Inner Demons, AKA "Journals of an Angry Trans Gurl"
© 2017 Haylee V
* This is a true account of my life experiences. All persons portrayed in this story are based on actual people I've met throughout my life, and the events portrayed actually happened to me or someone close to me. No malice is intended to those individuals involved, and names have been altered to protect the identities of the people portrayed. *
* This is a copyrighted property owned exclusively by Ronald Heyward Bailey, Jr., written under the pseudonym Haylee V. Exclusive rights are hereby given to host it on Big Closet Top Shelf or any of its affiliated companies. If you are reading it anywhere else, please be aware that you are reading a pirated copy, and should inform one of the web mistresses of Big Closet (Piper, Erin, or Sephrena) the web address where you found it. *
* Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I hope you find it as enjoyable to read as it was for me to write -- Haylee V *
* And now, on to the story. *
I almost hate to admit it, but I liked Susan Hood from the first time I met her. Things were going rather troublesome for me on the home, school, and work fronts. My wife, Lynne, had just decided to leave me after I had made a flippant remark (obviously in poor taste) about wanting to rock our child, Bethany, to sleep -- with a real rock. I meant it only in jest, of course, as my daughter IS my life, and I would NEVER do anything to harm her. Lynne, however, didn't see it that way, and cried foul -- all the way to a battered woman's shelter (with my daughter in tow), claiming mental and emotional abuse.
I tried to convince her joking, and pleaded for her to come back -- all to no avail. The people (and I use the word VERY LOOSELY here) that ran the shelter had somehow twisted her head around to make me look like a two-headed dragon, out for the kill, rather than the usually kind, long-suffering Southern gentleman that I was. I petitioned the courts for visitation, and found one of the best lawyers in the Carolinas to assist me, Marilyn Penson. Unfortunately, she advised me, it would be an uphill battle -- "he said, she said", but with my wife being in a woman's shelter, and South Carolina a Maternal Rights state -- not to get my hopes up.
It was Marilyn who advised me to seek counseling, as she said it would reflect well with my case. I knew I had some problems -- everyone does, at times -- but I balked at the idea of getting my head shrunk. She recommended me to her counselor, a Ms. Susan Hood. I gave Marilyn a quizzical look.
"YOU go to a counselor? But you're always so ... together. I never would have guessed."
"How do you suppose I manage to STAY together? Some of my cases get quite rough, and sometimes they get to me."
"Is she any good?"
"You don't see ME in a rubber room, or babbling incoherently, do you?" Marilyn said with a wry smile. "Just try it once. If it doesn't work out, there's always Plan B ..."
"And that would be?" I asked. Nothing could be worse than going to a shrink ... or so I thought.
"We dress you up as a woman, get you in the shelter, and you take Bethany back."
"I'm sorry I asked. And sorry I told you my 'secret'. Anyway, isn't that just a little bit illegal?"
"Hey, I never said it was the PERFECT plan," she laughed. "Seriously, though, with the issues you're facing, I think counseling would definitely help. Besides, what have you REALLY got to lose?"
"About a hundred dollars an hour, I'd say," I shot back.
"She DOES take insurance, you know ..."
And with that, I found myself, on a drizzly Monday afternoon, standing outside the office of Susan Hood, Ph. D., LCSW. With my stomach in knots, I gingerly knocked on the oaken door -- and sealed my fate.
I heard a melodic, lilting Irish brogue call out, "Come in."
I stepped into the outer office, and found myself standing on a lush, velvety crimson carpet. A rather handsome woman, in her early twenties, rose from her cherry and mahogany desk to greet me. As she warmly held out her hand, she greeted me.
"Hi. You must be Dr. Hood's four o'clock. Mr. Daniels? I'm Tiffany Samuels. Please take a seat. The doctor will be right with you."
I gently shook the proffered hand, then headed towards the chaise settee where she was motioning.
"Can I get you something while you wait, Mr. Daniels? We have coffee, tea, hot chocolate. bottled water, or juice."
