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I Think My Psychiatrist Broke Confidentiality



Estimated reading time — 26 minutes

Several months ago, I sought out professional help for a traumatizing experience I’ve gone through, and so my colleague recommended to me a local psychiatrist that was best suited for me and my experiences. It seemed at first I could trust this psychiatrist, but now after recent events, I’m unsure of myself and I’m unsure if I can trust this doctor. I need advice, particularly from someone who knows something about proper psychiatric practices. Certain behaviors I’ve noticed, and things I’ve witnessed are all too much to not ponder about.

I’ve heard rumors at the office, rumors about me, about stuff that nobody else could know about except her. I swear to god, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her at my workplace a few times. She does not work there, her office is miles away from our building. But I never saw the whole of her face while there, I just could have sworn it was her from the back of her head. I don’t know how or why she’s doing it if she’s doing it all but I think she’s the one responsible for these rumors. Most of them aren’t even true, as most rumors are.

. My company is an accounting firm. I’ve been the CEO for a good eight years. This is all stuff that I’ve discussed with her in our appointments by the way I recently stepped down and handed it off to a colleague that I trusted. Since I stepped down, things are different. It happened right after we had a good turnout this semester. By the way, when I say “stepped down” I mean “booted out”.

The board of directors made a unanimous decision to have me resign because they could not find me to be trustworthy anymore after the way I handled a so-called “scandal”. Or at least that’s what a lot of the gossipers are calling it. See, I already became disinterested in my role about a year ago. It’s when I started to take too many vacations that the rumors started. Rumors of bankruptcy. I acted out on this, I held an assembly where I went on a rant about these rumors and my angry tone was just a little too angry for the board’s comfort. They claimed that not only was I losing focus but that I was losing emotional stability. They were right.

I damn near screamed my head off at that assembly. There’s this girl, a new intern at the company who is so kind and sweet. To see her genuinely have fear in her eyes made me feel like the most awful person in the world. After everything that’s happened, I don’t give a shit anymore about spilling my drama. So here it goes–the reason I took those vacations wasn’t that I didn’t care about the company anymore–something happened in my life that I had to seriously prioritize. I was grieving. I didn’t want to spend my time doing balance sheets these past few months, I didn’t have the headspace. I just wanted to think about my best friend who was killed by cancer.

There it is. Dropped the ax. I guess that means I didn’t care about the company, but whatever. As long as I could keep getting my paychecks so I could pay for the hospitals, it was fine. No matter how much money I threw at those tumors, it didn’t matter in the end. She never deserved it. She deserved love. That’s too much to ask of something natural like a disease. It just does what it does. It kills. Well, first it tortures–then it kills.

Sorry, I’m going on a tangent. I need to get to the point. You see, this is the part of the story where I met my psychiatrist. There’s this colleague I have who I’ll just call “Justin” for now. He knew a lot about my personal life since I was so mentally ill I’d spew all the stuff I’m going through to anyone that I ever thought was a potential friend. It got to the point where it became a regular thing, me talking about everything I was feeling with him. Then one day he recommended I seek professional help.

That night was rough. I wave from suicide to whatever junk food I was craving. At one point, the anticipation of tasting cheesy salty goodness was enough to get me to keep me going on. It was in the midst of all of this inner chaos that I went on my computer and searched up psychiatrists nearest to me. Oddly enough, there were almost none in my town. Except for one. I looked into them. I clicked on the header, went to their website, and scanned it with my eyes. It all seemed so boring at first, but reading it–how they described some mental illnesses such as anxiety, it felt eye-opening in a sense. In the sense that it sounded a lot like me and the problems, I deal with.

Maybe I should do this, maybe I shouldn’t. I should do it, so I’m going to do it anyway. Or at least, that was the thought process I was going through at the time. I vividly recall staring at her photo on her website. That half-shy smile with no teeth showing, just two lips awkwardly pressed together with that stare completing her dispassionate look. . Those eyes were stuck in my mind as I drove to the address on the website. Brown, disconcerted. The drive was late at night. Pull out of the driveway, a lot of thoughts go through my head, a lot of distracting thoughts. So distracts that I very nearly ran over

The smell from the bakery next door was overwhelmingly sweet. I remember at first it felt comforting, a welcome smell associated with relief in my mind. I went to appointment after appointment, the details of the smell became more unveiled. It felt more artificial, more processed. That first appointment, I was nothing but sweetness as I walked up the stairs to the waiting room. There was already someone else there, sitting in a chair on the opposite side of the room. Our eyes met but only for a short second, my eyes darting back to the floor— I could still feel him on me. His gaze was still pressuring on me.

