Leslie's Omnibus

Book Your Ticket

Late, but -- fear not -- done at last, Chapter Three of the Psychevella.

Bob started us out with Bitter Herbs.

Christina followed up with Heads Up.

See below for Chapter Three.

Next Friday? Amelie takes on Chapter Four, followed by...

Caltechgirl's Chapter Five, and...

El Capitan winds us up with Chapter Six.

Happy reading!

Shrink This

"I tell you, Doctor, that I am in over my head with one of my patients. I know that a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder is controversial, but this particular patient is a high functioning dissociative. I am certain of it. And, unlike most patients who present multiple personalities, each personality he has displayed is acutely aware of the others. In fact, they cooperate so that he can function on the job and earn enough of a living to subsidize each of their peculiar habits and needs."

Monica Schoedel twisted a tissue between her hands as she spoke. She sighed, glanced up at the ceiling, and tried to collect her thoughts. Damn. I know analysis is an ongoing part of the profession, but I hate this process -- the therapist undergoing therapy.

"What is making my work with this patient increasingly more difficult is that each one of these ‘personalities’ is presenting transference issues, as well. No, not in an emotional attachment – to the contrary, it presents as outright hostility."

Monica shifted her hips and tried to settle more comfortably on the leather couch. If I am uncomfortable with myself and with this process, how the hell am I going to get comfortable on this couch? She blew out a sharp breath and covered her eyes with her forearm.

"Yes, I am aware this process is about me and not about my patient, but my inability to reach this patient on any sort of therapeutic level has me doubting my own abilities – even my choice of profession."

There. I’ve said it.

"George and his Catholic fascination with sin, blood, death and rebirth. Lenny, with his fascination with persecution, atonement and death. And lately, there is Sudin, with his own fascination with the goddess Kali and death as a transformative process. Each of these manifestations is morbidly transfixed with the idea of death – and angry, very angry with me for not ‘understanding’ his suffering. Each of them dreams of and experiences death each night. Each of them feels he has been chosen to suffer for the sins of all his ‘people’. Each of them revels in that suffering, and in being the ‘only one’ that understands.

"How do you help a patient who spreads his pain and woes on display like treasure and refuses to discuss the root causes or pathways to resolution?"

Monica heard a doorknob turn, the slightly muffled squeak of hinges, and then footsteps behind her.
Time to get to work.
"Good afternoon, Dr. Schoedel."

"Hello, Dr. Feldstein. I’m sorry. I must have dozed off while I was waiting."

"That’s understandable, as the couch is very comfortable. Shall we begin?"
* * * * *
After her session with Dr. Feldstein, Monica returned to her office, drew the shades, switched on a brass desk lamp and took out her notes on George/Lenny/Sudin. As she flipped through several legal pads-worth of notes, she retrieved a new pad from her desk drawer and began to write:
What I find fascinating is that two of the three personas were fully manifested when George/Lenny first came to me for treatment. Sudin is a newer persona, still emerging in our sessions. DID, however, typically presents during the psychotherapy process, not before treatment begins.
Has George undergone psychiatric therapy in the past? If so, perhaps a consult with his previous therapist is in order.

Monica pushed the legal pad away and leaned back in her chair, tapping the end of her pen lightly against the top of her desk as she thought.

Yes. It would be very helpful to understand what triggered the dissociation in the first place.

She stowed her notes back in their usual locked file cabinet, and turned back to her desk, when she noticed the blinking message light on her telephone. She had time before her next patient, so she dialed up her voicemail.

"Dr. Schoedel? This is Detective Mitch Cahill of NYPD. I need to speak with you urgently about one of your patients – George McCuddahey. My cell phone number is 212-555-8954. Please return my call as soon as you get this message."
Monica dropped the phone back in its cradle, and raised a trembling hand to cover her mouth. This could not be good news. She picked up the phone again and rescheduled her next appointment, then dialed Detective Cahill’s number.
"Detective Cahill, this is Dr. Monica Schoedel. You called regarding my patient George McCuddahey?"

"Yes, Doctor. We have reason to believe Mr. McCuddahey, or whatever he is calling himself today, is in serious danger. I found your number from a copy of an invoice left by his telephone. He is your patient, is he not?"
Monica cleared her throat and said, "Yes, I can confirm that he is a patient. Any more than that is covered by doctor/patient confidentiality."
"Doctor, I understand that your ethics don’t permit you to disclose what he is being treated for… but we have found signs of a struggle in his home, his mother insists that he would never voluntarily disappear, evidence that he is seeing a psychiatrist – you – and…"
"And, Detective?"
"And I also have evidence that McCuddahey has been working under an alias – Lenny Markowitz. Given all that, I was hoping you might be able to give me an idea of what kind of trouble McCuddahey might be in, or where we might be able to find him."
An alias, she thought. That’s certainly one way to look at it.
"Detective, I’d like to help you, but ethically my hands are tied. What I can do, Detective, is review my notes, make some calls and see if I can locate Mr. McCuddahey, and ask him to contact you himself. Would that be helpful?"
She could hear the detective’s frustration in the rising tone of his voice.
"Yes, Doctor. That would be very helpful. Thanks. Thanks a lot." And he rang off.
Monica dropped her head in her hands, thinking that she’d failed her patient after all. George/Lenny/Sudin. Where were they? What happened to them?


Anonymous said...

Well worth the wait, lady, well worth the wait!

Anonymous said...

You are truly awesome! And now we have Sudin, a devotee of the Goddess Kali. A rather nasty nymph, that one. My oh my -- this could get messy.

amelie said...

this is beautifully done, dear, but where should i take it now?! i guess i have some thinking to do...

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly tackled. I'm dying to find out what happens next.

Anonymous said...

Well done!

Phoenix said...

Great job, but curse you, now I'm gnashing my teeth and wracking my brain to know who owned the head that came out of the fridge.

Amelie - I want answers!