STF

Follow Up to Move Forward

Posted Nov. 30, 2022, 4:34 p.m. by James Sinclair

Posted by Lieutenant Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Follow Up to Move Forward

Posted by James Sinclair in Follow Up to Move Forward

Posted by Lieutenant Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Follow Up to Move Forward
Posted by… suppressed (28) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Four days. It had been four days and Sharah really didn’t want to have this conversation. She felt more despondent than she had before. Which was all the more reason to not avoid it. She knew it was a process and she had to just let it happen. She felt like she hadn’t had time to process, and she knew that was her fault. Yes the hospital was busy, but she kept her word and never stayed past her shift (a magnificent feat considering she was a doctor). She didn’t allow herself to process, she didn’t want to. Avoiding it wasn’t healthy. It was painful, but healing was never easy. She didn’t particularly like herself for avoiding it. There were a lot of things she didn’t like about herself. There were times her thoughts turned very dark and staying away from her quarters helped. It didn’t matter if she was around people or alone, just so long as she wasn’t here.

Here, her quarters, is where she needed to be at the moment. It ensured she wouldn’t be interrupted and had privacy. The Star Fleet symbol rotated around and around as the connection was made and then secured.

Fayth, SFCMO

The screen lit up to a scene identical the one the last time she had made this particular call. An average-looking man with bright eyes behind glass lenses in wire frames looked up and he smiled. “Sharah. Hello. How are you feeling today?” he asked, his tone warm and supportive. “And how did you do with your homework?”

Korczak, Counselor

There was something very reassuring about the average looking man on the other side of screen. Average looking but nothing average about it. There were depths of understanding and intelligence there. And something…intangible, that Sharah had felt the first time she met him, that trust was never misplaced with him. Maybe she was being fanciful or just needed to believe that. She had spoken with psychiatrists and counselors most of her life, but she found Korczak to be extremely easy to talk to. “Hello, Cmdr. Korczak. I’m feeling…despondent today. I did…okay with the homework, I think.”

Sharah, SFCMO

Korczak waved off the title. “Janusz, please. I think we are past the point of needing to use formal titles. Tell me about your homework, then we can discuss your current emotions.”

Korczak, Counselor

“I think it was the strangest last 4 days of my life. I was really just…listless…I guess, at first. I cried, a lot, eventually and gave myself a headache.” She didn’t quite smile, but her expression was rueful. “I stayed in here until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I left, intending to get a hot chocolate from this little cart…ended up taking a shuttle ride to the middle of no where with a man I don’t know and let him leave me there for 24 hours. It was a kind of sanctuary.”

Fayth, SFCMO

Korczak blinked once. Then twice. Then a third time. He took a breath and then said “Well… that isn’t quite what I had in mind when I said to get out and socialize. I typically shy away from advising my patients to participate is… kidnapping?… sentient trafficking?… But, whatever the term, may I assume that the experience was done with you keeping a mind to your own personal safety? Although getting into shuttles with strangers is not a solid first step in keeping oneself safe.”

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah nodded, “I was safe, and it wasn’t against my will and no one attempted to make a purchase. I suppose they weren’t a stranger, but a brief acquaintance through work. A rather noted figure and I had my communicator. It was unexpected and I didn’t go out intending to socialize. It just sort of happened. You told me to accept help when offered. Though I have to agree it probably was not the smartest thing I have ever done, but…I think it was worth it, it helped.”

Fayth, SFCMO

Korczak shrugged and said “Well… then it was the right choice. Although please be sure to keep in mind your safety above all else, alright?” and he smiled. “So the trip was cathartic? And you were alone? How did that make you feel? Usually ‘alone’ is a foreign concept to you, isn’t it?”

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah nodded, “Yes of course.” It had been wreckless at the time though Sharah hadn’t really cared, and that was dangerous all on it’s own. “Not just alone, but silent. And it is very foreign. It was rather unsettling. More than that though, I felt like…like I was meeting myself for the first time, and I don’t know who that woman is.”

Fayth, SFCMO

Korczak watched her closely for a moment and then said “Well… you can’t expect to know someone when you first meet them. It takes time. And engagement. But… did your first meeting with her go well? Do you want to enjoy her company again?”

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah chewed her bottom lip a moment. “I suppose it went well. I wish I could have had time to let her grow. I feel like, when I came back, I watched her die before she ever breathed. Dragged under by the noise and storms and drowned. When I came back here, I really wondered what I could have been if I wasn’t sick. Who would I have been if my thoughts were my own, my ideas and desires allowed to form from my own experiences. If I hadn’t felt like I had to atone for sins I didn’t understand or know how I made them. If people weren’t afraid of the abnormality in my head.”