I waited for what seemed like so long but it was five minutes. I know because I kept frantically pulling my phone out, looking at the time as each minute passed by. I don’t know why I was so anxious, but I swallowed it as soon as the doc herself walked out of the room with a smile, her head tilting as she peered around the doorway to her room. It was my turn. My first ever appointment with her.

She’s a pale woman with brown highlighted hair with a short cut, her glasses are circular and she seems to be sucking in her lips whenever she’s talking. When we first started, I vividly remember how she sat down and reached her hand over to the side of the armchair of her sofa and pressed something that clicked. She then spoke in a voice that felt falsely soothing.

“Oh, I guess this thing is getting too old. It used to recline, now the button just makes that clicking noise but it doesn’t do anything else.”

I made conversation about how long she had it, a short one at that yet it made things easier in the social sense for both of us, to talk about things as doctor and patient. We talked about my best friend, how I got recommended by my friend, and then how I found this place. I know, it’s not the most interesting thing in the world, but it’s what happened. This is my first ever appointment with her. This where it all started. It’s where I’m convinced it all started. I distinctly remember the last few minutes of the appointment. This is what struck me as the weirdest part of it, along with the supposedly dysfunctional recliner.

“So your friend, how long ago was it that she died?”

“A month ago. Still fresh, the, um, wound.”

“Yeah, I’d suppose so. Why do you go on so much about it?”

I was silent after that for a good minute. I didn’t know how to respond, other than with “What?”. She didn’t respond as I did, she was quick with an answer. An elaborate answer at that.

“Well it’s just that I know the wound is still fresh, so of course you’re gonna go on about it especially in your first psychiatrist appointment, but why are you so…nonchalant about it? I’m sensing that there’s something more to all of this.”

Out of nervousness, I pretended to wander around the room. Everything seemed so normal up until this point.

“Am I right?”

“What?”

“Am I right?” She repeats with such vigor in her voice.

“Yeah, yeah I guess you are. Um, I’m not sure how to begin.

“You have to tell me everything, Zeke. Everything. And you have to be honest. Don’t leave anything out. And it’s not just so you can be honest with me, it’s so you can be honest with yourself.”

Silence, inner debate, then decision.

“Fine.”

I got comfortable, schooched up the sofa’s cushion. And then I spilled some secrets. The whole time I was sharing them, she smiled. At first, I thought she was proud to see me let loose so soon, especially in our first ever session. Now when I think back on that moment, I think that she was smiling because she finally got what she wanted after a full hour of me giving her nothing. It didn’t take too long until I started hearing the rumors at work, of me seeing a psychiatrist. I think everyone thinks I’m crazy now, and that’s the reason why I’m seeing one.

I was making coffee for myself in the lounge room when I first overheard it. Two women were having a conversation by an office plant. A conversation about me. One girl had dark brown hair tied up in a bun, and it bounced a little as I heard her blab on about my personal life.

“Did you hear that Zeke is seeing a psychiatrist?” I went to the bathroom to contemplate things. I thought to myself, just how the hell does she know that? How could anyone know that when Dr. Ballard’s is twenty miles away from here? Then I did some real thinking. I thought about Justin who suggested that I see a psychiatrist in the first place. Maybe it was him, but how would he know that I took his advice?

I know it sounds crazy, that my first ever psychiatrist is somehow out to get me. You have to believe me. No one else has. I look around the office every day and I feel like everyone’s eyes are on me, just waiting for me to fuck up. I can’t live like this, with every day in constant fear of being watched. The rumors made me feel so naked, so exposed like a raw nerve.

Before all this, It’s usually a pretty mellow environment around here at my firm. Here’s an example of what a normal day is like—-either insanely busy or there’s nothing to do at all. Either way, it all starts the same, and pretty much flows the same too. You show up to work, hopefully on time. Avoid the glares of people in hallways, do this by either looking down or wearing sunglasses. Finally, make it to your office, shut the door, close the blinds, and hide in your cave for the rest of the day. Only come out for coffee refills or when you’re needed and/or bored.

