Risa Denenberg would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Vivian's Disorder

By Risa Denenberg All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Action

CHAPTER ONE - RICHARD SCULLY

Virgie was bored. Three years of therapy and nothing had changed. Nothing had gotten better; nothing had gotten worse. Things had actually gone better when she was working with Sylvie. That is, until she stopped dreaming, and their work together began to go stale. I’m drowning here, she thought ruefully. She glanced around the room— at Richard in his stained oatmeal-colored V-neck sweater leaning back in his black leather swivel chair; down at the worn brown wall-to-wall carpet; up at the Matisse goldfish, imperfectly matted and hanging slightly askew on the far wall. She would have far preferred Van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow’.

“So. So, what are you thinking?” Richard asked finally.

“I’m swimming in circles. Like the goldfish.” And, after a pause, “I think I want to quit therapy.”

“Well,” Richard sat up and folded his hands together in a familiar gesture, one that always reminded Virgie of the church steeple in the children’s hand game. He touched the two joined index fingers to the tip of his nose. “We can discuss that. We can discuss that if you wish.”

“No. I don’t think I want to discuss it. I just want to quit.” She suddenly felt a slight twinge of excitement.

“We’ve been working together for three years, Virgie. Don’t you think . . . don’t you feel that we can process this together?”

“No. I don’t. Let’s face it, you’re not helping me. What I’m saying is, I guess I’m dumping you.”

“Dumping me? Hmmm . . . dumping . . . me? Now, that’s an interesting phrase to use, don’t you think?”

“Yes, it is. But you’re not.”

“Like Jonathan dumped you, I wonder?”

Virgie had to think a minute. Who’s Jonathan? she wondered. I guess I made him up, she realized. She was so bored she was making up people to talk about. But was she bored with her life or with Richard? Hard to say. “Look, Richard, it’s just time to stop. We’re obviously not getting anywhere. I really don’t think it will help to talk about it.”

“There’s something more going on here, don’t you think? You have a pattern of leaving relationships when you get too close. We’ve talked about this before.”

“I haven’t gotten close to you. I honestly have no feelings about you at all. And I haven’t gotten any closer to why I’m so stuck where I am. And if you know the answer to that one, you sure haven’t bothered to share it with me.”

Virgie’s mind wandered over the past three years. She hardly left the apartment. She hadn’t painted in months. Course catalogs had piled up among unopened mail spilling onto the floor in the foyer. Her kitchen was a ruin of uneaten meals. And the cats’ room was a mess she could hardly bear to enter any more.

“What are you thinking now?” he asked, inevitably.

“Ok,” she responded, feeling on more solid ground suddenly, an idea brewing. “I’m seeing someone else. I’m dumping you for a better therapist. Get it?”

He waited for a long moment and sighed audibly. Richard abhorred silence, and as usual, he broke first. “Well then, if you feel you must go, I suppose you must. I won’t oppose you. No. That wouldn’t be therapeutic. You know, it’s curious to me that this comes up now. I’ve just been reading R.D. Laing. You know Laing?”

“What do you think?” He knew quite well that she had read Laing. She was probably the only reason he was reading it, she had brought Lang up only a couple of weeks ago. What an idiot.

“Well, anyway, Laing was quite the heretic really. A true rebel in the field. Perhaps he would say that this is an inside-outside problem.”

“And that would mean . . . ?”

“You know, you’re split, ambivalent. To get closer or move farther away? We’ve done some good work, Virgie, but there’s a lot more work to do. So. Here’s the challenge. Do you want to do the work or not? Laing might ask, are you in, or are you out?”

“I guess we would have to call this an outie.”

“What I mean is . . . ”

“Richard, are you listening to me? I’m terminating this relationship. Could you come back to the present and just leave Laing out of it?”

“Well, that’s my point exactly. He doesn’t approve of the therapist telling the patient what to do. But now, of course, even Laing would say, that is, I think he would say, that termination is a process. Yes. Yes. We need a time period to plan a proper termination. Lets talk about that.”

“Try listening to me for a change, Richard. I’m saying bye-bye to you. Conclusion. Separation. Ending. So if there is something you want to say to me, some guidance, some truth about me or our relationship, or something that would help me survive in this godawful world, this would be the time.”

“Well, I don’t know what Laing would say about this,” he mused, distractedly.

“Laing would say that anyone as dumb as you should not be a therapist.”

“Now, it doesn’t really help, does it, to be so . . . so . . . hostile?”

“Actually, it helps tremendously.”

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

marie-écrit : This was such a great ride (get it) anyway such an amazing story Ava and Bjorn a weird but beautiful pair, I can’t wait to see hopefully see them in the other books and I’m just excited to see what the stories have to bring to the table!

gpo1953: Megan Falls is the absolute most talented and brilliant writer ✍🏼 ever and my favorite. Love 💗 her and all of her books 📚 and characters and their true romances. The characters become your friends and I have never looked forward to reading any books like hers ☘️ and read them all over and over 🤗 ...

amayaharris25: ~I hope he doesn’t have to kill her and I hope she doesn’t play him but this is a good story and I want to see what happens to the other riders I really want you to make more story about them and more story about this one to about it’s Heritage it would be cool to know more about them and how the...

babygp1992: Love itlove her works always wanting more ! Her first book was so captivating , this one is the same, I love reading it and am constantly wanting more.

Kira Stinson: Loving it! Keep up the great work.

Artistetc84: Sucks you in like a whirlpool, first paragraph.

gpo1953: Fantastic story and author. Love it and Wood and Tamie. 🦋💞🌺☺️Looking forward to reading alI of the others. Love everything about this author simply brilliant 😊

Paulette Martin: I've read the Stone Knights at Amazon and love the series. Been wanting something on Tripp. There are some editing issues so far, but thanks for a story on Tripp.

Black swan: Amazing work

More Recommendations

Uwa Paul-Ebiai: It’s a good read, not really a fan of his over possessiveness and it would be cool to know his age.

jufern78: Even life hit you down several times keeps going to stand up and face all the troubles with light hearted... So sad her mother died .Love the twirl or love story between Blake and Noah.Blissful love story

gpo1953: One of my favorite authors ✍🏼☺️Love 💜her books 📚 and stories and amazing characters 😊Rebekah is absolutely brilliant and so talented 🤗 Always look 👀 forward to reading 📖 her stories ☘️

Drew Falvey: Your English writing needs a bit more work. You should take your time and edit your book before it’s ready to read. Overall this was a good book. I can’t wait for Book #2

Gail Logan Melton: Good story line. Love the back and forth between May.

Amie: Looking forward to future chapters.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.