“May I come in Dr. Crow?” I ask warily.
“Who is it?” He asks. Then he looks at his clock, “Ah yes Rebecca, come in. I saw your email. Your condition is most curious.”
“Did you prepare the area to my specifications?” I dare not step in the room until I know for sure.
“Of course. I removed all the l…”
“DON’T SAY THAT! JUST DON’T SAY THAT WORD!” I scream at the doctor before that vile word could escape his mouth.
“How careless of me. I should have thought before I spoke. Let me help you in the room,” I finally look upon the one who claims he is able to help me. His eyes sunk deep into his head, casting ghastly shadows on his face. His smile that he offers ends up looking diabolical to say the least. All this is paired with a tall and skinny body that is accented by a wiry mustache that rests upon his upper lip. His hand is stretched out to me but I hesitate, for I don’t know if this man will lead me to my demise. But I have to get past this problem I have. So I take a deep breath, accept his hand, and walk cautiously into his dark chambers.
“You removed every one of them?” I ask, still unsure if I made the right choice coming to him. I know that he is the best one out there to help me, trust me I’ve looked everywhere, but I still can’t help but wonder if there is more to Dr. Crow than all of his recommendations.
“I assure you that there is no danger in these four walls. You are safe.”
As I sit down I try to remind myself that I am safe, that nothing can hurt me. If Dr. Crow can be trusted I should be free by the end of the session.
“Why don’t you tell me when you first noticed your fear of…” I just look at Dr. Crow with contempt silencing him before he could utter that cursed word. I slowly lower into the chair, still scanning the area for any signs that he may have forgotten one of the cursed objects. Satisfied with the area, but still wary, I sit down and nod for the Doctor to continue. “Ah yes. So when was your first experience with your phobia?”
“Wellll…maybe…no…It could’ve been…uhm” I struggle to remember when I first saw the terror, but I still come up with nothing.
“Perhaps there was a trigger. Something you may have experienced or witnessed?” All I can do is shake my head in frustration. For the life of me I cannot imagine the cause. After all if I knew the root of my phobia I wouldn’t be here. “You do have options here. How far exactly are you willing to go to get over this?”
“As far as I have to. You have no idea what this has done to me.”
“Excellent,” the emphasis put on that word is so excruciatingly unnerving. “One option is to hold the…object. This can result in a flashback,” one look from me gave him all the answer he needs. “We’ll just call that plan B. Another option is hypnotism.”
“I’ve heard of it, but does it work?”
“In some cases no. I do, however, have high hopes for this method in your case. Are you willing to give it a shot?”
“All right let’s just move you over to the couch. Once you’re relaxed we can start,” As I lay down I try to remain calm. I’ve never been hypnotized before so I don’t know what to expect.
“Will it hurt at all?”
“No, not at all. All you need to do is relax and let me do all the work.”
“Shhhh. Take deep breathes in and out. In and out,” his voice suddenly turns into the sort of voice you would use on a child to calm it down. His gentle voice causes me to go into a completely involuntary state. “Now we float gently back through time. Before the panic, before all the fear. Are you there?”
“Yes,” it felt as if that was someone else’s voice. As if I were merely an observer of this strange patient with a peculiar problem.
“Good. How old are you?”
“Four,” a simple enough question after all. I am 27 and yet this mysterious patient claims to be an age that is impossible.
“Tell me what are you doing?”
“I’m playing in a surplus store while mom is getting stuff.”
“Where are you at in the store?”
“I’m in the lamp area.”
“Tell me what is happening.”
“I start spinning around. I’m going faster and faster. I slip and boxes of light bulbs fall on me. They’re surrounding me, crushing me!” I start breathing heavily and before I know it I snap back into my body, shocked at what I experienced.
“Are you alright?” Dr. Crow asks me.
“I think so. Is that really the reason for my fear?”
“Apparently so. To a four year old an experience like this can be world shattering. That is probably why you can’t remember. To you at that time it was too traumatic to remember. Apparently your subconscious remembered just enough to instill a crippling fear of light bulbs,” this time he was able to say it. I guess because I now understand where my fear came from it is not so scary anymore. I can finally live my life without that crippling fear.
“Thank you so much Dr. Crow. You really have helped me.”
“No problem. I was just doing my job. Now about the bill…”