Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Side Sim - Lera and … Lera (Counselor)
Posted by Civilian Runa Siff Edman (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Side Sim - Lera and … Lera (Counselor)
Posted by Lieutenant Auleraine Brison (Engineering Officer) in Side Sim - Lera and … Lera (Counselor)
Lera almost bumped into the door and growled. Glancing back at Revna she shook her head. “I’m effectively locked into this room and you want me to ‘calm down’? How is that supposed to happen, exactly?” She was tired. Tired of defending herself. Tired of fighting everyone who thought there was something wrong with her. Tired of being handled with kid gloves like she was some glass figuring that would break if anyone mentioned the word Orions around her.
“By you thinking rather than reacting. You can stand or sit.” Revna’s voice continued to be soft. Some people required a firm, almost disdainful tone of voice, Lera wasn’t one of those. “I can not allow you to leave in such a state. You or someone else, mostly likely you, could get hurt if you run out in a panic. I won’t let you get hurt. So please come sit down.”
When she couldn’t take a couple breaths and make the door open, she paced the room. Moving towards the window, then back towards the door, she shook her head. “I already said I’d do what you want. And if my life is nothing but anxiety and nerves, how am I supposed to calm down in a single session just so your door will let me out?” Her voice bit with sarcasm as she tried to figure out how she could go from admitting she had an issue, which hadn’t been easy, to suddenly calming down enough to let the biometrics agree she was capable of walking out of the room.
Revna sighed, time for the ace in the hole. “Alright Lera. Two things can happen at this point. You can come sit down and we can work on some calming techniques. It will help you now and when you have nightmares or flashbacks.” She didn’t say if because it wasn’t a matter of if, it was when. They would happen again. “Or I can call Mardusk and have him escort you home and make sure you stay there until you’ve calmed down.”
Lt Edman, Counselor
Lera crossed her arms and stopped with a defiant look on her face. “Fine… call him. He’ll just send me to my quarters and it’ll be done.”
The words came out so quick, she hadn’t realized she’d said them till she finished. Now she couldn’t take it back. Would Mar really just send her to her room? She hoped so. There she could calm down. Since she wasn’t going to be able to work and additional shift to wear herself out, she’d probably just work out in her room till the exhaustion crept up on her and she went to sleep. Then everyone would be happy… right?
Revna’s gaze snapped to Lera. This was going to stop. Trauma response was one thing, but that was cruel and unfair to Mardusk. “That’s mean Lera and uncalled for. Mardusk would never treat you like that. You’re angry at me, so you take it out on me. Mardusk might be big, tough, and meaner than a tacarian razor beast when the situation calls for it, but he does not treat you like a child or less than, ever.” She tapped out a quiet message on her console to Mardusk. ‘She’s done for the day, but agitated. She could use an escort if you can. Or I can. -Revna’
Revna’s snapped reply brought Lera back to herself. “I’m sorry,” she half mumbled before she even realized it. Rev was right. Mar didn’t deserve her thoughts or words, regardless that he hadn’t been here to hear them. He wasn’t the reason for her anger or for her past.
Then Revna stood slowly, measuring her own breaths. “So let’s get down to it, Lera. Do you want the nightmares to stop or not?” Revna’s voice had returned to the soft calm so typical of her. If Lera didn’t want help then Revna couldn’t help her, but then she’d have to make the hard decision to remove her from duty. “Because if you do Lera, I will do everything in my power to help you, but it won’t be easy or comfortable for you. There is no quick solution.”
Lt Edman, counselor
She moved over and finally collapsed on the couch. The dejection in her voice and demeanor a direct opposition to the haughty defiant personality a moment ago. “I want them to go away. But I just figured I could work and wear myself out and soon they wouldn’t need exhaustion to be pushed aside. They are better than they were last year.” She said the last with conviction cause it was true. She could go sometimes two or three nights without them now. So wasn’t she doing good? Shaking her head as she realized she had all but collapsed into herself in her return from being a pompus brat, she looked at Lera. “You are right. Mar deserves better because he has always treated me like I was the greatest thing in the universe. I hate that my nightmares hurt him. And I hate that some night I may wake in a fit and hurt him physically. I know he wouldn’t fight me if I was sleeping and I don’t know how he could defend himself if he didn’t.”
“Lera, of course they concern him, he cares about you. You matter to him and he hates seeing you hurting, but they don’t hurt him. And let’s set the record straight here. Gravel Mardusk is one of the best trained security officers in Star Fleet. If he can break up bar fights with drunks without getting hurt himself or hurting them, then he most certainly can keep you from hurting him or yourself. Asleep or not. You do not fear physically hurting him, it’s his heart you’re afraid of hurting. The only thing for that though is trust. To trust that he knows and understands, to trust that if it bothered him he’d do something about it.” They could discuss that more, but not right at that moment. “And they might be better, but Mardusk told me they’ve been getting worse again. And exhaustion, Lera, doesn’t work that way. Not on the mind. Exhaustion makes the brain recall the worst memories, the things you don’t want to deal with appear during REM sleep. The more exhausted you are the worse your dreams are going to get. Too much work is great for physical exhaustion but not mental.”