You check your stupid fucking email for 15 minutes, put in the time for last week that you probably forgot about, and are getting emails daily about. Sip on that coffee as you browse the web till about 9:30. A half-hour of work. Start making lunch plans around 10, lunch from 11:30-1. Fight off sleep the rest of the day as you work on whatever project is that you got going on. Usually, it’s multiple projects, like something big that you’ve been working on for a while, plus something small. Whatever that keeps you busy, makes the hours pass by so that you can finally get home to walk around your house dissociating and prepare for the next day. By prepare, I mean have anxiety about it until you go to sleep at 2:30 AM when you don’t give a fuck.

Like I said, that’s how things normally are. So when I walked into the building’s main entrance about two days after my first appointment with Dr. Ballard and the first two people I saw glared at me, I didn’t think anything of it. I just assumed it was normal. Then another person standing in the hallway was looking at me. Then another, and another. When there are more people than usual staring at me, I assume that something went wrong that’s somehow my fault. Now there’s been fifty plus people who turned their heads towards me as I walked down the hallway to my office as if I were leading an eccentric parade. What the fuck is happening? As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the darkness of my office with the blinds drawn as if it were a cave and I were a solitary creature dwelling inside it, hiding from the light outside. The light is the people who keep staring at me of course.

A few minutes ago, someone knocked on the door so loud that it felt like it was right next to me, inside the room and I shit my pants. Okay, I didn’t shit my pants but I may as well have because my heart jumped out of my chest. That was a scary knock. It was scary to the point where it was shit-my-pants-worthy. I got up from the leather office chair, my butt practically sticking to it because of how long I’ve been sitting down.

I inched towards the door, knowing he couldn’t see me because of the blinds being shut and how he couldn’t hear me either, because of how smoothly I got up from my seat to make sure the pole didn’t jerk around. I place my palm onto the cold metal knob, it almost feels refreshing on my warm dry rashy palm. I begin to twist the door and slowly open it but when it’s just a crack the person on the other side knocks again and sighs when they realize I’ve started to open it. The light comes in and is blocked by a well-built man standing there, his gut imposing. My eyes follow the tie on the stretched out button-up shirt, and find the head attached. It’s from Justin. I had no idea what the fuck he was doing there.

“Hey, Zeke.” His large brow seemed like it was in a permanent state of disconcerting, overshadowing his eyes.

“Hey, Justin. What’s going on?”

He continued to look at me with that same look, his whole body moving as he sighs. His chest moving up and then down, his lips only slightly moving. He annoyingly maintains that same look on his face as he asks me a question.

“You haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on around here, have you?”

I’m bewildered at what he just said. For the past few weeks, I’ve been focused on my mental health. Of course, I wouldn’t be privy to the word around the office. I have still been present. And I did just see everybody looking at me.

“No. But I get the feeling that it has something to do with me?”

He then proceeded to explain how there were rumors of me getting physical with that intern girl. My mind drifted off as he explained to me condescendingly so that I might as well leave early, and from the tone of his voice, I took it as immediately. I then went through the same thing that I did when I first walked through the halls, feeling my head catch aflame as I felt everyone’s eyes on me.

The next day I skipped work and waited anxiously to leave the house to see Dr. Ballard. It was the same as usual, drive through my empty suburban neighborhood, wait for five minutes in the traffic line at the intersection, find the damn place without passing by it the first time, park and then walk to the front of the building. Feel the pain in your stomach, the bubble moving to your throat. Get a nose full of the bakery’s artificial pastries and cream. Walk up the stairs, every step heavy with anticipation, my feet lugging on as if the ankles are chained to balls. The appointment I had that day was the beginning of when I started to suspect something strange about the doctor. She welcomed me into her office, closed the door, and I sat down, I could just feel that there was tension in the room and I had barely even said anything yet. I had no suspicions about her, although I should have.

I decided beforehand that I want to make the session about the rumors Justin told me about. This is how it went.

“Yesterday, a co-worker came up to me and told me something”

“He told you what?”

