The other day, at my therapist’s, she asked me to speak out. I instantly coiled into myself like a worm, snuggling into its woolen skin and prickly little thorns. Inside the cocoon, I thought, ‘where are my words?’ I found a few, all rusty and brittle, from the corners I had swept them into. I couldn’t make out what they were. I stuttered and I stopped. She didn’t ask me to speak again. “Ask me again”, I yelled inside, which only came out as a sudden gasp for breath. She looked at me sympathetically, and I back. I awkwardly lied on her couch, while she asked me to tighten each muscle of my body and release them. I clenched my fists, foot, and tightened my face muscles in awkward positions. “Breath in, Breath out”, she murmured, checking her planner for the next appointment.
I clung dearly to the tiny cushion she offered. It clung to me like a dutiful assistant, and offered comfort like it should, as the ‘case’ clenched its feet and fists and face. Every person that held it left a cringe on its face. I could see the stress lines increasing every week I came back to the therapist’s office.
As I left her office that day, I was able to look around, before a usual headache crept in. Suddenly, I felt lonely. I was alone and that terrified me. My phone rang but it seemed meaningless. I looked at every person around, and everyone was lonely. They desperately held on to the last few seconds of a call before it hung up, chained themselves to music about being alone, and the others looked at the mannequins through the windows. I felt nauseated and I wanted to run. To run in a green field! But I boarded the usual bus; I pretended to look outside and wondered where all these people came from, and where they were all going. It was maddening. Everybody seemed to know what they were doing. But I knew they weren’t. I looked at myself and repeated after the therapist’s sound in my head. Speak out!