"Please, call me Geoff, Ms. Samuels. And coffee's fine. Black."
"One coffee coming up, Mr. ... uhh., sorry. Geoff. And you can just call me Tiff. Everyone does."
I smiled at her faux pas. She was nothing if not charismatic. I hope Bethany can grow up to be a fine young lady like her, I thought.
As I waited for the coffee to brew (unbeknownst to me, she had started a fresh pot. Just for me? I thought. How charming. Lynne never made FRESH coffee. All she ever brought was that freeze-dried, instant crap.
Just then, I heard a woman's voice coming from the other side of the door.
"God, what a day. Is there any coffee, Tiff? I need a tall, strong one. You know how I like it."
"Light and sweet? I'll bring it in when it's ready. Also, your four o'clock's here. Mr. Geoff Daniels."
"Thanks, Tiff. Send him in, Please."
Tiffany motioned to the door. "I'll bring the coffee service in soon. So sorry about the wait."
"No need to apologize. I enjoyed the company."
Tiffany tried -- hard -- to conceal her ever reddening cheeks as she blushed. Not wishing to make her feel more awkward, I quickly turned the door's handle and headed into the doctor's office.
"Good afternoon. Mr. Daniels. I'm Dr. Hood. Please have a seat wherever you'd like."
I scanned the posh surroundings. So this is the kind of treatment a hundred dollars an hour gets you. I could get used to this REAL QUICK. Too bad it's just once a week ...
I noticed the Louis XIV behind her ebony-inlaid teak desk and headed for it before Dr. Hood could stop me.
"You did say ANYWHERE ..." I teased, trying to lighten the mood -- and praying she didn't notice how out of place I really felt ...
She made a "tick mark" in the air. "One point for you, Mr. Daniels. I left myself wide open for that one."
She went to sit on the couch, notebook in hand, just as I spun around.
"That looks a little ...odd. Perhaps we should trade places. And please, call me Geoff. Mr. Daniels is my father."
She just grinned as she rose, smoothing out her skirt in the process. "If you think that's best, Mr.... sorry. Geoff."
We quickly exchanged places. Sensing my nervousness, she began calmly.
"I take it this is your first time attending a counseling session?"
"That obvious, huh?"
"You have nothing to fear, Geoff," she reassured me. "I don't bite -- much."
She flashed me a smile that even a blind man could see.
Damn, she's hot .... Down, boy. Remember Lynne? ... Lynne, the reason why you're here in the first place?
I chuckled nervously, unconsciously wringing my hands as I did so. Dr. Hood just jotted down something in her notebook.
I gave her a questioning look.
"Just your name, today's date, and the time, Geoff. But I WILL be taking notes during the session. Don't worry. Nothing you say will go any farther than this room. Unless ..."
Here it comes. Here's where she -- like every other woman in my life -- screws me over ...
"Unless I determine that you wish to harm yourself or someone else," she finished.
"Oh, OK," I stammered. "So telling you my plans for world domination is out, huh?" I gave an uneasy chuckle. Am I blowing this? Does she think I'm crazy?
She smiled back at me, almost as if she read my thoughts. "There's no reason to be so nervous, Geoff. And no, you're NOT crazy. A LOT of very famous people deal with SERIOUS mental issues, and have openly come out about their illnesses, in an effort to put an end to the stigma and stereotypes."
"Really?" I shot back, dripping with sarcasm. "Name twenty!"
With that, she held up her hands, and began to count them off. As she began her litany, I immediately regretted my snide comments.
"Clinical Depression: Abraham Lincoln, Alanis Morrissette, Angelina Jolie, Anne-Margaret, Benjamin Disraeli.
Bipolar: Adam Ant, Axel Rose, Ben Stiller, Brian Wilson,Burgess Meredith.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Cole Porter (suspected), Donald Trump (suspected), Howard Hughes, Howard Stern, Howie Mandel.
Social Phobia: Barbara Streisand, Donny Osmond, Steve Sax.
