Not As Scary As You Think
Location: Counsellor's Office
Timeline: MD03 12:00
Ryan hadn't long since left his first mandatory medical with Commander Telamon, now was the perfect time to get another appointment out of the way. He sighed and rolled his eyes as he tapped his com badge. He hated counselling sessions. =^= Lieutenant Milarno to Lieutenant Reynolds =^=
=^=Reynolds, how can I help you Lieutenant?=^=
=^= I've just arrived and I have a notification to get in touch to arrange an appointment, I was just wondering when would be best for you? =^=
=^=Well funnily enough I have an opening this afternoon. Someone had to rearrange their appointment. So if you want that spot, it 3pm=^=
=^= That'd be great, thank you. I'll see you then, Milarno out =^= he replied and closed the channel.
Three o clock came pretty quickly and as he arrived outside of the counsellor's office he tapped the door panel and waited to be granted entry.
Liam opened his door, "Lieutenant Milarno, welcome. Please come in and take a seat. Can I get you any refreshment?" the half betazoid asked.
Ryan stood awkwardly for a second or two before he sat down. "I wouldn't mind a Tarkalian tea, thank you" he replied with a smile and looked around the room, it was comfortable enough to put one at ease. "How long have you been here?" he asked.
"Nearly a year," Liam answered ordering the mans tea from the replicator, while ordering a yorkshire tea for himself. "Its quite immense seeing the station for the first time, and then walking and travelling around it. I swear I haven't even made it through exploring even 10 of the promonade decks yet. However, I read in your file you were stationed here before yes?" he asked returning back and handing the man his mug.
Taking the mug carefully he nodded. "Yes, a number of years back. I was the chief medical officer back then...it feels like a lifetime ago. The promenade is a little different to what I remember. I look forward to taking a walk and seeing the sights" he replied and took a sip of his tea.
"I can recommend Gino's, its a restaurant that has a different theme every week. It was a human 50's cafe and then a steakhouse last I went. Tasty food too," Liam told him settling into his chair. "So you have come back as security. What prompted the career change?" he asked.
"Well..." he began but sighed heavily and there it was, the question he knew would be asked. He smiled a little. "I got into a bit of a tricky situation on Casperia prime...it didn't just change my career, it changed my life and by that I mean I have scars, both mental and physical. Would you like me to go into more detail?"
"If mental scars are involved then I'm afraid its better if I am aware of the facts but if its difficult for you, we can take it at a pace that you feel comfortable with," Liam said gently.
Ryan nodded understanding what the counsellor was saying. "I was on leave, spending a few weeks on the planet and I got dragged into a xenophobic protest, I and five others were tied up and gagged and then they proceeded to beat us in the street, they did it in front of the federation embassy, they had something to prove that day and I was in the wrong place at the very wrong time" he began to tell the counsellor but did so while avoiding any eye contact.
Liam swallowed sensing the poor man reliving some fear from that experience. "That was a horrible situation to have to live through. I am sorry to hear that happened to you. Have you worked with a counselor previously around your feelings on this incident and any post traumatic stress?"
Ryan shook his head slowly. "No I didn't...I was treated for my injuries at the hospital but I didn't stay long enough to get a referral. I got off that planet as soon as I could"
"I really think," Liam said, "That you do need to have some proper therapy round that. May I schedule some treatment sessions?"
Ryan thought about it for a second or two. He didn't know what the therapy entailed but he found himself nodding. "Yeah...okay" he agreed.
"How did it affect your decision to retrain as a security officer? Do you feel that if you had that skill set then you could have fought back? Helped the others and the situation not had played out in that way," Liam asked.
"It affected me massively, I sat and watched as the security forces dealt with the situation and saved our lives. I vowed from that day that I wouldn't be weak again...that I'd be able to help other people and keep them safe, and yes absolutely...that day's trauma gave me a strength that I would never have without it ever happening. I do wonder how it had played out had I been prepared."
"I can imagine but please don't become obsessed with what could have happened if. I have seen too many good men and women get themselves in a tizz over "what could have been". What happened happened, and moving forward from that is the goal. One I sincerly want to help you with."
"How do you feel about the situation you are currently walking into as security chief having endured what you did in that xenophobic protest?" Liam asked. "We are currently experiencing high levels of xenophobia on deep space five. Do you feel you will be able to stay objective?"
"I won't lie...I am a little dubious. I can keep my cool to a point but as any person I have a limit. I don't like the fact that I've walked into the same environment from where my troubles stem, but what can I do? Things can't stay this way forever, right?" he asked.
"I can't answer that one for you but I hope that its going to get better. There are a lot of frightened and not to mention angry civilians on this station. Keeping everyone happy and preventing people from taking things into their own hands will be no mean feat. How do you feel about that?" Liam asked.
"I'm prepared. I'll do what I can to the best of my ability obviously I don't do it alone, my entire department will do what they can. That's all any of us can do right?" he said and reached forward for his tea and took a drink.
Liam nodded. "Of course." He didn't need to tell the man he needed to start making some allies among the civilians. He was smart enough for that and he figured Ryan would tip him to the people who had helped him in the past.
"What do you do for hobbies? To unwind when you experience stress? Do you have coping methods in place?" He continued.
"I read, I play the guitar or piano anything that can take my mind off of it. If I'm on duty well then I just cope until I clock off...but sometimes I can't simply cope and I erm...I clench my fists so tightly that i cut into the palms with my nails...kinda messed up right?" he asked with a slight chuckle.
"Not at all," Liam said gently. "Its just an emotional reaction. I have something that can help you with that actually,"
He got up and went back to the replicator. "Computer, one earth stress ball circa 1999,"
The small squishy ball materialised and he handed it too the other man. "Have that handy in your pocket and when you need to squeeze your nails and fist do it into that instead. Save your hands. Its not messed up, your just transfering and dealing with emotional energy in your body. Its an outlet thats all," he reassured.
"Well I gotta hand it to you, I wouldn't have thought of something so primitive but if it works, why not?" he said with a smile. "I was dreading this session, I'll admit but it isn't so bad after all"
"Never fails to amuse me how many people think us counselors are scary monsters," Liam laughed. "Its all about you. We just aid you in finding the solutions. Yeah sometimes we have to make you face the uncomfortable stuff but we all have it to deal with you know. But essentially its all about you."
"I understand" Ryan nodded with a smile. "What would the therapy entail that you mentioned earlier?"
"Well," Liam said slowly. "I won't lie to you. It probably will be you facing the uncomfortable stuff. But we can get to that another day and like I said work it slowly. Still on your psyche review, what are your goals and ambitions now you have taken up this position on the station?" he asked.
Ryan blew out a deep breath and shrugged his shoulders. "I...I just want to do the best that I can. I'd like to end all of this animosity on the station, the xenophobia, the tension. But it seems that troubles like those never go away...worth a try though" he said with a smile. "I'd like to work my way to a promotion someday" he explained and began to laugh. "I have this wild ambition that I'll be the head of Starfleet security one day" he said with a smirk, knowing it probably wouldn't happen. "Like I say...wild - completely wild. "
"You never know," Liam smiled at him. "We all have to have dreams."
He took another long sip of his tea then nodded, "I am happy to pass you Lieutenant on the proviso we get some sessions in the diary to look at your previous experiences. I want to make sure you are not suffering with post traumatic stress and if you have some of that to ensure some strategies are in place."
Ryan nodded. "Sure we can arrange those sessions" he said and leaned forward and placed his mug down onto the coffee table. "Thanks for your time, counsellor. I appreciate it"
Lieutenant Ryan Milarno
Chief Security Officer
Lieutenant Liam Reynolds