“He told me that I apparently got physical with a girl who works as an intern in the building. That people have been spreading these rumors about me and this girl.”

She then sat there completely silent, and blinked several times, dispassionately staring at me.

“I don’t believe that this is as worrisome as you may think it is, Ezekiel.

Then after that, I stare at her stunned in return.

“What? What is that supposed to mean?”

She then seemed to get annoyed with me as her eyebrows raised.

“It means that you’re overthinking this all. This is just a co-worker’s way of getting into your head. You were the CEO, remember? You were the top dog at that place. Petty squabbles like this are so above you.”

I looked down at the floor after that, but I was staring into space, the carpet seemingly stretching infinitely inward.

“Yeah I guess you’re right, I guess.”

She leans in with her face and her elbows on her lap.

“Stop guessing. Stop just thinking. Start knowing. You need to take more confidence. Besides, I’m sure those co-workers who were all staring at you weren’t staring at you. It probably just felt like that way.”

I slowly looked up again.

“I know they were staring at me.”

She extends her neck, quizzically raising her left eyebrow.

“Know they were or it felt like they were? Be honest with yourself.”

She then prescribed me anti-anxiety medicine.

“I’m giving you these because it is my official diagnosis that this is starting to affect you seriously, all these thoughts of everyone supposedly being out to get you, of everyone thinking about you or talking about you. You’ll feel much more relaxed, and more like you’re able to talk about what happened that day.”

As previously mentioned, that was from my second appointment with her. I have yet to see anything that’s fishy when I’ve looked her up online. Like I said before, she has no reviews. I don’t know who to talk to as I obviously wouldn’t know any other patients of hers, or where to go to to meet patients of her’s. Other than the waiting room, which would be awkward as hell. Does anybody have any advice for me? Anything that they can do to help me with this? There’s just no way people could know about this stuff at my work. It’s so weird and I feel like everyone knows I’m cracking, that I’m falling apart again, but this time I feel like it’s going to be worse.

Edit—-\*UPDATE\*

The past few weeks I’ve been taking that medicine she’s been prescribing me. Today I forgot to take them, and suddenly my head feels like it’s clearer than ever. Like I can finally see what’s been going on around me. At the beginning of every single appointment, she clicks the recliner button on her chair, forgetting it doesn’t work. I firmly believe that she has been recording me. That button in her recliner is in actuality the recorder she uses.

I think she gave these drugs to me for this purpose, to make me more compliant, more open to suggestions. Suggestions like taking specific parts of her advice. Like one time she told me to stop thinking so much about what other people think of me when all heads are turned at me. This has been driving me crazy. Just last week, I asked her if I could get off of them. This is how the conversation went down.

“Dr. Ballard—-these meds, I don’t think they’re all that great for me. I think that they’ve been making things worse for me as of late.”

She started at me with this dead look in her eyes and told me “I don’t believe you” in the most monotonous way. Ok, so she didn’t say it like that, but it’s what she meant, you know? I could tell.

“I feel like you’re just not giving it enough of a chance.” Is what she said.

I don’t know whether or not I should keep seeing her because of what happened after that.

“You need to start taking this disorder you have seriously. I’m afraid I’m going to have to up your dose.”

I was so taken aback by this. I thought I was taking it seriously.

“No, please. It’s affecting me on a day to day basis, I just can’t keep taking them.”

“That’s why I’m giving you more. A higher dosage will change things. You’ll see.”

I then slightly raised my voice at her, which is not something I normally do.

“No, Dr. Ballard. I don’t want to take these. I don’t want to take any of what you give me.”

She then looked up from writing on her prescription notepad thing. She held the pencil in her hand, gently tapping it as she maintained this fake smirk on her face.

“You need to take this, Ezekiel. I can see already that you are allowing this copious amount of anxiety to infest your whole life. I know you probably like you’re fine without them, but it’s either you take this or I admit you to the nearest hospital”

I wanted to say “What”? In the most sneering way possible, but I was afraid to. I was petrified at the thought of what she just threatened me with. Right before the appointment she handed me the prescription.

“If you don’t take them, I will know next time I see you.”

“You can tell?”

“Yes, Zeke. I can tell. I’m trained to.”

I drove right past the pharmacy with my gut sinking into itself. After I got back home, I jumped onto my couch and I slid down into a slump on the cushion, taking a deep sigh.

