logs:Aiko Training Nov

<Kioku> \I don't want to, I don't want to, iyada, iyada, iyada, iyada, iyada!\ Aiko's hand comes up and knocks on the door she stands before, body tense, and she winces. \Shimatta.<LipstickThespian> The door, labeled 'Dr. Taylor, Psychologist' echoes with the knocking. "Come in," comes the voice of a young woman on the other side. Sitting in a chair, part of a pair, off to the side of the small office laden with bookcases. She's typing on a laptop and sipping coffee.
<Kioku> \So she's here… I hoped she wouldn't be…\ Slowly, Aiko opens the door and takes a couple steps in. She taps the inner wall a few times, and the floor a few more, seeming very nervous. "Doctor… Taylor?" She hesitates to close the door behind her, in case she somehow got the wrong room… hoping beyond hope that she did.
<LipstickThespian> "Yes," the voice of Doctor Taylor answers as she looks up to see Aiko. She sets her laptop aside and stands when she sees the tapping and the blindfold. "What can I help you with?" She says as she heads over. Her shoes clicking on the wood floor.
<Kioku> On one hand… damn. Right room. On the other, wood floor. That makes everything better, always. Aiko bites her lip. "I was… hoping… to talk. I-if I need to make an appointment before hand or something, that's fine, I can come back later!"
<LipstickThespian> Wood floor, and about a dozen cameras and listening devices and a lot of instruments around the room. Like a testing facility almost. "No no, don't worry. I have free time throughout the day for walk ins. Come, sit. Would you like some water?" She steps over and places a hand on Aiko's arm to try and gently guide her to the seats, closing the door behind the girl.
<Kioku> Aiko lets herself be guided, frowning slightly at the contents. "N-no, thanks… everything is confidential, right?"
<LipstickThespian> "Of course, HIPAA laws dictate I can't discuss anything you say unless it would cause harm to others or yourself." Taylor says as she takes Aiko over and sets her in one of the plush chairs, sitting in the other. "How are you feeling," she says before she goes "oh! I'm Doctor Nicole Taylor. You can call me Doctor, Nickie, Taylor. Whatever works. May I have your name?"
<Kioku> "Minami Aiko. Uneasy." The responding girl puts her backpack on the floor, still looking very nervous. "Is that why there's so many electronic ears? In case I'm a danger and you have to report it?"
<LipstickThespian> Taylor picks up her laptop and closes it to set aside, grabbing a legal pad and a pen to write, which she starts to do. "Sort of," she says as she is taken aback for a second. "The only way they would let me operate behind closed doors with students was if they could collect data to be used in the event of an incident. I apologize for that."
<Kioku> Aiko sighs and shakes her head. "Well… I'm not going to cause any incidents, but… they probably know this stuff already. I… I've been encouraged to try to… talk. About some of the things that have happened to me." Her lip quivers a little. "My f-friends seem to think that I need to move past my past. But… but I don't want to think about it again…"
<LipstickThespian> "Well," Taylor says as she sits up and looks over at Aiko. "Sometimes talking about these things helps us move past them, or learn to cope with them. While it may hurt us in the short term to speak and think about them. The long term pain of keeping them bottled up can often be worse. Have you talked to many people about this?"
<Kioku> "Not… not in detail. Only two or three people." \Rin didn't press, she knew already without having to ask, even though I'm sure I cried on her shoulder and rambled about it a few times. And the police psychologist they assigned me after it happened… he didn't help at all, I couldn't even talk to him.<LipstickThespian> "Well, you don't have to talk to me about it in detail if you don't feel comfortable. Why don't you tell me about how it affects you, how it directs your life? The after effects? Those are the things you're dealing with now."
<Kioku> Aiko squirms on the chair, still 'looking' downward. "I don't know that I really am 'dealing' with it, though…" she whispers. "I feel like… like I'm always afraid of something. I-I try to hide it, try not to let it get to me, but when someone claims to be living in fear, or asks if someone knows what it is, I just want to…" her fists clench and she takes a shivering breath before letting the tension in her hands go again. "They don't have to
<Kioku> always be afraid of attachments, of being noticed, of things they can see but don't make a sound. Of h-half the people on the planet…"
<LipstickThespian> "They fear these things," Taylor answers, "because of their association with this event. It triggers a response in them that you might only be partially aware of. Tell me Minami, does seeing people react in these ways. This fear that seems to control them and that makes life almost impossible to experience, does it make you feel something? What does it invoke in you?"
