Would you love me?

“If you could see me now would you recognize me?
Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me?
Would you follow every line on my tear-stained face
Put your hand on a heart that was cold
As the day you were taken away?”

(The Script-“Oh if you could see me now”)

His warm embrace was all i needed…i used to feel this way for so many people…My friends…i used to call them “my friends” and i used to fool myself that they care…till that moment in my life when i turned my back and they did the same.

-Ali…let me take a good look at you! Still looking perfect, but something is different. Last time i saw you…i saw sadness, fear in your eyes and now…i see anger and…

-…and the feeling that i don’t care anymore. I don’t care about others, i don’t care about myself…or about love, faith, good…This is what you see, isn’t it, Ray?

-Your honesty is impressive but i have to tell you something. Ali…this feeling wont last forever. It’s only produced by pain…I’m so glad you made this appointment…i wanna help you, of course, if this is what you’re looking for…

-First of all, Ray…thank you! For clarifying things with The Police and for talking to Phillipe…our relationship changed a lot thanks to you. He understood what i felt during our first months of marriage and now we’re both trying to know each other and to fulfill each other’s expectation…Now…the reason i’m here…

-Yes…tell me what can i do for you…

-You could be a part…an important part of my project…I wanna help people by opening a Health Center…for those less fortunate. It will be small at first…and you might be working with poor abused woman and children…but i’ll do my best to give you a decent paycheck every month…

-Ali…

-Before saying no…Ray, i really need you! You are the best psychiatrist and the most talented therapist i ever knew. I can’t offer you the money you deserve, but you’re gonna be rewarded…i promise you…And i wanna talk to Gerard…and for the reserch department i think we can count on Henri…you know them, right? Please, Ray…don’t say no yet…think about…

-I wasn’t saying no…actually, i love your enthusiasm and i share it…and i would help you no matter how much you’re paying. Yes…i will, don’t look so surprised…One question…Why? Why do you complicate your life by helping abused woman and children? You could easily open a center for rich families, to provide them health care…

I kept the silence for a few moments, just to decide how much i can say…and then my heart and soul just opened in front of him.

-Because i know about every single form of abuse…from being neglected as a child and being raped as an adult…From losing my mother and losing the love of my life…from being confronted with a dominant husband and being sold by the only guy i ever trusted…from trying to kill myself and being saved by a man who dreams to call him “sir” in intimacy…by the way, i’ll never call him that way…Ray, i know everything about pain and hurt…because i experienced it too much. I’m an empty shell now…sometimes i wish i could drown myself in tears and i can’t cry anymore. And…you know what? I don’t care about myself anymore! But i care about them…about the ones who, just like myself, don’t give a damn about themselves. Do i make any sense?

He just stood there, looking deep in my eyes. I thought i saw the trace of a tear but he just looked at the ground. Then, suddenly his arms opened for me and i found myself in his arms, feeling safe and warm.

-I will help you…you will care about yourself again, you will cry again…you will feel again…Ali…even if it takes a lifetime…I’m overwhelmed now but i know for sure that i wanna be a part of your project…and a part of your life…

-Thank you, Ray…

-I have a gift for you, it was hard but i finally found it…

He took out of his pocket a small picture, ┬átaken from a newspaper…a beautiful woman who’s eyes were my eyes…who’s hair was my hair…who’s smile reminded me of those times when i still smiled…My knees got weaker and Ray came closer to support me…

-This is…how did you…i never…

-I had to dig a lot…yes, Ali…this is your mother…look at the sparks in her eyes…Ali, you were deprived from the most precious memory a girl should have…the picture of her mother…You lost her twice…first…life took her away from you when you were just a child and second…your father decided to erase her from your mind. I can’t go back in time…but at least i can help you recover some of your memories…

I think i told him “please hold me”…and he did…Flashes came back in my mind…a lullaby, a prayer…her soft voice and a song…a warm sensation of being tucked every night…and then the loneliness of an empty room…with no toys…no pictures…no…her…a little girl crying for her mommy…and a new room filled with expensive toys, a therapist saying to my father that i have to forget in order to survive…

-Ali…breath…you’re about to pass out…

Mom…if you could see me now…would you hold me one more time? Would you forgive me for all the mistakes i made? Would you care for me even if i’m death inside? Please love me…even if i lost my way…

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Hopeless case

“Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
Watching me.”

(Bonnie Tyler-“Holding out for a hero”)

early in the morning

-How do you feel today, baby?

-Amazingly good…St. John’s Wort really helped me…and spending the night in your arms. Do i really have to go to see that therapist? I feel so much better…

-Princess…there’s no way you can convince me…

The phone was ringing loud and clear.

-Hello…yes…why? Damn it!

-What’s wrong, Phillipe?

-Well, i told you i spoke to a therapist, a woman specialized in hypnosis. It looks like she can’t make it…family problems…

-So, i can go to Gerard? Can i?

-Not so fast! She talked to one of her colleagues, an italian therapist famous for his successes in hopeless cases…

-I’m a hopeless case?

He took me in his arms, running his fingers trough my hair.

