TITLE: Only You Can Save Me
SUMMARY: Kurt is twenty four years old and deeply troubled. He's never told anyone about his traumatic past before. He doesn't even see the point of living. But then he meets Dr Anderson and things start to change. ALL CHAPTERS REWRITTEN JANUARY 2014.
WARNING: Dark themes
DISCLAIMER: TheNorthernLine owns 0% of Glee. Booooo :(
Why is it that when you're in a hurry you hit every red light along your journey? Yet the one day I wish that would happen so we would be late, the lights all seem to be stuck on green. It just wasn't my day. Although, to be honest, it wasn't my week, my month, my year, or even my life. That probably sounds a bit dramatic right?
All too soon the engine cut out, leaving us in complete stillness and silence. I stared straight ahead out of the front window at a tree with its leaves swaying slightly in the breeze, trying to invoke some kind of inner calmness within in me, but no such luck.
'Right, here we are.'
'Dad, you do know this is completely pointless right?'
'Just shut up and get out of the car Kurt.'
I groaned in frustration as I reluctantly unbuckled my belt and climbed out of the passenger side of the car. This must have been my hundredth protest that day already, but hey who was counting? I was being dragged here against my will and on my day off work, I was entitled to a little moan. I shut the door behind me with a lot more force than was necessary and couldn't help smiling to myself at the childish display. Dad just gave me a look which clearly said 'Seriously?' Yeah, I really needed to get out more.
Bringing myself back to reality, I looked up at the large brick building before me and gulped. All of a sudden I had a huge sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach which I put down to nerves and sheer dread. One thing was for certain, if I had eaten my breakfast this morning, this was the precise moment it would have been resurfacing. Not a very nice image, but a fact nonetheless. I desperately wanted to fast forward the next hour of my life, or even better yet just turn around and go straight back home to the safe haven of my bedroom and the warmth of my duvet.
'How about we come back next week?' I suggested to my Dad, one of my last ditch attempts of getting out of there. 'You know, I'm not really prepared for it, but if I had some more time I promise-'
'I'm done arguing with you about this,' Dad said to me in his angry don't-mess-with-me-kid tone.
'But it's a waste of your hard earned money,' I told him. Dad always responded positively to the possibility of saving any money, even when it was just a few cents, but not this time. He was stubborn with a capital S, and I probably couldn't blame him really, not after what had happened recently.
'Kurt, I don't care what you think, you're damn well going in and if I have to drag you by your feet then so be it.'
'I'm twenty four.'
'Then start acting like it.'
I sighed and rolled my eyes up to the heavens. Dad walked straight up to the entrance and I followed after him, trailing a few steps behind. When he got in line for the receptionist I briefly considered running off whilst he was occupied, but knew I'd only be brought here again tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever. It would just be delaying the inevitable.
I wandered over to the waiting area where there were rows of chairs and sat down, folding my arms across my chest like a moody teenager at a family dinner party with a bunch of old people. I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket and I took it out to find a text from my foster brother Kip. Good Luck Bro!
Oh great, so Dad or Carole had been gossiping to Kip about all this? That's all I needed, Kip to start telling everyone what a screw up I was. It was bad enough my family had to know. A couple of minutes later Dad came and sat on the chair beside me. 'All booked in,' he told me. 'They said the Doctor will be down shortly to get you.'
'Yippee,' I said sarcastically, clapping my hands together lightly.
'Kurt, please take this seriously. You won't talk to me, you won't talk to Carole or Kip, you won't talk to your friends... if it takes you talking to a complete stranger to sort this out then that's what's going to happen.'
I didn't reply to Dad's little rant because, well what could I say? It was all true. We lapsed into silence instead. Dad picked up a newspaper which had been dumped on the vacant chair next to him and starting flicking through it, mumbling about how the country was going to the dogs. I was tapping my fingers on the wooden arm of my own chair and staring down at my shoes, trying to ignore the sick feeling that was rising up in my throat at an alarming rate. Think about clouds and kittens. Maybe luck would be on my side today, perhaps the doctor I was seeing would conveniently get trapped in an elevator, or fall down some stairs and sprain his ankle, or even just have a little asthma attack so I didn't have to endure this-
Crap. My head snapped up at the sound of my name. There was a very smart dressed guy standing by the receptionist desk, holding a file and scanning the waiting area, looking for me. I was a little surprised, I was expecting someone old with grey hair and glasses, but he was young and hot. Well at least I'd have something nice to look at and someone younger would probably be less likely to be homophobic.
