Saturday, May 17, 2008

Season 1 - Episode 9

Scene 1 - Therapist’s Office

I was making real progress with Jason, especially after I attended the team practice. It was clear he respected and admired his coach, something I was beginning to do as well, despite my initial reluctance. I never imagined that I’d find so much in common with a sports coach, but I found him fascinating - truly fascinating.

Jason couldn’t participate because I hadn’t released him yet so he sat on the sidelines. At one point he even made sure I had something to drink - it was clear he would do anything to keep in good standing with Greg.

Greg. It took me awhile to adjust to calling him by his first name. It felt intimate - almost too intimate - but as he said, we were colleagues.

The practice was an eye-opener for me. I was expecting more of a testosterone-laden free-for-all but instead it was a well-choreographed and planned event. It was clear that Greg was in charge.

His use of time in hundreds of hours reminded me of that day in my office when he said practice started at 1600 hours sharp. A military background perhaps? Coach Greg Daniels was something of an enigma to me and I found that intriguing and exciting.

As I wrote up my notes from my last session I reflected back on my talk with Greg’s team. No eye-rolling, no fidgeting, no inappropriate behavior - just disciplined attention to every word I said. Made me wonder how much preparation Greg did before I arrived.

Jason would be here soon and I was eager to get this young man on his way to continue to live his life.

Scene 2 - Therapist’s Home

School was over for the summer and Dana was working almost full-time, saving up money for her trip to visit her father. I hadn’t seen her this excited in quite sometime. It was both wonderful and painful as I struggled with my own issues over the direction our lives had taken since the breakup of my marriage, finally accepting that residual issues from my own childhood had gotten in the way of our lives all these years.

I decided that Dana’s absence this summer would be a good time to finally deal with some of the demons I had buried all these years - demons that were now coming out of the closet, refusing to be buried anymore. My challenge was to release them and not let them control my life any longer - a challenge that scared me to death.

And I thought to myself that for a therapist I could be pretty dense at times.

Scene 3 - Therapist’s Office

Regina was in my office today. I had insisted. She sat in the chair that was the twin to the one in her office. It nearly swallowed her up. It was the end of the day and I had brought food. Throwing a blanket on the floor I setup an impromptu picnic.

She eyed me cautiously.

“Who says I’m hungry,” at least her voice had some spunk to it.

“You will be when you see what I have.”

“I don’t think so,” she turned her nose up at me and wrapped her arms around herself like a defiant child.

“Okay - but your cousin said these were all your favorites and even from your favorite restaurant.”

That got her attention.

The smell of fried chicken, cornbread and baked beans wafted through my office and I felt my stomach growl. I hadn’t eaten lunch and suddenly realized just how hungry I was.

Despite her stubbornness, Regina looked over to see the logo of Gerry’s Chicken Shack branded on the side of the containers I had unpacked.

I dug in not wanting to wait for her to make up her mind and my stomach finally stopped growling after my third bite of chicken.

“Um, this is good.” My words were almost lost through a mouthful of cornbread and butter. “Your cousin knew what she was talking about.”

“She couldn’t find a good restaurant even if one was right in front of her.” The defiance in Regina's voice gave me hope. “I’m the one who told her about Gerry’s in the first place.”

“Yes, but she’s the one who told me about it.” I scooped up some beans with the cheap plastic spoons that came with the food. “Um, these beans are delicious.”

Regina pretended not to notice how much I was enjoying my impromptu picnic but I saw her eye the food as I took another bite.

She slid from the chair and finally joined me on the floor

“You know that’s the kind of food that will kill you if you eat too much of it.”

“Then I guess you’d better help me eat it since there’s enough for three of us.”

And we had a good laugh. Mission accomplished.