I asked for his help some years ago, when I found myself in the unusual position of experiencing guilt. The feeling was so overwhelming that it did not let me sleep. When I decided I could not avoid professional help, his name came to my mind at once.
I immediately told him everything, thinking he was confined by medical confidentiality. I didn’t know it yet, but in cases of crime, confidentiality does not apply. He obviously advised me to turn myself in. Facing the consequences of my actions was the only way to redemption, he claimed. Murder had not been my intention when I clenched my fingers around Tina’s throat. I just wanted to make her stop. I had used all non violent methods at first. When she saw me stealing cash from the gas station, I denied everything. I claimed it was some one else.
Gaslighting: the subtle art of making someone believe they’re crazy. A fine technique that has been used by people and politicians throughout human history. Combined with “triangulation” if necessary, when the victim is not that easily convinced. Some easily manipulated people come to confirm your lies. In politics, it’s propaganda. In my case, it was my best friend who offered me an alibi.
I have to confess my incentive was greed. I was never poor or anything, so I had no excuse for stealing. To my defense, that’s how the world works; You can’t live on a salad for long, you have to grab the steak when the opportunity arises. My actions were justified, yet Tina did not agree.
When in doubt, be a writer. You may not be able to say what you feel you have to say, yet your made up characters are. Tom could go directly to the police. He chose to write a book instead. A novel describing my crime in full details. He had always wanted to be a detective after all. Writing a crime novel was a satisfactory alternative. He offered it to a colleague of his who was married to a police officer.
I am now in jail. That’s where I belong. I could perfectly live with stealing but not with murder. I sometimes think I did not choose my therapist by chance. I made a conscious choice, picking Tom. Tom healed me. I don’t feel crippled by guilt anymore.
My therapist did a good job.