Author Topic: Office Hours  (Read 10519 times)

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Offline Black Philip

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Office Hours
« on: January 22, 2020, 12:27:05 PM »
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Dr. James Barrow sat in his office at the Academy, stuck between whether to lesson plan his next three classes, or write his patient notes from today's clinical sessions. He had a fair stream of students now, some for broken hearts and others for lack of focus in class. Others had more pressing issues, and a few had mental health conditions that were unnoticed up to this point. He felt good at this job, and that he was working towards making the Academy the kind of place it's founder intended. Dr. Barrow hadn't been able to vote in the election, as he lived in the north. Had he though, he would've voted for Ben. The academy was all the proof Dr. Barrow needed.

Now the hour was 9:00PM, on a day he wasn't teaching, and so office hours began. He was used to students, teachers, members of the ward, and even the cleaning crew popping by for a pep talk, a quick breathing exercise, or to discuss a paper. The good doctor liked office hours because that's when he felt he did his best work. James undid his tie, and felt ridiculously casual as he did. He was simply tired of the fabric's feeling on his neck, and he hoped he wouldn't be looked down upon by the staff for dressing so haphazardly. A handkerchief was pulled from his breast pocket, and with it Dr. Barrow cleaned his glasses before returning them to the bridge of his nose.

He sat at his desk, and decided on writing those pesky notes  while he waited for his first client to arrive. He hoped it would be a busy evening. The busier he was, the less likely his mind would wander.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Maxpphire

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 03:55:18 PM »
With his class ending at 9, he had figured a good first step in getting help, was seeking some out professionally. Drew had even mentioned he do so a while back. Part of him was nervous, as he hadn't quite talked to someone about his problems before, but he really just didn't want to bottle it in anymore either, as he hadn't always been the best about hiding the cracks anyway. He wasn't sure what was wrong with him, if anything.

With a deep breath he knocked on the door. When told to enter he did, and while he did put in an appointment request, he still didn't want to interrupt if one had ran late or something. He had always seen James in passing, and mostly greeting him like he would everyone else, politely, but had kept to himself otherwise. This would be new and probably slightly uncomfortable of an experience, and he had hoped it would help.

"Hello," he spoke slightly stiff out of nervousness and sat down in one of the chairs, "I've not done this before so I don't really know what the process is like, I apologize if that makes things difficult." Physically his body language would almost seem closed off and cold. He didn't like opening up to people he trusted, lest he was a burden on them, but he also wasn't sure how easily he could open up to someone he didn't really know. He would try, he wanted the help, he just hoped it wouldn't backfire in some way he had yet to think of yet.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 01:45:14 PM »
Dr. Barrow had passed Dreki multiple times in the hallways, but after their quixotic first meeting, they hadn't really spoken. Students seemed to love James, finding something endearing about his bookish passion. However, James felt like some people actively avoided him, and he'd wondered if it was because of being a Malkavian. He had no proof, and the voices had been eerily silent on the subject, but seeing one of the people he felt had been avoiding him left the doctor feeling practically pleased. He greeted Dreki with a polite, but not overly familiar smile, and motioned for him to take the seat opposite his own. A large wooden desk was in between them. More comfy looking chairs were in the other corner of the room, including a tall wing backed chair that was likely Barrow's own.

The immediate apology for existing caught Barrow's attention. Asking for help could be difficult and sometimes even shameful, and so James decided to lay that to rest first.

"That's not something for which you need to apologize," James assured, his British dialect sounding crisp and proper. "Although I'm not sure what you mean by 'this.' Are you seeking counseling?"

This was office hours, and people saw Barrow for multiple reasons during this time, so he didn't want to assume Dreki's reason for being here. The context of his statement and body language suggested he was hear for therapy, but James thought he might be wrong. It was rare but did happen from time to time.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Maxpphire

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 02:44:51 PM »
"Yeah," He responded "I should have lead with that." He almost apologized again but stopped himself.

