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Silvermaple Counseling > Mia's Office #1

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the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia's office.


the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia led the way back to her office, walking a bit slower than her normal, brisk pace as she noticed that Windham's legs seemed to be a bit shaky as he walked. She didn't blame him. She didn't know everything he had been through, but even going to see a counselor for small issues could be daunting in its own right, especially if you had never been to one before or had a previous, unfortunate experience with one. She opened the door to her office for her newest patient, gesturing for him to enter. "Welcome to my office." She said simply, though not without a bit of warmth.
Her office was nothing ornate or extravagant but still tastefully decorated, though only to the minimum. A navy armchair (which was where she sat during sessions) was separated from a cream couch by a polished, wood coffee table, and a purple orchid sprouted from a white, pot in the center of the table, serving as the only decoration on it. On the other side of the room was her desk where she worked between appointments, and the only things left out were a few papers, a jar of pens and pencils, and a small, framed photo of her and another man who looked very similar: one of her older brothers, Sebastian. Several windows allowed natural light to stream into the room, and a trash can, portable heater for cold weather, and a small fan for warmer weather were tucked away neatly into a corner.


message 3: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham was too busy mentally cycling through the events of his rape to take in even the smallest details of this office. His legs still vibrating, he zombie-walked over to the cream-colored couch and plopped down on the cushions, almost falling to the floor, but catching himself just in time. "Sorry. I'm out of it today," he confessed. He tried to relax on the couch with some deep breaths, but the coldness in the pit of his stomach refused to wane. Even before he was ready to spill his story, tiny tears formed in his eyes.


the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia sat down in her normal chair, forcing her posture to relax just a bit. "It's alright." She assured Windham. "It's important to take your time with things, and you don't have to worry about not showing up as your best self every time." Part of her thought to grab her clipboard and pencil, but she decided not to. Something told her that today should be very relaxed and open, nothing formal or routine. She could take notes after the session to make sure she remembered everything. Her observant eyes caught the small tears beginning to form in his eyes, and a small pang of sadness hit her heart. Poor man must really be hurting on the inside. "If you're not ready, you don't have to share everything with me right now. Just breath in through your nose for five seconds, hold it for five more seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for five seconds."


message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham gave the new breathing exercises a try. In through the nose, out through the mouth, all within five second intervals. Unfortunately, any relaxation he felt was minimal and the flashbacks hit him even harder than before. A singular tear streamed down his cheek and he wiped it away with his finger. There never could be enough reassurance that he was in a safe place. The outside world could be heaven, but he would always experience a fiery hell on the inside. "I...I..." His jaw trembled as he tried to form coherent words. And then in a quick burst, he said, "I was raped..."


the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia felt her heart genuinely ache for the man in her office who had clearly suffered through a great trauma, but she knew that losing her composure wouldn't help either of them. "Thank you for being so open and sharing that with me." She started off by saying calmly, though there was still a note of warmth and genuineness in her voice. "Is that why you came to see me today?" She asked, shifting forward in her armchair to make sure Windham knew he had her complete attention.


message 7: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) "Yes...that's why I'm here today..." Windham's speech became steadier, though not without sniffles and a scratchier voice than usual. He closed his eyes, but his lids did nothing to stop the tears. Every once and a while he would wipe his face on his sleeves. He knew full well there were tissues in the room, but was too exhausted emotionally and physically to stand up and get them.

"...I was this woman's sex slave...for a whole week...She shackled me to her bed...She held a knife to my throat...She put a ball in my mouth...I couldn't do anything to stop it....She said it was all about her love for me...but there was nothing romantic about any of what she did..."


the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia nodded, reaching below the coffee table to retrieve a box of tissues for Windham. She offered him the box as she silently listened to him describe the horrifying experience he had been forced to suffer through. She couldn't even imagine what that would truly be like or how she would be if it had happened to her. "I think you're right." She finally said, wanting to give him some space. "That doesn't sound like something that anyone would do out of love." She paused again for a moment; she had to treat this man and his trauma delicately. "Am I the only person you've ever told about this?" She asked gently.


