Posted June 2, 2023, 2:48 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Lieutenant Tandra Mika (Chief Mental Health Officer) in Managing Dual Personalities
Posted by Major General Charles Tenkiller (Vice Commandant, Colonial Customs and Defense Agency) in Managing Dual Personalities
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Managing Dual Personalities
Posted by… suppressed (18) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Sharah left the house in a swirl of blue lights, appearing outside the hospital. She bounded up the stairs two at a time, and hearing the tell-tale thoughts that she must be hurrying because something was wrong, she slowed her pace trying to keep mindful of her own feelings and not the ones that weren’t hers. She clasped her hands behind her back as she walked the corridors, resisting the urge to shake them as if she’d discharged some static electricity. Her first instinct was to go to her office, lock the door and call Korczak. The man was incredibly busy as the head of the Academy counseling program. If he couldn’t answer or had no time, Sharah would just be left where she was. He was always telling her to make connections, well she did…and this one backfired....that made her want to laugh, but she knew if she did it would be on the hysterical side. She paced the corridor thinking, rolling her shoulders and shaking her hands whenever she was sure the corridor was empty.
She turned into the stairwell suddenly and used the three flights to the counseling unit to try and rid some of the excess energy. Mika wasn’t in her office. Sharah closed her eyes and counted slowly for a breath. =/\=Fayth to Mika. Could I need to see your office as soon as possible....please=/\=
=/\= I’m on my way back. Hang on, Fayth, I’m on my way. =/\= Mika replied near instantly, picking up the urgency in her friend’s voice. It was near fifteen minutes later that she showed up coming down the hallway, breathing hard like she’d jogged or maybe run here. She unlocked her office and ushered Fayth inside. “What’s wrong?”
~ Lt Mika, CNS
Sharah had been pacing in an empty room at the end of the corridor and when she felt Mika nearby she had moved toward her office. Once inside she began pacing again. She gave the impression of a 4 year old who had been given several shots of espresso. “I don’t want to put you in this position, Tandra. I know you’re seeing Eela on my recommendation. You’ll be seeing her after all this, and I don’t want to influence your perspective before you see her. And you’re my friend. I really don’t want to cross that line…I have so few that really know me.”
Her voice cracked with clear heartache, even as she continued to pace, shake her hands out, roll her shoulders and her neck. “I know you’re trained to handle those lines and relationships, but I really need your friendship.” She met Mika’s gaze for a moment, “that’s why I kept my appointments with Korczak. Your friendship is to precious to me. I need it separate.” Then she started laughing, a happy giddy sound, but was unnerving and off in it’s suddenness and contrast.
It did bother Mika that Sharah had never asked her for help when she needed it. But she also understood the want for a separate friend and therapist. If Mika hadn’t worked on a starship, that would be the ethical standard. Mika smiled kindly and shrugged, trying to hide her hurt about the topic. “I know, Sharah, I know… You don’t have to justify it to me.”
Oh but she did. Her choice hurt Mika and she hadn’t meant it that way. Mika’s friendship was more important, more valuable. It wasn’t that Sharah didn’t value Mika’s expertise, far from it. She thought Mika was brilliant. She had been Sharah’s mentor, doctor, most importantly her friend. Honestly Mika had never been her therapist so she hadn’t thought about that. Really, it was a compliment that Sharah thought of her as a friend only.
She slammed her back against the wall and stared up at the ceiling, “That’s not even what’s wrong.” She thumped her head against the wall a couple of times, tears slipping down her cheeks. She started pacing again. “I’m in crisis I think, but I can’t wait to call Korczak. I know everything that has happened is about Eela and not about me. I’m not trying to lessen what’s happened or ignore her struggle, but I need help, and no one can help me.” She leaned against a different wall and then sank to the floor. She hung her head, elbows on her upraised knees and her hands laced together behind her neck.
“Let me help you.” Mika crouched in front of her on the floor, looking at her with an intense gaze. “Sharah. I know it’s not ideal for you, but you know I can help you. You can talk to me today, and tell me what’s wrong, and then you can continue your regular visits with Commander Korczak. I can send him my notes, if you want. Okay?”
~ Lt Mika, CNS
“I know you can, that’s why I’m here.” She started to laugh again and she punched the floor, gritting her teeth to make herself stop. “I’m drowning in it, it doesn’t stop. It’s like treading water in a hurricane. Then instead of just standing in the storm, someone just dunks me under. They don’t do it to be mean, but they do it because they need to. They don’t think about what happens to me. It’s not their concern, it’s not even on their radar.” Sharah stood suddenly, pacing, bouncing on the balls of her feet. “I get caught up in other people’s emotions, their desires, their hopes, their fears, their happiness. It happens sometimes, I become too attached, too invested. I can’t stop it no matter how much I want to. It’s in me and I can’t get rid of it.” Sharah threw herself down onto the couch, hard enough she bounced a little. “I can’t live like this anymore.” Her tone indicated more than just a choice to alter her habits and behaviors but something much much more final.
