"Hi, Vick. I'm glad you decided to come to my office," Dr. Lacy said with a smile. She extended her hand. I didn't move. I just stood there and stared at her with a blank expression on my face. She put her hand down. "That is okay. Maybe later. For now, would you mind coming with me?"
We began walking through the hallway. On the wall were the normal things that you'd find on a doctor's wall, the letters of recommendation, certificates from the schools and colleges she had graduated from. The hall was a little damp from the morning fog that rolled into our town this time of year.
When we reached the back office, she said, "You can have a seat here, Vick." She pulled out the chair from under the desk and gestured for me to take a seat. I plopped down on it. She moved around to the front of the desk and sat down in her chair. It is a cushy, black leather chair. It can easily put one to sleep. She turns on the monitor to her computer. "Today, Vick, we are going to work on some grounding exercises since you have already expressed your disinterest in talking about what is bothering you. These exercises," reaching for the paper on her desk, "may help you get back into the present moment, help you get back to eating a healthy diet and sleep properly. Does this sound like something you think that will help you?"
"I don't know. Nothing seems to help these days." I keep moving around in my chair. This thing is so uncomfortable. Every muscle in my body spasms. The lighting in this room is hurting my eyes. Fluorescent light has been more intrusive than it had been in the past. I can see every flicker, which is a drumbeat against my brain that causes small headaches.
"You will be able to use these grounding techniques at any time, any place, and anywhere, and no one has to know. I would like to start with one of these grounding techniques." In her hand is the paper.
"Sure. That is fine," I say with a mild disinterest.
"Okay. There are three ways to ground. There is mental, Physical, and soothing grounding. Which one looks interesting to you." She hands me the piece of paper. Under Mental Grounding there is "Play a 'categories' game with yourself". The objective is to think of “types of dogs,” “jazz musicians,” “States that begin with ‘A’ or anything else that comes to mind. Under Physical Grounding there is (1) run cool or warm water over your hands, (2) touch various objects around you and (3) stretch. Under Soothing Grounding there is, (1) say kind statements, as If you were speaking to a small ch… ch…
A surge of energy rips through my body, forcing me out of my chair. Dr. Lacy stays motionless in her chair with one hand under the desk; her face reveals she is ready to defend herself at all costs. I violently start ripping up the paper as I begin to shout, “Fuck you! Fuck you and this stupid paper! This isn’t going to help me! I can’t stay here!” I stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind me to make sure she couldn’t catch me quickly if she decided to follow.
(Image is my own.)