Bethany

Bethany has been a therapy patient for quite some time. There was even a period of her life in which she was committed to psychiatric care, but now she remains a somewhat functional member of society as long as she stays on her medications. Unfortunately, she rarely remembers to take them.

Among Bethany’s hobbies are calculus, riding her bicycle around Walnut Creek, working out at the gym, buying brightly colored outfits from H&M, and singing opera loudly and in public.

She earns a living acting as a tutor for high school students struggling in Statistics, Calculus, Precalculus, or Geometry classes. How or why anyone lets her around their children is a mystery to me, but it’s apparent that few of her customers finish lessons satisfied, and therefore she cannot keep clients for very long. If one were to sit in on one of her tutoring sessions, he/she would see Wendy working for over 45 minutes on a problem, without coming to an answer. One would also note that she wastes an alarming amount of time complaining about her chronic insomnia, her headaches as a result of massive stress, and the fact that none of her clients seem to be coming back to hire her. Why someone who operates a business that requires a steady clientele would advertise that her customers are dissatisfied is a mystery to me, but it seems as if she thinks that by gossiping about people she is forming a kind of trust between the student and herself.

Bethany only has one volume level: Opera Stage Projecting Loud. Strange looks are not strange to her, but she really doesn’t seem to care. She’s always in her own little world where she has less self-restraint and concern for what other people think of her than even a child.

The one instance when other people’s opinions matter to her, however, is fashion. As stated before, she thoroughly enjoys shopping at stores like H&M that have an abundance of brightly colored, flashy, and cheap outfits. They are as much as a bid for attention as the opera singing and outdoor voice are, and as is the case whenever anyone wears a gaudy article of clothing, people usually find themselves complimenting it. Thus, even though her outfits are rarely flattering or stylish, she receives a lot of positive comments about them from people that know her, but are too befuddled by her personality and behavior to come up with anything else to talk about.

This has led Bethany to believe that she is, in fact, a trendsetter, and one should not make any attempts to convince her otherwise. From her rants about not wanting to follow widely accepted social norms, we can infer that Bethany appears to view acceptance as a negative; an obstacle in her quest to be remembered and noticed. It might have dawned on her before that people give her a lot of negative attention (her nickname in the gym is The Singer), but she refuses to acknowledge this fact by sinking deeper into her mental illness and social unawares.

The problem with Bethany is her only employment is working as a math tutor, freelancing and working at a tutoring center. Therefore she doesn’t have the financial means to keep up with regular therapy sessions. Instead she visits a therapist once every couple of months, but rather than using the opportunity to explore her personality and difficulties, she uses the hour to rant to a captive audience about the various people that have wronged her in the past.

Bethany’s favorite color is purple. It’s bright and available in different shades, and her favorite article of clothing is a hat. It describes her perfectly: unconventional, intended to be seen as a trend, and very very difficult to pull off. Bethany is the epitome of a person who swims against the tide but has yet to have a single person follow her.

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