First Psych Evaluation
Posted on Thursday, 17 June 2021 - 8:25am by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali
Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Adrianna Baciami had tried to avoid seeing a psych, but if her first night was anything to go by, she was not OK and she would do whatever it took to get back to normality. The fact that even Mark Dexter had pushed her to see a shrink, must have meant that he saw a change in her.
After seeing the captain and XO for her debrief, Adrianna knew she had to see Vali. The Italian couldn't handle sympathy, so she needed to take back control. Baciami sounded the chime to Vali's office and took a breath.
T’Lanna walked across to the door, as it opened she smiled warmly as she saw Adrianna outside. “Adrianna, please come in and make yourself at home.”
Adrianna smiled back and took a seat, ready. It was nothing against Vali, but dammit, Ade just wanted to fast forward to being OK.
“How are you?” T’Lanna looked at the Italian knowing very well the answer would be a complicated one.
"Breathing," Adrianna simply replied in answer to the question. She hoped what was unsaid would answer the question more.
“Of course” T’Lanna nodded in silent understanding. “Can I get you anything to drink? I have something stiff if you need it.”
Adrianna chuckled a little and lifted up her hand to reveal a Baciami branded bottle, "I have my own, don't worry." She sat back and tried to relax, "I genuinely don't know where to start."
“Wherever you’re comfortable to start” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “I’m here to listen, not to judge, and nothing you tell me will leave this room. It’s strictly between you and me.”
Adrianna ran a hand over her face a moment. She didn't know what troubled her the most. She finally replied, "I thought my first night here, I would sleep well. Instead it was filled with memories in the form of nightmares. I just want sleep and to get back to work, if I'm honest."
T'Lanna nodded. "You may be home safe, but you now have to face up to what happened to you. I've no problem with letting you get back to work, I've no doubt it'll help with getting back to some normality. However you're going to need regular counselling sessions."
Adrianna nodded, appreciating the offer. She did want to go back to how it once was, but she also knew that with lack of sleep and consistent flashbacks, she would not be the asset she should be, and would just be shooting herself in the foot.
After a few moments of pensive silence, Adrianna finally spoke, "from the ages we could form full sentences, my father would put us through a form of torture. Never anything that would kill us, only enough to scare us and hurt. He knew our limits and wouldn't push them too hard, only little and so often over time. By sixteen, I could withstand probably too much for that age, but I was strong. Hell, whilst I was still working for Baciami, I had a dagger put through my hand on Freecloud and didn't even flinch."
She paused, "my point is: we were trained from the start to hold our tongues. No matter what. We were taught to give convincing lies instead of truth. I bounced back, every single time, but Ekos wasn't even a fraction of what we had been trained for and I do not know how to get back a semblance of normality. I'm having flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares. I'm losing my temper and feeling things that I haven't since joining Starfleet. I am not ok." It felt good to admit, Adrianna couldn't deny that. She sighed softly and opened the bottle of grappa, taking an unhealthy swig.
"Okay" T'Lanna offered an understanding smile. "Flashbacks, panic attacks, and nightmares are not unusual given what you've been through. Lack of sleep won't help your moods either. Can you tell me about what happened to you? Just start at the beginning and tell me what you feel you're able to."
"Before being arrested, I visited Leopold's mother in prison. During the usual pat down, the guard decided he'd get too handsy. I retaliated - - put him in his place - - dislocated shoulder, broken nose, maybe a testicle that needed retrieving," Adrianna sipped her grappa, "after being arrested, the guard I'd done that to, König, he decided to transfer to my block. He was in charge of everything that happened. He either did or watched everything happen. Either way, he gave any and all orders. I'm not sure how much was revenge for humiliating him in front of other guards and how much was a need for information but - - my gawd."
Adrianna looked to the bottle, "it took a few days to get to Ekos. It took just over a week for us to be arrested. Since, I've put up with König every day, sometimes twice a day and genuinely, the only thing I'm grateful of is the fact I'm not Ekosian because it meant I wasn't sexually assaulted. Instead, I was branded, beaten, starved, in solitary, subject to iced showers, whipped, stabbed, cut, electrocuted, waterboarded had my nails pulled, strung up, choked to the point of collapse and gawd knows what else."
