“I don’t belong here and neither do you” the client across from me says with a smirk

Don’t you hate it when psychopaths are eerily precise in their observations?

In 2012 I left a contract job I was unhappy with & ended up unemployed for 5 months. I don’t talk about it much, because it once filled me with shame & all sorts of confirmation bias about how sh!t a person I was

Finally I landed a job in a drug rehab facility. So here’s where it starts sounding like that children’s story in the dark, dark wood there’s a dark, dark house…

In a shopping centre in Melbourne there’s a pharmacy in the basement.  Through the pharmacy, there was a methadone clinic – literally a concrete box with stains on the floor. Then through a fire door into a dog leg section with no windows, no air con & no lockable toilet was my office.

I mostly worked with people on an opioid replacement program, newly released inmates & people experiencing homelessness

The client was a guy in a suit. He had a job paying over 200K & somewhere to live. He was young, educated and fearless. He was also bored, wealthy and immature, so he took drugs to feel something. He liked the power of people not knowing he was addicted to drugs. He like the absurdness of turning up to a methadone clinic in an Armani suit. In between my attempts at motivational interviewing (aka trying to get him off drugs), he’d railroad the conversation with things that were of course far more interesting – chess,  philosophy, and cinematic themes in the works of David Lynch, Darren Aronofsky &   Alan Ball

Each time he’d veer off topic, I’d steer him back to the point – “you’re pretending to yourself that you’re happy. You can’t go on like this”

You can’t dish out what you’re not willing to take back right?

“you’re like Brenda at her first psych job in that episode of six feet under. You could do more than this. You are more than this, and you know it, but you’re a scared little girl. What’s it like to feel scared?”

I told him I wouldn’t keep seeing him until he decided to grow up and stop playing games, but his words haunted me. Psychopath or not, he was right. So within a few months I went from the job in the fire escae littered with used condoms to a beach front child practice.

Where are you lying to yourself? Telling yourself this is all there is. Making work  and what you do your identity