The "Forest" Session Log

Session #7: Patient [XXXXXXXX XXXXX]

[XXXXXXXX]

After the river, I entered the forest. And the storm as well. Truly this time.

Psychologist

Did your father go with you? 

[XXXXXXXX]

No, he said I had to go alone. So I kept to the path and walked straight inside. It was so dark in there, I couldn't see anything past my own feet.

Psychologist

You've described it as a forest with trees as tall of skyscrapers. That's quite impressive. 

[XXXXXXXX]

I thought so too actually. Until I stepped inside and all I felt was dread and self-doubt. It was like fighting that monster from before, but worse. So much more concentrated.

Psychologist

At this point though, you felt like you had a stronger grip on managing these feelings though.

[XXXXXXXX]

I think that was the only reason I didn't completely freeze and give up on the spot. I kept moving through it all.

Psychologist

Good, that's progress.

[XXXXXXXX]

There was something else though. This storm, it played to my fears. My true fears. After a little bit I heard my Dad calling out for help. He sounded scared, and wounded. But his voice came from off the path, and I had only survived this far by staying on. 

Psychologist

Temptation is tricky. Always will be.

[XXXXXXXX]

It didn't help that a second voice from my Dad called out too. Telling me not to trust the other one. But I couldn't help it and I rushed after my Dad, the one who I thought was in pain. I...was too late though. I got there just in time to see his mangled body on the ground, lifeless. It didn't matter if it was a trick, or if he wasn't real. Seeing him like that felt like getting shot in the heart. 

Psychologist

I can't imagine. I think that is okay to let yourself feel that way, real or not. The image was still there for you, and thinking that it wasn't real doesn't make it any easier. Especially when your mind has you convinced it is real.

[XXXXXXXX]

I did let myself feel. Too long though. Another one of those monsters came out of the forest and started chasing me. I ran as fast as I could in pitch black, dodging it. At one point it broke my leg, but I kept going anyway. I knew if it got me this time, it would be the end. 

I don't remember exactly what happened next, but I remember bursting through the forest in to a clearing. Like an oasis, a safe haven at the eye of the storm. And in this oasis, was my childhood home. I found her inside.

Psychologist

Like the princess in the castle, in need of rescuing.

[XXXXXXXX]

What do you mean?

Psychologist

While everything you have described to me so far is unique to you in terms of your experiences, and has a meaning that is unique to you, a lot of it is rooted in other places; namely in story archetypes. You woke up in a similar but different place, similiar to Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, you slayed a dragon, you traveled on a journey, you crossed a moat, in the form of that river, and you entered the lion's den to rescue the princess in the castle. 

[XXXXXXXX]

Huh. So you think that is more reason for the Dream not being real?

 

Psychologist

I think it depends on how you define what is real. What is not out of the question is that everything you experienced took place directly in your mind. There is objective proof for that.

 

*she holds up the decoded brain scan images from the hospital records

-Editor

 

[XXXXXXXX]

Where did you get those? That looks exactly like my dream.

Psychologist

It is. I pulled your brain scans while you were in the hospital and used a computer to visualize what you were seeing based on your brain activity.

[XXXXXXXX]

I don't understand. How did you have the means to do any of this? Are you actually a psychologist?

Psychologist

Of course I am. My area of specialty is in dreams, specifically the kind of Dream that you have described to me over the last seven weeks. I never lied to you. I want you to be better. You just never asked me the right questions, but now I've decided to tell you the truth about it all.

[XXXXXXXX]

Which is?

Psychologist

Time is up for today. I would understand if you didn't want to come to next week's session. The hospital will still demand you to be cleared following psych evals, and I'm afraid I won't do that right now. You aren't ready yet. You'll have to find a different psychologist. But if you come next week, things will be different. The choice is up to you.

[XXXXXXXX]

I'll be leaving now.

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