Psych Ward

Psych Ward: The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard recalls surviving the land of the Mangaboos and more!

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By Tim Stevens

The following is an excerpted transcript of a therapy session between Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs and therapist Tim Stevens.

DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ #1 cover by Skottie Young

Tim Stevens: Thank you for coming in Mr… Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs?

Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs: That’s correct. But you can just call me Oz, son. I used to use all my initials, but a name with Pinhead in it is no name at all.

TS: Okay. Well then, let’s just start with, if you feel comfortable, you telling me what brings you in today.

OZ: Ahh, yes. I know a girl, a dear friend named Dorothy Gale. And she saw you for a time, yes?

TS (hesitant): I…I really cannot disclose who has or has not seen me. Confidentiality is very important for the therapy.

OZ: Right. Yes, of course. In any case, I know she did because she told me and she said that you were…helpful.

TS: Well, that tells me how you might have gotten my name, but what motivated you to make an appointment.

OZ: Well, it seems, after years in fairy country, I have…become a bit exhausted.

TS: Exhausted? Would you describe that as a physical exhaustion or—

OZ: I suppose. A bit. But it is also, I don’t know, spiritual. Emotional. Just bone tired throughout. I don’t sleep as well as I used to, either, even though I am so tired. Sometimes it is nightmares, but mostly, it is just light, unsatisfying sleep. Like taking a nap in a cold room without a blanket.

TS: And how long has this been happening?

OZ: Since Mangaboos, I suppose.

TS: I…am sorry. I confess I’m not familiar with what that is.

OZ (chuckling a bit): No need to be sorry, son. Most people don’t. Shouldn’t. You actually can feel a bit of relief that you don’t know. It is a place in the fairy country. Like where Dorothy went with the Emerald City…but a different part. That’s the best way I can describe it. It is underground and the people are really more like vegetables.

TS: I…see.

OZ: I know it all sounds a bit daft, but then, I suppose that’s why I’m here. One can only take so much daftness in a lifetime and I believe I’ve hit my quota at least twice over.

TS: So what happened in Mangaboos?

DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ #2 cover by Skottie Young

OZ: It seems that a little sleight of hand, a little showmanship just does not go as far as it used to. I dazzled them, believe me, I did. But they still planned to slay us. Even after we cut that wizard in half. And even after we freed that Princess, they still wanted some bloodshed. A cold, nasty people they were.

TS: That sounds like it must have been very frightening.

OZ: For others, perhaps. But I’ve seen plenty of fairy savagery. It is only now that it gives me pause, I think.

TS: So, at the time, you felt calm, but now, looking back, it provokes anxiety? Is that fair to say?

OZ: Yes…yes, that seems about the size of it.

TS: Ok, then. So what happened next?

OZ: We escaped. Had no choice, really. Cat and horse or not, they were still part of our group and planting them in the ground was just not acceptable. So we ferried ourselves out, fast as we could. And the Mangaboos, they gave chase. However, gravity got to be too much for them the higher we went and they had to give up. So we all survived, Dorothy, her uncle, Jim, Eureka, and myself. Survived, but…things grew worse. There were bears, and gargoyles, and dragons, and invisibility, and a bearded man, and that was even before we get back to Oz and the pigs became trouble.

TS: That’s…quite a bit. It sounds overwhelming. It is no wonder that it causes anxiety for you now as your mind and body were probably just doing all they could to keep up. That’s not at all unusual in situations like these. For anyone.

OZ: Well…I confess that is a relief to hear. Being who I am it is a bit…embarrassing to admit these things. I have a certain reputation you see. For dramatics. And fearlessness. At least, that’s how I fancy people see me. And it is hard to reconcile that with cold sweats and the memories of Voe that seem like they are happening again—

DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ #3 cover by Skottie Young

TS: Before we get into Voe and the other things you mentioned, and I do want to discuss those, I’d like to first focus on the Mangaboos and deal with those memories and anxieties. Then, we can move on, taking each piece along the way. Does that make sense to you?

OZ: Yes, yes. Certainly. Forgive me. I love to tell stories and I assure you this is a rousing one.

TS: I understand. And it is hard to hold back after keeping things bottled in for so long, I imagine. But I promise you that this will make the process easier and that we will hear everything that happened, in time. Just in a way that keeps you safe and secure. Does that sound reasonable?

OZ: It does, son. Thank you.

TS: For now, however, we are out of time. So I’d like to give you some relaxation homework so you can possibly get a bit more rest. Then, on your way out, you should make an appointment for next week and we’ll begin to delve deeper into your anxieties.

To learn more about the Wizard’s experiences, please take time to examine the work of Doctors Eric Shanower and Skottie Young who have extensively chronicled his life. Details of Mangaboos and Voe and beyond can be found in the periodical called DORTOTHY AND THE WIZARD IN OZ #1, available Wednesday September 28.

Tim Stevens, MA is a Psy D candidate and practicum trainee at a community mental health facility and has experience in working with individuals dealing with PTSD.

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