Monday, March 12, 2007

"The Good Doctor"

They said she was an expert in her field. What the hell did that mean? Why was I even here? I had dealt with this bullshit years ago.

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.....


Blogger Terry Whitaker said...

Please don't make me wait for the next installment. I am beyond riveted.

8:53 PM  
Blogger grammer said...

Suzy, I feel like we're sitting in the kitchen at Carrie's, I can hear you saying all of this. I so enjoy the way you write, you've really set the scene here emotionally, analytically, and physically. Looking forward to part 2. xo

9:17 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Hey Suzy, it's so great to find another story here. Even kind of knowing where you're going with this, I hated that you ended where you did. You had me right in that room with you. I can sure relate to believing I had it figured out. I'm looking forward to meeting your Good Doctor!

10:46 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

So glad The Good Doctor came into your life. She was one of your first steps on the journey that brought our paths together. And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

Hearing you read your graduation speech makes me even more grateful to TGD for all she's done for you and others.

Can't wait to read the next part of this story. Get to writing, girl.

10:49 PM  
Blogger kario said...

I can't wait to see where this goes, Suzy! You spin such a good yarn, girl, and I'm right there with you - resisting every effort to undo the walls I've spent years to put up and protect myself. What courage you had, and what good friends. Love.

11:08 PM  
Blogger s@bd said...

riveting - pls do continue

12:09 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Your writing is fantastic. You have such wonderful, colorful yet subtle descriptions, and such smooth, conversational movement, that I feel kicked out prematurely every time a post is finished! Which is an amazing quality: always leave 'em wanting more. Like everyone else, I already can't wait until the next one!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Prema said...

Love the set up - it builds so casually but leaves me riveted, ditto Terry. Love that we really get to know YOU as you describe the events. Very good writing. More, soon, k? I can't go on like this, checking a couple times a day!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jenny Rough said...

Nice piece Suzy. I'm glad you shared with your friends what happened and I'm glad you're talking and writing about it now.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

And, on a selfish note, none of us would be a circle if Suzy hadn't met TGD. From that, one miracle after another has transpired! We LOVE TGD. We LOVE Suzy. We LOVE Suzy's great "voice" in her writing!


10:04 AM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

Portland, Oregon LOVES the Suzster!

8:01 PM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Oh Suzy......I see the angels on your shoulders, propelling you forward.

Go, go, go!

You are brave and amazing.

10:05 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

...on the edge of my seat! Excellent work...deep breath...keep going...and this stage, it really wouldn't hurt to do some meditation...can you find a teacher or a class or maybe I'll send the Jack K. series?? Remember, when you are done, rest your weary mind. That is very important. Rest, rest and more rest!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Go Mama said...

Glad to see you're writing about her. This will be good! Great set-up, all casual-like, but I too wanted to read more...

1:40 AM  

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