Mr. Eddie Burke’s Response to Miss Walsh

In the last post, we learned that Miss Burke herself suffers from agoraphobia. It is a condition that some people never really overcome completely. For many agoraphobics, they get to a point where the condition is under control if they follow certain strategies. Because Miss Walsh has experienced most of the symptoms that have overwhelmed Caryn, she feels even more strongly the need to help her than she would have if she were not familiar with the problem. Therefore, she did come on rather strong, (as Mr. Burke noted) when she tried to make Caryn’s father understand how important it is to give Caryn the help that she so desperately needs. The following is Mr. Burke’s response.

“Dad paused a while before he answered. He was obviously moved by Ms. Walsh’s words. ‘I appreciate
your candor, Miss Walsh,’ he began. And it is a confidence that I will respect. But in all honesty, I am quite aware of the different types of therapy that exist out there. When I was in college, I had a breakdown in my last year and went through a long and drawn-out program of psychoanalysis.’

“I sat there in shock. Dad had never told me about any of that before.”

” ‘It isn’t something that I have discussed since. Not even with my wife. But it left me with certain very difficult prejudices against modern psychiatry. It was not only a very expensive process but an excruciatingly painful one as well. Only those who experience emotional pain can know how unbearable that can be.’

” ‘And that’s precisely why I want Caryn to get help now,’ Miss Walsh interrupted.

” ‘Please let me finish,’ Dad continued, trying not to lose his temper again. ‘I don’t know how much the analysis helped. Of course, I did finish up my last term of college and went on to graduate school. But who knows if I wouldn’t have done that anyway? I don’t know if all that mental torture was worth it. The dredging up of old wounds. The hurt, the pain.’

” ‘The therapy at the phobic center will be behavioral in nature, not Freudian,’ Miss Walsh broke in. ‘And as far as her private sessions, you can take her to a therapist who does not practice Freudian psychiatry. Most of them don’t today, you know. It’s too lengthy and costly and not entirely effective.’

” ‘I love my daughter, Miss Walsh, and I don’t want to do anything that will hurt her.’

” ‘Maybe, by doing nothing, you will hurt her the worst of all,’ she said softly. Then she turned to me. ‘And what do you think about all this, Caryn?’

“I walked up to Dad a little hesitantly and held his hand. ‘Give me the chance to find out for myself, Daddy,’ I said. ‘Whatever happens,. I’ll deal with it.’

“Then, all I remember is Dad’s holding me in his arms. When I kissed his cheek, I could feel the tears.

” ‘Thank you, Daddy,’ I whispered as I remained there with my arms around his neck. And when we both looked up a few minutes later, we realized that Miss Walsh had left us and closed the door behind her.’ ”

Will Dad soften up now and allow Caryn to get the help that she needs? And, if so, what kind of help will she actually be getting? What works for agoraphobia? In the next post, we will see.

Until then, be happy and healthy. Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but remember that giving thanks for all our blessings should be something we do every day.

One Response to “Mr. Eddie Burke’s Response to Miss Walsh”

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