“Through My Mind At The Speed Of Sound” Part II
Just last week it felt like the world was at my fingertips. I had walked across the stage to obtain my college diploma and I had a promising internship for an advertising agency. With these plans, I was certain we could get our wall-to-wall library in Manhattan in no time.
It was mid-June and I was already planning the perfect Christmas. We were going to have one of those adorable miniature evergreen trees on our distressed oak and we would listen to the audio recording of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Story” on our laptop as we cuddled under a fluffy blanket and enjoyed peppermint flavored hot chocolate.
I was thrilled when Adam took a bus 5 hours away to come see me when I arrived at our meeting spot, the local Starbucks. I saw a man at a corner table dressed in a green polo and a newly pressed pair of jeans. That moment I could have sworn that the butterflies in my stomach were participating in some sort of epic dance battle. He smiled at me and I sat down in the chair across from him. I tried not to wince as the ice cold wooden chair made contact with my bare-skin legs. I somehow felt sloppy in my denim shorts, black T-shirt and my favorite rose print bandana.
Adam smiled, “Chai latte and an Oreo brownie?”
I paused, “You remembered my usual? Decaf vanilla and banana nut muffin with a pat of butter.”
“No caffeine? Are you nervous?”
I giggled… “Not at all”.
I fiddled around with my phone while he was getting our breakfast. He puts both our orders down on the table and smiled, and that moment I realized something that was fighting me. You got me the biggest latte they had. I was afraid that he would see it as a rejection if I did not finish the treat that he bought for me.
A huge source of anxiety for me is public toilets, and I was afraid to share this with him. But over the next several weeks, with Adams’ love and support, I found the strength to go to therapy to address this problem. I knew it was best if I wanted to get a real job and enjoy the life I was creating for myself.
Upon entering the therapist office I was overwhelmed by the smell of cinnamon and the sound of crickets being pumped through the office by small blue CD player outside the door of a dimly lit room.
I entered and there was a friendly looking older woman sitting in a purple armchair. “I’m Bridget,” she said smiling. After we went through that normal mumbo-jumbo they make you go through to make sure you’re not going to eat a gun or shoot up a post office, I started to tell her, about my unusual phobia. Little did I know opening up to her would be a crazy chain of events.
Well, Middle School was a really difficult time for me. I was on an antidepressant during this time and I suffered from mood swings as well as suicidal and homicidal thoughts. Despite me being very sick at this time, my parents were unaware, and my doctor was careless. I was also the victim of a lot of bullying. One thing in particular sticks out to me even as we speak over decades later…
Tears streaming down my face, which was now red hot with an anger and embarrassment… How can I tell her about something I never told anyone about that I’m still ashamed of? How can I tell her about something that I think about all the time that has so many questions and no resolution?
How could I continue?