Back in Therapy (Hannah)

“Is it childish to still watch cartoons into your thirties?”

I draw my knees up to my chest and dig my heels into the edge of the sofa cushion. “It’s something I do…to get into the holiday spirit. I thought we could make it a family tradition, but my husband—” I glance down at my naked ring finger, a reminder of the years wasted. “Ex-husband…”

“The real question is do you think it’s childish?” Dr. Sims tosses back.

“I’m doing it again, aren’t I?” It was something we discussed in our last therapy session: my constant need to seek validation from others. It’s only because of Rick that I’m so unsure of myself. He asserts himself as a figure of authority for all things just because he’s a cop, despite law enforcement having absolutely nothing to do with Christmas movies.

That was the biggest problem in our marriage. He always brought work home with him. Couldn’t stand being questioned by his wife the way he was questioned by ungrateful civilians. He was most insufferable the summer of the George Floyd protests.

“Do you have any idea of the danger we put ourselves in daily?” He shouted when I suggested we participate in a march. “It’s not about race. It’s never about race!”

That was also the first time he hit me, with the same brutality, I imagined, he delivered to suspects resisting arrest when there wasn’t a cellphone camera nearby.

“I guess, when you’ve been told you’re wrong for so many years.”

“What you feel isn’t wrong,” Dr. Sims says. “So tell me, what do you feel right now?”

I glance at the timer on her desk showing just over forty minutes left in our session. “Would you mind terribly if we watched Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer?” I stopped by Walmart on the way in and was ecstatic to discover the DVD in a $5 movie bin. I had searched for this movie for years, even when Rick tried to convince me it didn’t exist because he had never heard of it.

Dr. Sims lightly chuckles. “Sure.”

Without hesitation, I snatch the plastic bag from my purse. Now, the holiday season can truly begin.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Previous: Another Therapy Session (Joan)


5 thoughts on “Back in Therapy (Hannah)

    1. Thank you! Well I’ve always considered writing a form of self-therapy for me. And this last year I’ve really struggled, with mental health, depression, loneliness brought on by the pandemic, but I’m entirely too shy to talk about it with a therapist (plus it’s not really in the budget), so I decided to take “writing is my therapy” literally and explore some of those personal struggles in fictional therapy scenarios.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s amazing, I love that idea of fictional therapy. For this blog, I am thinking about gravitating towards creative non-fiction – using real events, either mine or others. Then again, lots of those vignettes i used to post were more fact than fiction. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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