Posted In /RBI

Just today, I saw something strange. A car that was slowly driving by my house at the end of my driveway, in the middle of the night. I’ve been staying up very late, as the rumors at my work have given me a great deal of anxiety. For no reason at all other, than to enjoy the serenity of the night sky, I looked out my window. And then I saw it.

It was just staying there, without its headlights on, prowling by the side of the road, like a predator stalking its prey on the National Geographic. I would periodically check if it were still there, the third time I was able to get a good look at it. A silver Camaro, with a blacktop. By the fifth time, it was gone, as if it had completely vanished.

The weird thing is—-I swear I’ve seen that car before. And I’m pretty sure I saw it parked at Dr. Ballard’s. I have no idea what’s going on.

Second Post in /RBI

Today an email popped up in my inbox and I made the mistake of opening it. All it said for the subject line was my first name. This is what it entailed.

Dear Mr. Weathers,

My name is not to be officially known to you, as that is not the nature of my business. You see, I’m an extorter. A professional one. So I think you know what follows. You have 120 hours to send $5,000,000 to these accounts——->

<File Attachment>

If you fail to comply with that simple demand, I will release a press statement with evidence of what your company has been up to.

You don’t know who we are, but we know who you are. You can’t touch us, but we can touch you. We’ve seen you at your workplace at ———-, at your psychiatrist’s at ———-, and we’ve seen you at your house at ————-. Still don’t believe us? We also know that you picked up a prescription the other day at your local pharmacy at ***^(————)*** In the following file, you’ll find a transcript of your appointments with the doctor, with the most crucial parts highlighted for you.

<file attachment>

You had 120 hours. Had. I’d hurry up if I were you.

After I saw that, I could immediately feel my heart beating insanely fast and my breathing was going at the same pace. I went back and forth and back and forth between if this is real or was this just a scam, but they have my address. They’ve been watching me. I know that car was there for a reason.

The email was given to me at 12:30 AM. It is now 7:00 AM. 64 and a half hours left. I don’t know what I should do. I don’t want to submit. I don’t want to just surrender. My pride and dignity are on the line. Yet at the same time, if they release this information then I’m screwed. I don’t know what to do. This information is very sensitive to my company, so I can’t go to the police.

Edit- \*UPDATE\*

I’ve had another appointment with my psychiatrist, Dr. Carol Ballard. I’ve never been more terrified for myself in all my life. I feel like everywhere I go I’m seeing people looking at me, staring at me, even glaring at me and they don’t STOP.

I’m certain she has something to do with it, with ALL OF IT. Since it’s all I’ve been thinking about lately, I decided beforehand to make the appointment about the blackmailer. This is how it went down.

“Just the other day, I got a strange email. Someone is trying to blackmail me.”

Her jaw became agape.

“In this email, there was a file attached that had transcripts from our appointments together.”

She started stammering.

“I-i-i-i doesn’t know how…w-what…what, are you sure?”

She’s faking it. Pretending to be all flustered about it as if she didn’t expect it.

“Yes, I’m sure. Now I believe that I was your patient and have a right to know how this could be possible.”

She starts stuttering again, her eyes looking everywhere as if in a pretend panic. She’s lying, I know it.

“I-i don’t know, security detail isn’t the greatest here, and so it-it’s possible-b-ble that this person, whoever they may be, broke in and stole my patient files.”

We then started going back and forth about the logistics of this theory, and for a little while, I started to believe it. She seems to be good at that, convincing you that something else is happening when the answer is in front of you the whole time.

“May I see the email?”

My whole body froze.

“What? I can’t. I deleted it already and took a picture of it in case.”

She stared blankly at me.

“Why not just show me the picture then?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that either. Y’know Doc, I think we’re gonna have to cut this appointment short. I’ll see you next week.”

I then got out of there, and I got out of there quickly.

Edit 4—UPDATE\*

I’ve finally done it. I’ve contacted a lawyer. Being who I am, it wasn’t very hard to find one. Although with my reputation so far, it was difficult to find a good one. I met up with them at their firm in the middle of the night.