"Is there anything you need to know about me or things that I need to know first or should I get into things?" He asked, still unsure of what to do or how to handle this really. He felt awkward coming for personal help like this, even though he reminded himself that this was part of Dr. Barrow's job here.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 06:09:28 PM »
Dr. Barrow felt nothing strange in Dreki's questions, and felt like any conversation was good at this point. He took off his glasses and cleaned them again. They hadn't become filthy in the few minutes since their last bath but the gesture served as a motor tick to help him think.

"Well, what you say here stays in this room, unless you tell me you are planning to hurt yourself or another, and if the District or the Ward is investigating you I would likely provide relevant information. Otherwise nobody will know what we talk about, not Mr. Samson, not the new Dean, and certainly not any students. I would also like to point out this is a consultation, not a full session. We can meet today for about twenty minutes to determine if we'd like to keep seeing one another, but because I am likely to have students popping by to go over midterms, we will start small. I take notes, and sometimes record sessions, but again they are for my records only. Does all of that sound reasonable?"

He was factual, and polite, but not especially warm. James was trained first in psychoanalysis, where the therapist is a blank slate for the patient to project on. They normally didn't see him smile for months, and while James had long since bent away from orthodoxy, he was still a slave to certain rules.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 06:51:21 PM »
"Sounds very reasonable." He said feeling a little better about it all, particularly with Ben, the dean, and the students not finding out about such things.

"Where to start is hard given that this is really only a short thing, but I'm at a new beginning basically. I feel lost and unsure of where to go from here. I'm used to people having some sort control over me, and, this is the first time I've been truly free. I feel lost with all that freedom." He said figuring to start with the most basic of his issues. He was factual, and while a little closed off body language wise, he was otherwise neutral.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 07:06:09 PM »
Dr. Barrow had noticed while the details of every case were different, the themes in cases were often the same. As he listened to Dreki explain his presenting problem, he reflected he'd heard similar stories from students here. Most had just left home, and it was the first time without their caregivers. They were unsure, curious, determined and scared. Like Dreki, many described a feeling of new beginning, but also feeling lost by the sheer amount of choice. It was a normal stage of development, and so Dr. Barrow felt he possessed the tools to work on such a case. It humanized Dreki to hear these details. Up to this point James had felt him rather cold, and he was one of the people James wondered if there was some prejudice in his avoidance.

"I say this so perhaps you feel validated," he began, "but those are very common reasons people come to see me. These are subjects which I believe most people struggle with at some point in life, including myself at certain points." James felt confident in his use of self to build empathy, but continued to speak to gather needed information.

"So you'd like to focus on self discovery," the Malkavian clarified, placing his glasses back on his nose. "Tell me, what is this new beginning you speak off? Your position here? A new love? Or something else?"

His guesses were common life transitions for Dreki's age cohort, but James suspected there was more to this person. He made the voices feel itchy.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 07:33:18 PM »
"The new beginning is having this freedom. I was born blind, as a child, my dad sheltered me, didn't allow me really to do anything without his express permission or unless Mom chaperoned me. Gave being blind himself and being older and thus knowing more about the world as an excuse. Mom worked a lot since Dad didn't and couldn't chaperone me as much as she would have liked, I think. They both died when I was 16, the foster family I had was also sheltering, but mostly because of their religious views rather than me being blind. Could barely listen to music in there and they had no TV for example of how strict they were. I was quickly adopted by a man after that who was a vampire scientist that enjoyed experimenting on humans. I was experimented on and he had a very short leash on me until he died, which was very recent."

He was as brief as he could be but truthful, however he was unaware that Dr. Barrow had more or less asked what gave him this freedom, but he felt it was a decent place to start.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 06:22:47 AM »
Dr. Barrow had a million follow up questions obviously, but now wasn't the place to ask all of them. Instead he made a few notes, and provided a few verbal, "mmhmmms" to show he was listening since eye contact and nodding were out of the question. So Dreki was adopted, but now on his own. It was a different take on those same themes from before, but admittedly a vampire step father was a new twist.

"That sounds like quite a life," he stated. "And where would you like to see yourself at the end of this process?"

