I missed the period of my life when I trusted everyone. I think most people have that period. I blindly trusted until, one by one, I was betrayed by the people who was closest to me. The people who were supposed to love me and be honest to me let me down. I lost confidence in humanity. I lost confidence in love, loyalty. and family. The only friends that remained were some of my workers. We were life's misfits, sharing our stories of lost dreams and failures.
Lillian's job was to observe Jackson. He was a brilliant software designer/engineer. Their project was to develop artificial limbs so perfect that they could pass through an x-ray machine at an airport. Jackson's skills were state of the art. As a team, Lillian and Jackson were promoted to create the perfect dogs, intended to be service dogs. The project was very successful and the company flourished. His next project was to develop a robot so real it could enter society, undetected. It would be so close to human that it didn't know if it was built and not born.
Eric was a respected contractor, he made a fortune during the building boom. He lived a clean humble life and invested his money well. His employees did the opposite - they spent all they earned and partied away their savings. Some of them despised Eric, they felt that he had capitalized on their strong backs. They felt that Eric looked down on them, most of them were in legal troubles. Some had drug problems and others had child support troubles from several woman.
This is the story about a high school football star that turns to drugs to enhance his game. He experiments with steroids and other mind altering drugs. He loses his high school sweetheart to drugs and alcohol. Francis mixed any drugs that he can get his hands on, risking his mental and physical health. He became delusional and he can't distinguish what is real or part of his drug induced illusions.
Misfortune seemed to follow us psychologists. Through my observations of my two colleagues Jillian and Kendal, I lost all hope for normalcy in my own life. My patient’s problems and disturbed interpretation of life began to cloud my mind. It took years for them to get inside my head. But they did it. It wasn’t one that got to me, but all contributed to my undoing.
Stan was a misfortunate orphan, he was raised by his uncle Hector. Hector was mentally unstable and the worst foster father a parent could leave their child to. Hector was a war scorn madman that brought Stan to the remote woods to be raised. Hector had an abnormal desire to hunt and kill. Although he hunted the most dangerous beast of the forest, he craved hunting humans. Living away from society kept him from becoming a serial killer. He passed on his sick thoughts as well as his exceptional hunting skills.
Father Kent was given a parish that could soil the reputation of the holiest man. A priest has vows, and one of them is to keep the secrets of confessions. Father Kent's conscience was tested when he heard confessions from members of the crime family the Marconis. His church was their family parish. They gave large donations, and expected absolution for their sins. The mafia women were no different than the men.
It is a well-known fact that there are at least two serial killers per state in the United States. One hundred unprovoked killers. If counting medical killers and gang killers, the FBI numbers are greater than 300. Stan went to war, he killed many men on both sides. When he returned, he couldn’t stop himself from becoming the most feared serial killer the United States had ever seen. He hung victims under bridges in Boston and wrote "The Boston Strangler" on their foreheads.
I was in the land of the Patriot. I met a beautiful girl at a frat party, but I was too slow to get her number. I saw her again at a victory bonfire. She dropped her phone, and I found it. The next day when I went through it, I found she had training pictures of terrorists' camps. I showed it to my professor whom I trusted. He turned the phone into the Homeland Security Department, and I was contacted by two agents. They informed me that there was a tracking app on the phone, and the terrorists not only knew who I was, but where I was.
The most powerful memories of my life were the teenage years that I spent with my brother Bruce. He was my mother's favorite son, born with multiple sclerosis (MS). I used to take him swimming almost everyday, being weightless in the water made him feel powerful and normal. He fought his disease and other than tiring easily he was no different than any other teen. Since we were both excellent swimmers and always at the pool, we were offered a chance to fill in as lifeguards at the beach. It was a great summer with a large crowd and plenty of sunshine.
Being a psychologist is quite a challenge. Having a sharp mind is an essential tool. Most cases are ongoing and progress is slow. In my early years I was a deep listener and applied mythical thought to my patients' dilemmas. I imagined what they described and tried to see where their strange thoughts came from. I found that once involved in their cases there was no rest for my mind until I uncorked a wine bottle at the end of the day. One day turned into the next and some of their pointless conversations seemed to live on in my dormant hours. There was no escape.
Bart was a poor college graduate without a job and buried in debt. Things changed when he inherited his uncle's property. It came with a strange farmhand named Alan. The farm didn't provide typical vegetables or animals. Instead, it produced marijuana, and wolf-dogs bred for professional dogfights. One dog gave him winnings of 80,000 dollars in a single match. The dogs were a mix of great dane and wolf. They were fed live animals and shot with steroids to increase their size and anger. They were the ultimate fighting dogs - supersized wolves.
I dedicated my life as a teen to follow my dream of becoming a psychologist. The idea of understanding the troubles of the human mind intrigued me. To comfort those who needed to be consoled and to reach their darkest secrets and restore them. I felt like a tin worker taking the dents from a crashed fender and with a little polish they could be normal, acceptable, and maybe as good as new. But that was a falsity; an arrogant, ignorant, naive fantasy of what the profession really was. I was taken to the breaking point many times and soon my colleagues were counseling me.
Once I graduated college, my life fell into a rut - my father's rut. The only way out of the rut was excitement. During the day, I worked with my dad at his insurance agency. He knew I was bored in the office and sent me to take photos of insurance losses. I also took pictures of expensive items that his clients insured. Once I saw the valuables and how carelessly they were kept, a seed began to grow in my mind. I fantasized about breaking in and taking the items.
My uncle made the tough decision to put my grandmother in a home. We didn't know Grammy well. We rarely visited. Her mind was failing and the only things she could recall were memories of 30 years ago. She didn't recognize my uncle or my parents. She mistook me for my father when he was my age. I was forced to visit her, posing as my young father. She told me stories of my father's misbehavior, and scolded me on every visit. My father had done foolish things that caused harm to people and property.
I had a rewarding job as a maintenance man. I could fix anything - except for my life. I had a wife, a modest home, and a loyal dog. Everything changed when Rick, a motorcycle gang member took an interest in my wife. He was not just a member of his gang, he was the leader. He was exciting and irresponsible. The "bad boy". I told her to stay away from him, but they ended up as a couple.
We are not designed to be perfect, work perfect, answer perfect, or act perfect. Even NASA, with a room full of rocket scientists, does not perform at 100 percent. But what if it all starts within ourselves? Finding the obvious hurdles can set our lives in motion toward our goals. "On the way" is better than "in the way". It truly starts with self awareness. Once we find our stride, it's easy to set the hurdles to a height that can be easy conquered. Life experiences are priceless and more can be learned from being on the way than being in the way. Life is all about attitude.
I met Harry, the hypnotist, when my wife and I decided to quit smoking and lose a few pounds. We went with another couple. I thought the show was a sham and he used actors planted in the audience to pretend they were under a spell to make his show interesting. I had a few beers before the show. Drinking was another vice I needed to quit. I said I was on to his sham. My voice carried, and he decided to bring me on stage.