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therapy session ... 1
By richard lloyd cederberg
Posted: Sunday, July 15, 2007
Last edited: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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Recent stories by richard lloyd cederberg
· a small safe vessel...
· Penelope and Peter bond; she enjoys a Cuban Cigar
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· Doorway...
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           >> View all 20
Flash Fiction -

a satirical look at the juxtaposition
between what's said, and what's meant ...

The first in the THERAPY SESSION series

“John, you look really angry today; what’s on
your mind?”

“Oh Doctor … I feel so maligned. People make
fun of me behind my back. They don’t understand
me … they don’t understand how I suffer. I feel so
alone in this world.”

“I see … has this been going on long?

“About two years now.”

“Do you remember the circumstances in your
life when this began; where you were and what
you were doing?”

“No Doctor I don’t; my memory is not good.
All I know is that now I feel alone, I feel so alone.
I have an ache inside from loneliness that never goes
away. I feel ugly, I feel worthless; no one understands
me. I feel like such a loser! Am I loosing my mind?”

“It’s doubtful. Perhaps, though, your feelings are
deceiving you.”

“What!? How can my feelings be deceiving me?
It’s the way I feel; like nobody gives a crap!”

“Have you ever tried getting out of yourself … you
know; giving of your resources and talents to help others?
Perhaps doing this occasionally would be salutary and
allow you to see yourself from other perspectives. You’ve
heard the old saying that it’s ‘better to give than to receive’?”

“Now why would I want to do that!? No one respects
me, no one helps me, why should I give them anything?”

“Helping others, and giving to others, changes your
focus. And in so doing you empower a loving spirit to
affect what you are doing and those you are doing it for.
It also affects how you feel about yourself.”

“Well … I’ll tell you; I feel like crap about myself!
Nobody gives me anything - so why should I ever
consider offering something to them?”

“Someone has to have the courage to start the
process. And it’s a known fact that after doing
so it gains momentum by itself. Anyone can be
critical of others and alienated. Remember; there
is no defense against love, or a kind and wise
hand extended.”

“I don’t get it … why the hell should it be my
duty to give somebody else something they’re not
giving me?”

“Perhaps because you’re the one complaining.
You have a burden that something is wrong and
you’re the one looking for answers; this is a good
thing. You’ve had a revelation of sorts. Suffering
changes our perspective! When you see someone
who needs help just offer it to them; you’ll feel better!”

“Oh yah right! I’m the one that’s hurting, and instead
of getting what I need, you want me to help everyone
around me that’s hurting? All people want is their egos
stroked. Nobody suffers the way I do!”

“I can understand! I would say, though, that the ones
who really don’t care would never have the guts to initiate
changes as you seem to be trying to do here. Still though;
you can always forsake your God given gifts and crawl
into an emotional tomb and live there for the rest of your
life; it is an option you know, and a lot of the world does
just that.”

“Are you trying to tell me that it’s somehow Gods will
for humans to be subjected to emotional and physical
tribulation and affliction?”

“I cannot elucidate on God’s plan for this world, or its
inhabitants. Let me ask you this though; in your lifetime
have you ever known one person to have escaped it?”

“Escaped what?”

“Struggles and suffering!”

“No, I have not! As a matter of fact, I don’t know anyone
who doesn’t struggle in their lives. But so what; my struggles
are different. If people could just understand that little fact
they would see how special I am and give me the respect and
attention that I deserve.”

“I understand your thought but everyone is special, and
all have unique abilities. Even grains of sand and snowflakes
are different from one another. The ones who struggle and
suffer physically - a thorn in the flesh if you will - do so for
humilities sake. This keeps them aware, and humble, and
hopefully pointed in the right direction.”

“Whataya mean the right direction?”

“If we never struggled with challenges beyond our ability
to solve, we would never grow, we would never seek God,
and we would easily wander off the paths that we’ve been
given to walk.”

“I don’t believe in God!”

“You don’t!? What do you believe in?”

“I believe in me. I believe in my inherent goodness.
If people could just see that, life would be so different
For me. If only people could understand how terrific
I am. Besides … God doesn’t care about me. No one
knows my unique circumstances. I have physical and
emotional problems Doctor; I am not whole. I have aches
and pains that never go away. I can’t seem to find anybody
to love; someone that will love me, and who accepts me
for what I am, and is satisfied with that. Seems everyone
looks for something wrong in me, and they always seem
to find it. Then they dump on me or bad mouth me, or
gossip behind my back. I have trouble with finances; I never
seem to have enough. Like today - I don’t know how I’m
going to pay you for this session; I’m broke. I have lost my
faith in human beings. Most of the time they say one thing
and mean another; I hate them. Please help me Doctor,
what can I do?”

“Well … thank-you for your honesty, but let’s discuss this
another time ok; seems your time is up. Talk to my secretary;
she’ll give you a pamphlet that might help. Let me know when
you get some work; have a great and productive week OK?
Take care! Sheila, would you send in my next appointment!”

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Reader Reviews for "therapy session ... 1"

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Reviewed by Marvin Cox Flynn 12/3/2014
An excellent portrayal of reality in our current society, everyone seeing the faults of others, while nourishing their own. We all have chinks in our armor that others can see ... An excellent little story with a moral we can all stand to learn from ... I like your smooth dialogue ...
Reviewed by Jo Pelletier 10/1/2009
Brilliantly said, Richard. I see pieces of both in my own life. The patient is not willing to look in the mirror...the doctor who has some attributes, but is more interested in getting paid. What a dichotomy!
Reviewed by Keith Rowley 11/27/2007
Excellent! Love the ending. Great dialogue.

