Side Sim: Counselling Suite - Seeking Assistance

Posted Feb. 28, 2021, 10:29 p.m. by Lieutenant Elin Mairwen Howell (Chief of Psychiatry) (Amie Genest)

Posted by Lieutenant Elin Mairwen Howell (Chief of Psychiatry) in Side Sim: Counselling Suite - Seeking Assistance

Posted by Lieutenant Tija Aizala (Visitor) in Side Sim: Counselling Suite - Seeking Assistance

Posted by Lieutenant Elin Mairwen Howell (Chief of Psychiatry) in Side Sim: Counselling Suite - Seeking Assistance

With her cup of tea in hand, Aizala settled carefully down into one of the indicated chairs. She nodded at Elin’s suggestion, but remained quiet for several long moments. “I was born on Bajor during the Occupation. My parents were in the Resistance and their cell was mostly hiding out in the mountains in the Dahkur province. When I was about two years old my sister and I went to pick berries. We were supposed to stay close to the camp, but we didn’t. At one point Soanea peered over the edge of the cliff and lost her balance and fell. She died that day. Maybe on impact, maybe a little later. I don’t know. But she was dead when our father finally found us. My parents weren’t really able to take care of me afterwards because of their grief. But there were always people who looked after me. After the Occupation was over we settled in a small town not far away. One of the women there, Rinyet Inuma, took me under her wing. She was the first to teach me about medicinal herbs and showed me how to treat injuries and other ailments. When I was 15 Inuma suggested that I should continue my education at the medical facility in Ilvia. One of her relatives, Tahrva Zajil, took me in till I came off age and could live on my own. Left Bajor five years later when I was accepted at Starfleet Academy. After my graduation I first served on the USS Rickmer Rickmers and then the USS Krusenstern before becoming first the assistant Chief Medical Officer and then the Chief Medical Officer on one of our Academy ships, the USS Challenger. I was there for about two years before I had to go on medical leave and come here.” As she spoke Aizala looked straight at Elin, but both her face and voice were oddly devoid of emotions; making her sound more like a computer reading a report than a sentient being telling their story.

~Lt. Tija, Doctor (med leave)

Elin’s gentle smile and facial expression were full of compassion when she spoke again. “It sounds like you put a lot of time and effort into stripping your life down to a short series of factual statements. I’d like to hear your story Lt., not your synopsis. Why don’t you take a few steps forward and tell me about the events that led to your medical leave?”

Lt. Howell COPsych

Aizala nodded slowly and then took a deep breath. Her voice and body language still as detached as before, she started to talk again. “We had responded to a distress call from a mining colony. One of the mines had collapsed after an explosion and they needed assistance in rescuing some of the miners and with repairs. Because of the moons atmosphere we weren’t able to beam down but had to a shuttle. Yet it was clear that that too would be a rough flight. When I arrived in the shuttle bay one of cadets, a security officer I think, was talking loudly about the only way down there would be to let the shuttle plummet towards the surface.” Suddenly there was a slight quiver in her voice and she clutched her cup very tightly to keep her hands from trembling. “I saw my sister fall to her death again and I froze. Maybe it all came back like that because Counsellor Korczak and had been talking about that day not long before. I don’t know. But it took the other two senior officers more than one attempt to bring me back to the present and to reassure me that the Cadet’s suggestion wasn’t what was going to happen. I was … on edge during the whole mission and snapped at some of the cadets and miners.” Bowing her head in shame, she finished, “That’s why I was releaved off duty.”

~Lt. Tija, Doctor (med leave)

“I see,” Elin replied slowly, “Had you had flashbacks like that before the mission? In times of stress or in dreams?”

Dr. Elin Howell COPSych

“I had a lot of nightmares as a child, but eventually they went way. For the most part at least.,” Aizala replied and then lifted her head with a soft sigh. “Very rarely I would still have nightmare, but they never really left me shaken. I thought I had come to terms with what happened over the years. But it seems I was mistaken.” She frowned a little as she tried to remember if there had been something particular going on the last time she remembered having one of those nightmares.

~Lt. Tija, Doctor (med leave)

“It seems that after childhood you distanced yourself from it as a coping mechanism. You didn’t repress it, you put a partition between the event and the emotions it caused. Your experience on the mining colony broke the partition as it were and you experienced the two together again. You have Post Traumatic Stress Doctor. It’s just been in hiding since you were young.

I am guessing you were left to cope with it pretty much on your own and that was your only choice at the time. Your parents were wrapped in their own grieving and there wasn’t much for outside support in the area, am I right?

Dr. Elin Howell, COPsych


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