Empathy No. 047
09/11/02, Brawney off. 3:12 PM
DR. BRAWNEY: Roderick, I've heard from your school-
RODERICK: Why are we talking about this? It was just an assignment! They wanted me to write about being vulnerable. Someone twists your arm while everyone watches and, and they all sit there and no one does anything? They hurt you because they know they can get away with it? Wouldn't you feel vulnerable?
DR. BRAWNEY: Please calm down, Roderick.
RODERICK: It's like I'm being punished twice.
DR. BRAWNEY: What makes you say that?
RODERICK: That woman hurt me for no reason, and she gets to walk away, she gets to keep her job and do it to someone else, and...and I'm getting dragged into offices and questioned? I didn't do anything!
DR. BRAWNEY: No one is trying to punish you.
DR. BRAWNEY: This might be unpleasant, but we really should talk about what you dealt with prior to coming to Redgrove.
RODERICK: I got beat up a lot. It happens to a lot of kids.
DR. BRAWNEY: Were you ever afraid to go to school?
RODERICK: Maybe, I mean...I dealt with it.
DR. BRAWNEY: How did you deal with it?
RODERICK: I just pushed through it.
DR. BRAWNEY: But in this case, you were victimized by an adult.
RODERICK: I only had to deal with her for a semester. I just waited it out.
DR. BRAWNEY: That wouldn't be an option when you were dealing with bullying by other students.
RODERICK: I just avoided them.
DR. BRAWNEY: Last year-
RODERICK: I don't want to talk about last year.
DR. BRAWNEY: We need to discuss this.
RODERICK: Why? It's in the past, it doesn't matter.
DR. BRAWNEY: Roderick, you were taken to the emergency room. Facial injuries and signs of attempted strangulation.
RODERICK: ...It doesn't matter.
DR. BRAWNEY: Do you ever have nightmares about any of these incidents?
RODERICK: That's what this is about? I just like to stay up late. I don't have nightmares.
DR. BRAWNEY: Okay. I'm going to suggest starting you on a course of anti-anxiety-
RODERICK: I'm not taking pills, I don't need them.
DR. BRAWNEY: Let me explain why I'm recommending this. You seem to lack any means to cope with the stressful situations you encountered in the past. What would you do if these stressors came up again in the future?
RODERICK: I'm fine, the only problem I have is that no one will leave me alone. I'm not taking pills, I know what you're trying to do.
DR. BRAWNEY: We can put the issue of medication aside for now. What I can do is teach you some simple relaxation techniques. These are things you should do every day and any time you feel under particular stress. If this helps you, then we don't need to go any further, but if you continue to have problems then we will need to reconsider medication. Is that okay with you?
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