‘I think’, and he paused, cause this was difficult, and hard, ‘I think, he continued, that I may be a paedophile. ‘I have these very deep, dark and depraved thoughts, and feelings and I am afraid, afraid I may take action on them quiet soon’. With that he dropped his head, he couldn’t bear to look at her now. His physical body reflecting his inner shame and self hate. But their it was, he had said it now. It was out in the open, no way of taking it back.
She got up from her black leather chair, and moved closer to the window. Looking out from the first floor, she looked across to the green, where a few people were sitting and enjoying the warm sunshine, (she knew what he meant), It seems all so normal out there. ‘How do I deal with this’, she asked hersellf silently.
He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, while still looking down toward the ground. Reflected that the red carpet, like the rest of the decor in the room, seemed only to add to the darkness and despair, that were his constant companion these last few months. He so wished she would say something, anything to break the silence. Condemn him, praise him, comfort him, understand him. But there was nothing, just silence.
The words she had just heard, began to awaken memories, in Andrea, of a time and place, many years ago now, that she had long since put under lock and key in the deep in the recesses of her mind, never to see daylight again. Yet her (Andera’s) mind could not but help (went) drifted back to when she too was a child. To those warm and sunny holidays. A welcome break from school. How she really loved animals, horses in particular. But yet she did not wish to sully, nor allow her love of animals to be degraded and ruined by recalling memories and events she had no control over, now or then.
But she did not want to revisit that time,that place in her mind, as there was little to be gained from it. She had to an extent made peace with her past, tried forgiveness, and understanding. But being human, like us all,it was not at times easy to drop all desires for (she too wanted) revenge. To inflict hurt and distress on those who had stolen her childhood. Mental health professionals had been of some help, as had in earlier years a heavy reliance on alcohol and illicit drugs.
A desire to help others deal with there own eventful past had drawn her into the Mental Health arena she derived some satisfaction from her work.
‘Could you give me some more detail Stephen’, she asked softly and gently. Trying to get him, this man to open up, some more.
‘Don’t play games with me Doctor’, he looked at her, his eyes narrow and mean. His voice sharp, loud and unfriendly. He always called people like her Doctor, even though she wasn’t a medical Doctor. It kept a bit of a barrier, a boundary between them, and that’s the way he wanted it.
‘Read between the lines’ Doctor, you’ve being doing this job long enough’, you know what I’m talking about’.
She was quite new to counselling, and was getting used to dealing with troubled people, with their depressions, relationship troubles, with their loneliness and isolation. But this……….did she have the life experience to know what to say. To say the right words. What can you say to someone like this, a human being like this whom she despised, for what he may have in his past. But she knew a day such as this day would come. She just about managed to maintain her professionalism.
‘What makes you think you may act out your depraved thoughts,and feelings. Be a paedophile ?’ She finally asked. Even the word, caused her stomach to churn, as she said it, unsure if she was about to throw up. She stared at him intently. Trying to hide how she despised him, and his like. Attempting to be compassionate and understanding. But his lack of remorse. His semi cavalier attitude in her office, did little to endear him to her.
Stephen didn’t like her at all, but she was the only psychotherapist available when he was referred. He so wished he had being referred to a male psychotherapist, at least then ,one man would be more likely to understand another man, to a much greater extent. Rather than a stupid bitch of a woman.
But she would have to do, as he knew he had to open up to someone, as his mind was in constant turmoil. Sleepless nights, followed by restless days. His reasoning was, it just had to be helpful to bring his deep, dark thoughts into the light, and out of the darkness. Perhaps maybe there was a way, these powerful thoughts, feelings would go away, and bring him some peace. But did he truly want his lustful desires to go away.
‘Because,’ Stephen spoke, slowly at first. Wanting to share his hidden innermost thoughts, with somebody, with any body. Intense Lust and desire. The overwhelming feeling to be physically close to the child. To enjoy their innocence and open acceptance of another human being. To share a child’s laughter and joy. And what’s the most intimate way to form such a connection, a spiritual, physical, mental and emotional connection with another human being, that is so precious. No man could ever pull apart. A union enshrined in love, tenderness, gentleness and compassion. A union of two humans, encapsulated / enshrined by the most intimate of acts. How could anybody who never experienced these thoughts, and feelings ever understand them.
‘I have such strong feelings in that direction’. Unwilling to even say the words. ‘You know what I’m talking about’. He paused,trying to put his jumbled, confused thoughts into coherent sentences. ‘I enjoy the company of young children so much, I love their innocence, their joy, their happiness, their unconditional love’.
‘But that doesn’t make you a paedophile, maybe your just an adult who is perhaps intimidated by other adults. I myself enjoy the company of children, and you find children’s company easier’,
Stephen listened intently to what was being said,
‘Do you ever want to be intimate with any children ?’ she asked.
‘God no’, he lied. The very idea sickened him, and horrified him, he maintained.
‘I would never, ever harm them’.
‘Have you ever being intimate with a child ? ever,’ she asked.