message 9: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) “Yes…yes, you are…Thanks for the tissues.” He wiped his face with a clean sheet and tossed it into the rubbish bin. Sadly, this was the only time he could concentrate long enough to get anything admirable done. “My coworkers found out what happened to me…and they mocked me for it…They said I should have enjoyed it because the woman was so hot…They made a bunch of homophobic jokes about me, jokes I don’t even want to repeat here…They made me feel like I couldn’t share my secrets with anyone…I suppose that’s what I get for working with a bunch of nasty mercenaries…I’d rather be homeless and unemployed than spend another day working for Shadow Asylum…”


message 10: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"Of course. You're welcome." Mia replied, listening attentively as he continued to relay his story to her. When he trailed off, she took her cue to say something back. "Well, forgive me if this is too blunt, but I think your mercenary coworkers are all insensitive idiots." She said, moving the trash can closer to Windham with her foot. "No one who is worth your time and actually cares about you would ever respond that way, and I hope you know that nothing in the entire world makes what that woman did to you ever okay. I'm so sorry they treated you that way. I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself: I'm not going to mock you or make cruel jokes about you or anything you decide to share with me. I know words are only words, but I hope I can show you that I'm not like your coworkers." She offered him a small smile, giving him some space and a chance to take in what she had said.


message 11: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) “You’re right…They are insensitive idiots…But it still hurts to think about…Every day it hurts…I don’t know what to do to take away the pain…Sometimes…I think the only way to…to…” Windham did more of those breathing exercises Mia suggested. They didn’t soothe his nerves. They didn’t make him forget who or what gave him this pain to begin with. But they did make his speech more coherent. “Sometimes…I wonder which ceiling beam in my home will support my weight…I have a chain whip…all I need is something strong enough to hold me while I take away the pain…”


message 12: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"Of course it hurts." Mia agreed. "But that chain whip isn't the answer. I know it might feel like the only way... But it's not. There are better ways that are less damaging and permanent than that." She offered him a sweet smile. "Even though it doesn't feel like it right now, you have been blessed with the gift of life, whether you believe in chance or design or something else. There are a lot of insensitive idiots out there, but there are also a lot of more than decent people who should be given the chance to get to know you. Life is already short, and it's over before you know it. You've survived this far, and something tells me that you can survive a little longer. Maybe not forever, but one more day or until you next see me." That was the key. One day at a time. Just like she'd been doing for years now.


message 13: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham wanted so desperately to believe Mia's positive words. He wanted to tell his own traumatic mind to go screw itself. But that wasn't how his brain worked. Everything was negative. Everything hurt. Life was a nonstop barrage of torment. No peace, only war. He sniffled and wiped his face some more. "How can I be any good to my friends and family...when I can't even focus on what I'm doing? That woman didn't just take my virginity...She took my intelligence. I can't even do a simple math problem without...without...I'm sorry, I'm spacing out again..."


message 14: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"You need time to heal." Mia answered gently. "No one just gets over something like that instantly. You have at least give yourself time and a chance to mend. I don't think she took your intelligence. It's not at all unusual to have a lack of focus after experiencing something that traumatic. The intelligence is still there, but the lack of focus is a block or a wall in the way. As you heal, holes will pervade that wall, but it does take some time and some effort."


message 15: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham covered his face in his hands and went into a full-on crying spell instead of just little tears here and there. Mia was right about everything she said. She'd been right all along. Windham agreed with her, but his exhausted mind did not. "I'm tired of waiting for that day to come....I hate what I feel inside...I hate the fact that my own mind is going to war with me..." He sat in an upright position and looked deeply into Mia's eyes, his own watery and bloodshot. "Help me...please help me..."


message 16: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia leaned forward, on the edge of her chair. "I will do all I can to help you." She said firmly, meeting his eyes with her reassuring, blue irises. "I know what it's like to be fighting against your own mind, to feel so alone because no one else can see what's going on inside your head. But I promise you that you aren't alone." She handed him another tissue gently. "Even though it doesn't feel like it, there are people who have felt your pain and made it through. The fact that you came here to me tells me that you have the courage and strength it takes somewhere inside of you. You just need someone to walk that path to healing with you and help you get back up when you fall."


message 17: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham wiped the tears and mucous off of his face and leaned backwards against the couch, his arms folded. He tapped his foot a few times as he tried to come up with something to say. "You're right...I did come here for help...I just don't know where to begin or how it's going to happen. Prior to coming here, I'd just chew medicinal leaves that were grown in our village. They'd work for a little while...but then it'd all just coming rushing back to me at once. I need something permanent. If I'm going to heal...I don't want my healing to be taken away from me ever again..."


message 18: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia nodded in understanding, leaning back in her own chair as well. "Both of those things are very common. It can be very difficult to know how to start the process, especially when it can be hard to think straight sometimes, and medicinal plants and other pleasure-inducing substances are easy ways to feel better if only for a little while." She briefly thought back to her own days of using kratom leaves to ease her own pain and how she had gotten horribly addicted. She couldn't have overcome it without a very close friend. "But I'm glad you came to me. I want to help you on your journey to healing." She said, dismissing thoughts of her own past from her head quickly.


