Chapter no 10

Never Lie

This is session #2 with PL, a 25-year-old female who suffers from PTSD after surviving an extremely traumatic incident.

“Hi, Dr. Hale.”

“You look pale today. Please… sit down.”

“I’m okay. I just… I haven’t been sleeping well.”

“You mentioned the nightmares during your first visit.”

“Yes. Like I’m reliving it. Like it’s happening all over again.”

“I know you had a lot of trouble talking about it at your first visit, but if you feel more comfortable with me this time, it would help me so much to hear what happened that night in your own words.”

“It’s so hard to talk about it. It’s easier to talk about… other things.”

“But I’m here to help you. I can’t help you if I don’t know what you went through.”

“Yes. Yes, I understand, but…”

“Please try. You can take your time. We’ve got the entire session ahead of us.”

“It was just… it was the worst night of my life, Dr. Hale. I lost everything.”

“Just start from the beginning.”

“Well, I… I mean, we… we rented the cabin for the weekend, and we were so looking forward to it. We were having such a good time, even though it ended up raining all weekend. We hung out, roasted marshmallows in the fireplace…”

“And then…?”

“It happened after Cody and I had already gone to sleep. Megan and Alexis had gone off to their own rooms. I was sound asleep… the fresh air always makes me so tired, and we had a few drinks… And then I woke up to screaming…”


“It was Cody. He was screaming next to me in bed, and… and there was blood all over his chest. I woke up and a man was standing over him, holding a knife. It was hard to see because it was raining out and the sky was so dark… I couldn’t make out his face, but I could see his wet hair plastered to his skull. And I could smell him. He had that wet dog smell, but also something else. Something rotten.”

“That sounds terrible.”

“I wake up sometimes during the night and I still smell it. I smell it everywhere in my room. That awful, rotten smell… oh God…”

“It’s okay. It’s okay to cry. This is a safe space.” “I just… I can’t…”

“Please take a tissue.”

“It’s not fair! Cody and I were supposed to get married next week. We were going on our honeymoon to Bermuda. I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with him, and now… now he’s buried in a coffin under the ground. Whenever I think about it…”

“It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”

“How? How is it going to be okay, Dr. Hale? The man I was going to marry is dead. My two best friends are dead. My mother always used to say, if there was a nut job within fifty miles, they would find me. And that night, he found me. I’ve got a scar on my belly to remember him by forever.”

“It wasn’t your fault though.”

“It’s not fair that they’re all gone, and I’m still here. I should be dead too.”

“Don’t say that.”

“It’s true, Dr. Hale. That’s what the doctor told me at the hospital. I could have died.”

“But you didn’t. You survived. You’re a survivor. You could have bled to death in that cabin, but you ran through the rain and mud and you flagged down a car to help you. That’s why you’re alive.”

“I don’t feel like a survivor. I feel like… like a mess. I can’t sleep. I can’t even hold down a job.”

“That’s what you’re here for. To get better. This is just the beginning.”

“If they had caught him, I could move on. But every time I close my eyes, I imagine he’s at my window. Watching me sleep.”

“The key word is ‘imagine.’ He’s not really there.”

“You don’t know that! After all, I’m the only one who can identify him. I’m sure he wants me dead.”

“You can’t think that way. You’re safe now. If he were going to find you, he would’ve done it already. This is an impulsive man.”

“I’m going to lose my mind, Dr. Hale. It’s all I can think about. Every time I get into my car, I feel like he’s following me. As I was driving here, I was sure he was in the car behind me.”

“But you know that’s all in your head.”

“I don’t know that. You don’t know that. For all you know, he did follow me here. Maybe he’s waiting outside right now. Maybe the second I open the door to your house, he’s going to kill us both.”

“Do you know how unlikely that is?” “I…”

“Listen to me. You cannot let this psychopath control your life. You are here to get better. Your family cares about you and that’s why they sent you here.”

“But I’m not getting better.”

“This is just the beginning. You’re going to get better.” “Dr. Hale…”

“I promise you. You will get better.

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