Posted Sept. 29, 2023, 9:39 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Civilian Jezem (Upstanding Citizen) in Someone To Take Your Pain (Tag Sharah)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Someone To Take Your Pain (Tag Sharah)
Posted by Civilian Jezem (Upstanding Citizen) in Someone To Take Your Pain (Tag Sharah)
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Outside of Counselor Ivan’s office, Jezem paused to run his hands over his tired face. Wrung-out, over-stretched and worn down. The calm of the storm that will return next week to whip through his life once again. Jezem pulled himself together enough to get out of the doorway and pad his way past countless other sterile doors in too bright and clean halls. The Starfleet complex was one of the ugliest buildings Jezem ever had the pleasure of seeing. He made it out of the counseling offices and into an open common area washed in natural light from various skylights and tall windows.
Jezem threw himself face first onto the first padded bench in his path. Too many thoughts and feelings still trapped in his head. Old trauma lingering like bruise on the skin. Pain, some long forgotten refreshed with recollection. The fear that he could never heal, never find this mysterious path forward towards healing that Counselor Ivan insists is there. Another fear, all this effort and nothing to show for it. No progress, no change. Same old him. No answer to Naanni’s question. No happiness and peace for him. Sisters, Eryn was right. People like them don’t find peace. They find contentment and hold onto it for as long as it lasts. Jezem sighed into the fake leather of the seat. It smelled like cleaner. Gross. He rolled over so he lay on his back, staring up at the sky above. Ah, then there was that overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness.
What was that called again? Oh right, depression. Sisters, can he go back? To when he didn’t care about things like true happiness and finding himself.
Sharah came out of an office further down the hall. She had been called for a medical consult for a prescription for a mutual patient. She had been at the hospital all day, and had stopped by the complex on her way home. Her small frame allowed her to move softly down the hall. The Fleet complex never slept. Three full shifts were always going and no department was ever dead. She passed through the doors and her eyes were immediately drawn to the person laying on one of the small sofas. They were deeply upset. It hit her like waves. There were often such feelings in the counseling department, but this person was here, alone, not in a session, and not Star Fleet. Her talents made it so that even if she wanted, she could not walk away. Sharah wasn’t that kind of person anyway. She genuinely cared about people. She paused and sat in the adjacent chair. “Can I do anything to help?” Because it was obvious the person was not alright.
Jezem sat upright, panic on his face. Stupid! Here he was so caught up in feeling like a. . . like a miserable puddle of mud that he let someone sneak up on him. The old him never cared about these things. He’d never let anyone sneak up on him, nor feel. . . embarrassment at getting caught. Jezem’s thoughts scattered as he attempted to gather the shards of his personas and cobble them together into something he can present. Spoiled by wealth. A harmless ditz. Far too emotional. It’ll have to do. Jezem took a deep breath before turning himself around the face the person sitting across from them.
Oh. A betazoid. Jezem could scream in frustration. Breathe idiot. In a moment Jezem focused his mind to quiet the thoughts and feelings whirlling endlessly inside him. Except he couldn’t quite cover everything. Frustration warred with ennui. Why even bother? What was the point? Depression still there, no matter what kind of face he wore. Jezem buried his face in his hands, “Can you point me to the nearest Vulcan to train me how to purge every emotion from my body?” He said into his palms.
Sharah couldn’t stand Vulcans, but she most certainly understood the appeal. She’d studied with them trying to learn their discipline. “That’s a misunderstanding. Vulcan’s don’t purge their emotions, they still have them. They just suppress them until they explode. Then they go through the ritual of cleansing their emotions again and again.” The woman smiled gently. “However, there is much to be said for their mental discipline. I know a few that may be willing to take on a student if you’re serious. However the training begins with fully embracing your emotions so that you can recognize and identify them. Then learn how to negate them.”
Suppress until they explode. Well, Jezem’s already there. A hurricane of emotions and this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that wanted to simultaneously binge eat all the horrible human food found in abundance and burrow under the deepest nest of blankets and pillows he could find. Maybe he should do both. But there was an idea. An emotional cleanse. That’s exactly what he needed, but then of course there had to be catch. Jezem fell over sideways onto the bench. Of freaking course. It always came back to ‘embracing your emotions’
Jezem was so tired of being told to embrace these feelings that had no place to be in him to begin with. Tired of spilling his deepest feelings, reliving his worst memories. He wanted to be angry, to get mad and make someone else suffer. Except all that anger had burnt out. There was nothing to burn to fuel his rage. He can’t even call upon his training to silence his thoughts and feelings. “Jeez, that sounds like counseling but with more annoying steps.” Jezem’s hands dropped from his face and he turned until he was facing up at the skylights again, “Then to answer your questions, I have no idea. I don’t even know how to help myself.”
