“How long has she been lying there, John?”

“Roughly two hours. We’ll have to lower her Seroquel dosage.”

“Why don’t we take her off medication altogether? I’m convinced she doesn’t need it.”

“I hope you’re not serious, Dr. Graham. Sam is a danger to herself and to everyone around her. Taking her off her medication could lead to another violent episode.”

“I believe Sam is a normal girl who was forced into abnormal circumstances. She reacted out of stress, just like anyone else would. I honestly don’t think she’s a threat to anyone. Now if it’s all right with you, I’d like to bring her to my office for a private session.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“We’ll be fine.”

“Good morning, Sam. Please get up and come with me. We’re going to try something a little different today.”

***

“So this is your office? I like the water fountain.”

“Thanks. It was a gift from one of my clients. Please, take a seat. Make yourself comfortable.”

“Today we’re going to try something called hypnosis. I’m sure you’ve heard of it before, but many people have misconceptions about what hypnosis actually is. I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not a magical form of mind control. I’m not going to swing a pocket watch back and forth and make you go into a trance. No, hypnosis is a very natural and very safe process that puts your mind into a highly focused state. Do you understand?”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Excellent. For this to work, you need to be as relaxed as possible. Are you relaxed? Good. Please close your eyes.”

“You are now traveling back to your childhood. I want you to visualize the house you grew up in. Go inside your bedroom. What color are the walls? Do you see any of your favorite toys? Now explore the rest of the house. I’m going to start counting down from the number five. When I reach the number one, you will open your eyes again.

5…

4…

3…

2…

1…”

“Sam? Can you hear me?”

“Sam?”

“That’s a boy’s name, silly. My name is Samantha.”

“My mistake. Nice to meet you, Samantha. My name is Dr. Graham. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions about your family, if that’s ok with you. Can you describe them to me?”

“Well, let’s see…I have a mommy and a daddy and a sister. My sister looks just like me. We’re twins.”

“That’s very interesting. Can you tell me more about your daddy?”

“He’s bald. Mommy says all his hair traveled from his head to his back because he’s an old man. Isn’t that funny?”

“Hysterical. Tell me, Samantha, does your daddy ever do things that make you feel icky?”

“What do you mean?”

“Does he ever touch you in places he shouldn’t?”

“Oh. I see what you mean. Well, there was this one time he tried to put his…thing…in my mouth.”

“He said it was like a game or something.”

“I told him I didn’t want to, but he kept pushing my head down there, so I bit his thing as hard as I could.”

“He screamed so loud I thought my ears were going to explode.”

“Oh my. Did he ever try to do that again?”

“No, that was the last time. I bit him real good.”

“Thank you for telling me, Samantha. You’re a very brave girl.”

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