I've always been a bit fucked up, as a kid. I used to bite the skin off my lips til they bled and hit stuff til the skin on my knuckles split. It wasn't really anger issues, like my mom thought it was back in those days. I just didn't know how else to deal with my over active emotions or whatever it is they used to call it.
My mom tried all sorts of things, sending me to on those play date things, keeping me busy, martial arts, all sorts of shit like that. Eventually, she got fed up of trying to sort it out herself and sent me to about five or six different therapists, trying to find one that I would actually talk to. Well, no, she didn't get fed up. That makes her sound like a shitty mom and she's not. She just couldn't handle me anymore. She had to give up her job to look after me and the amount of times I've flipped out and hit her makes me feel horrible, but it's not her fault, and it's not really my fault, ‘cause I was just a kid back then. I didn't understand what I was doing.
Anyways, she sent me to all these different psychologists and therapists and whatever, but I'd never talk to any of them. If I didn't hit them, or throw something at them, they were considered a near enough success.
But there was this one who was just... different. I think you know who I mean. Blue eyes and a soft voice. All the others got straight to the point, tried straight off to figure out why I was such a horrible little shit. Campbell didn't do that. He didn't question me, he didn't try to pry into my thoughts or feelings. He just... I dunno. I remember him sitting me down on his couch and asking me why I thought I was here.
"Because I'm a shitty son?" my twelve year old self asked him with a shrug. I didn't fucking know what to say. "Are you gonna be a nosy asshole like all the others?" he smiled and shook his head. I don't really remember much of it after that. I think he just observed me as I got bored and took to his wall with a Sharpie, doodling the usual twelve year old boy crap on a patch of the wall paper.
I remember when mom came to pick me up from his office and her asking how I'd been.
"He redecorated my office for me," he smiled. My mom looked mortified, and she scolded me, but Campbell shrugged it off and told her it'd make interesting study or some shit like that. "It's needed a fresh lick of paint for a while, I suppose. He doesn't like the decor, he got his point across quite clearly." Mom seemed confused by his calm approach to me spending half my session with him defacing the room, but she thanked him profusely and booked another appointment right away.
So Campbell's been my therapist for the best part of five years now, nearly six, I think. Sometimes I feel like he will be til one of us dies - whichever of us that is first.
That's not pessimism, by the way. He just doesn't smoke or have a drug habit. Or suicidal tendencies. At least, none that I know of. Judging by the state of his marriage sometimes, I do wonder if he's in a fit enough mental state for his job.
But I guess I don't care about that as much as I should do. I'm not sure what I'd do if he disappeared one day. We'd have to go back to looking for another therapist, most likely, but I'm not sure I'd open up to anyone else these days. It took Campbell long enough to get me to open up when I didn't have trust issues.
I mean, I never had much to open up about back then. All I knew was I was weird, and other kids didn't like me so much. But it must have been so much effort to get me to talk to him at all. There were sessions that were spent in nearly complete silence. It didn't take him too long to figure out that I didn't like the couch and I needed something to do. He wouldn't argue if I moved stuff around on his desk, and he made sure he always had a pad of paper and a Sharpie hanging around for me.
Little things like that warmed me to him. Others would have stopped me from doing stuff, or openly encouraged me to represent how I feel in a drawing. Campbell just let me doodle. I'm no good at art.
One day, when I was about thirteen, nearly fourteen, he suggested I take up music as a way of release and a constructive release for my frustration. Drumming was the natural choice for me. Challenging and violent enough to hold my attention. My dad heard about it and gave over the garage to me as a music room. I've spent the last few years converting it into a proper music studio.
But that was about when my dad's business kinda took off. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's all successful and shit, but it would be nice to see him a bit more often, y'know? ‘Cause when he comes back home, I usually seem to have a bad mood swing, like seeing him sets me off or something. I just blame his absence for everything, even though I know it's not his fault - it never has been. He's just an easy scapegoat, I guess. But yeah, as much as I want to see the guy, he finds it hard to get a word out of me that isn't some sarcastic remark about him being home at last. The average family dinner will go something like this:
"So, how is school going?" he'll ask, while I'm sitting there picking at my food, not really wanting to be there.
"As good as it can be going for me, I s'pose," I'll reply kind of sullenly, not looking up at him.
"What's that supposed to mean?" which is when my mom will get all nervous, and understandably so, because that's usually the point at which I'll flip out.
"What's it to you anyways? If you gave a shit about how school was going, you'd be there every time mom gets dragged to the office for whatever it is I've fucked up this time," my voice will rise and I'll look up at him, all angry and defensive.
"Go on then, what have you done this time?" he'll growl and my mom will try and step in at this point and say that it's nothing, it's nothing to worry himself over, but I'm too pissed off to care what he thinks of me by this point. It's not like he respects me anymore anyways, ‘cause he has zero sympathy for people with drug addictions, which means he has no sympathy for me at all.
"Oh, y'know, I just decided to overdose on heroin in the parking lot. The usual," I'll snap and watch as his blood pressure rises and my mom sort of chews on her lip and looks between us, wondering how to stop us from launching ourselves at each other across the table.
"You got yourself in that mess, get yourself out of it. Don't drag your mother into your stupid shit," he'll yell at me and that's usually when I'll break something, or throw my plate at him. It's not like I hate him or anything. I just can't control what I do. I could if I put the effort in, but I don't. I don't want to.
Especially if I'm stupid enough to snort a few lines of coke before dinner, ‘cause coke just makes me all horny and agitated.
But I don't have daddy issues.
Who knows, maybe the next time he comes back home, I'll be enough of a zombie to be civil with him.