The woman across from him chuckled softly. “Oh much much more annoying I can assure you, from first hand experience.” Sharah was no counselor. She was empathetic beyond compare, but that didn’t actually translate into being able to help others navigate their way through their feelings. And this person was swamped by depression and listlessness, despair and frustration. She even caught a little desire for anger, that came to nothing. “It seems to work for the Vulcans though, and others that are willing to put the dedication into the training.” Her head tipped to the side slightly as if listening to something. “It is often hard to see what help we need when we are in the midst of it all. We only know that we do need the help.” She paused for a breath. “Do you enjoy deserts? The Betazoid answer to the first step of addressing any problem is chocolate.”
The training wouldn’t be an issue. Jezem endured any number of intense and difficult trainings. Naanni gave him a very through education and she and her organization accepted nothing but the best. All that effort and this is what he became? A miserable puddle of goo that couldn’t even handle a single stupid question. He turned his head towards her, his spiraling thoughts cut short at the mention of desserts of all things. Open confusion written clearly upon his face but by the Sisters. . . human chocolate sounded amazing right now. “That. . . would be an acceptable start. I don’t suppose you happen to know a place to find some?”
The woman smiled, “If you don’t mind a little bit of a walk and the company of a stranger, I’ll take you there. Or if you prefer to go alone, it’s called Risk it for a Busicutt. They make absolutely devine sweets. The place isn’t as well known as other bakeries, but it is so indulgent, and no one does chocolate like they do.”
Jezem regarded the woman for a moment and in that time made the determination that she was no threat to him. Even in this sorry emotional state he found himself in. “We’re not strangers if we know each other’s name,” Jezem said with a wry smile, “I’m Jezem and I don’t mind going for a walk. Perhaps it will help clear my head.” It was far easier to put on an act than to be left alone with his own misery.
She knew he was evaluating her just by the look, it didn’t seem to phase her as she waited for him to decide. “It’s very nice to meet you, Jezem. I’m Sharah.” She stood, and it was now apparent how short she was, at just 5‘2”.
“Well, I have found that even if the walk doesn’t clear my head, at least I am moving.” Some days it was those small accomplishments that kept her going. “It’s a few blocks from here.” She began to walk toward the exit.
Jezem stood as well, and he was only a few inches tall than herself. He motioned for her to lead the way and walked alongside her at a relaxed pace. “Yes, moving sounds good. Away from here, no offense.” Starfleet buildings were so. . . sterile and void of any personality or style. Smooth walls, and an overabundance of white. Not like the buildings he was familiar with where color and texture were built up layer upon layer. Missed the heavily spiced and fragrant air of Orion space and ships. “What do you do here?” Jezem would guess she’s connected to Starfleet medical or science.
Sharah laughed softly. “It does leave much to be desired does it not.” Medical facilities were by nature medically sterile, but they tended to be asthetically plain. “I’m a doctor.” She signed out at the security desk. She spoke briefly to the officer asking about how his plans for the night before went. Then they were outside in the fresher air. “How long have you been on Oed?”
“They really do,” Jezem hummed in agreement. He said nothing but he was curious when Sharah left her job at ‘doctor’. Most doctors specializations or domains of medical knowledge slipped easily from their mouths with little prompting. He tucked that bit of information away, forcing his thoughts into compliance. Jezem breathed deep once outside and let out a long sigh as his shoulders released the tension they carried, “Almost a year. Next week? Yes, next week. My husband and I are planning to celebrate.” Talking about Argam always brought warmth to Jezem, weaving between feelings of intense devotion and awe. “He’s made reservations for us at The Russian Tea Room.”
Jezem seemed to light up beside her at the mention of his husband. It was a nice change from him being face down in misery. “I have heard the Tea Room is quite the experience.” It was known to cater to high and exclusive clientele but also had a reputation for being where less than safe and legal dealings went on. It wasn’t somewhere that Sharah would ever find herself, and she probably would stick out like a sore thumb. She didn’t think that Jezem would have that particular problem there however. “A year really isn’t that long is it? It can also seem like a lifetime. Will you be making a go of another year here?”
Sharah led them down the block and turned down a side street that was still bustling at this hour of the evening. It was always a surprise what could be found by stepping off the main through fares into these hidden passages of Oed.
“It’s alright,” Jezem said with a one-shoulder shrug. The food was good, especially the desserts, and he liked the darker natures of restaurant’s more frequent clientele. He liked teasing Argam about keeping his husband safe from dangerous criminals. “For now this is our home,” He said, “Argam’s business is well established, we have earned the trust of our customers and community.” Saying those words felt dizzying but they were true. Jezem, after all these years, finally setting down roots. Yet another depressing difference between this and his former life. ‘Setting down’ ugh, Jezem used to mock the concept.
“Trust seems to be highly prized and sought after here, but very hard to obtain.” Sharah had encountered with both patients and staff. It was hard to get, but once you did you had better not lose it.
Jezem navigated the crowd with ease. Though he seemed lost in his thoughts he always seemed to know when someone was getting to close and cleanly stepped aside and not once became separated from Sharah. “What about you? How long have you lived here?”
“I was transfered here just over a year ago.” So much had happened in that time. It was hard to believe. “It doesn’t seem that long. I like it though. I hope I will be stationed here for an extended tour.”
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