Mika stayed on the ground, sitting against the wall herself. She thought it would help more if she remained calm, not feeding into the anxious, hyper energy Sharah was showing. “I know it’s hard to…” But then Sharah plopped herself down on Mika’s little chaise sofa and said that. Mika rushed to her feet in fear for her friend, “Sharah no!”
She needed to take a deep breath and calm herself. That response wasn’t going to help her or Sharah. Sharah was her best friend though, and the thought of her doing something so… final, so selfish… No! Mika wouldn’t let her do that, as a counselor and as a friend. But the way she’d be of the most help right now was as a counselor and that was the face she needed to put on now. “I’m sorry. My emotions got away from me…”
“You are allowed to feel Mika.” Sharah shrugged. “Why?” It came out like a plea. “Why is it selfish to not want to suffer anymore? Why is it selfish to want it to end when I can’t control it and people get hurt? To not want to steal their emotions and their thoughts, to not want to invade their privacy? Why is that selfish, but it’s not selfish of the rest of you to keep me here and suffer?” Sharah valued life and she would never actively seek to end her life; she just had nothing left to fight with, or so she felt. She didn’t get up again but she twitched and fidgeted and tossed about.
Mika felt really bad when Sharah asked why it was selfish. It wasn’t that she got it from Mika - everyone knew a lot of people assumed to end one’s life was selfish. But she knew how hard things could be for Sharah. Sharah was really worrying her with the way she was talking… Both as a friend and a counselor. “Sharah, as a counselor, I have to ask this: Are you having those kinds of thoughts? That you’d consider acting on?”
“I don’t know!” The words were spat out with the force of a projectile. “What is my thought? What is there’s? Is it my despair and frustration? Theirs? Both?” She combed both hands through her hair in a rough agitated fashion. “Of course I’m acting on them. I came here didn’t I? That us an action.” She groaned. “No Mika I’m not going to kill myself. But there are days I welcome the nothingness that comes after death. Then there are days I fear it because if there is life after this one I am doomed to an eternity of torment.”
Sharah would be able to feel Mika was doing a poor job hiding her fear, but she wanted Sharah to know how much she cared. She took a deep breath, sat in a chair across from Sharah, and gave Sharah her level, counselor’s look. “Did something happen to make you feel this way? I know you were doing well before.”
~ Mika, CNS
“I don’t do well. I maintain if I’m lucky.” It was bitter and matter-of-fact. Then she sighed. “It’s so hard to explain. Eela…her ex-husband showed up. He assaulted her, Tandra. It scared her of course and all the emotions that go with something like that. Anger, fear, sadness, doubt, indignation, numbness. She reached out for me and what else could I do but have her come stay with us. So there was relief and safety if tentative and comfort and wariness and weariness. She was a horrid tumble of chaos you know.”
Mika nodded. “I’m aware of her situation.” There was little more she could say about it.
Sharah wasn’t asking Mika to do so. Eela was actually both their patients so they could, but Sharah wasn’t here as part of Eela’s medical team; she was here as a patient. She didn’t want to know more.
“She was volatile. I tried, we all did, to give her what she needed, even though in her own head she had her own ideas of how we should go about that. Since it started there has been this rampant run of emotions and intense concentration about it. For those that know anyway. But yesterday…there was this video leaked of the CCDA escorting her ex back to his hotel. She was livid as if we had put the video out there just to embarrass her and take her choices away.” Sharah shook her head. “We didn’t. But her anger…well everything. I get…drowned in it, Mika, I had to have some distance. I can’t let my poor mental health affect others or vice-versa.”
“There is a lot going on for Eela and her emotions are both expected and valid. But Sharah, especially with your… abilities, if you need distance from her, you should take some time for yourself.”
“She responded to the video and now…there has been a wonderful response of support, but people are calling, reaching out for help. People in similar situations. But then this morning…she hugged me.” Sharah laughed but it was tinged in hysteria, “That’s not bad in of itself. I am not a touch-telepath, but touch does enhance, clarify, focus the connection. But with it she gave me her emotions. Instead of just sensing them they poured into me like a bottomless pot. Joy and thankfulness, and relief. Wonderful things, but all just this side of that dark edge. So I get all that too.”
“They are like magnets, emotions, what I feel draws and attracts like. So now I have her emotions that are now mine but they are attracting all the same feelings from those that have seen her story.” By this point Sharah had moved back to the floor, wedged into a corner and in a ball. “I feel their fear and relief and their fear they aren’t really safe, their anger, their despair, their embarrassment and shame, those that haven’t sought help I can feel their abuse. I can’t stop it and it’s too overwhelming to help them.”
Mika sat back down next to Sharah, a hand gently on her shoulder. “You aren’t expected to help them all. You have a great team at the hospital and your friends. Delegate things as you need to.” She smiled a little bit, “Or do I need to give you that lesson again?” Then she turned serious again, “You can’t help anyone if you wear yourself out trying to help everyone. Don’t feel bad if you need a break, or need to distance yourself, or have someone else handle something.”