'He looks about twelve,' I muttered to my Dad before standing up and walking over slowly, anything to waste a bit of time.
'Hello, I'm Dr Anderson; it's nice to meet you Kurt.'
Well the feeling isn't mutual, I thought bitterly and I almost uttered it out loud. He held out his hand for me to shake, which I did briefly. Why was he being so formal? This was hardly some sort of business meeting. And what if I had an OCD disorder and didn't like touching people's hands? Shouldn't he be thinking like that? Although more to the point, why am I thinking all this crap right now?
'If you'd like to follow me, my office is upstairs.'
Dr Anderson turned and began walking away. I threw my Dad a quick look of pure disdain before following the suited quack down the corridor and up some stairs, along another corridor and finally stopping at a door which had a brass plaque on displaying his name. Dr Anderson took some keys out of his trouser pocket and tried to unlock the door but it didn't fit.
'Oops,' he laughed, turning to me for a second before trying another key. 'Why is it never the first key you try? I should really start labelling them.'
I was so tempted to say to him, God is testing you. The second key worked and Dr Anderson walked in and held the door open for me. 'Um...'
'Are you ok Kurt?'
'I just... I really need the bathroom.'
'Sure, just go back the way we came and it's the third door on your left. Come straight back in when you're ready.'
'Ok,' I said and walked off. Once in the bathroom I stood looking at my reflection in the mirror, just thinking how pathetic and shameful this whole situation was. I wish I had smuggled some alcohol in with me, at least then I'd be able to numb my feelings somewhat. After a couple of more minutes I figured it was time to get this whole nonsense over with, but at least I'd managed to waste a good five minutes.
I left the bathroom and went back to the office, where the door was wide open. I went into the room and closed the door behind me. Dr Anderson was standing there waiting for me with a stupid smile on his face. I had a good look around; there was a big desk at one end of the room, immaculately tidy. And at the other an area with several chairs and a small coffee table. There was a box of tissues located in the middle of the table and I fought back the urge to laugh. Did they just expect everyone who walked in here to bawl their eyes out? There was also a very faint lemon smell coming from somewhere which I put down to cleaning products. I had to admit, it was all quite pleasant.
'Please take a seat,' Dr Anderson said, pointing to a bright lime green chair. I sat down, folded my arms automatically and wished time would speed up so I could get the hell out of here. 'Would you like anything to drink Kurt? I could get you coffee, water, tea, a soft drink...?'
I briefly considered asking if he had anything stronger, but doubting the guy had a sense of humour, instead I opted to mumble, 'No thanks.'
Dr Anderson sat in the chair opposite me. He folded his right leg over his left and pulled a pen out from his suit's inside pocket. It looked expensive, not like the cheap pens we have at home, most of which had been stolen from somewhere (Dad and Carole were obsessed with hotel pens). Dr Anderson then opened my file and looked up at me with a smile.
'So, Kurt, let me introduce myself and you a little about what we do. I'm Dr Anderson but you can call me Blaine. I'm a clinical psychologist and this first appointment is really just to get an overview of any difficulties you're currently having and what we can do to help you with that. Also, we can discuss which techniques would be best to adopt for future sessions, whether we go for a more practical approach, or a cognitive approach, or even a mixture of the two. We have half an hour today but the rest of the sessions will be the full hour.'
'Right,' I said in a bored tone, hoping my bathroom break would have reduced it to twenty five minutes. My mind then focused on what an unusual name the guy had. It was nice though. Blaine.
'Just so you know I will be taking notes as we go along so please don't be put off by that, you'll have my full attention at all times.'
'Have you any questions before we begin?' Blaine asked me.
'You don't look like a Doctor,' I said without thinking and Blaine laughed.
