CHAPTER 46 Breakthrough Therapy

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copyright 2015 Chris Smith All rights reserved.

I was awakened by my eye tearing up in the early morning. I knew I'd have to get up and deal with it. It was a pain in the ass. But if I didn't deal with it, it would keep me up the rest of the night.

So I got out of my bed and grabbed a washcloth from the bathroom. Then I walked into the kitchen and prepared a steamed version in the micro. I stood against the kitchen counter, letting the tears drain my eye of gunk. It was dark outside and the Farm was quiet, taken over by nature's night dwellers. There were no looky loos roaming around. No one to worry about running into. It was the only time I enjoyed being on the Farm now.

It wasn't long before my eye felt good enough to get back into bed. I put some guided imagery on my iPod and closed my eyes, waiting for sleep to claim me.

Later that afternoon, Dad came back from his weekly therapy session. He was bothered.


I wasn't sure.

"I have something to tell you and Your Mother," Dad said in a serious tone.

He was on their bed in the middle of the living room at the Glass House on Parcel B. The rest of their stuff was in piles all around. The house looked thoroughly stuffed with stuff.


I was very nervous. I didn't like his tone. This wasn't going to be good.

"I had a terrible therapy session."

"Why?" Mom asked him.

"Well, it was just Greg [his therapist] and I. Luckily no one else showed. He asked me if I was happy. And I'll be honest...the question stumped me."

I stayed silent waiting for the rest of his story.

Dad continued, "I hadn't thought about it. But really I'm not happy. So I told him I wasn't. Greg asked why I wasn't. He asked me what would make me happy. What is it that would ignite my passion? I told him bringing some of the veteran stories to life through our graphic novels and films."

"What about all your volunteer work. Does that ignite your passion? Does it make you happy?" Greg asked him.

Dad said, "I told him it didn't. Then he started talking about why I did it. Why I put all my time and energy into things that don't make me happy, that don't fulfill me. Who am I trying to get approval from?"

"Wow," I said.

"Greg said I've done some great things for the community. He keeps hearing this and that about stuff I'm involved in. He said he knows I'm good at it. I'm good at leading and I help move all these things. But then he sees me every week [in therapy] and he doesn't see me happy. I had thought all the things [veteran organizations and charity work] I'm involved in would help fund us. And while they've opened doors, they haven't really helped me go where I want to go. It was very upsetting to me. I'm still really upset about it. Because I have put so much time and energy into all these organizations thinking that's what I was supposed to be doing. And now, I'm thinking what the hell have I been doing with all my time?"

Dad continued, "I counted it up. Do you know how many organizations I'm involved in?"

"A lot," I replied.

Dad said, "It's over fifteen."


"I got so upset [during his therapy session] I had to get out of there. I had to go for a walk and calm myself down. And I still feel very unsettled about the whole thing," Dad said.

"You know what Dad?"


"I think it's great."

Dad was shocked.

I said, "No, seriously. It's been my biggest issue with you all these years. You do all this stuff for everyone else. And I'm always thinking, how does that help us?"


"Yeah. I think it's great. I feel really good about it," I told him.

"You do huh? Well I don't," Dad said very matter-of-factly.

"It's about time you thought of yourself and do the things that move you, that will fulfill your passion and your Dreams."

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."

Doug Larson

American Columnist & Editor

(1926- )

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