The place..........Therapists office
Dr. Therapist: "So CJ, at our last appointment, we spent quite a bit of time discussing your childhood memory of how your mother told you that zucchini tasted like chocolate."
CJ: "Yes, it turned out to be a very traumatic experience for me."
Dr. Therapist: "Were you able to have a dialog with her about this in the last week?"
CJ: "Yes, I called her and we had a long discussion. Apparently, she was just trying to get me to eat something green. I didn't like green food."
Dr. Therapist: "Was this a useful conversation? Were you able to find closure?"
CJ: "Yes, I think I've finally worked my way through this subject. Zucchini tastes like zucchini and chocolate tastes like chocolate. No confusion anymore. I think that I've learned that it's time to let it go and leave this incident in the past. Mom was only trying to do something which she felt was in my best interest. I won't bring it up with her again."
Dr. Therapist: "Good! Good! Excellent CJ, you've made tremendous progress. Now last week at the end of our session, you mentioned something about these flashbacks you've been having. Should we discuss this further and see how you feel about it?"
CJ: "Yes, I think I'm finally ready to talk about it. I believe the flashback comes from an experience I had when I was about two years old. My mom took me to the store to buy some shoes. Apparently, she usually had a hard time finding shoes to fit my chubby feet."
Dr. Therapist: "So your flashback is about shoes?
CJ: "More about this particular shopping trip. I never liked shoe shopping, so when we got to the shoe department at Target, I was in a bad mood."
Dr. Therapist: "Did you not like shoes?"
CJ: "No, I liked shoes, in fact, I rarely took them off. My parents used to take my shoes off of me when they felt I was misbehaving."
Dr. Therapist: "They took your shoes off as a punishment? APPALLING! What things could you have done that would be so terrible that your parents felt they needed to remove your shoes?""
CJ: "They were always saying stuff like ........."CJ, stop jumping on the couch or I'll take your shoes off." or "CJ get your seatbelt on or we're going to take your shoes off" and "CJ, if you let go of my hand in this parking lot, I'm going to take your shoes off.........."
Dr. Therapist: "Hmmmmmmm.......... interesting. I think we may need to examine this more closely, but I think we'll discuss it later. For now let's get back to the shoe department at Target. What happened?"
CJ: "Mom found a pair of shoes that she thought were my size and then wrestled my shoes off."
Dr. Therapist: "And how did this make you feel?"
CJ: "I wasn't very happy, but I dealt with it."
Dr. Therapist: "So it wasn't the act of taking off your shoes that led to the trauma?"
CJ: "No.........No........... it was .........when .........Mom put the new shoes on me.........................."
Cr. Therapist: "Go on, what happened?"
CJ: " She tried to force the shoe on my foot. The shoe was kind of narrow through the arch, and I guess she thought that was why it wasn't going on."
Dr. Therapist: "Was the shoe too small?"
CJ: "No. It was a larger size than the shoes I had been wearing. Mom kept pushing my foot into the shoe. It just wasn't going in! She just kept trying and trying.........and trying......................................(sob)"
Dr. Therapist: "Go on CJ, take your time. Talk when you're ready, I know this type of trauma can be very difficult to talk about after being suppressed for so many years."
CJ: (taking a deep breath) "I'm OK, I can get through this. Mom kept pushing and shoving my foot into the shoe."
Dr. Therapist: "Did it ever go in?"
CJ: "Well, Mom finally took the shoe off and looked............. inside........................."
Dr. Therapist: "Was there something wrong with the shoe?"
CJ: "There was a big wad of tissue paper in the toe, that's why my foot wasn't going in."
Dr. Therapist: "How terrible for you! I honestly can't see how you lived through the trauma! Have you discussed this with your mother?"
CJ: "Oh, I've discussed it all right. I've brought it up on numerous occasions. At first, Mom acted like she couldn't remember the incident, and after that, she would just laugh when I would talk about it."
Dr. Therapist: "Did she ever apologize?"
CJ: "Well, yes, she has said that she's sorry multiple times, and told me that she felt really bad about what happened, but I still can't seem to get over it."
Dr. Therapist: "Our time is nearly over for today. I think we've had some major breakthroughs this session. This week I'd like you to call your mother and discuss this shoe incident as one more item on the growing list of things that she did to traumatize you and scar you for life."
CJ: "Thank you Dr. Therapist, I'll do that."
Dr. Therapist: "You're welcome CJ, I'll see you next week. When you get to the waiting room could you please have my receptionist send in my next patient? The poor guy, if you think you had it bad, you should hear his story. He keeps having a recurring nightmare about Elmo wearing a pink fairy princess costume."