'Well technically speaking I'm not a medically trained doctor; I couldn't give you a prescription or save your life unfortunately. But I have a PhD in the field of psychology.'
'Oh,' I shrugged.
'So... Kurt, tell me a little about yourself and what's brought you here today?'
'There's nothing to tell,' I replied with a sigh, looking at Blaine's hair and wondering why there was so much product in it. I really doubted it would budge at all in a hurricane. Was it really curly, was that the reason for so much-
'Nothing? Was that your Dad you were sitting with downstairs?'
'Are you two close?'
'I guess... look, my Dad practically forced me to come here. This wasn't my idea.'
'Well seeing as you are here, maybe we should take advantage of the time we have... you're not obligated to come back and you've nothing to lose.'
Oh great, he's already started to sound like a bloody text book. Next he'll be telling me it's my own time I'm wasting, that I shouldn't give up on this opportunity, blah blah blah. What a complete dick hea-
'What's on your mind Kurt?'
'Can you think of anything you might like to talk to me about? Anything you're having difficulties with, regardless of how small it may seem?'
I wanted to retort with Yeah, you, interfering arsehole but funnily enough I held it back. I shrugged again in response. Blaine studied me for a moment, turning his pen over and over in his hand.
'Kurt, your Dad is clearly worried about you if he felt coming to see me would be in your best interests.'
I looked away from him as though I was thoroughly bored with his drivel, which I was, if we were being perfectly honest. God, I was acting like a sulky kid who didn't want to eat their vegetables at dinner or something. What must this guy think of me? But more importantly, why did I care?
'Why do you think your Dad is worried about you?' Blaine asked. Oh, so he was just going to keep asking was he? I returned my gaze back to him.
'You'd have to ask him,' I answered childishly.
'You must have some idea. Is it something you've talked about? Have you-'
'No offence but I don't want to be here and you don't care as long as you get paid,' I blurted out, beginning to feel annoyed and wound up. 'So could we just cut the bullshit?'
'Kurt you're free to leave anytime you wish,' Blaine said, gesturing to the door with his hand. The offer was tempting, very tempting, but I couldn't leave.
'What, and give my Dad another reason to be on my case? No thanks.'
'Kurt, despite being adamant that your presence here is solely due to your father's insistence, is there not even a little part of you that perhaps thinks it's a good idea?'
'You're an adult Kurt, nobody has the ability to completely force you to be here. Perhaps on some level you actually wanted to come? I understand that it's a very hard thing to confide in those closest to you and our instinct is usually to protect our love ones.'
I gave yet another shrug. Blaine scribbled a sentence down in my file. I wondered what he'd written. Probably something along the lines of Childish idiot with anger and emotional issues. He's beyond help and needs to leave asap. When he'd stopped writing, Blaine looked up at me but didn't say anything. It was unnerving just having his eyes watching me and he was putting me on edge, so I said the first thing that came to my mind, desperate to ease the awkwardness.
'Don't you get bored of listening to people's problems all day?' I asked, knowing I could never do it myself. I didn't have the patience.
'It's my job,' Blaine said.
'Parents?' I asked him.
'The photo,' I replied, pointing to the framed picture on his desk of a middle aged man and woman. Blaine turned slightly to be able to look behind him at his desk and then he turned back to me.
'So you get to ask questions and I don't?' Blaine asked with a smile and I felt like smacking him. Smug idiot. Correction, gorgeous smug idiot. The more I looked at Blaine the more I could see how hot he was and his smile really was to die for. I wonder how he'd feel if he knew I was sitting here ogling him right now? Maybe if I told him he would chuck me out, that would be good. Anyway, enough daydreaming, time to act immature again.
'Whatever,' I said.
'Well, how about we take it in turns. I'll answer one of your questions if you answer one of mine.'
God what was this, second grade? Well if he wanted to play childish games who was I to argue? It was his own time he was wasting and it was better than him going on about 'difficulties' and whatever other crap he had up his PhD sleeves.
'Ok,' I agreed and repeated my question. 'So are they your parents then?'
'Yes,' Blaine replied, looking over at the photo briefly, with a fond smile. 'Ok, so my first question... how old are you Kurt?'
