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The Sessions - 3. Visit #3

The Sessions: Visit #3



“Welcome Josh, My God look at you, you’re soaked, here come through I have a towel in the restroom.”

“Yeah… wow the heavens just opened! It’s crazy out there, and I only walked from the space just down the road.”

“Here take this, and get that coat off.”

“Thanks, bruuuugh, that's better. Where shall I put it?”

“Oh here, let me, I’ll hang it on the door. Go take a seat, Dear me!”

“Thanks, oh new picture?”

“Yes, one of my other patients brought it in, he paints… to help with his condition. I love it,”

“I’ve never got this whole abstract thing, but yeah, it looks pretty cool.”

“So, anyway, tell me, what's been happening in your week, how have you been?”

“Wow, so yeah it’s been pretty good this week. It was horrible when I left. That went on all night. I kept playing stuff over in my head and I didn’t get much sleep.”

“And how is your sleep generally?”

“It varies, depending on how my mind is. Sometimes it’s been such a shit long day on the farm I’m just out. But other times my mind races.”

“About what, tell me what topics run through your mind.”

“Him, just him. All the time. The what if’s the whys, the hows. It’s like… it's like he’s just there. It sounds crazy but sometimes I think he’s got one of those dolls people stab.”

“Well, strong emotions and feelings can lead our brain to conjure up all sorts of things.”

“But why?!!”

“Because we need to satisfy ourself with an answer. As a species we learn and yearn. We are not comfortable animals until we solve a problem. And if we can't our brains make up stuff to give us the impression there is a reason for something. In the human mind things have to sit right with us, otherwise we feel unsettled, scared or lost.”

“Well I certainly feel lost.”

“Which is why you’re here.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Hey, let's not go into ourself. We have work to do.”

“It’s just all so tiring, and I’m not sure talking about him is working.”

“His name is Kai, and what he did to you is awful. And…

“And what?”

“And, you will get over this, with time, help and by talking about it.”

“Sorry, I just… it’s been a good week for me, and now, coming here, I'm just dragged down again.”

“Well, Josh, you can walk out that door any time you wish and deal with this on your own. But I promise you, it will just bury itself deeper and deeper, and you won't be able to rip it out like we are making progress doing.”

“And what's your success rate? Go on, tell me, I want to know.”

“For people like you, in your condition... what you’ve been through? I’d say 95%. Oh, BIG sigh there?”

“I’m sorry, I just want to be rid of this ache.”

“And you will be. So Let's talk, Kai. But, first, I want you to tell me your happiest memory of him.”


“Just trust me.”

“Ok, hmm… well I think, uh, erm. I’d say… Oh, ok, so we had a day bailing. Once all the wheat was harvested, we bailed the rest and put it in the storage barn. It’s hard work, but we were doing it together, so I just remember it being nice. We both had our tops off and were sort of flirting with each other while we stacked bales with the forklifts. I had to… Oh man, this is embarrassing….”

“Come on, Josh, we’re past that now. Look, I’m not blushing!”

“Haha, ok, so I had to stop a few times because I just wanted to look at him. We bailed until sundown. Back and forward, back and forward, passing each other on the forklifts. Stopping to kiss, or touch, or just smile. It was a warm evening, and after we were done, we just ripped open a bail and laid under the stars covered in straw.”

“Wow, sounds like a lovely evening.”

“Yeah, it was. We were away from everyone… the farmhouse, my parents. All the workers had stopped for the night, and I’d messaged my mum and said I was going to the pub after, but we didn’t, we spent the night chatting—him telling me about his life before me. We just lay there, touching, kissing. I remember just after this one kiss, a massive shooting star came across, real low, it seemed. I dunno, It was just something about that evening that will be there forever. I think we’d reached our pinnacle. He was like a magnet.”

“Good, so that time… that moment you can store.”


“You need to remember the bad times to appreciate the good times. Now, what he did to you was really bad. But as we go through life, we have good times and bad, but we separate them out. With Kai, it’s one long piece of string, which you’re storing all together. So you need to try and split Kai into two parts. And everything positive in your life you can store as a good memory. Something to look back on, maybe smile at in private as you think about it. But you then need to let the bad times float away. You need to separate The good Kai and the bad Kai.”


“Because you will never forget him, he will always pop up in your thoughts, but it’s having those good times that you need to bring to the forefront.”

“But it's hard to do that.”

“Is it? Tell me, Josh, putting Kai to one side, have you ever had a bad thing happen to you in your life?”

“Uh, well… yeah, I guess.”

“Tell me, yell what it was?”

