Three Months Ago
“Is everything alright, Jeffery?”
“How are you getting along with your mom and dad?”
“How are you doing with your meds?”
“Just fine? Nothing else?”
Dr. Lewis sat up from his chair and took the empty space next to Jeffery. His posture slouched in a manner similar to Jeffery. The young doctor naturally fit the role of a big brother. A role most of his clients desperately needed. A role that came naturally to him. With an honesty that cannot be taught or learned and in his own boyish demeanor, he said:
“Jeffery, you can tell me anything you want or nothing at all. Either way, it’s okay. What’s important to know is I will be here when you need me. You don’t have to face this alone.”
Tears began to roll over Jeffery’s cheek.
“I don’t like the way it makes me feel! I don’t like the way people look at me! People treat me differently! Everything I do is wrong! My mom loves God more than me! They hit me every time I do something wrong! Why me? What’s wrong with me? What’d I do to deserve this?”
Fortunately, Jeffery was looking down as he wept and did not see the flash of anger that escaped Dr. Lewis’s face at the mention of the boy’s parents. He knew the type. Believers, obsessed with their salvation in the afterlife and blinded to the life they are living right here and right now. They completely miss the love that a religion can inspire. Life is not just sacrifice, obedience and discipline, especially when it comes to your children. People like that only end up taking away their kid’s childhood.
“Jeffery, would you like me to tell you what I think about schizophrenia?”
Jeffery slowly nodded.
“For some people, I don’t think it’s just a disease. I think it’s an ability only a few people have. It’s something special.”
“I don’t understand,” Jeffery said through the tears.
“Well, think about it this way. Today’s researchers are finding new and incredible discoveries every day, discoveries never thought possible; things about our universe, where it came from, and even about reality itself.”
“Now, what if I were to tell you that we are very close to proving there are countless of other universes that exist side by side and alongside our universe. An infinite number of dimensions, coexisting next to one another like pages in a book. So close, just turn the page and you’re there, yet forever separated and unaware of each other.”
“What if you, and others like you, are not just seeing and hearing hallucinations? What if it’s real, in a matter of speaking? What if you have the ability to catch glimpses and flashes of the other side; to look at the other side of the page?”
“Someday, we might be able to separate the two and control it so it isn’t confusing and frightening to the person. I see it as an amazing gift, even though I know it’s hard to see it in that way now. We know so little about the brain and just because your brain works differently doesn’t necessarily make you sick. Someday, I believe it will be possible for you to use this skill and use it to become the first explorers of these new frontiers. Just imagine what you might see.”
Jeffery’s face showed both interest and then concern.
“What if they don’t want to be seen?”
Dr. Lewis’s brow furrowed, “Come again?”
Jeffery wiped the remaining tears off his face, and spoke, not with trepidation or distress, but with an analytical mind far beyond his years.
“What I saw and heard wasn’t friendly. If it is real, what if they don’t want to be seen? What if they don’t know they can be seen? What if they don’t know we are out here, yet? What if they find us and then find a way to cross over?”
The young doctor paused for a moment. He’d never been confronted with this obvious flaw in his optimistic outlook of living with schizophrenia. He only wished to inspire those he knew would spend their entire lives battling to distinguish between the real and what is delusional. He looked Jeffery directly in his eyes and was overcome with admiration and affection for the boy. He was such an intelligent and amazing kid that deserved better than what he was dealt in life.
“Well, if they turn out to be some nasty, little critters that don’t want to be seen, then don’t let them know you can see them,” he said cheerfully. “Regardless, you’ll never have to deal with them alone and they will never be stronger than you. You got that? You are always in control. If things start to get to be too much, just stop and tell yourself to slow it down. Just slow it down and let your mind catch up to you, okay?”
“Yeah!” Jeffery said with a genuine smile.
“Alright, kiddo, I will see you next week.”
Jeffrey got up to leave. Dr. Lewis could already tell the boy was feeling better. He could also see the bruises on the boy’s forearm. A day or more, they’d probably be unnoticeable. Jeffrey turned to wave and Dr. Lewis again saw that amazing kid and thought to himself, “S**t!” He was about to make one of his famous spur of the moment decisions.
He had already received a warning from the director regarding confronting parents on their methods of disciplining their children unless of course, there was cause for suspecting child abuse. He was also specifically told to avoid the topic entirely, especially with hillbillies like Mr. and Mrs. Mason. Jeffery’s parents were the worst kind, crying and whining they were being persecuted and their religious freedom to whip their child with a belt was being violated. Dr. Lewis stood up and mentally prepared himself to put on his (also nearly as famous) alter ego known for “kicking a*s and taking names.” He called out to Jeffery.
“Oh Jeffrey, go on and have a seat in the waiting room first. I need to have a word with your mom and dad for a second.”
“I think things are going get a lot better for you at home real soon.”