message 19: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham truly began to feel safe in this woman's office. He showed this by laying back down on the couch and closing his eyes, finally able to relax. He did some more of those suggested breathing exercises, which actually started to work just a little bit since he first crossed the doorway. "So what are we going to do about this? Is there more about me you need to know? I'll tell you anything as long as it'll help me heal." He meant that. That's how comfortable he was in this office.


message 20: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
Mia flashed him a smile, glad that he appeared to be feeling more at ease in her office. "It always helps me to know more about you so I can decide how best to help you." She said, thinking aloud. "What would you say are the most important things about you? They can be anything really, even if you think they might sound silly."


message 21: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) For a guy who could barely concentrate, Windham sure had to exhaust his brain power to think about the answer to Mia's question. What was so special about him? Why did anybody give a shit? He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I'm an artist. Whenever I'm not going on missions or defending my village, I like creating things. I like poetry, drawing, sculpting...I've tried to submit my pieces to various galleries...but they all think I'm mediocre at best and a hack at worst...Their words, not mine...I've had gatekeepers tear up my poetry and shatter my sculptures..." In the midst of all of his frustrations with being raped, he actually managed to forget about being turned down as an artist...until now.


message 22: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"That's tough." Mia remarked. "I was never much good at art or poetry myself, but I know rejection can really sting. What do you like to write or draw or sculpt about?" She asked, genuinely interested. While she wasn't any good at creating art, she could definitely appreciate it. Sadly, art could be very subjective, and sometimes artists got turned down by people who just had a different concept of beauty and couldn't think to expand their definition of the word.


message 23: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Windham did more of his breathing routines and wiggled around on the cushions to get more comfy. "As far as poetry goes...I wrote about all sorts of subjects: sadness, politics, religion, even romance. Yes, there actually used to be a time when I easily fell in love with people. Now I can't stand the thought of being that intimate with someone. As far as sculpting goes, I'm an animal lover, so I created dogs, cats, frogs, rabbits...I even created a whale out of marble. When I drew pictures, it was usually of people I knew, whether it was my sister Llewellyn, my deity Mageta, or my mom and dad. Maybe someday...when I can focus on it long enough...I can draw a picture of my rapist and put her on a wanted poster."


message 24: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"That's understandable." Mia replied. "It's going to take some time before you feel comfortable falling in love again." She had never been raped of course, but her past case of PTSD had also given her difficulties when it came to romance and love. She hadn't really been with anyone since before she left the military now that she thought about it, but never mind that. Her life was busy enough helping all her patients, and she had her brother, Sebastian, to talk to if she needed anything. "I like animals too. One of my brothers was nicknamed Wolfie, so he used to draw wolves all the time instead of doing his schoolwork." She smiled briefly at the memory but quickly turned the conversation back to Windham. "Perhaps you could. Just try not to push yourself too hard until you're ready."


message 25: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) Now that Windham was getting more comfortable revealing things to Mia, he figured this would be as good a time as any to tell her about his special friend. The one who helped him through it all. "I have a friend named Tarja. She worked alongside me at Shadow Asylum and she was the only one there who was sensitive to my predicament. She never judged me or made light of my suffering. She was sweet to a fault. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about her romantically, but...I also know that if I get in a relationship with a woman, it'll trigger all of those memories. Every kiss could set me off. Even something as simple as a hug or shoulder squeeze could also set me off. Tarja and I agreed just to be friends. I'm strangely okay with that..."


message 26: by the_rabid_snail (new)

the_rabid_snail | 166 comments Mod
"I think that's definitely a wise decision, and Tarja sounds like she is very good friend." Mia replied. "It sounds like she cares about you too." She crossed one leg over the other and wrote down Tarja's name on her clipboard to make sure she didn't forget it. "And who knows. Maybe once you've healed, there might be some possibilities there. But I do think that remaining friends for the time being is the right choice, and I think it's a good sign that you feel okay with it. One of the most common responses for people who have suffered what you have or something similar is that they jump into relationships, especially unhealthy ones, to try and cope with the trauma, and when things ultimately fall apart, they do it again and again. It's a very good sign that you are abstaining from relationships for the moment."


message 27: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) “Trust me, I’m in no hurry to get romantically involved with anyone, let alone Tarja. It’s funny…I remember reading novels as a teenager where having sex was supposed to cure everything. That’s not a good message to send to young adults. I realize that now that I’m thirty years old, but…it seemed reasonable at the time.” Windham fidgeted with his fingernails, picking off the excess and removing a few hangnails as well. He didn’t care if his fingers bled or felt sore afterwards. In a sick way, he loved to bleed, because it reminded him of his own endurance when he thought he had none. Was now a good time to reveal that to his therapist? Maybe not.


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