-Do it for me, ok?

a few hours later

Sitting in his “consultorio”, waiting and contemplating the diplomas from the wall. A little nervous, knowing i’m here alone (the therapist insisted on that aspect) and knowing that Phillipe already told him on the phone about the other day. Wishing, hoping that he’ll be like Gerard…a father figure who i can relate with…

-Good morning! I understand you’re here for a therapy session? I’m Raimondo R., please call me Ray…

It took my breathe away. He was not only young, but also very good looking. Around 40 years old, brown hair and charming smile…

-Nice to meet you, Ray! I’m Alicia, please call me Ali…

-Ali, that’s so sweet! So, where’s my future patient? he asked making me smile for the first time.

-That would be me…Why did you asked that?

He started analyzing me and i felt like blushing. He laugh and continued with a warm voice.

-Well, i guess i wasn’t prepared…my colleague told me about a patient with severe depression and a recent suicide attempt. Of course, delirium and psychotic behavior. And usually a girl with these diagnostics looks decomposed…Look at you! Perfect business outfit, great looking hair and a fine touch of make up. Unusual…So, tell me Ali, what can i do to help you?

-Can i be honest with you?

-Please…

-I’m here only because my husband insisted. I have my therapist, it’s dr. Gerard L., i feel good and i really don’t wanna waist your time. I’m sure you’re a very competent doctor but i don’t feel like talking about my problems…

He smiled at me revealing a perfect set of white teeth…

-Can i be honest with you, Ali?

-Please…

-I’m here because your husband pays me a small fortune. My colleague said i have to chose between spending an hour with paranoid psycotics patients and you…a rich girl who got upset don’t know why and tried to jump in front of a truck.

-So why did you chose the rich girl?

-You smell better! And i’m hopping for a chance to improve my bank account, if you know what i mean. I don’t really wanna hear about your problems, i didn’t had my breakfast and i’m hungry.

-Me neither! I skipped my breakfast too…i’m starving, Ray!

-Then, please join me…

Till that point i was unsure what to believe…now i was kinda expecting to hear someone yelling: “surprise! you’re on hidden camera!”. Strange enough, i saw him arranging a small table with croissants and something hot.

-I imagine you drink your coffee with plenty of milk. And you adore the vanilla flavor.

I suddenly blushed. He continued.

-Did i shocked you, Ali?

I regained my self control quickly.

-Actually, Ray, i love spiced food, but you know…it depends on who’s cooking…and you don’t seems to be able to offer me more than vanilla…Oh, sorry, Ray…did i shocked you?

The effect of my words was visible. I felt like i’m winning this game, and i was already thinking how i’ll tell all about to my friends…and we’re gonna laugh together…

-Ali, i’m overwhelmed! You don’t seems depressed…look at your appetite and the way you’re flirting…but still…what was all about? Did you really tried to kill yourself yesterday? Your husband (who, by the way, is crazy for you) was desperate…

-Look, i had a moment of madness…i wasn’t depressed, i was afraid. I felt like i’m losing all i have and i wasn’t thinking clear. Did you meet Phillipe?

-Yes. He’s a control freak, the type of dominant man, typical for a bdsm relationship. But you don’t seems submissive…and i guess that’s a big problem.

-Right. I’m trying to act like i’m submissive and i hate every minute. And in intimacy i’m scared, i’m terrified he’s gonna hurt me. God, Ray, what is with these croissants? I never spoke so free…

-I’m honored by your trust. Ali…in a bdsm relationship, being submissive means feeling pleasure from this role, not only accepting, but enjoying it. Other wise, it’s abuse…It’s rape, if you wanna put it this way…

My eyes suddenly filled with tears. Yes, he said the words i was afraid to speak…

-So, Ali…this is a major problem. Feeling abused, raped…i surely understand how you lost control and tried to commit suicide. But the question is how can we keep you alive?

-Feed me with croissants and latte machiatto… i said in an attempt to avoid my own tears.

-Self irony, humor…all are defensive strategies, to protect your ego from self destroying. On a long term, you cannot hide from your pain. Like right now, when you’re trying so hard not to cry. You can be brave now and when you’ll walk away from here you’ll die inside once more…or you can let me help you. Trust me, me and my un-orthodoxe methods…we know about this kind of problems…

I stayed quiet looking inside my soul. The emptiness i felt was overwhelming…

-Ray, do you think it’s alright if i…i mean, don’t wanna cross any boundary and i respect you as a therapist…

With no other words, he was right beside me, taking me in his open arms and holding me. I cried like never before…In the end…all i could say was thank you.

-No, Ali…i thank you! For letting me see behind your defensive walls…if you could see your soul trough my eyes…you would be amazed how strong, brave and beautiful you really are.

Right in this moment, i heard a knock on the door. The hour of therapy was gone, Phillipe was there…He seemed relief that i was still there.

-Doctor, what can you tell me? Is hypnosis the solution?

-To what?

-What do you mean? Didn’t you talked to her?

-Well, that’s up to Alicia. Hypnosis is a good choice only in a strong, trust-based therapeutic relationship. And it takes time to build the trust. Of course, you know this…be sure you’re creating the trust before asking for more.

-I think, doctor, that me and my wife…we share a good trustful relationship.

-I’m sure you feel this way…now you’ll excuse me. See you in a couple of days, Ali.

I smiled at Phillipe…a big happy smile.

-Hey…baby, it really helped you…i love this smile.

-Phillipe, i feel there’s hope. For us…

For me…