Attempted Suicide: Halle Berry, Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention the recent passing of Robin Williams. (Yeah, I know. This example doesn't fit in the time frame. My story, my rules ...) Add in ADHD, substance abuse, dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and eating disorders and the number jumps into the THOUSANDS. And I'm just getting warmed up."
"Wow!" I tried to backpedal, quite dumbstruck. "That many. I never knew."
"When I said you're NOT ALONE, I meant it. Believe it or not, even I have to undergo a complete psychiatric evaluation every six months, according to Federal mandates."
I just stood there, my jaw on the floor.
Just then, we heard a gentle, yet firm knock on the door.
"May I enter now?" Tiffany called from behind the closed door.
"Please do, Tiff. I assume my coffee's ready?"
"Yes, Doctor, just as you requested -- light and sweet. And a strong black one for Geoff," she smiled, offering each of us a cup while pushing the cart into the corner. "Just buzz me if you need anything else, OK?"
She turned and walked back to her desk, closing the door behind her as she did so. I heard a faint clicking sound as she began typing something.
Dr. Hood noticed me eyeing -- with longing -- the spot where Tiffany had been.
"She's quite the charmer, isn't she?" the doctor said as she took a sip of the caramel liquid. "And she makes one helluva cup of coffee. Glad my brother made me hire her."
"B-B-B-Brother?" I stammered, as coffee sputtered onto my shirt.
"Yes. Colonel Matthew Samuels, ASOC. Just so you know. Team Delta," she said with a HUGE grin.
ASOC? As in Army Special Operations Command??? Holy SHIT!!! And Team Delta? Jeez, I hope I haven't done anything to piss Tiff ... I mean Ms. Samuels ... off. Last thing I need right now is for a goddamn Delta Forces agent to storm my house, thinking I took indecent liberties with his daughter ...
"Now, Geoff. Do you have any other, VALID reason that we can't BEGIN our session now? I AM on the clock, you know..."
"Umm ... no. You SEEM to know your stuff. I just wish I knew where to begin," I stated as I slowly slumped to the couch. Her knowledge of celebrities had floored me -- and left me quite speechless. Not to mention the fact her brother could take me out on a whim at any moment ...
"To quote Glinda from The Wizard of Oz," she stated rather matter-of-fact, "It's always best to start at the beginning ..."
"OK, here goes," I started, gathering a deep breath. "I met Lynne in the fifth grade. She was a new transfer student, and I was a rather troubled kid. I had a very pronounced speech impediment, and stuttered as well. Because of that, I was often the victim of various torments by bullies -- only I always fought back, usually winning. I had gotten into yet another fight during recess, and was sent to the office -- and a date with the 'electric paddle' -- you know the one. Anyway, I was coming out of the office just as she was coming in."
"The office had this huge, solid oaken door, with brass fixtures. It must have been a good two inches thick -- and heavy! I never thought to duck as she came in, and the door hit me -- hard -- upside the face. When I came to, and the stars faded away, I thought I was looking into the face of a goddess!"
"Am I dead?" I asked. "''Cause you look just like an angel."
She blushed -- which I found quite cute at the time -- and said, "No, silly. You just dinged your head a bit. Are you OK?"
"Yeah. Teachers always said I had a hard head. Guess they were right. I'm Geoff, by the way."
She extended her hand in an effort to help me up.
"Lynne. Lynne Sparkes. Nice to meet you."
"And from that point on, I told everyone how she was an absolute knockout. It became our little inside joke."
"Hmm ... I see," Dr. Hood mused as she wrote something quickly in her notebook. "Please continue."
"Well, we were pretty much inseparable after that. We became 'an item'. We attended the same church (I didn't know it at the time) and began sitting together on the van. We dated all through junior and senior high -- up until the drill competition, that is ..."
"Oh? What happened? Did something change?"