“Well, I suppose seeing my grandpa die of cancer.”

“Right, So I want you to instantly think of a memory of your Grandpa, do it now!

“Uh, Christmas 2016, we made a snowman.”

“Good, why that memory?”

“I dunno, it was the first one that came into my head.”

“Ok, so when I asked you for a memory, you could have picked any. But you instantly picked a good one. You didn’t think of him dying.”

“No… no, I guess I didn’t.”

“And I could rewind, wipe your memory and ask you that question over and over again, and I bet you it will always be a good memory of your grandpa.”


“Because you have grieved for him, and by doing that, you have made peace with the images of him dying. You no longer need those memories. Why would you hold on to them when you have so many good ones? You separated them into good and bad and discarded the bad ones. Sure, you can pull a memory of him dying out if you wanted to, but the reality is if it’s spontaneous, I'm betting it will always be one of those times like building a snowman.”



“So, Josh? To let go of something you love because it’s gone or passed away, we need to grieve, and right now, I don’t think you’ve done that.”

“I didn’t know I had to.”

“How often do you think about Kai?”

“Daily, hourly...Jesus, I don't know, Lots!”

“How often do you think about your Grandpa?”

“Hmm, not very often. I should do more, I guess.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, I dunno, to honour his memory. To not feel guilty?”

“Ok, a bit of a cliche here, Josh. But say, for instance, your Grandpa is somewhere looking down on you. Do you think he would want you to spend your time thinking about him constantly and feeling sad because you feel guilty?”

“I guess not.”

“Well then. So moving back to Kai, I want to shift that on its head. Would you want to give Kai the satisfaction if he could see you pining over him or spending all your time giving him the time of day?”

“No, not now… but….”


“Claire, it’s not that easy, I think...I think I still love him even though he made me do terrible things.”

“Made you do terrible things?”

“Jesus, I didn’t want to bring this up!”

“You are in a safe space Josh, remember what I said. Anything you tell me is confidential and stays in here.”

“I...I just did what he told me.”

“Ok, let's go back a bit. When was the first time?”

“First time?”

“Yes, the first time, Josh, where he made an uncomfortable request, shall we say.”

“Well, uh… I think it was...erm. Well, ye see, Kai liked this guy on the farm. Romanian lad. He’d been with us a couple of weeks...and he was like telling me how great it was to have a threesome if you like. And I was like, no! I mean, Claire, that was not on my radar, like.”

“So what happened?”

“We fought… not fists, just an argument. He was going on about how sex had become a bit stale, and I was like, so shocked. Things had been great between us. And he said he loved me and all that, but he wanted to try and get this guy… this Romanian guy.”

“So, what did you do?”

“Well I was really against it, but he was insistent and said if I didn't do it, it was over because there was no point anymore.”


“So I had to go and get this up to the bail store and tell him he would be working there. The guy knew it was my dad's farm and just came along, no questions asked. His English was pretty good. So yeah, up at the barn. We got him in the bail store, and Kai started chatting with him and asked him if he had a girlfriend.”

“What did he say,”

“He said he had a girl back home and that he was here because the money was much better, which I already knew anyway; I was used to seeing Easterns coming to work on the farm. Kai then asked him,… fuck!”

“Kai then asked him?”

“Kai asked him to have sex with us, just like that, after about 3 minutes of chatting to this guy. Kai was saying how hot he was and how he liked Easterns.”

“How were you feeling at the time?”

“Numb. I mean, here was a guy I was so smitten by, and I’m watching him...watching him in real-time chat up another guy. In Front of me. I think he got a kick out of seeing what it was doing to me, but I loved him so much I couldn't walk away, I just couldn't.”

“Keep going, Josh. You’re doing great.”

“So...so he asked his guy to have sex with us as a couple… Jesus, at least he said we were a couple. And the guy said no. And Kai was like, ‘c’mon man; it’s just a one-time thing, no one has to know! And the guy is like, no, I can’t. I have a girl back home bla bla bla. And then…”

“Here, tissues. Take a moment.”

“And...and then pulls me away a few paces and… and he tells me that I have to make a deal with this guy, and I’m like what deal. And then he says to give him 50 quid and threaten to fire him if he doesn’t do it with us.”

“And did you?”

“Sorry, I just need to blow my nose.”

“Take your time, Josh.”

“So uh… so yeah I did. I did it. I stuffed fifty pounds in his hand and said, either he has sex with us, or I’m going to get my dad to fire him.”

“You did great there. Take a sip of water and gather yourself. So what happened. Next.”