She looked down at her hands and imagined a blade in them buried in Mar’s chest with his look of forgiveness looking back up at her. Closing her eyes and shaking her head, she made fists and looked back up. The Chief’s suggestion crawled back up in her mind. “How about the holodeck. Every time I have a nightmare, it’s the same thing played over and over. I know the program Mardusk saw is still in the buffers, though I’ve locked it to myself and him.” She laughed lightly knowing he’d get to it whether she’d given him access or not. “What if…” she paused then straightened up and looked Rev straight in the eyes. “What if I played it out again. We could play it over and over. Maybe each week dropping one more of them from the program till none remained. Perhaps it would eliminate them one by one in the dreams as well.” She felt a flush of red creep up her cheeks before quickly suppressing it as another idea crossed her mind but she bit her lip without voicing it.
Revna shook her head, “No, Lera. I don’t know where you heard about that type of therapy, but no. You are no where near ready for that. You can’t even watch the video of the program. You were check out for HOURS and didn’t even remember telling me about it half an hour later. No. The program is strictly off limits. You even told me that after being in it you ended up in Mike’s bar totally mentally incapacitated. No.” Revna’s voice was soft, but firm on this point. “One day, maybe, but not right now.”
The exhale from Lera seemed to contain more air than she thought she had inhaled. It was as if more than her lungs were emptying. All of it made sense. And thrown in her face, as it was, she couldn’t think of an argument that didn’t call Revna or Mardusk a liar, outright. She loved Mardusk more than anyone she had in her life. He had shown her love in equal measure and even his putting up with her tossing and turning, and she was sure more than one scream or rant, was just more proof of his devotion to her.
She glanced at the Counselor and shook her head. “I’ll stay away from the program. You have my word. I can also give you my word to try and do things differently, to do them your way. But I will not make any promises beyond that. It would make me a liar and you would be fool to believe it. I want this to end, Revna. I want to have a normal life with Mar. Please… just tell me what to do and I will do my best.” She shook her head once more, this time it was a helpless motion, not a definitive one. “I can’t lose him. Not cause of this.” Her hands were still fisted at her sides. The nails now biting crescent moons into her palm which would turn crimson when she finally relaxed her digits.
Revna nodded, got up and walked over to her, kneeling, despite the issues that caused, “Good thing you aren’t a liar and I’m no fool then, isn’t it,” and took Lera’s hands gently relaxing her hands before they started to bleed, then she placed a foam ball in each and closed her hands. “When you feel the need to squeeze your fists like that, use these. They are very resilient, they can be damaged and then you don’t have to go to sickbay because you hurt yourself.” Revna placed two hands on the arm of the next chair over and stood up returning to her seat. “We are going to start slow. First twice a week, you are going to come see me, more if you need it. Then no more extra shifts, for a bit. You can swap shifts, but no extra shifts. The reason for this, Lera, is your body is operating in a hyper aware state, and at least physically, we need your body to return to it’s natural equilibrium. This may take a few weeks, be aware of that. In the mean time we’re going to keep a log of when you eat, how much you sleep, your daily activities, when you have nightmares. I know that seems to be a lot, but it can help us pinpoint what is triggering the nightmares and brown outs. I’ve given Mardusk a weighted blanket. There are two ways to use it, you can use it as you fall asleep or he can put it over you when you have a nightmare. The idea is that it provides deep pressure which will calm your nerves from misfiring. If it makes you feel trapped stop using it and we’ll find something else.”
Despite being wrapped up in herself to the point of tauntness in her own muscles, the movement of the woman beside her wasn’t lost on her. Revna wasn’t doing well, either. And Lera wasn’t making it any easier. She knew Mar would take her to task for everything that had happened today, already. But if he knew the hardship she was adding to the Counselor, she would probably be in for a lot more than a stern reprimand.
Squeezing the balls in her hands a moment, she realized they were just pliable enough to let her ball up her fists, but not so tender that her nails could reach her palms. She didn’t look up as Rev went over the list of things she was going to have to do to comply with her ability to remain on the Atlantis and in her given profession. Nodding, she sighed and looked up finally. “I can’t make a promise to keep it up all the time. I would be lieing if I did. But I can promise you I will do my best to comply. The work thing will be hard, but probably the easiest. The journal and meal tracking, I will also do my best. As to the weighted blanket,” she shivered slightly at the idea of something heavier being on her in a crisis. “I can try. That’s all I can say.” It didn’t occur to her that she slept better with Mardusk’s arm over her at night, or that being close to his weight made her feel grounded when she wasn’t at her best. The idea may have sat better with her if she had.
“Revna… what’s wrong?” She set the balls on the couch beside her and went to the woman’s side. “And don’t tell me nothing cause we’d both know it’s a lie. I’ve agreed to your terms and will do my best to stop being a brat when it comes to getting better. So now it’s your turn. Why do I suddenly feel like I need to call Mar or medical to get here on the double?” She crouched in front of the woman with her hands on the arms of the seat. She was still shaking, slightly, but keeping herself on the balls of her feet forced her to balance and eased up on the shaking a bit.
(((With the loss of Revna’s writer, this thread will end with Lera agreeing to see the new Counselor in time and doing the other things she was instructed to do. She and Rev still keep in touch and she is glad Rev is physically getting help with her problems))
OOC: Actually I am still here. I am more than happy to finish this thread and story arch with you, but if you are finished with it that’s fine as well. Just let me know.
Let me know if Mardusk is still needed.
((my apologies, no one posted for a while then I missed the post the next day lol… would like to finish if everyone’s ok with it…so yes, Mardusk is needed lol))
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