Here’s what I remember the lawyer said to me—

“Look, this is all very…what’s the word…problematic, for lack of a better term. Unless you have absolute proof that this email is real, which you have yet to provide, and that the psychiatrist you’re seeing is truly involved, then I cannot do and to the capacity of which you explained.”

On a throwaway account on /legaladvice, I posted all of that. Now, this is further documentation of my encounter with a person (my Psychiatrist) whom I firmly believe to be directly involved with the crimes I have mentioned. She has not only broken confidentiality, but has deliberately spread rumors of me, recorded our sessions, and has actively blackmailed me with said recording. She has also stalked me, gave me the wrong drugs and has threatened institutionalization on unjust grounds. In three days, I’ll be seeing her again. Hopefully, she does not suspect anything. I believe something terrible and something far larger than I previously thought is happening here with this psychiatrist. Something sinister is behind those droned eyes of hers.

I decided to get a few colleagues together. I thought I should perhaps stage an intervention, something tight-knit and small. Then of course, it didn’t go over too well. I tried talking to them. Most of them just turned me down. I even tried talking to Justin. And you know what he told me?

“I think she’s a perfectly good psychiatrist. Sounds like you’re just obsessing to me.”

I didn’t even say anything to him after that. I just took a step back, had a poker face, and looked at him while he looked back. He then pretended as if I wasn’t even there as he took a cup from the water, and waited for the water cooler to fill the cup up. I then walked away, slowly and carefully, noticing as people would quickly dart a glance in my direction, thinking I didn’t notice but I did. Someone else, another colleague that is, even told me that I’m “vastly overthinking every little detail.” Except he didn’t “you’re vastly overthinking every little detail., he said it like “You ARE vastly overthinking every little detail.” Which I am. I am. It’s all my head is filled with. Seriously, after telling people everything, explaining so elaborately, and only to have no one believe it is painful. Every night I have been tossing and turning, jumping out of bed at 3-4:00 AM, pacing in the kitchen, thinking about everything, and constantly looking out that same fucking window. I know something is wrong here. Luckily, I did manage to convince a few of my colleagues to help me later on. Those will be a trusted resource in the long run, I’m sure of it.

I remember the gun I bought. I remember what I intend to do with it. My next appointment with her is in a couple of days. The gun feels tingly in my hands like it’s begging me to use it. For what, I don’t know yet. I’m not sure if I should though. I just keep imagining someone coming out of that car, a figure in a leather jacket and a ski mask. The gun is in my hand. I’m not just standing behind my window this time. I’m outside standing in the middle of my driveway. I’ve never done anything like this before.

It’s raining. Slowly but it’s a lot in an action movie. I raise my handgun as the masked man approaches. I extend my arm perfectly straight. I aim at them. I squeeze the trigger with a certain sense of satisfaction that I can’t explain, and right before I see the flash along with the big bang that follows, I see Carol’s face instead of the masked man. Her brains splatter everywhere, her body collapsing onto the cement, her blood mixing into the flowing river that’s going down my steep hill of a driveway, their limbs dramatically splayed out as the blood continues to pour.

I escape from the fantasy, rubbing the handgun’s grooves. Sighing, I put the gun down on my kitchen countertop, closing my eyes for a second and then deciding to go to bed.

Edit—-UPDATE

Our last appointment. A surprise one. She initiated a conversation this time. I did not bring the gun with me, as much as I wanted to.

“So, uh…how are…how are things?”

I rub my foot with my other foot as I stutter the words out.

“Things, things are good. They are good things. They are all a thing, and there are, multiple of them—and they are all good. So that’s how…things are…at the moment.”

Her eyes got wide and her lower lip curled as she remarks while trying hard not to laugh

“That’s, um, great? Just…Wonderful?!”

I shrugged. She continued to chuckle a little, then took a sigh, and looked at me with this relaxed look in her eyes.

“See, I don’t know what to say about that. You have to give me more than just that, Zeke. I need details, when I ask you things I need a full recap of your whole day.”

I want to ask her about it. I want to ask her about it. I WANT to ask her about it. I can’t. Not yet. My stomach is tightening as I almost feel the words escape from my lips. I’ve mustered up the bravery already, I have to try to let them escape. So I try, just a little.