Dr. Barrow wanted Dreki's goals for treatment. It was a clue to diagnosis but also got him forward thinking. The past was useful, but also a trap. We had only the moments right now in front of us, and the future.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 08:34:49 AM »
"Mostly to not hate myself or the choices I make anymore," he pensively responded, "I feel like I'd be less, uncomfortable, with being free if I can do that. I'm also hoping with a more positive outlook that the nightmares of which I relive the worst it's of my life will also stop and that I can function a bit better within the dual societies this city has as well with being able to sleep a bit more and better." Mentioning a part of his life he kept pretty guarded. He didn't get much sleep, sometimes it was because he was busy, sometimes it had to do with his inability to perceive light, and sometimes it was these nightmares. He did occasionally crash and sleep decent, or even sleep well after panicking about something, but it was rare to happen on its own.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 08:42:59 AM »
Dr. Barrow wrote, self pity= depression in his notes, not giving Dreki any indication or reaction to his own thoughts. Hating oneself was often a choice to cover up the real pain. People were often conditioned to self pity by peers, parents, and everyone who'd ever rejected them. It was a difficult beast to treat because on some level self pity was safe. It was easier to hate oneself than risk real change. It was also familiar. James had recently read research regarding the homeless. In the report it followed several homeless who actually got off the street, but then chose to return to it later. The newness of having a roof was harder to deal with than the familiarity of survival. James suspected that same impulse towards self preservation through the monster you knew might also be at play here.

"Do other people hate you," he asked neutrally. "And for your nightmares would you consider medication? We can work on the roots causes, but you might improve your functioning with a non addictive sleep aid."

Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Maxpphire

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 03:43:41 PM »
"I'm not sure. The only person to have told me he hated me to my face was my Dad and he's been long since dead," he didn't know how others felt about him really unless he was specifically told. He wasn't about to assume that people liked or hated him. Part of him felt like he was liked and that others did care about him to an extent, but he kept his distance as well, not wanting that to change either.

"I'd be open to medicine, but my sleep is a little wonky even without the nightmares. I've been previously diagnosed with non-24 sleep awake disorder and used to take medicine for that when I was younger. Not sure what it was, but since I have both a night and a day job I tend to take two really good naps a day, but neither are longer than 4 hours usually. I'm generally not overly tired provided I don't have a nightmare. As long as this medication doesn't require me to sleep a full 8 hours at once I'll be fine" He explained his hectic schedule a bit. Part of him did think about leaving his current day job at times, but he'd really only do that if he found someone to become serious with who was either a 2nd or 3rd shift person or someone who could only be awake at night time anyway.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 08:33:08 AM »
Dr. Barrow wrote, paternal transference possibility, keep an eye out, in response to Dreki's statement regrading his father. Multiple insufficient parental figures could've left Dreki open to self-object failures, including mirroring or the Amigo. He wrote these words down too, as Dreki explained his difficulties with sleep. He'd run himself ragged if he was a normal human, but Dr. Barrow could tell based on smell alone that Dreki wasn't human anymore.

"My abilities allow me to see what is hidden," he stated factually as not to alarm. "And I see a pair of wings hidden from view. Are you a guardian angel?"

Dr. Barrow had never met one, but if he'd end up prescribing medication he'd need to know about any species issues regarding tolerance. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Maxpphire

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 09:07:05 AM »
"No," he said not quite sure how Dr. Barrow would take this next piece of information, "when I was experimented on, the big thing that was done to me was I was augmented with angel DNA. I'm roughly about 2/3rds angel with all that's been done to me, or so I've been told."

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Office Hours
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 09:20:21 AM »
Dr. Barrow let himself react to this information, but Dreki couldn't make out his changing facial reaction. He didn't write anything this time, but reached across his desk to grab one of Dreki's hands. If he recoiled from Dr. Barrow's touch he'd apologize, but if he allowed it James would take his hand.

"I can't say I've ever heard of anything like this," he admitted, "but I do know what it's like to spend your childhood as a play thing for others. I'm sorry you had to endure that, but it doesn't define you."

He pulled his hand back, and was mildly uncomfortable for the amount he'd just disclosed about himself. That said, he felt Dreki needed empathy at that point. "I'll consult resources I have to determine what meds I can give you. Let's set a weekly appointment time. I must see you here though, as it's a part of my contract to provide counseling on site."
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras