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 Manipulation

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PostSubject: Manipulation    Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:43 pm

The lobby was soft with perfect colors. It looked like a picture out of a fifties magazine. Nothing could go wrong here. Hypocrisy. It was all a stark cruel lie to make you buy into them and open up. This was nothing new. It wasn’t her fist time and with her luck it certainly would not be her last. Glen’s music blared in her ears just to drown out the elevator music that tinkered in the overhead. The black hoodie and shackle pants she had on were a stark contrast to the nice blue blouse and white slacks that her mother was wearing. She smiled. There was no resemblance between them so far as she could help and it would stay that way. Glen looked up at the receptionist and could see her mouth moving. That was her cue. She pulled her headphones out of her ears and looked up.
“Jacquelyn Burschady, Doctor Harden is ready to see you.” as the receptionist talked Glen’s mother got up and fallowed her. Slumping further into her seat Glen couldn’t help but grin just a bit as she placed the small ear pieces back in her ears and turned the volume up. Like clockwork it was all falling into place. She watched her mom walk down the hall nodded chordally at the receptionist as she opened the door to the office and vanish out of sight. It was a game well rehearsed, a dance that they both knew by heart.

the door gently closed behind her but before the doctor could speak, Jacquelyn, began, “I am so glad you could see us. I am so worried about Glen. Its getting worse.”
Doctor Harden nodded.“Take a seat, Lets start out with talking about Glen. You said you thought she may be bipolar or even schitsofrentic?”
Jacquelyn sat down on the edge of the couch and daintily crossed her ankles, folding her hands on her lap. “Yes. I didn’t want to believe it but I can’t ignore it any longer.” she paused and took a deep breath, “I was hoping we could get though this without medication. That’s why I came to you.”
“I will do everything I can, Mrs. Burschady, but you need to tell me everything that has been going.Start from the very beginning.” he slipped his glasses on and picked up his pen and notepad.
Knitting her brow, Jacquelyn took a minute to think before she began.
“It started about three years ago after she had been talking to a school counselor because of some,” she paused and lowered her voice, “well, destructive behavior.”
The doctor lifted his eyes from his paper and looked at her over the top of his glasses.
“Destructive behavior?”
Jacquelyn nodded, “One of the teachers told us that he noticed Glen was cutting herself. Her father and I decided that putting her into a counseling cession would be the best thing.” she looked down at her hands. A deep sigh escaped her before she continued. “Like I said after a while she started coming up with these wildly fabricated stories. I was shocked when the counselor called me and asked if any of them were true.”she sounded so hurt.
Doctor Harden sat forward in his chair placing his elbows on his knees.
“What kind of stories are we talking about here?”
Jacquelyn blinked back the tears that threatened to spill down her dainty face.
“Well, she accused me of deliberately smashing her ankle with a two gallon tomato past can. Then she said I took a hammer and cracked her knee cap open. The list is endless and honestly it frightens me.”
“What sort of thing could have possibly happened that might of given her even the smallest inclination to tell such li-” He caught himself and rephrased, “stories?”
“They were all accidents and clearly recorded in her medical records. The tomato past can incident happened when she was about four. She was playing on the kitchen floor and I was getting it down to make pasta and it slipped from my hands.”
Knitting his brow he sat back in his chair.
“Pasta for three and two gallons of tomato paste?” the tone in his voice seemed doubtful.
Jacquelyn smiled and quickly continued, “No, of course not. I buy bulk to save money and then divide them up into smaller jars. I still remember it. She was in a cast over her fifth birthday and I could do nothing to cheer her up.”
Doctor Harden nodded and jotted a few things down.
“What about the other incident that you were talking about?
“She was hop-scotching down the stairs and tripped. I was the first one at her side when I heard her screaming bloody murder.” looking away she cleared her throat from the knots that were rising in it, “and she claims that I took a hammer to her knee.” she pursed her lips and then licked them. Covering her face she took a deep breath. “The latest story is that I told her that her father raped her when she was three. I never said anything like that. Her father is an officer in the army and he was on active duty most of her third and fourth year. Both of us know that. But she claims that I had a restraining order on him and that is why he was gone.” a tear fell down her perfectly rosy cheeks streaming black in its path.
“It sounds to me like all this is a cry for attention?”
“That doesn’t make sense. She is our only child and she is spoiled if nothing else. Some of the parents on base tell me that I give her far too much attention. I choose to be a stay at home mom so that I can be there for her no matter what. I love her and-” she stopped before she burst into tears. Standing up she walked slowly over to the window and shook her head, “ I would die for her. I just don’t understand.”
“Some things just don’t make any sense. It’s part of life.” silence fell as the doctor scribbled some notes and Jacquelyn stared out the window. “ well,” Doctor Harden began after a moment, “I need to ask Glen a few questions now.”
“you need to talk to her al - alone?” she wiped her eyes and turned back to face the doctor. “You want me to leave?”
“Yes, Mrs. Burschady.” he smiled and then opened the door. She smiled in return and exited the room. Glen saw her come out of the office. Her face was slightly red. Aw, she had been crying, a nice new touch to her old and warn routine. Now it was her turn to take her spin around the dance floor. The receptionist lead her to the office and kindly showed her in. Glen slumped into the couch and looked around the room. She tugged on the earphone cords pulling them out of her ears.
“Hello Glen, I’m Doctor Harden.” he smiled. Glen rolled her eyes as she looked up at him trough her shaggy bangs that hung down over her face.
“so, she tell you I was crazy and needed to be locked up?” her tone was flat yet oozing with sarcasm.
“No. Your mother is very concerned about you. You should be thankful to have a mother like that.”
“Thankful?” she mockingly chuckled then suddenly her voice dropped and all traces of a smile vanished from her face. “You don’t know the half of it.”
Doctor Harden nodded as he put his pen to work. “So, Glen, why are you cutting yourself?”

“What did she tell you?! I’m over it. Damn.” she shook her head in disbelief. This was a card her mother hadn’t used in a while. Doctor Harden could feel he was losing her. He had to try a different angle.
“your mother told me you had a few accidents as a child.”
“Accidents? A few? That’s the understatement of the century.” she sighed and looked away, “But that’s what she always says, you think I’d be used to it by now.”
“Ok, Glen, can you tell me your side?” this girl was harder than he thought. So many walls, so much anger. Glen lazily looked back at him.
“What is there to tell? Didn’t mother dearest already say everything?”
“Why are you so angry at your mother?”
“How do I put this,” Glen smiled and cocked her head to the side, “well, my mom breaks a bone in my body about once a year on porpoise, GOD knows why, and then, there was the occasional bouts of prolonged illnesses. Which usually means I was sick to my stomach about a month, or two, sometimes even three.” she paused and took a breath, “In fourth grade it lasted almost a year and I missed nearly all of school. Had a lot of catch up work to do over the summer. I’d say anyone in their right mind would be just a tad bit angry.” she leaned forward and licked her lip ring, “Then again you don’t think I’m in my right mind, do you?”
Doctor Harden grinned and looked up from his notes, “It’s not really about what I think, Glen.”

For the first time Glen brushed her hair out of her face so Doctor Harden could see her bright green eyes.
“Actually it’s all about what you think. See you are the deciding factor of weather I go on medication or perhaps finally get away from my psychotic mother. Your opinion is the only one that really matters.”
“Ok lets talk about your mother.” Pausing he seemed to search fo the right words, “Why would you say that she is psychotic?”
Leaning forward Glen placed her elbows on her knees and clasped her hands in front of her. Perhaps he would truly listen. She dared to hope one last time.
“To be honest with you, I never started putting it together until one day I was surfing the web and came across an article about a mom who gave her daughter un-prescribed medication to make her sick. The thing is it wasn’t just one mom in a rare case. There is actually a mental disorder that causes this kind of behavior its called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”
“You think your mother has MSP?”
Glen’s smirk returned to her face as she assumed her initial slouching position.
“why else would I have said it?”
“If you think your mother has MSP why would you claim that your father raped you?”
“The thing is my mom told me that he did. I couldn’t remember why he had been gone those years and she told me that my dad had raped me and she had put a restraining order on him.”
Nodding the doctor tapped his pen against his chin.
“Why would you say something like that about your mother?”
Suddenly Glen slammed her hand down on the coffee table.
“I didn’t make it up! I didn’t make any of it up!”
She tuned away trying to take control of herself mumbling under her breath.
“I’m telling the truth.”
“Glen, please sit down. I am going to ask your mother to come in and talk with us.”
Glen didn’t look back at him or even move, “you do that.”
Doctor Harden nodded as he set aside his notepad and walked over to the door. A few moments passed and the door shut again. Glen turned around to see her mother. She wanted to walk right over and slap her pretty little face. She wanted to scream at her and let it all out but instead she just walked over to the couch and sat down beside her mother.
“Can one of you tell me what is the oldest of these incidents?” the doctor began.
“well the first I think was the Tomato past can. Like I said I was getting it down and she insisted on playing on the kitchen floor-”
“You told me to sit there.” Glen interrupted, “I wanted to go watch a movie and you said “ in a second but first sit here.”“she mockingly mimicked her mothers voice, “you think I don’t remember? Or the time you cracked my knee cap open. You promised it wouldn’t hurt, but it hurt like hell.”
“Honey, you were playing on the concrete stairs and you fell. I would never hurt you.”
“Really? Then stop lying and own up! You took my child hood from me and you say you did nothing wrong?”
Jacquelyn reached out to lovingly caress Glen’s arm,
“Sweety I-”
Glen jerked her arm away and glared at her mom.
“Don’t touch me.”
“Glen, your mother loves you and these stories-”
“Is that what you still think it is. Just stories that I made up for my own sick reasons. What kind of a doctor are you?”
Glen was getting worked up. She didn’t like the feeling of not having total control over herself. Standing up she walked over to the window. Jacquelyn ran her fingers though her blond hair and took a deep breath.
“Doctor Harden is here to help you not-”
Glen whipped around and angrily pointed at her mom,“I wasn’t talking to you!”
“I can see you have resentment towards your mom. She’s not here to hurt you” Doctor Harden tried to bring the conversation back under reign.
“Have you been listening to me at all? That is all she does, hurt me. But you can’t see that because you have already picked sides. You think I am just a wack job so you really don’t care what I have to say.”
“Glen, of course I care. I am just trying to get to the source of it all. I’m trying to help you.”