<Kioku> "I…" Aiko swallows and shakes a little as if sobbing. "I hate them… I hate them because they're like me. And if they can't live with it, then…"
<LipstickThespian> "Maybe you can help them live with it?" Taylor says, "there's comradery in shared pain. You shouldn't have to hate them, maybe you can love them?"
<Kioku> Aiko shivers and shakes her head quickly. "N-no! If I do that, they might…" She breathes more quickly, and tries to hide her mouth behind her hands.
<LipstickThespian> "They might what Minami?" Taylor says as she leans forward and places a hand on the armrest of Aiko's chair.
<Kioku> Aiko's on the verge of a panic attack or vomiting from the thought, it's unclear which. Possibly both. "T-they'll force themselves o-on…" She shudders and pulls up her legs to form an Aiko-ball.
<LipstickThespian> "That won't happen Minami," Taylor says as she looks at the girl but keeps her distance by inches. "They won't force themselves on you, that will not happen."
<Kioku> "Uso! I-it already did!" Aiko curls up tighter. "And it just… time is supposed to make things better! Not worse…"
<LipstickThespian> "Time is only half of it," Taylor says, "the other half is you Minami. It happened, that's a horrible thing but it happened and it will never happen again."
<Kioku> \Tell that to Rose… to Katlyn… to that man I killed…\ "Why wouldn't it…?" \Why are you saying it'll never happen again still? I just told you that it /did/ happen again!<LipstickThespian> "Because you're stronger, it made you stronger. It can't take you lower than your lowest."
<Kioku> \My lowest…\ Aiko shivers again, images of her little brother being slaughtered running through her head. Was that her lowest? Knowing she was useless and couldn't save him? Fearing that she'd be next, be victim 32? Or was it after, the hatred she felt for surviving, for having to live? For letting the maniac's face be burned into her memory as her last sight? Was it the sheer terror she felt just before coming here, when that man pushed her
<Kioku> up against the wall? The disgust at her second kiss, the confusion of what happened when she electrocuted him and burned his heart to a crisp without even knowing it until weeks later? "I… I don't know for sure what my lowest is. I've had too many times that… that it could be…"
<LipstickThespian> Taylor watches the girl and writes at certain points, lets her work through it as she takes passive notes. Her eyes full of worry, but her demeanor strong. "It's in your past, that is all that matters about your lowest. It's behind you Minami."
<Kioku> \Maybe it is. But who knows…? There are worse things… worse things that could still happen in the future. I wish it couldn't- no. No, hell with that, I'm /not/ suicidal. The kisama didn't kill me, so I'm not letting his memory do it for him!\ The power to the lights flickers for a moment before Aiko gets control over herself again. "If it's behind me… why does it feel like it's still here? Every single day, I… I don't know how I can
<Kioku> move on, and new things keep happening that just… just make it all worse, that tell me I'm right to react this way…"
<LipstickThespian> Taylor glances to the lights and then back to Minami, thinking of it as a brown out. "It feels like it's still here because it is a part of you now. Like everything in your past, it is a part of you that we can't operate on. Think of it like a benign tumor. Yes it's a part of you, but it doesn't have to define you or how you see the world. Every challenge you face, use this past
<LipstickThespian> as a tool to overcome it. Does that make sense?"
<Kioku> Aiko shakes her head slightly, still shivering in her balled up form. "I don't see how. How it can be used in a good way. Even when I let it drive me to stop other criminals like… like him… it didn't help. It just gave me one more way to be weak, to be afraid of. I feel like I could shut down from the pain, or go into a panic at any moment if the wrong thing happened, and that… it…" She's biting her lip hard enough to nearly draw blood,
<Kioku> and shaking badly.
<LipstickThespian> "There are ways to cope," Taylor says to her as she leans forward. "Medicine, herbal treatments, excercises both mental and physical. Control it, treat it like the disease it is. Don't let it keep you from enjoying life."
<Kioku> "… I've tried… I've tried to, but it's so… I can't be alone in the same room with a man, with very few exceptions. I almost hurt Rose when she kissed me, it was the most frightened I've been while at this school, even including missions. I feel like if I let anyone too close, something will happen, either they'll fight and I'll have to pick a side, or they'll be killed just like… like my family. W-where do I even start? I feel like there's
<Kioku> so much wrong, so many things to hide from that I don't even know what to face…" Aiko swallows and unfurls a little bit. "How do I take the first steps…?"
