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“So, you're a Mormon?” my shrink, Dr. Byers asked me right away. He was fascinated by the religion listed in my records and on my dog tags. "More than any other religion," he claimed, "Mormons needed psychiatric help."
“But you're a psychologist.”
“It's just a term,” he replied. This is the way our sessions went. Dr. Byers wasn't very precise with his terminology and wasn't serious at all about his profession. He was leaving the Air Force in a year after sixteen years as an officer in order to go to Houston and become an investment advisor. I asked him if it wouldn't be smarter to hang in there for another four years and get the lifelong retirement check, but he said his heart just wasn't in it anymore. I hope he gave others great investment advice in his second career.
He tried various counseling methods with me. I went to one group session where I lost respect for seven other blathering, whining, crying Airmen. He decided it wasn't necessary for me to attend more sessions after I got bored and started making fun of the nurse who confessed to licking needles and pricking his skin with them in order to develop a physical bond with patients. He tried getting me to open up about my childhood, but I guess that didn't work because he didn't let me type the sessions into a computer diary for everyone in the world to read. He just wanted me to talk while he wrote things in a notebook. He tried to say things about my religion, my parents, and me that would make me angry enough to explode in a rage. I didn't because it was obvious he was just trying some mindtrick he'd read in Psychology for Dummies.
I was required to see him for six months, it's in the regs. After he played around for a month we regressed into weekly meetings where I'd answer his questions about crazy Mormons I'd known and he'd tell me about great investment strategies. He even gave me a couple of books on stocks that I never read.
Then one day Lynda called me.