I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Brynn Tannehill. In her first post with us, she tells us her story of seeing a military psychologist for her first and only time. Thanks for sharing with us, Brynn!
Late second semester of my youngster (second) year, my company officer asked if I had gone to the shrink as he had ordered, and I replied truthfully that I had not. He angrily told me that he didn’t want to write me up for disobeying a direct order, so I’d better f****** do it soon. So, I scheduled an appointment. I was worried what was going to happen when I went in. The psychologist I met was a Navy lieutenant.
“So, why are you here?” he asked in a friendly but business-like way.
“Because my company officer made me.” I said, ramrod straight and terse as naval message traffic.
“Why did he make you?”
“Stress related stuff,” I replied noncommittally.
“Anything you want to tell me about this?”
“Will this end up in my medical jacket and be seen by the aviation board during service selection?”
“Well, anything from here on in, yes. So far you haven’t told me much, though.”
“Can my company officer ask you what we’re talking about here?” I asked as my mind raced. I thought I saw an opportunity.
“No, he isn’t allowed by law to ask about,”
“Do I have to be here for the full half hour?” I cut him off.
“Well, um, no, but wouldn’t it be better if…”
“No. Not really. Sorry for wasting your time sir. Please excuse me.” I interrupted again.
So I left without another word. I remember jamming my cover back onto my head on a nice spring morning as I stepped out of the dilapidated wooden building they had billeted the psyche guys in. The combo cover was too tight, and left a red ring of sweaty over compressed flesh around my forehead all the time. Still, it was an improvement over being back in the psychologist’s office and not wearing it.
My company officer asked later that week if I had gone like he told me to. I replied with a simple “Yes sir,” and left it at that. I am a terrible liar, but committing sins of omission came with practiced ease.