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Chapter 40 – Tabby

“I have figured out the causes of your anorexia,” Elizabeth told me.

I looked at her in surprise, “That was quick,” I said.

“You sound unsure, Tabitha,” she told me. “Do you doubt me?”

“It’s just, this is only my third visit. How could you have figured at what is wrong with me so quickly?” I asked.

Elizabeth smiled at me. “I'm just good at my job,” she told me.

“So what is wrong with me?” I asked, anxiously.

“There is nothing wrong with you Tabitha,” Elizabeth told me. “Your anorexia has been caused by a mixture of anxiety and depression.”

“So now I'm depressed as well as dyslexia,” I said dryly. “Will I need medication?”

“I don’t believe so,” Elizabeth told me. “I'm able to work at the problem that has caused your anxiety and depression. I believed they can be fixed by more sessions. However, if your condition does not improve, then we may have to look into using medication such as anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.”

“So what is the cause?” I asked.

“Your fears of anyone finding out that you are dyslexic,” Elizabeth told me. “It is an irrational fear with you will need to overcome to get better.”

“That is it?” I asked. “The reason behind everything that has happened is that?”

“Not exactly,” Elizabeth answered. “Have you ever heard of the term a perfect storm?”

“No,” I told her. “What does it mean?”

“A perfect storm is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically,” Elizabeth told me. “Your anxiety over your dyslexia, guilt over Maya's death, and the loss of your close friends are all simple events to deal with on your own. When they happened separately but when they happened together, they were too much for you to be able to deal with.”

“So how do I get better?” I asked.

“It will take a while, there is no overnight fix for depression,” Elizabeth told me. “The place to start with your recovery is your dyslexia.”

“What about it?” I asked.

“What is the worst that can happen if everyone found out?” Elizabeth asked.

“They will see me for what I really am,” I told her.

“And what is that?” Elizabeth asked me.

“Stupid,” I answered quietly.

Elizabeth shook her head. “And that is what your biggest problem is,”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Do you know why Angelica is able to control you, Tabitha?” Elizabeth asked me.

“Because she knows I’m dyslexic,” I answered.

“That isn’t the reason Tabitha. The reason she can control you is that she knows that you are ashamed of the fact that you're dyslexic.” Elizabeth told me. “Angelica is an intelligent and manipulating girl. She is using your own insecurities against you. For what you have said about Angelica she is a textbook example of a psychopath. If you are to have any chance of recovering you need to get as far away from this girl as possible.”

“How do I get away from Angelica if I can’t even stand up to her,” I asked.

“You need to stop being ashamed of who you are,” Elizabeth told me. “You said that when you were first diagnosed, your mother told you not to tell anyone as they would believe that you were stupid. Is that correct?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“You were seven at the time and easily impressionable. Over the years, you changed what that statement meant,” Elizabeth told me. “Instead of the original statement of ‘they will think you're stupid,’ it changed to ‘they will know you're stupid’. Then the worse of all began to happen: you started to believe it.”

“Because it is true,” I told her. “I can’t even read properly.”

“Are you saying that everyone with dyslexia is stupid?” Elizabeth asked me.

“I don’t know,” I muttered. “I never thought of it that way.”

“Did you know that Leonardo DaVinci was dyslexic?” Elizabeth asked me. “He wasn’t stupid, he is actually considered to be one of the greatest geniuses of all time.”

“Really?” I asked in surprise. “No one ever told me that.”

“So were Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Beethoven, John Lennon, John F Kennedy, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Clarke, and even the Wright Brothers. The list goes on Tabitha,” Elizabeth told me. “These people were intelligent and accomplished great thing despite the fact that they were all dyslexic.”

“I’m not like them,” I told her. “I’m not a genius, I just a girl with dyslexia.”

“According to your English teacher, you are a very talented writer,” Elizabeth told me.

“I can’t become a writer,” I told Elizabeth. “I can’t read or spell properly, remember?”

“Try telling that to Hans Christian Andersen, the author of Alice in Wonderland or F. Scott Fitzgerald. He wrote The Great Gatsby. They were both dyslexic, and their novels are classics.” Elizabeth educated me. “I spoke with your teachers. Do you know what there reoccurring comment about you was?”

“No,” I answered, fearing the worse.

“They all told me that you are an incredibly intelligent individual who has the potential to achieve anything you like, you just don’t know it yet.” Elizabeth told me.

“Really?” I asked quietly in disbelief. “Every one of them?”

“You still sound as if you can’t believe how intelligent you really are,” Elizabeth told me. “This is why I something else to show you. I have the result from the IQ test I had you take last time you were here.”

I felt myself tense up. I had always been scared to take IQ tests for what the result would end up being. Now it was the moment of truth.

“There are many different models for the results of IQ testing. However, the common opinion is that results between ninety and hundred and nine are avenge. While anything above a hundred and thirty is genius or gifted.” Elizabeth explained. “I did the exact same IQ test as you, and I receive the result of a hundred and eight. What do you think you received?”

“Seventy,” I answered as I lowered my eyes to the floor; dreading the result I would achieve.

“Tabitha, you received a score of a hundred and twenty-nine,” Elizabeth told me.

I look up to meet her eyes. I tried to speak, but nothing came out. I just started to cry.

“Would it have been higher if I wasn’t dyslexic?” I asked through tears.

“Dyslexia has no effect on intelligence,” she told me. That comment only caused me cry harder.

“I’m sorry,” I told her as I wiped away tears. “I don’t know why I'm crying.”

Elizabeth just smiled at me. “You're crying because you finally believe me. You are worth so much more than you think.”

“What if no one else can see that,” I asked. “What if I tell Kitty the truth, and she treats me like I'm stupid.”

“Then she was never your real friend,” Elizabeth told me. “And you deserve better friends. Friends who don’t care that you're dyslexic but care about the actual person you are.”

“So is that it?” I asked.

Elizabeth shook her head. “No, that is not everything but it is a step on the road to recovering.”

“What is left?” I asked.

“Your trigger,” Elizabeth told me.

“What's my trigger?” I asked; I already had a feeling that I knew the answer to my own question.

“Your trigger is the event that caused your anorexia. That one moment that caused you to snap.” Elizabeth told me.

“Maya’s death?” I asked, hoping that it was the right answer.

“No Tabitha, Maya’s suicide forced you into a deeper state of depression, but it didn’t cause your anorexia.” Elizabeth told me. “Maya died fifteen months ago, but your self-destructive behaviour didn’t start until four months ago.”

I felt my body tense up. She knew. The one secret I hadn’t revealed to her yet. The one night I wished never to speak of again.

“You know which event I am talking about, don’t you?” Elizabeth asked.

I nodded but didn’t say a thing.

“You're just not ready to tell me yet?” She questioned me.

I nodded again.

“That is understandable.” Elizabeth told me. “After a traumatic experience, trauma victims prefer not to talk about what happened. Though for you to get better, you will need to talk about it eventually. I understand that you are not ready to discuss what happened at this moment in time. I just need you to know that when you are willing to talk about what happened, I'll be here to listen to your every word.”

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