I stood in front of the judge, trembling, as the eyes of the thousands of spectators seated in the arena focused on me. I could feel their blood thirsty gazes stabbing into my back but no-one broke the complete silence.
How easy it is to sway the opinions of the masses, I thought in a hysterical sort of way. Faced with shortages and personal deprivation, together with a breakdown of civilization as we knew it, and any behaviour can be justified in their short-sighted eyes. My own eyes moved to the pale and shining face of my beloved son and I straightened my shoulders. I could do this. I would tell our story.
“Your Honour,” I said, “before the dropping of the great bombs that destroyed so much of our world and irradiated 90 percent of our water supply, my son was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder by a number of respected psychiatrists and psychologists. He had a number of experimental operations as a young boy to treat an unusual condition and, all but the last of the series of eighteen procedures, failed. The psychiatrists and psychologists that treated Thomas all agreed that he has an unusually high intellect and this, combined with the pain and mental anguish he suffered as a child had lead to his conditions, which centre around a horror of germs and illness.”
I paused and looked up into the dark brown eyes of the judge, was I imagining things or did I see a look of sympathy lurking in their depths. He was leaning slightly forward, listening intently, and this, together with the look I had seen, gave me the courage to continue.
“Thomas started treatment with the first psychologist when he was four years old. Mary was excellent but she was never able to advance her treatment beyond a certain point. She thought this was due to the fact she didn’t have the necessary specialist skills and experience with treating PTSD and OCD. She recommended I take Thomas to a psychiatrist and she gave us a name and contact details.”
I withdrew my diary from my bag and opened it at the first marker:
From the diary of Jennifer Saunders
I am so tired. I have a work deadline for tomorrow and my mother needed to be away today so she was not able to help me with Thomas. I called the agency yesterday, knowing that today would be a difficult day for me and they agreed to send a young man to play with Tom. I thought a male would work better as they could play ball games outside together.
It did not work out like this at all. Thomas like the young man, whose name was Brad, and, once I had them settled playing a board game, I slipped down the passage to my office and started working.
Less than 30 minutes later, the frantic sound of small footsteps running down the passage filtered through my intense concentration and my office door opened. There was Tom, his face as white as a sheet. “What’s wrong, Tommy?” I asked alarmed. “You were gone, Mommy. Don’t leave me alone.”
I got up and gave him a cuddle. “I’m right here, just down the corridor.” I took him back to Brad and re-settled him with another game. The whole morning was spent like this. I would work for a short while and then Tom would realise I was no longer in the room with him. He would run down the passage and I would have to comfort him and return him to Brad. Brad looked utterly confused and left as quickly as possible when 1 P.M. rolled around.
I could not get my work beyond a certain point as the next phase required focus and concentration. Putting it aside, with a sigh, I took Tom out for a walk in the park after lunch. We have a lovely afternoon and when I finally got him off to sleep at 7.30 P.M. I settled down to my work.
I finally finished at 2 A.M. and am just jotting down these few quick notes about the days activities so that I can show them to Mary when we see her again next week.
This post was written for Sue Vincent’s weekly Write Photo challenge. You can join in here: https://scvincent.com/2019/04/18/thursday-photo-prompt-beyond-writephoto-2/