I am an empty girl in an empty room. I lock the door of the clinic’s bathroom behind me and sit on the floor. The bite of the cold tiles feels good; I need something else to feel, anything! Therapy is like crossing a bridge. A bridge to a better life. But trolls lurk beneath the bridge, and today we disturbed them. They waited until my therapist was gone to attack. Now they are dragging me down into the sewers and bog. I sit level to the toilet. I feel like scum, but I don’t care.

I am hit with an overwhelming urge to attack myself. I look around for something I can use. I grab a badge off my bag, roll up my sleeve and begin scratching myself. “Pathetic!” says one troll, “You can do better than that!” I want to see blood. I want to drown in my blood. I want to die right here on the floor in front of the toilet. I want to show my therapist what I’m capable of. This is my perverted way of asking for help. I am a sick, sick girl.

I hear voices outside. Will they come to my rescue? I’ve been in here for a while now, surely someone would have noticed. Where is the receptionist? Where is my therapist? I both hope for and dread a knock on the door.

Finally someone does come to my rescue. My phone rings and it’s another worker. He leads me through a breathing exercise until my phone dies and I am alone, once again, with the trolls. It was a nice try but breathing is not enough to save me because my breathing is fine. In fact there is no sign of distress in my body. It is like my mind and my body are not speaking with one another.  

For some strange reason there’s a shower in the bathroom. I may as well use it, I decide. I turn on the tap and rinse my arms. The scratches sting under the cold water. I strip off the rest of my clothes, except for my underwear, and get under the water. The water heats up and slowly it washes away the trolls, the past. Finally I am able to leave the clinic and return home.