Stacey and Phillips
Have you ever been faced with a life changing event that seemed to leave you doubting yourself and even your sanity?
All of us come to that very place more than once in our lives. In our excerpt today we become acquainted with Marty’s youngest daughter, Stacey. If you’ve read the Rubies series from the beginning you know that Stacey Walker is a very troubled woman who is convinced she is the victim of a family curse. This belief brings her face to face with a dilemma about her daughter and her current life circumstances. She seeks the aid of psychiatrist Gregg Phillips to sort out her problems and why it seems she just can’t cope with the world in which she finds herself trying to survive.
Stacey becomes the narrator for our Rubies story but she does so under the guiding hand of Gregg Phillips. In order to break through the barrier Stacey has built around herself, Phillips decides hypnosis is the only method that will work.
Today we see the interaction between these two characters. It is the unraveling of the real truth behind Stacey’s emotional problems which actually started when she was only four years old.
I hope you will enjoy the segment.
Duluth, Minnesota 1991
As one week added upon another, Stacey's time in therapy grew to almost two months. Once the initial sessions were over, she actually looked forward to her visits with Gregg Phillips. Still nothing changed between her and Vicki.
Gregg Phillips handed Stacey a cup of coffee. He could see she was unusually tense.
“Rough day, Stacey?”
Stacey sat down on the sofa and flipped her shoulder length red hair behind her ear.
“Some days are like that in my line of work.”
Phillips sensed her stress had nothing to do with work but only smiled. He grabbed a pillow from the end of the sofa and placed it behind her back.
“Why don't you relax and get rid of some of that tension you're feeling. Lean back and put your feet up if you like.”
She looked at him suspiciously but kicked off her three inch heels. Carefully pulling her skirt over her crossed legs, she extended them the length of the sofa. She rested her coffee cup on her lap.
“You've never told me much about your job, Stacey.”
Phillips laughed softly. Instead of pulling up his usual chair, he sat in the armchair directly at right angles to the sofa.
“Is that like a gopher with a prestigious title?”
Stacey returned his pun with a smile.
“Being a marketing consultant for an advertising agency is not what it's cracked up to be. I've been with the same company for over ten years and my boss, Henry Stubben, still expects me to put work ahead of everything, as if I don't have a personal life.”
Watching her for a hint of the slightest apprehension, Phillips dimmed the lamp.
“I'd say we all need a personal life outside of our work.”
Stacey was oblivious to his actions, sipping her coffee and staring intently at the snow falling outside the window.
“They don't expect many kids to be trick and treating tonight,” she said. “They're expecting the snow to turn into a Halloween blizzard. They may even close the freeway.”
There was exuberance in her voice that mystified him.
“You don't seem the least bit annoyed at the prospect of bad weather.”
She began to rub the side of her neck with her fingertips.
Phillips quickly read her body language. He removed the now empty coffee cup from her hand and placed it on the table between them.
“Mmm,” she moaned. “If I get any more relaxed, I may fall asleep.”
“Close your eyes if you like. Perhaps it will relieve some of the tension I'm still hearing in your voice.”
Stacey closed her eyes in silent resignation.
Clasping his hands behind his head, Phillips leaned back in his chair.
“Now tell me what's really been happening this week, Stacey.”
She sighed. “Just the same old thing with Victoria.”
“Oh, you know. Gary's a God and I'm a liar.”
Phillips brow furrowed. “In other words, your daughter thinks highly of her father and doesn't have the same opinion about you?”
Stacey took a long deep breath. “She can't understand why I won't have dinner with the two of them.”
“I wasn't aware Gary lived in Duluth.”
“He doesn't. He was coming into town on business tonight but now with the storm, I'm sure his plans will be canceled.”
Phillips leaned forward in his chair. “And does it please you that the weather has altered Gary's plans?”
A teardrop crept from the corner of her eye and trickled down her cheek.
“I guess I'm relieved,” she said, brushing the teardrop aside with her hand.
It was first time she had willingly spoken about Gary Walker. Perhaps she was opening the door at last.
“I--I haven't seen Gary since I began therapy.”
There was an ominous fear in her voice when she spoke Gary's name. Phillips had to move slowly or be shut out.
“You've never said much about him.”
She smiled wryly. “You mean honest Gary?”
“That sounds a bit cynical.”
Stacey shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe cynical. Maybe truthful.”
She rolled her eyes towards the ceiling as if searching for her next words.
“How does the saying go, 'you shall know the truth and it shall make you free'?”
“That's from the Bible, isn't it?”
She turned towards him, tilting her chin downward like an inquisitive child.
“Why, doctor, I would never have taken you for a Bible scholar.”
Even in her vulnerable state of mind, she seemed to be sparring with him, but he followed her lead.
“I think the Bible holds a great deal of truth, possibly the only real truth.”
“So do you think the truth makes people free or does it destroy them?”
“I believe deception is like a festering wound. Truth opens that wound, cleans it out. That cleansing can be very painful, yet without it, the healing cannot take place.”
Her eyes flooded with tears. “I'm so afraid.”
“Afraid of the pain, Stacey?”
Fresh tears spilled onto her cheeks. “Victoria always loved Halloween when she was a little girl.”
Phillips brushed his hand over his face. She was closing the door.
“Is it Gary that frightens you, Stacey?”
She looked at him incredulously. “Gary's an animal! I hate him! I hate him and all the horrible things he--” Pausing, she gasped as if suddenly aware her voice had risen several octaves.
“Stacey, you need to talk about those memories that are causing you so much pain.”
Her eyes clouded. She stared at her clenched hands. “I can't.”
Her outburst confirmed his suspicions. Any in-depth discussion of Gary Walker would have to be done at a different level.
”Perhaps there's an easier way for you. I'd like you to consider hypnosis as part of your therapy.”
Her eyes widened. “Hypnosis? Absolutely not!”
Why was she so terrified of losing control?
“Stacey, trust me. Hypnosis isn't like what you've seen in the movies. It's only a lower level of consciousness, one that is more relaxed, more open.”
“I can't be hypnotized.”
“You were relaxed for a time today. Did it make you feel uncomfortable?”
Her eyes were questioning. “No.”
“Stacey, what we did here today was the first step towards hypnosis.”
She bolted up. “You tricked me!”
Phillips laughed. “No trickery. I just wanted to show you that hypnosis need not be frightening and could be very beneficial for you.”
She bit her lip. “But digging into my mind. I would have to tell Momma.”
His brow shot up. “Do you think you need her approval for hypnosis?”
Stacey suddenly grinned from ear to ear. “Well, Momma's old fashioned, but she always told me God helps those that help themselves.”
Phillips shifted in his chair, fascinated by the abrupt change in her mood.
“Isn't therapy a method of healing oneself?”
Her smile faded. “It's too bad Momma didn't have someone like you to talk to. Maybe then she wouldn't have made all those mistakes.”
“If your mother were here today, what would she tell me?”
“Everything. I think she'd tell you everything.
As you can see from today’s excerpt, Stacey is developing a unique relationship with Gregg Phillips. These events are integral to the story of Rubies and you won't want to miss any of the upcoming episodes.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of the first book it is available, along with the entire series on my Amazon Author Page here.
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