'Wow that's a tricky one,' I replied, rolling my eyes. Do they not even bother asking the basic questions when people call up for an appointment? 'Last time I checked I was twenty four. How old are you? Cos you look about twelve.'
Blaine laughed before answering. 'Twenty eight. Are you in employment, and if so what's your occupation?'
'Do you enjoy it?'
'Er, isn't it my turn?'
'Of course, sorry,' Blaine replied with a smile, gesturing with his hand for me to go ahead with my next question.
'Why have you got so much product in your hair?' I asked him, not meaning to sound rude but it probably came across that way, especially coupled with my unamused facial expression.
'I like to maintain a professional image,' Blaine explained. 'So do you enjoy your job Kurt?'
'I suppose, it's just a job... keeps me busy. Do you enjoy yours?'
'Yes I do. What are your living arrangements?'
'I live with my Dad and step Mom. Have you got any brothers and sisters?'
'A brother, he lives in LA. Do you have any siblings?'
'No... well a foster brother. Is your brother a psychologist as well?'
Blaine chuckled. 'He's actually an actor, had a few minor roles but mainly theater. Are you in a relationship Kurt?'
Oh here we go. The dreaded 'relationship' question. Why were people so obsessed about everyone else's love life? Being with someone wasn't a guarantee to happiness. Trust this stupid Blaine guy to hit on a sore spot; it took him all of fifteen minutes. He sensed my discomfort at being asked the question and quietly said my name, prompting me for an answer.
Lie. Just say yes. That you've been dating your High School sweetheart for eight years and you plan on marrying her and producing a whole load of annoying children. He doesn't even know you so what does it matter?
But something was telling me that it would be a bad idea. One lie leads onto another and before you know it everything you say is made up and there's no going back. What's the worst that can happen by telling the truth? I'll feel embarrassed? So what, this Doctor probably already thinks I'm a stupid waste of space, I may as well confirm it for him and give him an amusing anecdote to tell in the staff room.
'I'm gay,' I whispered eventually, looking down at the carpet.
'Ok,' Blaine replied. 'Have you struggled with accepting your sexuality Kurt?'
'Um... no. I've been sure since I was fourteen.'
'Have you got a boyfriend?' Blaine asked and I shook my head, a lump forming in my throat. Hang on a minute, since when did he start asking all the questions? I thought we were taking it in-
'Have you ever been in a relationship Kurt?' Blaine asked quietly.
My eyes snapped up from the carpet to lock with his. I took a deep breath before shaking my head again, the tears threatening to spill from my eyes. Oh for fucks sake, what was this guy doing to me? How did we get here, from questions about jobs and hair?
'Is there a reason why?'
'Take your time,' Blaine said kindly after several long seconds of silence.
His eyes were so caring and I immediately regretted the question earlier about the state of his hair. I didn't quite know how to explain it, but I felt comfortable in Blaine's presence. Of course I wanted to be anywhere but in this room but I was surprised it felt relatively easy telling him stuff. So, back to the reason why I'd never had a relationship? Sure, I could talk about that, why not.
'When I was seventeen,' I started to say quietly. 'I...' Just say it Kurt. What have you got to lose? It won't change anything. The past can never be rewritten. 'I was um...'
But the sudden build-up of anxiety gripped me. I shot up from the chair and rushed over to the window, breathing deeply as though I'd been holding my breath... maybe I had been. After a couple of minutes my breathing started to slow down but I stayed at the window, staring out at the cloudy sky. It was oddly comforting.
'Are you ok?' Blaine asked from across the room, making me jump a little. I'd almost forgotten he was there. I nodded from where I was.
'Kurt, what happened when you were seventeen? You've got nothing to fear here. Saying something aloud isn't going to cause you any harm.'
'I don't think I can say it,' I told him, my voice cracking.
'Yes you can Kurt. It's only words, they can't hurt you.'
Come on Kurt, just tell him. Isn't this the reason why I was dragged to this stupid place, to sort my head out? But would it make any difference? Probably not. Could this quack help me? Probably not. Will I walk out of here feeling any better? Probably not. Will it change what happened? Most definitely not. Then what was the point of... oh fuck it...