“The source? She is sitting right there!” tears burned her eyes her figure that she held pointed at her mother was shaking.
“Please take a seat.”
“I don’t want to sit.” she said through clenched teeth. She crossed her arms determined to fight. Her mothers tearing eyes and quivering lips were striking but not convincing, at least not to her.
“Honey,-”
“Don’t honey me mom, don’t. It was bad enough when you lied to me and hurt me at home but I thought this was a place to tell the truth to work things out.”
“That is what I am trying to do. I am trying to get you the help you need but you think I am here to abuse you. I’m not. I love you and would never do anything to hurt you, ever.”
“What about the time you gave me meds that made me throw up for nearly two weeks strait?”
“You were having gusto vascular intestinal problems. I was giving you medicine to help you stop throwing up.”
“then explain please why I stopped puking up my guts only after I refused to take the meds.” Glen was on the brink of yelling. “I don’t forget mom, like when you smashed three of my fingers on my left hand? I could go on and on but it wont make any difference because you, mom, are far too good at covering up and you,” she looked at the doctor through tear-filled eyes, “Like I said, you have already picked sides. I will never be able to say anything that would convince you that I am telling the truth.”
“Glen, as a doctor I am here to help those who need my help.”
“And in this case that would be me.”
“I know it is hard to face the facts but the sooner you do the sooner you will be on your way to recovery.”
Letting out an exasperated snort Glen grinned, “You really are deaf aren’t you.”
“Glen don’t. I taught you better than that.”
“No, no dad taught me better than that. You sure as hell didn’t teach me anything good.”
“but you just said that you thought your father had raped you.” the doctor frowned in confusion. This girl was making less sense now than ever.
“No, I said that she had told me that he had raped me.”
“Listen to yourself. You are making no sense at all, Honey.”
“Shut up! I am making sense if you would just listen to me for once. I am not crazy. I am telling the truth!”
“I am sure you think you are. But let’s talk about this and keep it calm.”
“I am telling the truth Doctor! she is the one you should be shrinking right now, not me. What mother in her right mind would hospitalize her own child time after time? I am clumsy but not that clumsy. Check the medical records. It’s all in there.”
“Glen you are getting yourself too worked up over this.” her mother was trying to keep her calm but it was too late for that.
“I am getting myself too worked up?” Glen paused and smiled in disbelief, “ I am the one that is being called crazy here. I have the right to get worked up.”
“Sweety why don’t you just sit down and talk this out.”
“I am done talking! I am done with this, all of it!”
Reaching out Jacquelyn gently took Glen’s hand in hers.
“ Sit down, Glen, please and lets talk.”
“No!” glen tried pulling her hand away but her mother’s grip tightened, “Let go!
Suddenly Glen stopped pulling. She looked like she had just gotten the air knocked out of her. Her mother looked her square in the eye and Glen shrank in fear. She knew that look all too well. “Glen, honey, I love you.” Silence. Then suddenly a sickening crack broke through the ears of those in the room. Glen’s scream echoed off the walls as she fell to her knees grasping her now limp right hand. Jacquelyn sat paralyzed as she realized what she had done. Glen lifted her head her eyes pleading, crying out as if to say, “you believe me now?”




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PostSubject: Re: Manipulation    Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:03 pm

Until the VERY end of this narrative, I was at a loss to figure out who was telling the truth. In a situation like this, there would be no middle ground, no gray areas; either Glen WAS a victim of abuse, or she WASN'T--but without the crucial yes-or-no information, the reader is baffled. Not until you showed Glen's mother breaking the girl's wrist (now, that is one strong mother) could I be sure. An intense piece of drama.

Meanwhile, for prosaic details: one nods at people C-O-R-D-I-A-L-L-
Y, one has a S-E-S-S-I-O-N, and one suffers from G-A-S-T-R-O-vascular problems.
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PostSubject: Re: Manipulation    Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:12 pm

the confusion was something I was shooting for. I want the audience to flip flop all to the very end
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PostSubject: Re: Manipulation    Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:19 pm

Okay, a few little things that I know because I'm a psych major. It's spelled schizophrenia. Also, the mom would most likely not be called in to the office if Glen is still in there, unless Glen is okay with it. Even then, some psychologists wouldn't let her in. And you can't really treat schizophrenia without medication.

I do like this story, it's a very interesting concept. And I actually really like the ending. It leaves the reader to decide what they think happened, which is a very useful tool.
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