T'Lanna couldn't help but look horrified at the sheer brutality of what Adrianna had been through. "Good heavens! It's a credit to your strength of character that you're sitting here to tell me about it. I am sorry Adrianna. There isn't going to be a quick fix you know that, it's going to take time to heal and come to terms with what you've been through."
Adrianna nodded, "I came close to ending it a few times but they posted guards to watch me after my first attempt." Adrianna shifted uncomfortably and took another sip of grappa, "they tried to beat my native tongue out of me, so as an upside, at least my German is better now." The woman tried a form of positivity.
“Well it’s good that you tried to find something positive in everything that’s happened.” T’Lanna paused. “You actually tried to commit suicide? May I ask how?” That detail was concerning but Adrianna showed no signs of currently being a suicide risk.
Adrianna cleared her throat and sipped her grappa. The silence grew as she considered the ways she'd planned. "I had my bed sheet - - they took that away on seeing my preparations. That was option one. Then cutlery from food - - they made me eat with my hands after suspicions. My last, it was going to be the day you pulled me out. It was the only way I could think of - - it was to push the guard. He'd recently started showing signs of his restraint being broken. I was going to exploit it." Adrianna ran a hand through her hair, "I could have coped with a week or two, maybe a month, but I hit breaking point very quickly after Leopold decided to try and help."
T’Lanna nodded. “Then it’s a good job we got to you when we did.” She offered a gentle smile. “That’s several time’s now that I’ve seen you drink from that, are the contents intoxicating? If so do you feel the need to drink it often?”
Adrianna put the bottle down on the table, "it is alcoholic yes. Not for the purpose of getting me drunk though, I'm far from an alcoholic-- it's culture. That said, I'd need at least a full bottle to start feeling its effects because of growing up with it. This is to try and get me to relax so that I can speak. I think I've mentioned to you before that it is against everything I've been brought up to believe, to speak to a psych about anything personal. This topic hurts anyway-- I'm not saying the grappa helps, but I am saying that at the least it is helping to forgive the nerves and to stop the flashbacks."
T’Lanna nodded. “That’s fair enough. Now, we need to work on getting your nightmares under control so that you can get a good sleep at night. Have you heard of, or tried directed dreaming? It’s a technique of leaving yourself visual queues to let yourself know that you’re in a dream, once you learn that it’s just a simple case of controlling the dream. You can even set yourself a doorway out.”
Adrianna thought a moment, "I've not heard of it, but I'm willing to try anything." Adrianna sat back, trying to relax without the home remedy of grappa, "how do I do it?"
T’Lanna paused to look around, “Give me just a moment.” She stood up and walked over to where she kept a pile of PADDs picking one up she brought it back with her. “It’s a simple case of setting yourself a visual queue, a moon in the sky or a sign on a door, or anything else you can think of. When you see it you know you’re in a dream. At that point you can take control, it’s your dream you control what happens in it.” She handed over the PADD. “The technique is there, have a read and let me know if it works for you. If not we’ll try something else.”
Adrianna took the PaDD and nodded, "thank you. I'll give it a read." She looked back to T'Lanna, "you shifted when I said what had happened. Do you feel I'm beyond help?"
“Not at all Adrianna!” T’Lanna shook her head. “If you were beyond help you wouldn’t be here asking for my help. To be honest it made me recall how it felt being shut in a cell on the Andorian ship we encountered, it made me feel so alone. Being without my senses doesn’t help either. As for you, this is a very big step in the right direction.”
Adrianna nodded, "appreciate it. Nothing quite like being in solitary. Least we're both out, now." She paused and picked up the grappa, recorking it, "if you don't mind, I'm going to have to call it a day."
“Of course” T’Lanna nodded. “I will clear you for light duties, but if you have any problems coping with that then I expect you to come and see me. Deal?”
Adrianna hesitated. It was an offer at normality, one that she desired, but was it right? Either way, T'Lanna would be there if she needed it. "Deal."
“Okay, I’ll drop in and see Captain Stillwater let him know you’ll be back at work tomorrow. Have a restful evening.”
"Appreciate it," Adrianna replied, "enjoy the rest of your day."