~ Mika, CNS
Mika didn’t understand. How could she? Other empaths, other telepaths, they didn’t understand. Sharah spoke quietly, sounding like she was many worlds away. How could she make her understand? “These aren’t patients sitting in a waiting room for me. I can’t help them because they are minds screaming inside my head. People who are hurting, abused, afraid, from across the colony and into orbit. No one else can handle this for me. I can’t take a break. I can’t shut them out. I can’t pass the voices on to another telepath to listen to for awhile. If I could stop listening I would.” She pulled herself into a small ball in the corner her hands laced behind her neck, arms covering her ears, pulling her face into the empty space between her knees and body.
“Sharah, I…” Mika started, but she didn’t know where to go from here. She didn’t understand at all, and she felt way out of her depth. Why had she agreed to take this post? Maybe she should be looking for a CMO post elsewhere.
No, she could wallow in her own insecurities later. She needed to do what she could for Sharah… Whatever that was. “I… I can’t say I understand but I am trying my best to help.” She peeked in Sharah’s file. Last time something like this had happened, Sharah had been sedated so she could sleep through it. That seemed like not the best solution, but if it worked…
“It’s okay, Mika. Most of the time I don’t understand either.” She didn’t want Mika to feel bad. It wasn’t like someone like her was standard study and training, not even on Betazed.
Mika offered her a reassuring smile, but to her it wasn’t okay. She didn’t have to know everything but she should be able to do something. Sharah was her friend. Why had she never read up on it?
“Sharah, last time this happened, you were sedated. Do you want me to do that again? We can call Charles and Yavia and they can come to help you.”
~ Mika, CNS
Sharah despised that option, but maybe that would be best. Let the input settle and then maybe she could get above it? She sighed, but didn’t look up. “Yeah, okay.” Mika would contact them, but Sharah’s mind reached and sought them out anyway. The only contact that felt stable to her. Were they busy, was Charles still with Eela? It didn’t matter. She’d promised if she needed them she would tell them. ‘I need you.’
Mika got up and pulled out a med kit, loading the hypo from the kit with a standard sedative. “This will take half an hour to take effect.” She said, giving it to Sharah. Then she grabbed her comm and pulled Charles’ number out of Sharah’s file. Emergency Contact #1: Charles Tenkiller. She dialed the signal into the comm.
Sharah felt the familiar pressure of medication being administered as Mika pressed the hypo into her upper arm. Even as she heard Mika calling Charles, she felt Yavia’s response, her concern, and her care. It gave Sharah something to focus on.
=/\= Major General Tenkiller? This is Lieutenant Mika, calling from Starfleet compound’s psych wing. I have Sharah here, she needs someone to come and get her.=/\=
~ Mika, CNS
=/\= Standby. =/\= a female voice said. Less than a minute passed and then a swirl of lights erupted in the room and coalesced into the form of CCDA Major General Charles Tenkiller. He looked around a moment and then his eyes fell on Sharah and he moved next to her and put an arm around her. “Hey, you. What’s happenin’? Just couldn’t stand to be away from me for so long, huh?” and he gave her a small squeeze.
Sharah turned her face into him and leaned into his side. “I can hear them, but I can’t help them. I don’t know what to do.” He was steady and solid, a very calm anchoring presence. He made the chaos just a bit further away.
“I gave her a sedative to help until the worst of it passes,” Mika said softly, keeping her voice calm and level. “Her file lists you as an emergency contact and her notes say this has been done for her before, so… I figured I’d do what works.”
~ Mika, CNS
Tenkiller nodded and said “Hey… you can hear who, love? Who needs your help?” he asked softly. First he had to ascertain if someone was in danger. After that, he would be able to help Sharah more effectively.
Tenkiller, VC - CCDA
Sharah shook her head and took a breath. “I don’t know who they are. They are just voices in my head. I can feel their emotions. They’re like Eela. Scared, afraid, hurt. Others are…relieved, like her, because they have help.” Sharah threaded her fingers through the hair at her temples and tugged in frustration. “They’re safe now, but others… they aren’t. I don’t know who they are. I don’t know how to help them, but I can’t stop hearing it.”
Charles nodded and held her close. “Okay, I get it. Do you want me to go get your headband? Would that help?” he asked softly.
The headband? Of course. That would make a difference. It was such a novelty but new. She hadn’t thought about that at all. Days like today were exactly why Hyrushi had it made for her. When it was past the point of overwhelming. She should have thought about it. Mika had already given her the other meds though. They were starting to kick in too. Making her speech slower, drowsy sounding. Her head nodded slowly, “When…we get home.” She leaned into him. “I want to help them.”
Charles s8ghed and said “I know… thats the hardest part of what we do, my love. No matter what we are capable of, no matter what kind of technologyor talents we have… we just can’t help everyone.” He squeezed her tight and then looked at Mika. “I’ve got a ride on the way. Can she go home?” he asked quietly
Mika offered a small smile and nodded. “She’s alright to leave. I hope she feels better.” She moved to open the door. “Whenever you’re ready to go.”
~ Mika, CNS
Sharah lifted her head off his shoulder after a moment. “Thank you, Tandra.” She had come as soon as Sharah had called and she appreciated Tandra’s care and helping her. She unfurled from her spot, standing slowly, experience with the sedative keeping her cautious. If she was going home then she wanted to get there before it fully kicked in.
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