I walk into the small office, nervous, but feeling like I don't really need to be nervous. This is BYU right? This is a place that will make me feel comfortable and welcome. There is a box of kleenex sitting on the couch across from his desk. I laugh inside my head. I doubt I'll be crying. But there is something very foreboding about that box.
We both sit down.
We go over the logistics. He is civil.
I'm waiting for it to get started. The grand realizations, the words of comfort.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you're here today.
I figured a question like this was coming. I spout off some general info. I tell him that I feel stressed at this transitional time in my life. I go on about how I feel less confidant in relationships than I should. He doesn't nod his head or stop me so I try to keep talking. Then I run out of words and he just stares.
He's got these icy blue eyes that could freeze Hell. And they're baring into me. I stare back. Look away. Play with my hands a little. Finally he says something like, And...why do you think things are this way?Psych games. I get it. I say something vague like. I don't really know. I guess because of things that have happened in the past and such.
Again, he just stares. He doesn't move a muscle in his face. I am beginning to sweat.
Could you....be more specific?
I...I don't really know...what to say...
More silence and blue eyed staring. I feel like his prey. I feel like he is waiting for me to choke so he can swoop down and tear me apart. Then he says, in a very flat tone, with almost no expression,
I just...don't really see why you're here.
At first I wait for him to say more, to follow up with a nice comment. Something like "A lot of students come in and don't really know how to approach the process. Let's ask some more questions." But he says nothing and my throat gets tight fast and I know I'm going to cry. The same way I knew I was going to the other night when Derek told me I didn't know how to make rice krispie treats.
He stares and says nothing and the tears are definitely coming now. I'm shaking and choking. I look at his stern face, unchanging, waiting for the kill. He says, "It's okay, that's why we have lots of kleenex."
It hits me. What I should've known all along. It was his goal from the start to make me feel this way. It's like I'm some sick experiment to him. I am suddenly hyper-aware of the little camera he has set up in the corner that I agreed to be recorded on. Suddenly I hate him. Suddenly I hate myself for thinking this would be a good idea. I hate everything and I can't stop crying and I hate that he made me cry. I hate his total lack of compassion in his icy blue stare. I hate that I singed his paper and I want to throw his camera to the floor.
In the next twenty minutes or so that follow I am in a constant state of blubbering wet hot mess and confusion.
What's going on with you right now? If your tears had words what would they say?
What would they say?! They would say. I'm stupid for coming here, I want to leave, I feel uncomfortable and upset. (Heads up, guy, I'm not crying because secretly somewhere deep inside my parents are dead and divorced and tragedy has stricken all facets of my life. I am crying because you are an ass who made me cry.)
I can imagine you...standing in a football field and they're telling you to play this game and you're standing there not knowing what to do. I mean they've just handed you this ball and you can't be expected to know.
I nod my head very slightly.....................WHAT.
Am I being punked? Nothing you have said or done to me thus far has been helpful in the least. In fact I now feel much worse about myself than I ever did. And very confused.
I can imagine when I asked why you were here you probably felt angry. I know I would've thought. Hey you're a jerk you're supposed to listen to me and help me!
I nod...my head...Yes...I say.
I know it probably feels like I've pushed to some uncomfortable places with you, but those places are often the ones that bring the most answers.
Wait. What? So are you actually not a heartless robot? You were just being stone cold to make me cry...and upset...because you thought that would...somehow help me...feel better...or...no...I'm not understanding at all.
Well we have about 5 minutes left so let me tell you what I think would be best for you. Tom has a great group that meets starting in January does that sound good?
I nod my head. Yeah...uh huh....
Okay do you have any other questions?
Okay see you later then.--a slight smile--
I walk away without looking back once.
I really hope you struggle through your doctoral program, Jason. I'm just pretty sure that's not how things should go.