<LipstickThespian> Taylor seems to perk up a bit at these real world examples. "You take them at your own pace," she answers. "You've experienced more trauma than most people can even imagine Minami. You've seen the worst of humanity and it has tried to snuff out your light. Still, after all of this, you took the first step already. You reached out, you talked about it. You aren't ignoring it and
<LipstickThespian> you aren't letting it control you." She pushes a small box of tissues over on the small side table towards the girl, taking one for herself to cue the sound of it for the blind girl. "People don't respect boundaries often, it's how they operate. Dealing with them and that failing? That will be difficult."
<Kioku> Aiko's ear twitches. She wishes she could cry. Letting it out is supposed to help, right? Just one more thing that was taken from her. Stupid tear ducts. \I wonder if they could be fixed, even though my eyes couldn't…\ "I just, wish they'd stop piling up… so that maybe I /could/ handle them, take them at my own pace. It feels like I'm being rushed for it though, all the time, it piles up and won't let me try to focus on just one problem
<Kioku> before more show up! And… and then on top of it all, there's this place, with the people here… some can fly or teleport, and that's… I don't like not knowing where people are."
<LipstickThespian> "Like a flood," Taylor echoes the sentiment. "It all just keeps coming at you. One more thing before you processed the last and filed it away. Like paper work on a desk." She sighs at the next part, "I'll admit something to you Minami. It scares me too. Some of these students could appear in my room without me knowing. Most of them could harm me very greatly, and what safe guards
<LipstickThespian> are there? Not many. Not enough." She thinks for a minute, "I think I have something that could help you with that, at least."
<Kioku> Aiko slowly nods. "I don't… I don't want fear to be my driving force. I didn't think it was, I never thought it was anything like that, but… what are you thinking of?"
<LipstickThespian> "Would you be alright wearing a bracelet, one of the school ones? Just in case." Taylor says, "or perhaps we can equip you with something else to help you cope with this fear. Take the fear out of the equation."
<Kioku> Aiko bites her lip and frowns slightly. "A bracelet? Maybe… I-I can use the intercom if I have to, too. If someone…" She shudders. "If I were still alive by then." \Or if I had a chance to upload.\ "How do you mean… remove the fear?"
<LipstickThespian> "Fear is caused by chemical reactions in the body as mandated by the brain," Taylor says as she shifts and crosses her legs. "I know a lot of people think medication is bad, there's a stigma to it. However it has been proven to actually help, and clinically so in cases like yours."
<Kioku> "Oh…" Aiko sighs. "I… don't know how effective that would be, or if they'd even do what they're supposed to instead of something else. My brain chemistry is… it's different." She curls up a bit again. Antidepressants didn't work when she tried them a couple years ago, why should she expect this to?
<LipstickThespian> "Everyone's is," Taylor says with a smile. "We have some of the best pharmacologists here and at our disposal. It might not be instant, but if you give us time I think we could find something that works for you. Give me a month?"
<Kioku> Aiko hesitates, then finally nods. "Alright… j-just so that I have a chance to… to catch up. To try to work through things without having even more piled on, so quickly."
<LipstickThespian> "Okay." Taylor says with a nod, "I think you should see me more regularly as well." She says writing down a note, "and may I ask you? This Rose, has she respected your limits?"
<Kioku> "I… I cut her out of my life after that happened." Aiko buries her face in her knee. "I haven't talked to her in months. She knew how I felt about it, she knew how I'd react, but she did that anyway…"
<LipstickThespian> "Have you taken that betrayal well? Or has it affected your relationships with other students here?"
<Kioku> "I… I had to stop someone else from doing the same thing, but… but she actually stopped when I told her not to. Respected my boundaries, even if I have to remind her sometimes. It's been hard though, a lot harder to approach anyone new than it was before that happened. I guess it has affected things with others then…"
<LipstickThespian> "You know Minami, this school is very special. It's got a wide variety of students with different morals and lifestyles. Mesh them all together and there will be sparks and problems. However, you will also find that there are some of the most open and inviting teenagers in the world here. I think you could pick a few that have good records and can be healthy friends and focus on
<LipstickThespian> that. Have you joined any clubs?"
<Kioku> "Fencing," Aiko replies. "And a detective sort of one, but… it hasn't met for a long time. I thought about another, but I just… I couldn't bring myself to make it a reality." \I wonder if there's an astronomy club…\ "I don't know whether the fact that I don't share classes with anyone anymore helps, or hinders more…"
<LipstickThespian> "Class isn't the best time for socialization, but the study groups are. Group dynamics might help as well, social pressure is a good shield." Taylor thinks for a second, "Have you ever met a student here, a girl named Lisa? She's timid, we have lovely talks and I don't think she could harm a fly. She might be a good resource for you."