‘No’, Stephen replied.
Andrea was proud of herself, how she handling such a difficult counselling session, in a semi professional and detached manner. Asking the difficult uncomfortable questions that needed to be answered.
‘You see Stephen, these thoughts and feelings you have’, these feelings you have, may lead you into trouble, and may cause you to bring hurt and harm to children. Is that what you want ?’
‘No, I know these ideas in my mind are not right’. But he did not truly believe that. If only other people could understand his perspective, and his life experiences.
’But I don’t know how to get rid of them, how to make them go away. That’s why I’m afraid.’
‘Do you have many adult friends/acquaintances’?
‘Not a single one. I don’t like people as they grow older, and become adults. Because then they become cruel, and not nice to others. That’s why I prefer children. I wish there were only sweet inconnect happy children in the world, and no adults.’
‘Would you be willing to come to counselling on a long term basis ?’, Andrea asked
He went quiet, as he thought about that, as he didn’t particularly wish to see her again, perhaps another man.
‘Maybe, Don’t know’, he responded, without looking at her.
The sun began to shine its rays and (heat) through the window, bringing with it warmth and light. Somehow, the sunshine, as Andrea reflected to herself, seemed to make the future look a somewhat more bright and hopeful, as it always does.
Andrea (Part 2). ?
Slowly he got dressed. Trying to delay the inevitable, like a child trying very much trying not to go to school.To leave the comfort and security of their home, and mainly of their mother. As he slowly made his way towards the train station, ignoring the warm sunshine. He thought about turning back and not going at all, for a brief moment, and just running away. But realising there was no real escape, as the consequences of not turning up, were none too pleasant to contemplate. He knew how he, an accused paedophile would be treated in prison, Wasn’t even sure if he would actually make it through a prison term safely.
Here he was accused, but not condemned man. But with such an accusation like that hanging over his head, he was as good as condemned in many people’s minds already. His life was as good as ruined anyway. Very few had stood by him. So called friends swifty drifted away. Work stopped calling. Even his family, his own flesh and blood, had not been in contact since the accusation was first made. So much for family loyalty.
Andrea sat in her office awaiting the arrival of Stephen. She wasn’t even sure if he was going to turn up at all. She had not rehearsed how she was going to deal with this session, having decided she was just going to let it play out as it would, whatever way that was.
In any case her mind was more focused on her own life. Her own issues, her two young daughters, and her mother’s deteriorating condition. Her Mother’s dementia getting worse by the day. Was now the time to take that step she so didn’t want to take, and put her beloved mother into a care home. This woman who only a few short years previously, was the life and soul of any gathering. Whose brain was shaped by years of fast quick thinking as her many years of working as a lawyer, dealing with others with equally sharp, quick minds.
But now she too was like a child, unable to look after herself. Her memories and thoughts skipping all over the place, in an incoherent mess. As Andrea thought of this, her tears began to flow, and her chest began to heave and shake. With great power slammed her palm onto the desk in utter frustration and anger. The white mug of tea on the desk shook and emptied some of its contents. Andrea’s frustration and anger at life. At God. At the scientists who could find no cure. At the unfairness of it all. But Andrea was also angry and disappointed with herself. How in recent months she had become, quite short tempered and unpleasant at times to her mother. So frustrated she was by her mother’s condition, as her Mother was unable at times to remember her own name, where she was, or even Andreas name. Asking Andrea at times, who she was, and what did she want.
Her mother, this woman, who all those years ago, in that very hot summer, sensed,as only a mother could, that something was bothering and deeply troubling her daughter. How she very gently, sensitively, and with great patience her mother probed Andrea, until her daughter related how ‘that man’. Not wanting to utter his name, nor hear it, as she referred to him, at the horse racing stables. She shared what had transpired that hot mid-july afternoon. It was a very painful experience to share with anyone, as Andrea felt so foolish. So unclean. So embarrassed and mainly so very ashamed. She recalled how on that day, and many days since her mother had embraced and held her, and assured her, sincerely that it was not her fault. That the man. The man with dark soul, tried to take away her innocence.
This deepened the bonds of love between them. Andrea fondly recalled how as she journeyed into womanhood, and of that very cold Christmas spent with her mother. Where the thick snow, a rare occurrence, had made that holiday time seem so memorable, so special. As she recalled how after they shared one too many bottles of wine, and talked of life, the past,and the future, her mother had shared how she too had as a child, had being the object of her own father’s un-welcome attentions, Andrea grandfather. Long since passed away, a secret that she had never shared with anyone, over all these years.
Because of their similar shared sordid experiences, at the hands of men, they became very close, not only as mother and daughter, but as women. As human beings, and many times they had shared tears, and held each other softly, and grew as close as its possible to be. One human being to another, a love so very deep. As deep as the ocean, and deeper still. As deep as the earth itself, and bonds so strong, that would never, ever be broken.
