"The Good Doctor"
Following instructions that were posted on the inside front door, I pressed the intercom and waited for a reply. “May I help you”? “Yes, I’m Suzy Pafka and I have an appointment with the “Good Doctor” at 2:30. “I’ll tell the Good Doctor you’re here. Please have a seat, she’ll be right with you,” the nondescript voice responded.
Not only was I here, but I was sitting in a renovated brick Firehouse. My fucking brother spent over 20 years of his life in a firehouse, under the guise of “saving lives.” How ironic- no one knew of the lives he destroyed.
The original brick walls of the firehouse had been sandblasted and preserved to maintain the original look of the firehouse. Unique original art lined the walls, with every piece carefully placed and professionally framed. Nothing here was thrown together. Newly carpeted stairs sat off to the left which led to other floors.
The furniture complimented the art, which complimented the structure and design. Form and function at it’s best.
An enormous window looked out into the street, which at one time housed the garage that held the screaming red fire trucks facing forwards in order to respond immediately to any alarm the firehouse received.
Overstuffed wicker furniture outlined the room with enough seating for 10-12 people.
How many Doctors were in this place? Better still, how many patients?
Patients/people wandered in, went methodically to the intercom, announced themselves and took a seat. I refused to make eye contact with anyone. I wasn’t like them and I refused too be linked in any way.
Two glass doors in the back of the first floor, which were locked seemed like entry ways to other offices.
The huge sign above the door on the outside of the building, as you walked in read, “Firehouse 19 – Post Traumatic Stress Center.”
Post Traumatic Stress Center??? I wasn’t a soldier, or veteran. I wasn’t in any war.
I wasn’t in any battle. I had no scars or flashbacks to horrific events.
Was this catch all phrase- Post Traumatic Stress being taken just a tad bit too far?
True, I had a crappy childhood, but that was over 50 years ago. I had resolved all that. There wasn’t anything anyone could do about it anyway. What’s done is done. Period. What was the Good Doctor going to do about it now-almost 60 years later? Or was the Good Doctor going to be perform some sort of magic act pulled from the circus of my childhood, which hardly could be called magical, and make it all the nonsense disappear as if it never happened? Not unless the Good Doctor was some sort of magician.
Well, I would certainly tell The Good Doctor what I thought.
I had agreed to see her for 1 consultation after I blurted out at a best friend’s family’s dinner party that I had been sexually abused by family and others. In my 30 years of knowing my friends, I had never told anyone, nor had I ever mentioned it in therapy. But that was years ago. I kept it to myself and dealt with it.
My friend convinced me that I should at least see The Good Doctor, even if it was once or twice.
There was no real crisis at this point. Yeh, the news of a family member being responsible for someone’s death was very upsetting, but I had that in perspective too.
I had been on my own for many years and resolved things on my own. Things weren’t perfect, God knows, but so much better than I could have ever imagined. True, the weight was/is an issue. That came and went. The older I got the more I pulled away from people and tended to stay home, but could be explained by the mere fact that I worked at a university and had enough social contact all day long. I needed my privacy and my downtime.
I wasn’t in a love relationship, but that was my choice. I felt safer living alone.
This was my life and things were okay. I had my dogs and life was good.
At the exact scheduled time, 2:30PM, a woman emerged from one of the glass doors.
She politely asked if I was Suzy Pafka and I said yes. She introduced herself as the Good Doctor and asked me to step into her office.
Yeh, this wasn’t going to last a long time. One or two appointments at best.
To be continued.....