|The Rose (standard:drama, 4212 words)|
|Author: Puck||Added: Sep 27 2000||Views/Reads: 2352/1376||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This is a story about a the year a man spent as a psychologist in a mental institute.|
There was a time when I really cared. I valued what other people thought. Had wanted to help others. Even had supported my fellow man. That was why I wanted to be a psychologist. I wanted to make people better. Well think better at least. It all sounded so great on the surface. Helping people. Curing mental disorders. Having patient’s look up to you. But down below it was nothing like that. When you’re fresh out of grad school, you don’t get the cushy hospital jobs. The brilliant white, sickeningly sterile corridors were reserved for the “seasoned” professionals. The guys with the peppery gray hair that looked as if it had melted off the top of their heads, but still clung fast to the sides, leaving the tell-tale bald spots; though they pretended they had a full mane of hair. The guys with the massive mahogany desks and brass name plates on their doors. The guys with the beady, unemotional eyes magnified by their three-inch thick glasses. The guys that nodded their heads and said, “Hmm, now how does that make you feel?” to every complaint a patient gave. Yet somehow in this hierarchy, the reigned superior to us “youngins.” Though I don’t see twenty-nine as young. Yet the only thing that separated them from us, was three letters. P-H-d. Somehow, those three little letters made all the difference. Without those three letters, you were a peon like me. You got the other jobs, in the institutes. Working with the depressed, the obsessive-compulsive, the dissociative disorders, the post-traumatics, the schizophrenics, the anorexics and bulimics. It was a challenge to me at first. For some reason, my masters in psychology made me feel invincible. I could help anyone. I could cure everything. Hell, I was a magician with a magic wand. Mr. Depressed? Zap! You’re Mr. Happy now. Mr. Obsessive-compulsive? Zap! You can stop washing your hands now. Drug addicts? Zap! No withdrawl, your addiction is gone. If only it were that easy. You wouldn’t believe what I encountered the first time I stepped foot into the lounge at Gibson Mental Institute. “Ted, take your pills!” “No, no pills, don’t need the pills. I’m fine, no pills.” A man was perched on the back of the brown and orange plaid couch in the lounge room, trying to steady himself. The couch tipped precariously on its legs, threatening to tip at any moment. I glanced around the room. An old black and white television sat on a worn out stand. The stand appeared to dip in the middle, as if the television were too much for it to handle. The couch the man was crouching on the back of, looked to be at least twenty years old. The cushions were flattened out, letting you know that many had sat there over the course of its life. A young man, he looked to be about twelve, was curled up on the end of the couch, his eyes never straying from the television, even through all the rocking and tipping. In the corner of the lounge was a brown armchair. A young woman, who looked to be more bone than woman was sitting on it. She meticulously picked at the stuffing protruding from the large tear in the arm of the chair. Her eyes were sunken in, and she looked as if she were no longer a person, but a walking skeleton. She lifted her head up and studied me, her eyes examining me as I stood there, letting me know she had caught me staring at her. She half smiled, then resumed her picking. “Ted, please get down and take your pills. I would rather you didn’t fall.” A large African-American woman, dressed in full nurse’s garb, held out a small paper cup. The man noticed me and leapt from the couch. He ran behind me, hiding his face in the back of my suit jacket. He quickly glanced up at me. “Mister, please help me, that woman. Pills. She has poison. The pills. Poison. Says they’ll help. Poison!” He buried his face in the back of my jacket. I could feel him trembling. The large woman came toward us, her arm outstretched with the paper cup still in her hand. I glanced down at her name-tag. It read “Mary Olsen.” “Excuse me, Miss Olsen?” I said. “Who are you? And please move away from the patient so I can give him his medication!” Her voice was gruff, I could understand why Ted was trembling, her voice frightened me. Click here to read the rest of this story (409 more lines)
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