An Exercise in Addressing Pain: Session One

by epi

“I was raped.”

“I’m sorry??”

“At 21, I gave my virginity to a rapist. I’ve learned enough say “it wasn’t my fault” even though I don’t believe that. I was drinking. I wouldn’t have even been at that bar if I wasn’t drinking. So I have responsibility.”

“Well, that’s quite the start. How about we start with your name.”

“Why? My name came with the appointment. My medical information is scribbled multiple times on all those forms you had me fill out.”

“True. You gave quite the introduction.”

“I guess it could’ve just as easily said that I read a lot though.”

“But you didn’t”

“Yeah, Well, reading doesn’t pack quite the punch that rape does.”

Valid. And is that why you’re here? To talk about your rape?”




“Would you like to explain why you’re here then?”

“No. Not really. Shouldn’t my being here be enough? I mean, not anybody can do this. Not only just call and make the appointment, but actually show up?”

“I can’t help you if you don’t help me.”

“Is there an option for a new therapist? One who doesn’t used outplayed clichés?”


“What?? It’s not like I’m asking for much, just a bit of originality. Besides, why should you care if you can help me or not? I’m paying you. You’re getting paid. Most people would kill for that in this economy.”

“You couldn’t pay me enough to waste my time.”

“On second thought, I like you. I’ll keep you.”

“How… nice of you to say so. And the question still stands.”

“I don’t know. On some level, I’m looking for the same thing everyone is looking for: to be told I’m not crazy. And if I am, to be saved from it somehow.”

“I can’t save you.”

“I’m not really looking for a savior. I don’t even really think that I can be saved.”

“That seems a bit bitter. Besides, you just said you’re here to be saved.

“I know. Not salvation, I guess. Not really. Other than that, I don’t know. Maybe just somewhere to talk. Maybe someone to listen.”

“Then talk. You still have 30 minutes.”

“About what?”


“Like how I can never manage to light a cigarette until the 10th time? Or how I hate the cold? I came here to talk about myself and now I don’t know what to say.”

“Well, not quite what I was thinking, but, it’s a start. So, you smoke?”

“Hey… hey hey now, no need to disapprove. I’m a social smoker only. Who tends to have most of her cigarettes alone.”

“Why? What makes you smoke?”

“Honestly? Because in the city, it makes you invisible. Because people cease to see anything but a lit cancer stick in your hand. Men stop imagining what they want to do with your body, and only see that disgusting habit. I’m not sure why, maybe they’re intimidated, maybe they don’t want your cigarette-y breath flowing over them in the throes of their imaginary pleasure. I don’t know why, and I don’t care. It’s nice sometimes, to be invisible. To be left alone…”

“What do you mean?”

“By it’s nice to be left alone? It’s nice to be left alone. &my time’s up anyway.”

“Good catch. Will I see you again?”

“I can’t be sure. Not right now. I’ll schedule. And tell you if I plan to cancel. Am I crazy?”

“That’s fine. See my assistant on the way out. & maybe. But then again, maybe I am too…”

“The truth in that frightens me. Again, I like you. Maybe I’ll keep you around?”

“Maybe. Let’s just try to make it to the next appointment, okay?”