Reviewed by Sheila Roy 11/12/2007
Fantastic dialogue; the typical negative versus the inspirational messenger. I know a negative person like this patient. He's always complaining how he can't meet a woman, but he's looking at women half his age and ones he has a language barrier with. I keep telling him to get involved in a Big Brother charity and give his time, and to stop looking for happiness in such shallow situations. This story reminds me of my conversations with him; always focused on himself. Love the ending here!

Reviewed by Walt Hardester 11/6/2007
Please help me Doctor,
what can I do?”
seems your time is up.

Dam man, you have a therapist down to the T.
Just when you hope for something profound from them....
Or maybe the guy is deluding himself, by thinking his problems are so unique. Or maybe they are?
Ah well, Such is the life of a poet.

Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury 8/12/2007
This is a wonderful insightful work. In this journey of free will a hero vanguishes his fears. Thank you for being a great teacher.
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 7/25/2007
I Rarely Read Any A D Anymore If You (The Shit They Call Poems, Writing ) They Run Cry To Matt...

sd1st:If I Had Go Back Look At My Life Even (God) Couldn't Care Less I Crawl In My Own Blood To This Day,i.e. So-Called Friends Want To Help Had There Hand$ Out -Pay Me I'll Help???They Just Could Not Wait To Buy $ My FORECLOSED House...

2nd: RESPECT-It Is Learned And It RESPECT Is EARNED No Other Way..

3rd: Reading Reviews Below,i.e. You can Always Tell 2 Faced Assholes By There EL ESTUPIDO (Reviews) Comments...

Etal: If Most Of These People had a BRAIN- They Would Be DANGEROUS...

Another Write Right on...

Your Friend,TRASK
Reviewed by Butch Howard 7/19/2007
The profound message in this satirical dialogue is brilliantly conceived. It seems the doctor lost interest quickly when he suddenly found out he was giving a therapy session pro bono...
~Butch Howard
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 7/16/2007
Good one Richard~ "...the oh woe is me"...syndrome, found everywhere you look! Everyone must realize that, that wish upon a star, perfect world doesn't exist here in flesh, and should never be...expected. Turn outward and let self subconcious fall from me...
...and when the tapestry is looked at from behind, we all consist of those same knotted threads and frayed edges...but Alas!, turn them over and our true, unique pictures God intended, comes to life...our life! It is a gift to be shared in His name!
Blessings multipy beyond belief, in faith!
Excellent thought-provoking story...
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 7/16/2007
Wow what an eye opener this I feel like selfcentered can a person be??

I feel like you spoke to me me here....great theropy session I got for free..that's what BIG brothers are there for....right??

Love Sissy Tinka
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar (Reader) 7/16/2007
Excellent. A portrait of a self centered man who does not believe in God and too proud to admit that on his own, he'll get nowhere. Victor
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/16/2007
Good story, Richard; very well done! Felt like I was there!
Reviewed by Teresa Kitchens-Dunn 7/16/2007
If we never struggled with challenges beyond our ability
to solve, we would never grow, we would never seek God,
and we would easily wander off the paths that we’ve been
given to walk.”

Oh, Richard...
You don't know how much I needed that paragraph. Struggling with my own personal illness I sometimes forget and I needed this reminder.
Thank you my friend.
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 7/16/2007
Reminded me of two ladies at work, whose conversations consist of who has the most pain, or who went to physical therapy, some type of medicine, always about sickness. You've penned this one with excellence, the dialog is great, felt as though I was sitting there in the room are a gifted writer my friend a writer of diverse talents! Enjoyed!
Reviewed by Debby & Gordon Rosenberg 7/15/2007
oh well done Richard...felt like i was an observer in the seemed so obvious to me how this patient was creating his own gloom...he just doesn't see it yet nor is ready to listen to what will help him
Reviewed by H Cruz 7/15/2007
Perhaps the therapist needs a little therapy!
Reviewed by F William Broome 7/15/2007
And, by dang, you're good writing in that field, too. Self centered persons are difficult. How does anyone get another individual to step outside of self and take a good look? What would help such a person? If not a personal faith, perhaps caring for an animal, with total responsibility is a way to go. Compassion can be learned, I believe. The money spent on a dog couldn't cost more than a costly professional.
You write well on a ticklish subject. Bravo! - Bill

Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/15/2007
Sounds like my brother, and his brother, and... the brotherhood of selfish men who got upset when they lost their mother's nipple.

An insightful look at the human condition that Freud couldn't fix.

Reviewed by Georg Mateos 7/15/2007
A great tale about a true Emoiional-Hypochondriac which is suffering of that malady "me, me, me, me"
Somewhere back there in the begining of the human race a gene got screwed up and it resulted on a progresive feelings degeneration that started to show up not so long ago.
As the times progress and the difference between the have and have-not increases any therapy session would end like this one.
A brilliant shot story this is.
Reviewed by Susan Sonnen 7/15/2007
round and round!
this is great, Richard~
Reviewed by Barbara Smith 7/15/2007
Richard, this is fantastic!!! This story is so true in today's one wants to admit their own's always someone dumping on them or etc., and they could care less about helping another one out or even trying to be a good friend to anyone. Then...they don't believe in God!! The last paragraph gave me a great laugh...I love it!!
Reviewed by Marcia Miller-Twiford 7/15/2007
WOW! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!! Great write soul bud. Reminds me of the saying, "Troubles are often times the tools by which God fashions us for better things." Your story shows great wisdom Sir Richard. The world is populated with poor me types and we can't get through to them. You story grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go until the last word. And, I love the way you ended it.

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