“I am damaged” were the words Dr. Lewis has wanted me to say since our first session five years ago. I just can’t get myself to realize that, or give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right. I am not damaged. Sure, I've had a few bad situations in my life, but I came out of those stronger, not damaged. My mother thinks that I’m having psychological problems after her and my dad divorced. She doesn't realize that I'm just an independent person. I don't need friends, and I don't need to let people know who I am. That's none of their business. “How are you supposed to find a boyfriend with that kind of mentality?” She asks that all the time. Though there has to be something wrong with me since I keep bringing myself to this doctor. It can't just be because I want my mom to be happy and to get off my back about the boyfriend thing; that'll never happen. So what is wrong with me? Maybe realizing how much of an ass my dad is really did impact my mentality, I don't think so, though. I mean, how bad can realizing the man you thought so highly of when you were younger is a piece of trash impact someone, especially when it was gradual. It took several years and me getting older to fully understand that he would rather chase tail than be with his family and be a role model for his oldest daughter. Why should that damage me? There are people in the world that don't even get to know their father. For example, this girl in my class never met her father because he died before she was born. That's obviously worse than my situation. Honestly though, I would have rather never met my father than have him coming in and out of my life the way he does, sometimes. Dr. Lewis knows I think this. He says my father coming and going is why I have problems letting people know the real me and showing affection for people. It’s like a “why waste my time when I know they'll leave” type thing. That can't be it, though. That's kind of selfish for someone to do; I just have no interest in having friends because that brings too much drama. I am a loner, I like being alone, and my mom needs to realize that. “There’s nothing wrong with me.” I tell Dr. Lewis for what seems like the thousandth time. “If you feel like that, then just stop coming in. No one is forcing you to be here. You’re over eighteen. Your mom can't force you to come anymore.” He was right; I am twenty years old. Why do I feel like I'm forced to be here? Why do I keep coming back?
It’s been a month since I've seen Dr. Lewis. I feel like I made the right choice. Going through my life the way I planned: work, college, home. No session with Dr. Lewis has made me this happy. I actually might meet my goal, but then I get a call. “ Hey, Nicole. How you been?” the man asks. I am hesitant to answer. I haven’t talked to him since I graduated high school. I’ve learned that short answers are always a good idea in situations like this. “ Hey, Dad, I’m ok. Why did you call?” I knew I wouldn’t like the answer, but I couldn't help but ask. “ I was just wondering if you want to meet up? I’m back in town.” He always does this, everytime it doesn't work out between him and the lady of the month: he wants to meet up and talk. Mostly just conversation about college and how I'm doing, and a reassuring, “I love and miss you.” Seems like everytime he says it, I believe it less, but it can't be a lie. He's my dad. I decide not to meet up, not this time. Maybe I was wrong? Maybe I should go back to Dr. Lewis?