Walking up the stairs, of this grey dilapidated building, he was trying to figure out a way, to regain some power. Some personal power in this situation where he had opened himself up shared his deep vulnerability. Opened his heart and soul. Feeling raw like an open sore he approached the door. he questioned his decision to wear a trench coat today, of all days. Doubtful now that it would rain. He just walked right in. Did not bother to knock. His way of saying,’I don’t respect nor like you, or think much of you’, He slammed the door behind him, as he knew from experience loud noises frightened people. That was his intention here, as he pulled the empty brown leather chair away from the desk, in an aggressive manner. Away from her, this woman, this person, without saying anything, and faced the chair toward the window.
Andrea had being forewarned during her training, that this kind of behaviour may be possible for her clients, as they tried to re-assert some authority. Especially after they had shared deeply, and were feeling vulnerable and raw, with her.
She said nothing as he sat down, on the chair across from the desk. She could see as she glanced at him, that his once white trench coat, was now a rather shabby looking cream colour. The undone tie, unshaven face, and somewhat crumpled suit, were signs of a man trying to hold onto some form of respectability, but not winning. She guessed looking at him, he had not sleep well, if at all since their last meeting. Surmised that most probably he was unable to sleep, as his jumbled thoughts, no doubt interfering with his peace of mind. She briefly imagined how smart and successful he must have looked, all those months ago, before all these accusations began. How well thought of he was in his company, as he moved swiftly up the career ladder. How well he would have looked, dressed in his smart suit. How he must have looked younger than his 48 years on this planet. But now his face was drawn, and worn out looking. Grey and drained.
She could sense from his energy, his volcanic smouldering violence. Was it about to explode, here in this room at any moment. She wrapped her fingers of her left hand around the hot mug of tea, that still sat on her desk. Ready and quiet willing to throw the hot liquid into his eyes and face, were he to dare to make a move toward her, with bad intent. Her own anger was to the fore, with her thoughts of her beloved mother, and her increasing dementia. Her other hand, slipped under the desk. Hovering under the panic switch, would were she to press it, bring the two rather large security personnel, up from reception, in a hurry.
Stephen for his part, began to examine his brown leather shoes, as he sat across from the desk. Planning to polish them, when he got out of home. He looked out the window, into the bright sunshine, watching the birds fly so freely. Wondered what it was like to be truly free. He questioned would he himself ever be truly free from these wretched, wicked thoughts. He longed to be close to another human. Ached for that intimacy. A coming together of mind, body, spirit and soul. To feel truly connected to another. To feel love for them, and feel loved in return. Something he had never experienced, but believed did exist in this world. He wanted to experience it, and was determined to experience it, at least one time, before his life in this world was over. It was either going to be given to him freely, or he was going take it by force. .
As the Andrea began to feel the tension slowly subside in the office, she released her grip on the mug of hot liquid, her possible weapon. Took her hand away from the panic switch, as she too began to look out the window, into the bright sunshine. She wondered about this man across from her. What kind of life he had. What had happened in his life, to make him have thoughts and feelings of being intimate with children Was that so very wrong, she asked herself. Is love, not love, however it surfaces. She now began to question her own thoughts. She considered had he too being interfered with, when he to was an innocent child. Her thoughts and feelings, drifted away from fear, anger and dislike, to the beginnings of compassion, empathy and understanding.
Andrea got up from the black leather chair, and walked toward the window. She found it much easier to think, when she was moving. He watched her as she moved. Her slim body, with that stylish auburn hairstyle. Her white blouse and close fitting black trousers, illuminating her body. Her movements displayed her education, her experiences, her character. She reminded him of the women who had met in his office, but for whatever reason, had never shown any romantic interest in him at all. Quite the opposite, as they went out of their way to avoid him altogether. He overheard some refer to him as creepy, and weird. Would he even be in his current predicament, if he had meet a loving partner all those years ago.
As he sat in the office across from her, musing in his mind how he’d rather be anywhere else but here, with this person. He really didn’t like her at all. Another stupid stuck up bitch. A little bit of education and a certificate that gives her the right to interfere in a persons life and say what’s right and wrong. It was either come here,or go to prison, that was the choice he was offered in court. Not much of a choice really.
But at the same time, could she possibly be able to help him rid his mind of these thoughts of children. His warped thoughts. The contents of his own mind that frightened him. She was a psychotherapist after all, but he didn’t want to do all the giving. Feeling so empty and drained after the first session he had with her, he wasn’t even sure if speaking so honestly in that first session did any good at all. It left him feeling that his soul and heart were wide weeping sores. Added to which he was feeling extremely vulnerable,and insecure.
In his own mind mind he dreamed up a plan. If he could get something on her, that would even up the odds a bit. She seen the inside of his soul, and now he wanted to see the inside of hers.
Andrea was not looking at Stephen, as she sat back in the leather chair, behind the desk. She liked to sit behind the desk, as it keep a certain distance, both physical and psychological between her and the clients. Even though her University professors had encouraged all there psychotherapy students to adopt a much more informal approach, while interacting with their clients, and to do away with the desk altogether. She didn’t agree, and never implemented that policy.
To Be continued……