STF

Counselling Suite - Shadows Are Not Immune To Light

Posted Feb. 20, 2024, 4:14 p.m. by Captain Dira Myqian (Commanding Officer) (Lindsay B)

Posted by Lieutenant Dr. Mariah Lee Grayson (Chief of Psychiatry) in Counselling Suite - Shadows Are Not Immune To Light

Posted by Captain Dira Myqian (Commanding Officer) in Counselling Suite - Shadows Are Not Immune To Light

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Zoi Haven (Chief of Security) in Counselling Suite - Shadows Are Not Immune To Light
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)

What came through crystal clear in Dira’s torrent of words was just how much she blamed herself for what had been done to her. Not only was such a response common for a survivor of any trauma, but Grayson could see it being instinctual for a Starfleet officer, especially one serving in command. When confronted with problems, command officers in particular were taught to identify the causes, and if necessary, to take responsibility for their part in it. The dirty little secret seemed to be taking some level of personal responsibility was never unnecessary, especially if one didn’t want to be perceived as a hard ass who passed the buck.

What everyone seemed to be forgetting was that in trying to prevent one undesirable extreme, they were only creating another and reinforcing a way of black-and-white thinking that rarely fit most realities.

Mariah wanted to reach forward and clasp the distraught woman’s hands in hers even as another part of her wanted to embrace Dira, but knowing that such a reaction suggested a familiarity the two did not have, particularly with the same woman’s significant other present, Grayson settles for leaning forward and closing the distance between them. “I truly am sorry for the circumstances which brought you to me today, but I am genuinely glad you are here and are opening up like this. Tell me, in this moment, how do you feel?”

~Doctor Mariah Grayson, CoP

“Terrified,” she said, trying her best to make her voice louder than a whisper. Dira pursed her lips as if it might keep the truth from coming out and her internal distress to herself. But she herself, an experienced psychiatrist, knew that between the woman beside her who was able to read her emotions and the woman across from her who was trained to read body language, Dira could not hide, nor would it be helpful.

Dira’s solid dark eyes glimmered with tears as she swallowed. “It’s felt like if I could just keep a grip on the one terrible dream, keep it at bay, the rest would be okay. But it’s spilling outwards and I feel like it’s pulling me into… something terrible.” She could say the words. She had earlier, but Dira wasn’t sure Royal could understand the terror involved. “I need to explain it again, because I did earlier today, but it’s…”

She pulled her hand out of Zoi’s and rose to her feet, moving away where there was more space. Arms wrapped tightly around herself, Dira shook her head. “I’m sorry. I just…” She closed her eyes. “I’m not even sure what I’m more afraid of: being told it’s not as bad as it’s felt to me, or it being worse than I’ve allowed myself to believe.”

Captain Myqian, CO

Mariah had anticipated expressions of anxiety and shame, but Dira’s fear of something more was palpable. Grayson knew her trauma was multi-layered given not just the physical violence, but the mental violation involved. She also knew it was something she would never truly understand no matter how much energy she put into studying it on an academic level. What she did know how to do was listen. “I’m here, right here. Take all the time you need. I may not fully understand everything, but I will not minimize it or you.”

~Dr. Mariah Grayson, CoP

Zoi didn’t like seeing her partner in so much distress. Even as Dira stood and left the comfort of Zois arms, she knew there was little she could do but wait and support. Still, it took a great deal of her own willpower not to reach put to draw her love back into the safety and comfort she knew she provided.

It seemed in this moment, Dira needed to be standing on her own two feet. Zoi kept her body language relaxed and her mental expression of emotions clamped down. She didn’t want to add to Diras distress with her worry.

Haven, CoS

Dira breathed in the soothing energy Zoi sent her way and for a moment she closed her eyes, taking deep breaths until she felt some sort of equilibrium. When she opened her eyes, they glistened with tears and she took in both women for a moment before choosing a spot on the wall behind that was between them. It was easier to speak the words if she wasn’t making direct eye contact. “The nightmare I’ve been having is one where I am standing on the porch of a small cabin-type building and overlooking a lovely meadow, forests in the distance. The door opens behind me and someone approaches, wrapping their arms around me. It was William and he spoke in my ear as his hands came to rest on what was my very pregnant belly.” Her chest tightened, but she kept going. “And I’m having this nightmare because while he held me captive, I tried to keep him talking and he went on a lot about how we could finally be together and no one would get in our way any longer. And then…” She paused to force herself to take a breath as the tears overflowed her lids and slipped down her cheeks. “He asked me how many children we should have. He thought three or four.” Dira heard herself say the words, but they sounded distant and more emotionless now. It was very strange.

Captain Myqian, CO

Helping people recover from trauma meant hearing horrific details on a regular basis. Beyond that, it also meant being able to look past those details and to dig even deeper, uncovering thoughts and feelings the survivor might themselves not even mean. “When you see those images in your mind, Captain, what are you saying to yourself? What does this nightmare mean to you now?”

Dr. Mariah Grayson, CoP

Dira wiped at her cheeks and continued to avert her gaze as she stood on the other side of the sitting area. She especially couldn’t look at Zoi just now, not if she wanted to be able to keep talking. “I can’t keep thinking of what that reality would have been like. I know what it means. He’d either force the situation or I’d have to resign myself to it and not fight back. And I can’t get that out of my head.” She swallowed and more tears ensued. Dira bent at the hips and braced her hands on her thighs. “And it’s the reality too that that would have been my only opportunity to be a mother,” she all but whispered.

Captain Myqian, CO


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