There is an uncomfortable duality to living without my Square-Jawed NP.
I am trying so hard to come to terms with his sudden disappearance. What do I do with myself when the one person I would discuss this with is the one who’s gone?
I am left with Therapist Barbie, my sunny, 25-year-old counselor who advises me to do things like recite positive affirmations and keep a “feelings” notebook. Bitch, please. She is very good at listening, but she’s not like NP who knew to push and prod and cajole me into taking positive action. I am going to try to see her this week so I can wheedle some concrete answers out of her regarding what happened to NP. I’m pretty sure I can get her to spill.
I’m heartbroken about his disappearance. I have my information and reconnaissance tendrils everywhere searching for a single scrap of information but very little has come back so far. Nobody’s talking.
As of right now, I know this: he has not lost his license, but he is not returning to the practice where I was seeing him. In fact, according to my source, the exact phrase used was, (with emphasis): “No. He is NEVER coming back.” That specific emphasis on ‘never’ tells me two things: first, the person who said it (his colleague) is angry about NP’s departure; and second, his departure was not an amicable one.
My mind, of course, immediately thinks the worst: that NP either slept with or manhandled a patient. I sincerely hope not. And frankly, I don’t believe he would. Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part though. I would like to believe that NP would never let such a thing happen. He has strict boundaries, as I’ve seen first hand. They’re in place for a reason. Why throw away six years of hard-won education, thousands in student loans, and a talented career for a bit of quick tail from your patient pool? (As I understand it, NP can get whomever he wants in abundance on the outside, and does.) But men have their weaknesses. I just hope that wasn’t it.
Of course there are plenty of other explanations. I know NP was busy opening his own practice. Maybe his contract had a no-compete clause and he was summarily fired after announcing it officially? I don’t know. Maybe he mis-prescribed medication. Maybe he slept with a staff member. Maybe a patient overdosed. Maybe a schizophrenic patient imagined he was making love to her through his eyebrows. Who knows?
My favorite theory is that, after finally getting the business license for own practice, he walked into the old office ready to quit, flipped them all the bird, and screamed, “See ya later,… fuckers!” And maybe that embittered therapist who emphasized the word “never” was a prude who holds him in contempt due to his profane language.
Sadly, I doubt it’s the latter. These things rarely are that fantastical. That type of contempt is usually reserved for those whose infractions are more grossly immoral or unethical.
So my feelers continue to be out in an effort to divine the truth. As soon as I know, you will know, dear reader.
In the meantime, I am at sixes and sevens. I miss him desperately. I’m worried for him. I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel rudderless — and without accountability. I go over every conversation we had looking for clues — and there have been some these last few visits. Reviewing my memory, he must have known this departure was coming. But if he did, why wouldn’t he tell me? Moreover, why would it happen like this? Yes, I know it’s none of my damned business, but a part of me demands answers.
Today, I took a drive up by his house. Now before you start screaming “stalker” at me, keep in mind that his house is on a main thoroughfare in a populous neighborhood. Yes, it’s 20 minutes away, but I, like many who live around here, might, possibly be innocently passing by to shop at the fashionable grocery store down the street from him. It could happen.
As I passed, there were no signs that he was home. I turned around and drove by one more time and, still finding nothing, I kept driving on and returned to port, saddened. Disappointed. Yet, what would I have done if I saw him, anyway? Ducked down and prayed he didn’t see me? As if he’d say, “Oh, just an old rusted-out 94 Geo driving itself. Hmm. Perfectly normal!” I wasn’t exactly traveling incognito in my borrowed car. I was actually just hoping to see his car parked outside his home and somehow find comfort in knowing he was safe. No such luck.
Okay, maybe that was a little stalkery. Still, I didn’t wait outside his house like I was casing the joint, so I should at least get credit for not being totally crazy.
As I mentioned before, there is a duality to living without NP.
There’s a likelihood that I may never see him again, and if I do, it might be in real life, not in a therapy session. (If he loses his license, his personal practice is lost).
So a part of me — a wee, tiny, strengthening part of me — wants to show him what I can really do. I want to lose weight, get serious about this diet of mine, so the next time I do see him, I can look so much improved.
For some reason, in the last two days or so, I’ve become determined to carry on despite myself. I have stood straighter. I try to attend to situations like a grown-up, not like a scared little girl hiding at the bottom of a Vicodin bottle.
I want to be the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes. I want my life to get much, much better. To get that car that The Butthead promised me (and I’m willing to hold back on working for him until he makes good on it). I am going to get a better job. Make more money. Look gorgeous. And walk into wherever he is and knock his socks off. Show him that all that therapy — all that work — wasn’t for nothing.
Because at the end of the day, the Square-Jawed NP saved my life. Regardless of what happened in his office or why he was fired, to me, the bottom line is: he saved me because he took an interest in me when no one else did. Sure, I was paying him, but he provided over-and-above service for a medication management guy. There was something special — a repartee — that went on between the two of us. Maybe it was my imagination. Or maybe my charm won him over. All I know is, without him being MORE than just a medication management dude, I would have gone back out and used. If he hadn’t pushed me to attend AA, to quit using, holding me accountable, talking to me, badgering me, giving me the stink-eye when he thought I was just making excuses, I’d probably be hospitalized again for loperamide overdose, or I’d be dead from it. Any other med management dude would have just handed me a prescription and sent me on my way. He didn’t. And that has made all the difference in the world to me.
Because despite all that’s happened, and how crappy I feel (and I can’t overstate that), I have not used. I didn’t go out and find some Vicodin — even though I know where I can get some — and I didn’t decide to go back on loperamide. No drugs.
I have, however, smoked, and drank the occasional Margarita. I have also taken my hydroxyzine (for anxiety). And I have eaten chocolate. And okay, I had a brief, stalkery moment. But I have not gone off the deep end into drug abuse, and for that, I have him to thank.
I want to find him. I want to tell him what he meant to me — what he STILL means to me. (And God help him if he really did molest a patient. I’ll bury him myself.)
Moreover, I want answers. And I’m sorry, but I won’t rest until I get them. As I continue to strengthen myself, I pray I can handle what I discover.
“You have seen my descent.
Now watch my rising.” — Rumi