“Uh… Well, I said I wasn't getting involved anymore. And he just looked at me with this horrible grin. I remember that grin. It was just… I dunno, like satisfaction. It was horrible. Anyway, he just looked at me and said, fine.”

“And then?”

“Then he… well, I mean the guy is almost… I mean, what's he supposed to do? He agreed.”

“Agreed, to what?”

“Kai had anal sex with him in the bails.”

“And what did you do?”

“He made me watch or said it would be over.”

“And you’re sure the guy….”

“Roman, I think his name was.”

“And you’re sure Roman consented?”

“Huh, yeah, I mean nothing was… Yes, he consented; he didn't want to get fired.”

“Just so we’re clear on that. So what happened after?”

“Well, the guy pulled his jeans up and just wandered back to work. And… and Kai just came over to me, kissed me and asked if I enjoyed the show. I wanted to throw up, run… anything.”

“And what did you do next?”

“Uh, I think I said something like, that was disgusting, and I thought we were boyfriends, and he punched me in the face.”

“He punched you?”

“Yeah, and said I should be thankful that we’re still together and that he could have anyone he wanted.”

“How did you feel?”


“When he said those words?”

“All sorts! Devastated, numb, disbelief… but I...I guess I felt relief almost.”


“Yeah, like he’d got this thing out of his system, and we could go back to being happy again.”

“And were you happy?”

“No, I was screaming inside, and I didn’t want to let him out of my sight,”

“And the punch he gave you?”

“What about it?”

“Well did you tell anyone? Did anyone notice?”

“No, not really. I stole a bit of my mum's powder, and it hid it quite well. It wasn't a big bruise as such, just a bit off colour. So anyway, he went and got drunk that night at the pub while I watched him play pool and joke around with some of the workers. He would flirt with them and then look at me. And I was getting nervous because if they suspected he was gay, that would be mean I was hanging around a gay guy and….”

“And then people would suspect you?”

“Uh-huh, so I tried to get him to play his last game, and I would give him a lift back to the barn to sleep it off. But, I mean, he couldn't drive home, and he was too much of a live wire to take back with me to the farmhouse.”

“So, what did you do.”

“I managed to get him out of the pub and into the Land Rover. As we’re driving back to the farm, he apologises and says he loves me and that the Romanian guy was a mistake. Then he says if I ever do that to him and he finds out he would kill me, and said he’d probably douse me in diesel and throw a match and….”


“And watch me burn while he smoked his cigarette.”

“Josh, that is upsetting to hear.”

“Yeah, tell me about it. But Claire, I stayed. I forgave him as usual.”

“So, where did he go in the end?”

“I dropped him off at the bailing shed, and he threw up all over the Land Rover. So outside it, thankfully, which I had to hose down the next morning. But I stayed with him until he slept and Hoped the next day would be better.”

“And was it?”

“No, not really. He blanked me all day at work. I tried to talk to him, but it was hard because My dad was working nearby, and I didn’t want to cause a scene. I mean, why would I? To everyone else, we were just friends who worked together. If anyone saw us arguing, it might look odd for two friends, so I had to back off, which was driving me insane. So why wouldn't he talk to me? I’d done nothing wrong.”

“Did you resolve it?”

“Yeah...he uh, he decided that. Well, he said that evening that to keep me keen, I needed to submit to him.”

“And what did that involve?”

“It was basically his version of makeup sex.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So that was… well, l I mean I was just happy. Happy that Kai was sober and that it was me he was having sex with and not someone else. But I think that day was the first time I realised things had changed. Stupid, really!”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, look at us, before it was fork lifting together, happy, smiling, gentle… just us. The next, I’m being fucked in a bush being spat on. I mean, looking back, I should have realised ages ago, but I didn't; I kept hoping… I kept thinking that we’d be ok and that maybe I was doing something wrong, or maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough,... which I fucking was Claire. I tried so hard. Did everything he asked, and he treated me like that. It was a mental time. I was in a bad place. I just wanted him all to myself.”

“You just accepted it?”

“Yeah, totally, It was like he had some spell over me. As the months went on, his threats to tell my parents were his main weapon against me. Funny looking back. That’s the only thing he said that made me angry at him. The punches, the sex with other people, the things he asked me to do. None of it made me angry, just that threat. That threat came weekly, daily, then sometimes hourly. Then even if I hadn't done anything to piss him off… which by this time seemed to be all the time, he was like, ‘if you don't tell them I will,’ words like that.”

“Well done, Josh; you got lots out there.”