<Kioku> Aiko shakes her head. "I don't think I have…" \I don't want to meet even more people! But… the world is full of people… even if I do it all from behind a screen, I still have to…\ "Study groups… d-do you think I should, I don't know… post something offering group tutoring?" She frowns a little, misunderstanding.
<LipstickThespian> "That could work, offer it as group tutoring so that you don't get forced into a one on one. Try and make sure you have a friend with you for each session as a buffer if you need it. Use these small interactions as ways to help grow your skills with socialization."
<Kioku> "Maybe… I could try… i-it's not like many people here are rapists or serial killers, right?" Aiko /tries/ to put a joking tone on that, but it just comes out mostly as worried. \I'll make sure to go with Sara, or Wendy, or Katlyn… or maybe I'll get to know Ellie better, or track down Maya…<LipstickThespian> "There are none of those here," Taylor says in a firm voice. "We would not allow them near you students. Trust in us, Minami, we are here to help you."
<Kioku> Aiko swallows and breathes a shaky sigh. "R-right. Sorry, I…" \It's hard not to see them everywhere sometimes…<LipstickThespian> "Don't apologize to me Minami," Taylor says. "Never feel that need. I'm here for you, I want you to be happy."
<Kioku> "Okay," Aiko whispers meekly. "I wish I was as well past things as… as I thought I was." \Everything seemed okay for the last year or two, besides the occasional breakdowns… and the inability to venture outside alone…<LipstickThespian> "I think you're doing amazing, Minami. You really are a special someone, you know. I do have some more questions if you're not in a rush." Taylor says as she sets her pencil down, "you haven't told me a single thing about your hobbies you know."
<Kioku> "No rush…" \I just don't want you to have to keep listening to my worries even longer…\ "My… I like video games, like most teenagers I guess. Maybe a little more than some. And trying to develop AI or other new software. I used to like stargazing, but that option is… limited now. And I guess detective work was kind of a hybrid hobby/job. I've actually liked studying some of the stuff going on in the basement, maybe I'd work with it if my
<Kioku> contract weren't in the way."
<LipstickThespian> Taylor nods her head, taking a break for a while in her note taking to just listen. "Contract?" She asks in a leading question, "developing AI. You know they have movies about that. Doesn't always end well."
<Kioku> Aiko lets out a half-sob, half-laugh. "That's just because it wouldn't be very movie-worthy if it did end well. There's plenty where it does, but it's just not the main plot point. Remember Avengers, Jarvis? Or the ship computers on Star Trek?" She manages to smile slightly, mood still unstable of course. And she fixated too much on one question to get around to answering the other.
<LipstickThespian> "I haven't seen Star Trek, and was Jarvis the one with the suit? Robert Downey Jr? He is so dreamy, like really really dreamy." Taylor says with a laugh, she isn't teasing she just honestly isn't very good with movies.
<Kioku> "Nnm, he played Stark. Jarvis was his AI, umm… butler, sort of." \D-dreamy? What?\ Aiko shakes her head and searches for an out. "A-anyway. Good AI! Plus it doesn't have to mean sapient ones, or anything… purpose-oriented, you don't usually see as a problem!"
<LipstickThespian> "Okay, I think I remember." Taylor says. "You seem to know a lot about this stuff. Are you sure you're just a highschool student?" She seems, honestly a little offput. An odd hobby for a girl her age to have.
<Kioku> Aiko blushes slightly. "Only technically. I've finished all the required classes except one, and that's just so I can stay here. I've been working on university material instead since March… and it helps that…" Aiko winces and fights off a surge of panic. "I can't forget things," she mutters. "Everything that I've learned after my abilities manifested, stays with me with total accuracy. Every… experience… in perfect clarity… will
<Kioku> never leave me… I… I can't forget what happened. If I think about it, it's like reliving it all over again."
<LipstickThespian> "That's a unique characteristic." Taylor says after she listens to her, "may I ask. Can you relive one of your happiest memories at Sunnybrook? And tell me about it?"
<Kioku> "I-I could." Aiko tries to slow her breathing, to little avail for the first minute or so. "It… it was my first month… the second mission I went on. I was injured really, really badly. That wasn't the happy part, of course. It was when I woke up again, after getting back… Sara was there. She'd sat next to my hospital bed all night because she didn't want me to wake up alone. I was… surprised, happy, confused, all at once."