“H-have you ever seen a silver Camaro in the area? I’m sure I saw it parked here the last time I was here”

My eyes wander around, avoiding hers. I daringly shoot them back at her smiling face. She’s not showing any teeth. Like she’s holding in another laugh.

“What? Um, yeah. I think I’ve seen a few here and there around the neighborhood. I don’t know about any silver ones though. Why? Have you seen any lately?”

“Yes, I have. I think I saw one at my house.”

She leans, her hands coming together to dangle off her lap.

“Do you think they were following you?”

For the past few minutes that felt like an hour, I kept scratching the end of the chair’s arm. At this point, I’m just tearing at the foam underneath.

“Yeah. yeah, it was.”

My mouth is dry.

“Do you usually have such a keen eye for observation, Zeke?

“No, I usually don’t.”

“Then why do you have one now”

“I don’t, it’s just—-“

“Then why’d you bring this up? Such a specific detail?”

My eyes kept darting around the room some more, almost as uncontrollably as my leg kept bouncing, so much so that my heel feels numb. She kicks the table with such force that it’s an audible bang.

“Answer the question, Zeke. C’mon”

The car, slowly inching at the end of my driveway. I see it clear as day in my head.

“It bothers me when it’s in a place I don’t expect it to be. Like or example, in the parking lot outside.”

She glares at me with her eyes practically popping out of her head. Her face is noticeably shaking as she asks her next question.

“You mean like last two weeks ago?”

She said that while she’s still staring at me, I feel like I’m on a two-second timer to answer her question.

“Yes, I think so.”

“You think so or you know so?”

“I know so. I saw it outside, the same paint job and the same shape.”

She‘s still staring at me as her head is trembling, almost like she’s more scared than I am. She then starts rampantly chuckling.

“I know what you’re thinking, Ezekiel. And you’d be totally right. You probably think that was in fact, my car. Don’t you? I’ve been hearing about what you’ve been up to lately, word travels around.”

I was disoriented by what I just heard.

“You—-it wasn’t your car?”

She answers without hesitation, without any change in her monotone voice.

“Yes. It wasn’t mine. What exactly does this have to do with anything right now, Zeke?”

“What does it have to do with anything…are you crazy?”

She stares at me with a poker face that says I genuinely fucked up without moving the lips. I shouldn’t have said that. Guess what? I pushed even further. I interrupted her, I cut her off.

“No, Ezekiel. I am not crazy. Now, why don’t we shut up, sit up, and talk about something worthwhile, hmm? How about all those things you’ve told me in our first few session—-

“No. I want to talk about the rumors about me.”

She bangs her fist on the arm of her chair. In a fidgety manner, she then motions with a half cupped hand turned sideways in my direction. “Zeke. We will not be discussing the rumors. You’re letting your paranoia take control of you.

I stand up.

“Yes, we will! It’s my session and I will do what I want. Like for example, what the hell is wrong with your chair.”

“What?” She’s laughing at me,

“Why do you always forget that your stupid fucking chair doesn’t recline?”

She’s suddenly bewildered at me.

“You will NOT speak to me in that manner! You know where the door is, now get the hell out of here, before I report you!”

I kneel and get real close to her fake face with those fake eyes of hers. I stare into them with as much vigor as I got pumping through my blood right now, until something with a semblance of a soul surfaces in her pupils. A twinkle of fear. Of intimidation.

“Why don’t we talk about a few more subjects, doctor?” I said that to her. Hell, I practically snarled it at her. She seems like she’s on the brink of losing her composure.

“Particularly about a certain fucking email?” With every red hot flick coming off my tongue, I slap the side of the arm of her chair, right where the recording button is. She smirks at me as she whispers under her hot breath.

“What are you doing, you idiot?”

I whisper back at her “I’m getting to the truth. The truth about you.”

She smiles a grimace that I can only describe as pure human evil. She’s chuckling again, building up to a hoarse laugh through her teeth. I think to myself. That’s it. I’ve had it. I haven’t exploded yet, so now when I finally do it’s a bark that’s audible to everyone in the waiting room. Right then, I put my hand on the reclining chair next to her head, to stop it from rocking. I lash out.

“What is so damn funny?”

Her eyes gently move into my direction as her smile gets smaller, and whispers again.

“You’re going to kill yourself, Zeke. You’ll be alone.