"I'll say. We were in Air Force JROTC together, and were both staff sergeants. We were on the basic drill squad (We couldn't join the precision team until our junior year, due to the rifles and bayonets used, even if they just were replicas made of styrofoam and wood ...), and had just returned from Shaw Air Force Base, which always hosted the branch competitions in March (the state competitions, which comprised all four branches, was held at a different university each year, of the governor's choosing. The award for it was, quite naturally, the Governor's Trophy, which the winner hosted for a year.)"
"Anyway, our squadron had won the competition, and we were celebrating during the entire three-hour ride back to the high school. Couples were paired off, doing the usual couple things -- holding hands, kissing -- we were teenagers in love after all!) or just cuddling up next to each other, trying to sleep amid the den of cheering. I was watching some of the juniors and seniors with interest (as was Lynne), and she kept making some not-so-subtle hints that if I wanted to kiss her, it would be OK. Unfortunately, being shy, I wasn't quite ready for my first kiss. I wanted it to be a private, intimate moment, just between the two of us. Having fifty or so adrenaline-filled, sex-crazed peers watching us was definitely NOT in my plans."
"So, we make it back to school. Everyone leaves, either in their own vehicles, with their cliques, or with family, and it's just me and Lynne -- alone at last. I decide to -- FINALLY -- make my move. I hold her close, close my eyes, and give her my first ever adult kiss. And ..."
"And?" Dr. Hood prompts.
"She just stands there, completely lost -- a deer looking at the headlights of an oncoming car."
"Well," Lynne says, confusion evident in her voice, "That was ... unexpected."
"Did I do something wrong?" I asked, my fear escalating to a near-fever pitch. God, please don't tell me I messed up my FIRST kiss ...
"No, No. It was ... OK?" she questions, in a vain attempt to try to piece together my now completely shattered confidence.
You couldn't cut the tension and awkwardness with a diamond-tipped chainsaw -- it was THAT thick ...
"Your mom's here. I'll call you later. We'll ... talk. Or ... something."
"Wow! That's pretty ... harsh. How did you feel at that point?"
"I felt like a complete and utter failure. Just another in the long line of rejections that has plagued my life."
"Yeah. The first one was in the seventh grade. I was a 'gifted' student' (my way of compensating for my profound speech impediment, shyness, and loneliness, I guess. Academics was about the only thing I've EVER been good at -- that, and trivia."
"I had the opportunity to take the college-level SATs back then. I was twelve, and the state had measured my IQ at that time to be in the high 160s (possibly higher, but that was as high as THEIR scale went at the time.) Anyway, when the results came back, I had done quite well for myself -- a combined score of 1150 out of 1600. 720 in the math portion (in the 99.9th percentile of college bound seniors), and 430 on the verbal (95th percentile). My parents didn't really know what to make of the news, as they were both blue-collar textile workers, and their firstborn son was, in the eyes of the state, a 'certified genius'. That was in January of 1980."
"Amazing. I notice you are, INDEED, quite well-spoken."
"Seven years of FORCED speech pathology, courtesy of the state. They gave me the best therapist money could buy. Told me I should be THANKFUL of the opportunity afforded me." Yeah, Thanks for PERMANENTLY OSTRACIZING me from my peers. Don't know how I'll EVER repay ya for THAT ...
"Anyway, they congratulated me, and told me how proud they were of their baby boy. I soon all but forgot about it. Until ..."
"I received a letter in the mail just before my birthday (April 17th) from Furman University. They wanted me to come during the summer and take a few courses -- Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry, along with English Lit and Computer Programming (a field JUST starting up) -- for college credit! They were impressed with my SAT scores and my academic achievements -- which, up until that point, I was a straight 'A' student. (What can I say? Except for the bullying, forced speech therapy, and food, I LOVED school!) They were willing to give me a FULL SCHOLARSHIP, including room, board, meals, and a per diem. All I needed was my parents' signature and a Bill of Health from my doctor."
"Impressive. But I don't see where that would have been a problem."
"It wasn't -- for me. It was a dream come true. Unfortunately, my parents DIDN'T agree. You're too young, and it's too far away. Besides, we were planning to go see your grandfather and Uncle Price in Michigan. Our answer's 'NO!' and that's final."