<LipstickThespian> "That's sweet," Taylor says as she lays a hand on the side of her face. "That must have meant a lot to you, didn't it? To have someone there for you, in such a strange place. Just to make sure you didn't wake up alone. She seems like a keeper."
<Kioku> Aiko flinches away from the hand, she wasn't expecting the contact, but steadies her breathing again after a few moments. "K-keeper?" \What's that supposed to mean?<LipstickThespian> "A friend for life," Taylor says as she sits back. "You don't find those often you know."
<Kioku> "O-oh. Right… I guess not… I think a lot of my happier memories are around her. Especially finally bringing her independance…" \There's good with Wendy, but she has so many others. There's good with Katlyn, but the same as Wendy, neither of them talk to me much anymore. There was good with Rose, but… everything we once had is tainted, ruined now.<LipstickThespian> "Well then that's something good you can focus on at least," Taylor says in answer. "I do want to know, how are you finding school? Not going to class must make the experience different."
<Kioku> "Not really. I haven't gone to a school since I was twelve. All distance learning and online classes, so I'm used to it. I prefer it, actually." \Classes with other students in them are too… slow. Much too slow.<LipstickThespian> "What about it do you prefer Minami?" Taylor asks her.
<Kioku> "I don't have to wait for others to understand, don't have to have things repeated. I can focus my studies on a single thing at a time before moving on to the next, instead of having all of the classes each day. I don't have to interact with other people in person. I don't get weird looks for not having a textbook…"
<LipstickThespian> "So it works well for you," Taylor answers. "We try and fit everyone into a mold as a society, but it doesn't always make sense to do that. I'm glad you found something that works with you."
<Kioku> Aiko nods. "So am I." \And it puts me at less risk of meeting more people, having to talk to them. Though, I'm supposed to try to do that some now, aren't I? Take steps to be… okay around people?<LipstickThespian> "I'm going to write you a few prescriptions, and have you call up to the office and set up an appointment. I'll take to them about getting you a bracelet as well." Taylor says as she digs around for a prescription pad.
<Kioku> Aiko bites her lip and squirms uncomfortably. She really doesn't like the idea of medicine, but… but it's supposed to help, right? Help her be able to be around people. \Iyada… iyada iyada iyada…\ She'd be on the verge of tears just from the idea, if she were /capable/ of such a volume of tears. The rest of her face clearly shows it though, she's very afraid.
<LipstickThespian> "I want you to know that everything I'm offering is just that, you have control here. You can cut any of this any time you want. I am just here to help you if you want it. Okay Minami?" Taylor says as she starts to write one prescription, then another, then another.
<Kioku> Aiko swallows and shivers, trying to nod, quick short breaths making it through between silent sobs. "H-hai. Wakarimashita."
<LipstickThespian> "What was that?" Taylor says looking up from her pads, "are you okay Minami?"
<Kioku> Aiko nods again. "I-I'm okay. J-just… kimochi warui. I'm feeling unwell. Can I configure what the bracelet does without getting in trouble?"
<LipstickThespian> "I won't tell if you don't," Taylor says. "If you're not feeling well, there's a couch across the room you can lay down on. I have lunch after this and can leave you be."
<Kioku> Aiko nods faintly. "Okay… it's just, drugs… I'm nervous and scared and I feel like I'm going to be sick from just thinking about it."
<LipstickThespian> "I know I know," Taylor says, "it's scary. But, it can help. Lots of the students here take them. I take them. It works and I wouldn't offer it to you if I didn't think it would help you."
<Kioku> \I can't do it…\ "R-right." Aiko slowly moves across the room to the couch, wincing and shaking still, and lays down after finding it. "I know…"
<LipstickThespian> Taylor stands up and heads over to the desk, grabbing her backpack and stuffing her laptop in it. "I'm leaving these prescriptions on the corner of my desk. Tell the secretary when you leave, I won't come back until you've had a chance to rest. Thank you for coming Minami, it's very important."
<Kioku> "Okay… thank you for listening." Aiko sounds faint, much like she feels.
<LipstickThespian> "Anytime," Taylor says as she reaches over and places the back of her hand on Minami's forehead. "Stay safe, okay?"
<Kioku> Aiko doesn't react poorly this time, half-expecting some kind of touch. "I'll try my best."
<LipstickThespian> "Thank you," Taylor says as she heads to the door and closes it behind it. Leaving Aiko alone with her thoughts.
<Kioku> -Scene Thoughtful-

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