Fayth

Korczak cocked his head to the side and said “Who believes you are ‘sick’? And who is afraid of you, Sharah?” His inquiry was neutral in tone, but there was a way he said it that conveyed another message. Think about this, it said. Think about your life right now, then answer.

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah gave the question consideration. Was this why Markus left? That was a question that bounced around cruelly in her subconscious. Was he part of her life right now? She supposed not. What about the other people around her? “Dr. C’tain my neurologist and AMO here and Dr Eraras. Ilena and Yavia, two of the nurses I work with. Though they would all consider it a medical condition rather than an illness.” This was the hard part, knowing she was privy to things that most weren’t. “Ilena is scared, but then she is Betazoid and knows more about it than someone who is not.”

Sharah

Korczak looked at her for a moment, waiting, and then said “And is she scared of you… or is she scared for you?” Korczak asked, already knowing the answer. He was keenly aware of the loyalty and protectiveness Fayth i scared in those around her. “And they are right, by the way… it is a condition, not an illness.”

Korczak, Counselor

“I know, and I have to work on reminding myself of that. Growing up the doctors, my neighbors, the people around me acting like it was something they might catch. I know, I was a child then and I’m not anymore. Sometimes I still struggle to remind myself.” She rubbed at her temples for a moment. “Ilena is scared of my condition, she is scared for me and for those around me.”

Sharah

“Ok… what about the ithers around you… the non-Betazoids? How do they feel? What do they think about it?” He leaned forward and looked directly at her. “And I’m not asking what you glean from them with your abilities. I’m asking what they have told you when you spoke to them about it.”

Korczak, Counselor

“Eraras is concerned for my health. Yavia is…I don’t know what she thinks, other than asking if I feel okay, constantly muttering angrily that no one has tried to find a way to treat it. C’tain is…well he’s Vulcan so he is unemotional about it.” Sharah actually rolled her eyes. She had strong personal opinions about Vulcan emotional control but that was neither here nor there. “He has expressed his disbelief in the lack of research from Betazed, suggested many times I go back there, and made several comparisons of my condition to ancient Vulcan and their violent tendencies.”

Fayth

Korczak smiled slightly and nodded. “Well… from where I am sitting at least… it seems that you have a bunch of people who are concerned about you; not your abilities. And truly, that is what it is… an ability. Just on a scale that isn’t typical.” He paused for a moment in thought and then asked her very directly “Have you ever considered your abilities a gift?”

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah’s answer was immediate. No need to consider or think about it, “No.” A curse maybe but never a gift.

Fayth

“Really?” he asked and nodded. “So your abilities have never aided you as a doctor? They have never allowed you to help someone that, without those abilities, you wouldn’t have been able to? It has never allowed you to protect yourself from harm, or those that meant you harm? Or helped you protect anyone else? Not once has any good come from your talents?” His words were inquisitive, but his delivery was subtly very clever… the questions were given to her in such a way as to make her focus on her own history; but geared her to glean the bright pearls of positivity that existed in that history.

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah nodded slowly. Her empathy mostly, but even her telepathy allowed her to be very good at diagnostic medicine. It also made her very good at keeping patients calm. A patient once told her it made him think of his grandmother’s cookies. If not for the strength of her ability things on Viking would have gone differently, but at the same time the strength of that same ability made her miss a lot. It had also been the primary focus of her debriefing after. She sighed, she was weary and just…she didn’t know. “I try…to help.”

Fayth

Korczak smiled. “Of course you do. And you succeed in helping, Sharah. And part of that is due to your truly special gift.” He leaned back and looked at her for a moment with his arms crossed on his chest, and then he said “Do you know why I never take notes in my sessions? Why I never have a PaDD and jot down insights and thoughts and critical information about the people I treat?”

“No, I just always assumed you had a very good memory, or were recording the sessions for later.” Every counselor had a different method.