My heart is in my throat. I can’t get all the words because it’s choking me too much.

“Y-you really…-you did do it. You have been recording me. And yo–” She interrupts with a snarl, yet with a devilish smile at the same time.

“Stop talking, Zeke. Your own mouth is what gets you in so much trouble. Always has been. When are you going to realize that?”.

We then stare at each other, just staring at each other, our eyes looking in a place like there’s an invisible beam between them. Then a voice comes from behind the door.

“Is everything okay in there?”

I look at the door and then shoot my neck back at her. She’s smiling at me now. The door is locked, so I know she’s gonna try to get over there. I block her, without saying anything. I just block her, getting in her way as I stare her down with a complete and utter poker face. She whispers so that the guy behind the door doesn’t hear her.

“This is where we stop. Now, from what I’m heard you still have today and tomorrow. When are you going to face the facts, Zeke?”

She slowly moves her head towards the door, with a cunning look in her eyes. As she does, she grabs the little elephant from the coffee table and throws it at the wall, and it shatters everywhere. I jump back in surprise, and then she slams her head forwards straight onto the coffee table. She then practically screeches

“HEEEEELP!”

The door bursts open, and a man in a red leather jacket with a brown striped shirt and a lumberjack like a face rushes in. He gets in between us, putting his arms around, shielding her with his body. She’s sobbing into his chest now. He sees me from behind, I’m thinking of which move to get out of here. I try stepping right, and he sees me and blocks me.

“I’m just trying to leave, man. Let me go. Just let me go, please.”

Carol is fake trembling, she’s giving her all into this performance. She screams at me.

“LET HIM! Let him leave, I just want him to go! Please don’t hurt me again! Just go!”

I stare at this man in the eyes, this man who is convinced that he’s doing the right thing and that I am some kind of monster. I eventually managed the courage to rush past him and storm through the door and out of the office. As I walked down those stairs and through the parking lot, I felt my entire body become petrified. My stomach churned and turned into stone. When I finally got home, I noticed how the feeling inside still hadn’t subsided yet. I rested my head against the steering wheel, and with all my rage intact, I shouted with the full power of my lungs, with my forehead still pressed up against the wheel.

“GOD!! DEAR GOD, YOU STUPID FUCK! YOU IDIOTIC FUCKING MORON! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHY?! WHY! WHY! WHY! WHY! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! FUCKING WHY?!”

After five more ”Why’s” and one last “IDIOT!” for good measure, I breathed in and out and felt my head clear and even start to cool. I got out of my car, slowly, and even gently shut the door. When I turned around, That shit show I caused back there at Carol’s office made me do a whole lot of thinking. A whole lot of thinking, next-level thinking. I thought about those two girls getting coffee. Then Justin. Then a list of a whole bunch of people. Then I remembered the day before Justin recommended me to a psychiatrist. That day he was talking about how great it was to have one as if he was setting up tomorrow’s conversation. I’m certain that he has something to do with this. Something to do with Dr. Ballard.

Exactly four hours left until it’s one in the morning. Then it’s been officially 120 hours since the email. Just like he said. I’m more than ever thinking about just giving in and finally giving them what they want, whoever the hell this psycho is. They said I don’t know their name. I feel in my mind, my hands wrapping around their throat and whoever this mystery fucker is, I blur their face in with that of Carol’s. Now I’m imagining my hands around her throat. I don’t see her as a person, I see her as this thing. This thing that tore my life apart with such utter ease. I can almost feel the palms of my hands meet her skin, squeezing, choking the life out of her for everything she’s done to me in the past months. I could just end this all—-it’d be so easy to. Why shouldn’t I? Because I’m more afraid than I ever have been before in my whole life? Because my heart is beating so fast it feels like it will jump up my throat and make me puke out the rest of my insides?

Seriously, somebody please help me. Someone, please tell me what to do. A part of me wants to give them what they want, it wants to surrender. I want to surrender. I’ve rarely ever asked for help before in my entire life, but now I need it more than ever—-and not just because I’m scared because I think I’m going to do it. I’m so close to giving them that money. My gun is in my hand again, but I don’t remember how it got there laying in my palm. I’m getting that tingly feeling again. I’m so close to just give in..

Please.

Credit : Cyrus Jay

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