I finally get REWARDED by someone for all my hard work, and THIS is what I get for it? Screw this. And screw THEM as well. See if I bust my ass any more ... for ANYTHING!!!
"Incredible! And they really had no VALID reason to reject such a LIFE-ALTERING experience for you? I could understand if finances were involved, but, as you said, it wouldn't cost them anything. I understand that sometimes parents have to make tough decisions for their children. Unfortunately, they sometimes make the wrong ones."
"They NEVER cared about what I did academically. They just kinda 'expected' it -- expected me to 'show off' or 'perform' at their whim."
"I sense some deep-seated resentment (not completely unfounded, I might add) there. We'll have to address that at a later time, though, Getting back to Lynne, and the kiss ..."
"Yeah. About that. I have never been able to handle rejection well. I felt confused. Lost. And for the first time since I met Lynne, completely and utterly alone. I barricaded myself in my room for about a week. I only came out to eat, bathe, use the bathroom, and go to school. I cried so many tears that I ran out. I just felt numb. And I wanted the pain to go away. My parents, working swing shift at the plant to keep a roof over our heads, didn't even notice my change in mood. That was the SECOND time I tried to commit suicide. I was fifteen."
"Wait a minute. Second?" Dr. Hood asked, floored.
"Yeah. I was a loner up until I met Lynne. I had NO friends. Zero. Even the guy that I went to speech class with barely spoke to me (he also stuttered). One day, while being taunted during recess, I decided just to give up. I was tired of always fighting. It didn't do anything anyway. The school bordered a major highway, and didn't have adequate fencing around it. So while (I thought) the teacher wasn't watching, I casually threw my ball into the street. I started to go after it, knowing I would be hopelessly (and mercifully, I hoped) crushed by the oncoming traffic. The teacher pulled me from harm in the nick of time."
"What happened? Surely someone MUST have done something. At least told your parents or something?"
"Nope. I just got scolded by Sister Margaret and told to be more careful. (Even though it was a public school, we called her Sister Margaret because she used to be a nun ...) I shrugged the whole thing off, and it was casually swept under the rug, completely forgotten -- just as I felt I was ...
"I'm so sorry," she said apologetically. "The system has failed you in so many ways. I'm beginning to see now why you have trust issues."
I just nodded, as tears began to form in my eyes, which I no longer cared to fight. NO ONE had EVER acknowledged that fact -- at least not openly -- to me.
She glanced at the clock on the wall, which now read 5:15. "I'd love to continue this, Geoff, but it seems we're out of time for today. Shall I schedule another appointment for next week, same time?"
"I-I-I'd like that. Please do."
She handed me an appointment card with the time and date of my next appointment. Then, she did something I didn't expect -- she dabbed a Kleenex at my eyes, gently wiping away my tears.
"Two things before you leave," she said, reaching for her purse. "First, I want you to keep a journal for me. You can write about anything you wish -- with one exception. At the end of each session, I will give you a topic to think about during the week. Sunday night, you are to write your thoughts about that topic. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but I want more than just a cursory statement. Really put your heart -- and SERIOUS EFFORT -- into this one assignment. Next week's topic is rejection."
"I'll try," I squeaked out, "But writing's never really been my forte. And what's the second thing?"
She then handed me a crimson business card, with gold embossing. What IS it with this lady and crimson? "This is my home number. If you need me for anything -- and I do mean ANYTHING -- call me. I'll try my best to answer you within ten minutes. I care."
"Thanks. I appreciate that."
"Well, Geoff, it was a pleasure meeting you. See you next Monday,"
"Oh ... right. Monday."
I stood there transfixed, as the most remarkable lady I've ever met walked out of the room ...
Amanda Green. "300 famous people & celebrities who have suffered with mental illness, mental health or learning issues help highlight the stigma in our society". Retrieved from http://amandagreenauthor.co.uk/300-famous-people-celebrities... 03-May-17
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