep your pen as you good friend.


15:03 Sep 23, 2022

Thank you. It's a hauntingly beauitful story.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.