I am Carl’s first patient of the day.
I have been feeling depressive lately, and I wanted to take precautions. Due to environmental and genetic factors, I am prone to depression. My mother and grandmother suffered from it; it wasn’t an easy childhood. I’m not complaining, though. In many ways, it shaped who I am today. Growing up in such an environment made me stronger. And, up until last week, I was pretty happy with myself; with my life. At forty-three, life was brilliant: my career was booming, and I was with the woman of my dreams.
Then she dumped me.
I have been a mess since.
“David, why don’t you tell me everything from the beginning?” Carl’s voice brings me back to now.
“Okay.” I take a deep breath. “Debra left me three weeks ago. She caught me going through her stuff in her house. On camera.” Carl looks bewildered. “I broke in. Thought I had a good reason at the time.”
I loved her. I wanted to marry her. However, I needed to ensure she was as amazing as I believed. I needed to find the rose’s thorns, the skeletons in the closet. Everyone has them.
“What would they be?” Carl prompts.
“She didn’t seem to have any flaws, apart from being big on privacy. And she didn’t want to live together.” I didn’t have a key to her place, and she didn’t want one to mine. I thought, maybe, she was hiding something.
I continue, “She required trust, so it was only fair she returned it. It sounded great at first. Then I began to wonder if she was too good to be true. So, I tricked her super into opening the door and paid him a handsome sum to keep quiet. I told him I was going to prepare the house for my proposal, which I had every intention of offering - if she was who she said she was. I didn’t know she was friends with the guy! He even showed her the money and offered to give it back. She told him to keep it.”
Fine, I am an idiot. I deserve the judgmental look Carl is throwing my way, but, come on! He is supposed to take his friend hat off.
“Here’s the kicker… He didn’t even need to tell her. As it turns out, she has cameras in her house. Installed in some souvenirs. Security precaution, she said.”
“Did she say why she had them?”
“Not at first. She was screaming at me, so I showed her the ring. That calmed her down a bit. Then she pointed out I could have left the ring any time I was there.”
“So I confessed.”
“What did she do?”
“She laughed at the irony of it.”
“Let’s get to the cameras.”
“She has OCD.”
“What does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder have to do with this?”
“I didn’t know she had it.”
“There weren’t any signs?”
“You know some patients don’t have compulsions, but rather obsessive thoughts. They can go through life without anyone even noticing.”
“True. Considering this is New York, some paranoia isn’t unusual, or necessarily bad for a single woman living alone. Did she say she had the cameras because she had OCD?”
“Yes. After I shared my assumption that she was too perfect, she said she was indeed keeping something from me, and that was it. She struggled a bit growing up, but once she found the right doctor... Her obsessions are crime-related so the security system helps her keep peace of mind.”
“She liked keeping it a secret. Being around people that didn’t know made her forget about it. Made her feel more normal.”
“You took that feeling away from her.”
“And she said she couldn’t be with someone who didn’t respect her privacy, and who wasn’t aware of his own mental issues.”
“The mental issues being?”
“Paranoia. Problems with trust.”
“Can’t disagree with her diagnosis. But don’t worry; we will work on all of that.”
I’m certain Carl will do a splendid job. Things will work out for me. Eventually. I don’t think I can get her back, but all things considered, it isn’t the worst thing in the world. I still have my health. I am reasonably sane. Even if word got out I were in therapy, it wouldn’t ruin my practice. I’m not the only psychiatrist seeing a psychiatrist.
That is not the irony, though. Debra and I met at the book signing of my bestselling non-fiction book on relationships. The book’s title? Trust.
By Pinar Tarhan
Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer, blogger, and fiction writer. She loves writing about pop culture, psychology, and relationships. You can catch her musings on the writing life on Addicted to Writing and follow her on Twitter @zoeyclark.