“I have Hyperthymesia… and very potent case of it. I remember everything I see, hear, read, eat, watch, and smell. I remember every conversation I have ever had in my entire life. Word for word. I can tell you what I had to eat for any meal, on any day, since I was two years old. I can repeat every conversation you and I have ever had verbatim. So please believe me when I say I understand your feelings of drowning and being overwhelmed and never being able to shut out the noise.” He leaned towards her and dropped his hands in his lap. “And I had thought my gift was a curse for years. Not having the simple luxury of being able to say ‘I forgot.’? Oh, how I wanted that. That… out. But… over time… and with the help of those who cared for me and wanted me to be happy… I was able to realize that that ability could allow me to help so many people. It makes me a better doctor… a better Counselor… a better friend.”

Sharah’s eyes widened slightly as he spoke. She had learned about Hyperthymesia, but had never met or treated anyone with it. It was an intense condition that took a lot of work to manage, and his was worse. He knew exactly how she felt.

He smiled at Sharah and said “And it can do the same for you… I promise. We just need to help you shift your persepctive a bit. Your culture has issues with your talents, that is obvious. But you are so much more than just your culture. You are an amazing and uniquely wonderful individual with the capacity and drive to help others and do good for those in your care and your company.”

Oh her culture, her species had issues with it, but she couldn’t fault them for it. Especially since the Dominion War and the occupation of Betazed. Very very few outsiders were aware of those events and those that did, even fewer k ew all the details. Sharah only knew by pure chance. She doubted anyone would ha e ever told her. They were scared of her, and she really couldn’t blame them. She harbored a monster inside her head.

He leaned back and said “Right now. Reach out to your friend Yavia that you mentioned. Touch her and tell you care for her. And then tell me what her response is.”

Korczak, Counselor

His next words pulled her out of her thoughts, “Huh? Oh…um…okay.” Her gaze turned far away and after a moment she laughed so hard if she had taken a drink it would have come out her nose. She was silent for several more moments before she looked at him. “Ummm.. she wanted to know what was wrong. If that creepy Asain lady was trying to kidnap me,” she left off the word again. “She offered to come over with her baseball bat.”

Fayth

Korczak looked at her over the top of his glasses. “Was she afraid of you? Or was she just concerned for her friend?” he asked softly.

Korczak, Counselor

“Concerned,” and a little hit under the collar. Sharah knew exactly which Asian lady she was talking about. Sharah felt bad for Ms Dorma Fen.

Fayth

Janusz leaned back and smiled. “You have new homework. I want you to think about that. How you are sharing an emotional bond with others, and I want you to be cognizant and keep conscious of the thought that these people are not scared of you. That you are not a monster to them. That you are you, Sharah. And it is you… all of you… talents and gifts and all… that they care for. Be aware of their support, their care, and their concerns for you. Hold those thoughts close, especially when you think about your gift. A week. Every chance you get, you hold those thoughts to heart. And then we will talk and see how your persepctive sits with you. And its okay if the negative thoughts crop up. Let them. But when they do, use the feelings you get from those closest to you to temper them. Not dismiss, but make smaller. And we will see how that impacts your overall. Okay?”

Korczak, Counselor

Sharah made a face that was tempered with a bit of a smile. “I thought when I graduated Academy I was done with homework.” She took a deep breath. She didn’t want to share an emotional connection with anyone, any more. Not right now. She thought she knew herself enough to know she wouldn’t want to spend her life like that. Alone with no one, but right now it just felt too hard. She nodded, “Okay…I know I need to, but I don’t want to.”

Fayth

Korczak smiled and said “I know. But the process is about need… not want. Give yourself permission to have wht you need to grow and move past this current time. Once you have what you need, then we can focus on getting what you want.”

Korczak, Counselor

“Yeah.” But what did she really want? She had to let that go right now. Focus on the need. She wasn’t sure she knew that either, but that was why she was talking to Korczak, right? Right. “A week.” A week of this homework. She should right it on a PaDD and make it alarm. This was going to be difficult.

Fayth

“A full week. Every day, as often as possible.” Korczak replied. “And trust me… it will help. Oh, and keep a journal. Of how you feel, what you think, and most importantly what others do to help you feel like you are more to them than your gift. Alright?”

Korczak, Counselor

A journal? She supposed that wasn’t all that different than the sketches she did. She could even do sketches for the journal. That was familiar and she liked the idea. “Alright, a week, remind myself it is a…gift,” she didn’t sound convinced, “and keep a journal.” She gave a half hearted nod. “Thank you,” she may not like the homework but she did appreciate his time and his help. “Talk to you in a week.”

Fayth

Korczak nodded and said “In a week. But I am here if you need someone to talk to. Take care of yourself… and remember you are allowed happiness, Sharah.” and he smiled and then the screen went blank.

Korczak, Counselor


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