“You keep saying well done, Claire, like this is an achievement for me?”

“Snappy there, huh? Look, you might not think it in real-time, but this is doing you good.”

“Well, please call me when I should realise it.”

“As I say, Josh, you can end this session any time you wish. But you know what? I don’t think you will because I hope by now you’re intrigued to see the progress you’ll make… are making.”

“Let’s move on??”

“And sarcasm, It’s all in you today, huh? Haha. Ok, So this spell? What was this spell? I hear my patients use it now and again, and it’s different for everyone. Of course, It will be metaphorical in nature; however, I would like to know what spell Kai had over you.”

“I don’t understand. It was a spell, a hold… a fucking noose. Whatever you wanna call it.”

“So what would have happened if you’d just said no?”

“That is like the dumbest thing you have asked me since I came here. You can't say no to Kai.”

“I reckon I could.”

“Yeah, but that’s different; you weren't under his spell.”

“And the spell being?”

“I dunno. It was like a fear?”

“Of him hitting you?”

“No, of course not; it felt like that was just a minor detail. But, NO, the real fear was losing him.”

“To someone else?”

“Just losing him. He was like my... Like catnip to cats.”

“Nice analogy, I understand.”

“Do you?”

“Good shot! Ok, so maybe not in the way you’d need me to, but I understand what you said! I want to go back a step. You said him hitting you was a minor detail. Was this really how you saw it?”

“Honestly? Yes. It was a price to pay for him and me, like, well… for me not losing him. But, in the end, it became all-consuming. That love for him... It was mad; nothing mattered. Even Working didn’t matter, much to my dad’s irritation.”

“What happened there?”

“I was sneaking off to find him, to be with him. He would sometimes be nice, and we’d have sex in sorts of places. Sometimes he would blank me, which made me want him all the more. My dad almost caught us once. I was terrified. I was sure he knew. Kai just laughed at me, saying, so what! SO WHAT??”

“You were mad at him?”

“Raging, but I loved him. It really fucked my head up. I told him to be careful, but it was like he wanted us to get caught. He would ask to have sex in open spaces. I did because I wanted sex with him; it felt like the only affection I got. By this point, looking back, I was just a vessel to be filled; I don't think he had any love for me anymore, but I clung to this fantasy because I couldn't bear to let go. I couldn't accept it.”

“Josh, we’re coming to the end of our session today, but I want you to realise something.”

“What's that?

“Some of the words you are now using suggest that there is a hint of acceptance of your ordeal, and in that realisation, you are beginning to realise the relationship is over and that you were a victim.”

“I think I know I was a victim.”

“Perhaps, but when we met, you were giving me the impression you were equal in this relationship. It’s small steps, but you’ve made progress. So in the coming week, I want you to write down all the events that involved violence and anything Kai made you do that you felt was out of the ordinary for a loving relationship. At first, they won't come to you because you would have normalised them, but as you start listing them, your mind will sync, and more of these events will come through; once on paper, they cannot be unseen. So bring that list with you. This is what we will talk about, ok?”

“Uh, ok. I’ll try.”

“Excellent, Josh. Well, our time is up, but I think you have really moved forward.”

“Yeah, I suppose. So uh, I’m slightly later next week?”

“Yes, I have you at 5.15 pm, you have that?”

“Yeah, it's in my phone, just checking.”


“Yeah, I got it. Ok, thanks, Claire, see you next week!”

“Have a good week, Josh. Take care.”

“Thanks, bye.”

Patient Notes:
Consulting Psychiatrist Claire Atkins. 3rd session with Josh Fisher.
Josh is moving to an acceptance stage. Good progress has been made. Now clear Co-dependent relationship existed. Patient explains many episodes of narcissistic behaviour from Kai. Josh showed a moderate amount of depression may exist. Suggestion of medication change next visit to 20mg Citalopram. (discontinue Prozac) Post discussion may be mild PTSD. Disturbed sleep. Recommend short term prescription of Zopiclone to aid. 3.75mg.


Copyright © 2021 James Matthews; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Josh is making progress step by step...he may not fully realize how much he is accomplishing yet, but the fact he comes back, knows he can leave at any time but doesn't, and his willingness to honestly talk is wonderful. 

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Right after graduating with a degree in psychology I worked with victims of domestic violence.  So many blamed themselves and excused the abusive behavior because blaming the abuser meant ending it and being alone.  A very scary prospect considering the abuser always made the victim dependent on him (or her).  The dependence was financial, physical, social, and/or emotional.  We don't know yet how Josh broke away, but surviving this ordeal is an achievement.

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