'I was raped,' I whispered.
My whole body tensed up as I said the three little words I'd never said out loud before now. You could literally hear a pin drop. The room went deadly silent, but I could still feel my heart beating fast against my chest and my hands shaking violently. I don't think the doctor was expecting me to say that. I felt a tear rolling down my left cheek and quickly wiped it away with my sleeve.
'That's an incredibly brave thing to say Kurt.'
I felt like laughing, was he for real? It wasn't brave, it was completely pathetic. I was just a useless and irrelevant human being. Doctor Anderson was no doubt just quoting from his many text books he'd read when learning to become a Psychologist. Book 1, page 1, tell your patient how brave they are at the earliest opportunity. The truth was, he didn't care, and I wasn't worth caring about.
'Kurt would you like some water?' Blaine asked me and I shook my head. Although my mouth was dry as a bone right now, I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep anything down. 'Would you be ok with sitting back down again? You don't have to if you feel more comfortable standing over there.'
I didn't answer the question but I turned away from the window and returned to my seat, clasping my hands together in my lap and looking anywhere but at Blaine, too ashamed to see the look in his eyes.
'Kurt, did you get any help with this at the time?' Blaine eventually asked me, leaning forwards in his chair, his own hands knitted together on his knees and my file sitting abandoned on the chair beside him.
'No... I've never told anyone before.'
'Because... just because alright,' I answered defensively. I wanted this to stop now. 'Why does there have to be some stupid profound reason behind everything?'
Blaine fell silent. I was about to look up at him but he started talking again. 'Thank you for confiding in me Kurt. I know that must have been very difficult for you to say, especially as you've been carrying this traumatic incident around with you for seven years. You've done really well.'
'Yeah sure,' I mumbled.
'You don't think so?'
'Oh yeah, getting all worked up over saying a few little words is really fucking great. It's stupid, and I'm stupid.'
'You shouldn't be so hard on yourself Kurt. I know it can sometimes be hard to ask for help, or even to accept help, but never feel as though you don't deserve it or that it is somehow a character flaw that makes you weak. The mind is a complex thing and just because there's no physical evidence of trauma, it doesn't mean there isn't any. I'd like to ask you Kurt, have you ever tried taking your own life?'
'Yes,' I answered quietly after a brief hesitation and wondering whether to lie and say no.
'How many times?'
'Twice... the first time was... was just after.'
'And the second time?'
'A couple of weeks ago.'
'Is that what prompted your Dad to make this appointment for you?'
'Yeah,' I replied.
'He loves you very much doesn't he? He sounds like he wants to do anything to help his son have a better life. That's a pretty great thing to have, such a supportive parent.'
'Mmm,' I managed to say through trying not cry.
Finally, I built up the courage and slowly raised my eyes to look at Blaine for the first time since those three words. I'd been wrong to avoid him, he actually seemed genuinely concerned for me, like a friend or family member would be. Or maybe he had perfected some acting skills? Either way, I was incredibly grateful he wasn't showing any signs of pity towards me.
'Do you feel as though you'd be able to talk about what happened Kurt? When you were raped, and the times you attempted to end your life?'
'I don't know,' I answered truthfully, and I began to tap my feet in agitation. 'I'm not sure I want to do this. I don't think I...'
Oh crap, and now the waterworks were happening again. What the hell was wrong with me? Keep it together. Although that was easier said than done. Blaine reached over to get a tissue from the box and held it out to me. I took it and smiled in thanks.
'Are you ok to continue?'
'Ok. Kurt, you've got two options here. You can tell me to get lost and carry on with your life without addressing any of these issues... or you can step outside your comfort zone. Take a risk and see if it works. I really believe I can help you, and together we can make your life worth living for, and stop these horrific demons from your past controlling your future. I don't think you came here with the intention of telling me about your past, but you did. You've surprised yourself and I think you could continue surprising yourself if you decided to continue treatment, which I feel, at least to begin with, should focus heavily on the cognitive side. Get those negative thoughts to stop being so prominent and demanding in your brain.'
'You make it sound so easy,' I sobbed, feeling embarrassed at my crying.