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DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

[ Amelya Duv | CMO office | Deck 07 ]

Amelya rounded up her last visits to patients in sickbay before she walked over to the officer of Hayden O'Connor. She had met the woman occasionally yet never really had the chance to talk to her more in depth than just a few how do you do's. Today however Amelya finally found a gap in her busy schedule and she had informed O'Conner of this as she genuinely wanted to sit down with the counselor concerning some patients. Yet in the lights of recent events, perhaps Amelya herself could benefit from a talk with the counselor of the Theurgy. She had gone over the motion over and over again when she tried to sleep, still haunted at times by the events that had transpired aboard the Harbinger. Yet Amelya didn't know how much Hayden knew of this, if she knew anything of it at all. Would she open up about it to her or would Amelya remain silent. Perhaps it all depended on how their first meeting would be.

She waited a few seconds before she opened the doors to the counselor's office. She walked in, confident as always and greeted the woman before her in a friendly and warm way. "It's not a problem at all. I was meaning to see you one of these days anyway." She answered with a smile and took the person in front of her in. "It's such a pleasure to finally meet you since we only spoke briefly a couple of times. I think we might be working more with each other in the future." she added.

"Agreed," Hayden replied to Duv's last statement.  If recent events were any indication, she was going to know the medical staff better than she knew anyone else.   Just as warmly as Amelya had spoken, O'Connor offered, "It's a pleasure to meet you as well.  My intention is not to pry, but really just to check in with everyone after recent events."

"Oh, well..." Amelya started and paused for a second as she run the motion through her head "I've been welcomed quite warmly aboard the ship and I've taken my role as Assistant Chief medical officer. So I'm quite happy with that." she replied to Hayden and smiled, she spoke not of course of the tragedy that had happened on the Harbinger, perhaps that problem was to close to her to talk over for the first time.

"Not the easiest role to take on in the aftermath of the mutiny," Hayden replied with a nod.  "Have you been brought up to speed about all the Theurgy medical staff endured?"

"I'm actually still collecting most of the information, but I'd be happy if you could provide me with assistance." She smiled and looked over the counselor. She was taking in the stance and aura around her as she believed that in the future she was probably going to work more with her. Of course she had already suggested one of the Ovri's to visit the counselor, yet she was unsure rather it happened or not.

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #1
Hayden took several moments to gather her thoughts and to review events in her own mind before she related them to the ACMO. It wasn't so much she had trouble remembering what happened, it was that she had trouble organizing events in any sort of linear order. O'Connor recognized this as a normal reaction to traumatic events, but even so, she found herself frustrated by it. She saw herself as a professional and she wanted to give an accurate professional report, but for several beats, what was just on the tip of her tongue was not anything factual per se, but rather a series of emotion laden snapshots, or in the case of Vinata's screams, an auditory impression. Such information wouldn't help the doctor make sense of what had happened, and would in fact likely retraumatize her, so Hayden didn't dare lead with that, but nevertheless, O'Connor was caught off guard for several beats.

When she finally began to speak, her words were first halting, as if she were trying to put each word in its proper place, until she eventually seemed to find her rhythm. Hayden left nothing out, and to her embarrassment, she wasn't sure if she could have even if she wanted to. She detailed Vinata's rape, or at least offered acknowledgment of the factual event, as Hayden wasn't actually present at the time. O'Connor detailed finding Vinata after the fact, how Hylota had left him in the staff's hands while she went with Doctor Nicander. The counselor explained Phantom's attack, in as much detail as she could remember. There was a lengthy pause when Hayden related the part about Phantom's corpse landing atop Vinata and Hylota's subsequent rage toward the medical staff in general, and Hayden in particular, when she returned upon realizing her brother had been retraumatized.

Hayden told herself it was necessary to share this part in particular. How else would Duv know why Hylota was so angry? As a professional, she was depending on O'Connor to be candid, to not let her own anger and frustration prevent her from advocating for the crew. As she finished, however, O'Connor realized some part of her felt the need to share those details with someone else, a confession of sorts. Intellectually, Hayden knew she wasn't responsible for any of what happened to Vinata or to the rest of the crew in sickbay, but emotionally? It had taken everything she had not to lash out at Vinata then and there. It was a normal reaction, she knew, but it didn't make her feel any better.

When O'Connor finished, she tried to smile weakly, but was only partially successful. "It wasn't exactly my finest hour, but I did the best I could once I was put in charge of sickbay."

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ Amelya Duv | CMO office | Deck 07 ] Attn: Hayden O'Connor

Hearing about the rape of Vinata made things look ever so clear for Duv as she halted in her actions on the spot. She listened to Hayden while swallowing away the painful crop that was stuck in her throat. Were all the men from Harbinger turned into ruthless rape machines after T'Rena? She cleared her throat when Hayden was done and nodded "Well, that puts things in perspective." she said softly as she answered Hayden's smile with a rather weak one herself. "You have nothing to blame to yourself Hayden... It wasn't the finest hours for anyone I imagine. The fact that Sickbay is still running and pretty much operational is probably thanks to you." She said as a conclusion as she walked over to Hayden and gave her a gentle tap on her shoulder.

"Now... I'll probably see if I can have a talk with Hylota to see if we can clear things out." She continued and looked into the counselor's eyes. She paused for a second, doubting to bring up the fact of her assault aboard the Harbinger. Her eyes searching in Hayden her eyes for answers "I might be able to put things into perspective... Seeing that aboard the Harbinger, things weren't all that splendid either. I've..." She paused again as she closed her eyes and felt her voice tremble "I've witnessed first handed..." she felt the painful crop return before she spat it out "Two men tried to do the same to me as they did to Vinata, but they... They were stopped." she concluded before she turned around and faced away from Hayden. She walked over to the desk and rested her both hands on it as she felt the emotions mix together now "I'm sorry, it's still fresh and well..."


Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #3
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| CMO office| Deck 07] Attn: Amelya Duv

While Hayden spoke, she couldn't bring herself to really focus on the other doctor. Short of offering sideways glances just to make sure Duv didn't have questions, O'Connor kept her focus just above the ACMO's shoulder. Were this a counseling session, she would surely be perceived as insincere and inattentive, but confronted with her own shortcomings, it was all Hayden could do to keep her own emotions in check. She wasn't sure what the other woman's reaction was going to be, but O'Connor found herself bracing for anything. In fact, when Duv first responded, Hayden thought she would be thanked for the information and then promptly dismissed. Duv's weak smile only seemed to confirm she was being humored. Intellectually, Hayden couldn't very well blame her. O'Connor was sincere when she said she done the best she could, but that was cold comfort, really, Hayden thought, when the ACMO was going to be held responsible for cleaning up the mess.

So it would be an understatement to say came as a complete surprise when Duv not only didn't dismiss her, but actually praised her for keeping sickbay together. It was only Hayden's desire not to have more attention put on herself that kept her from shaking her head in disagreement. She'd done nothing special and even if at one point she thought she had, Vinata's screams were enough to erase any such thoughts. It was only after she heard Amelya pause and noticed she was closing her eyes against certain words O'Connor realized there was more going on than just a simple chat.

Hayden had been so self -absorbed, she failed to see there was a member of the walking wounded right before her eyes. Before all the words were completely out of Duv's mouth, all traces of self-pity were gone. The facts weren't pretty, but that didn't make them any less true: confronted by someone else's suffering, Hayden's own would always be long forgotten.  "I'm sorry," Hayden emphasized, "please don't apologize. You have nothing to apologize for. It's completely understandable you'd be in shock... Here," Hayden found herself reaching for the ACMO's chair, giving her space to sit. "Would you like some water?"

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Amelya Duv | CMO office | Deck 07 ] Attn: Hayden O'Connor

Duv smiled weakly once more before replying "Don't be sorry..." she repeated after her and shrugged. That goes for both of us you know. There was nothing either of us could do about it." she continued before she took the presented seat that was offered by Hayden and sat herself down as she felt her legs trembling. She closed her eyes for a second before she moved her hands through her face to clear it up a little. She needed those tears to stop running, even though she had been taught that talking about such traumatic events or at least confiding into someone would help her further.

"Water would be nice, but please... Join me and take something to drink too." she offered as she gestured at the chair in front of her desk. After that point there wasn't anything that seemed to hold Duv back as she felt the tears forming in her eyes before they slid down her cheeks. She needed to ventilate this and the fact that she could do this with O'Connor might've been for the best. Seeing she was the ship's counselor, it was only right to tell her so in case of problems in the future.

"Sheesh... Look at me... Here I was giving you a commendation nearly and now I'm a sack of nothing..." she snorted before she wiped her tears and took a tissue to blow her nose in.

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #5
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| CMO's office| Deck 07] Attn: Amelya Duv

Hayden offered a silent nod and stood, heading to the replicator to get some water for Amelya and some lemonade for herself. She decided she could use the calories since she couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten, and she knew if she drink anymore raktajino, she'd likely launch into orbit. Carrying their drinks back over, Hayden sat and considered the other doctor's words. This was not a conversation she wanted to continue while her attention was half on the replicator.

Even as Hayden was offering something as simple as a water, Amelya's focus was on Hayden, making sure she was cared for herself. Hayden got the distinct impression the doctor wasn't used to being given such attention. O'Connor wasn't sure if that was because she rarely needed it or because she was just good at putting others ahead of herself, but whatever the reason, Hayden could relate. They were caregivers, and especially under the current circumstances, there was a certain pressure to present an unshakable confidence. Professionally speaking, Hayden knew it was folly to demand things of herself she would never demand of anyone else, but she had to admit, were she in Amelya's shoes, she would likely behave the same way. The question now was how to offer support without reinforcing the other woman's potential discomfort with receiving it?

"You're not a sack of nothing," Hayden reassured. "I can't believe you've held all of this for as long as you have. That tells me you're incredibly strong and incredibly dedicated to the well-being of other people. We are doctors, so we understand fight or flight. After the trauma you've been through, it was only a matter of time before it had to come out somehow, right?" Hayden placed a gentle hand on top of Amelya's. "I'm here and I'm not going anywhere.  whatever you need."

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #6
"I can hardly believe it myself that it lasted this long." she replied to O'Conner before wiping her eyes and taking a good gulp from the glass of water. The sensation of the cold water tingling her throat as she felt the substance dive down to her abdomen and she closed her eyes as the single sensation was a bit overwhelming in her current state. Once her eyes opened once more she looked over at Hayden "It is good to hear that you'll always be ready if I need to Hayden." she spoke up now, addressing her with the first name to lower the level of being her superior. "But the same goes for you, if there is anything you want to tell me or anything else you just need to give the word." she said with a faint smile while her fingers cared for her glass of water.

It had been a strange series of events that had lead to the outburst or the crack that spilled open to reveal what had truly happened aboard the Harbinger. It felt good to talk about it, yet Amelya was reserved enough to not spill everything to it's fullest details to the counselor. Despite the fact that it might do her some good. "

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #7
Though Hayden understood instinctually why Amelya chose to focus on Hayden's needs immediately following her emotional release, it didn't stop her from being concerned by it. They were both healers and while O'Connor knew with certainty she would want to restore her emotional composure the same way Amelya was, she also knew deep down O'Connor wouldn't be able to fully herself about the dangers of such a reaction. Denial and distraction were powerful coping strategies in the face of trauma, but they only lasted so long.

O'Connor knew Amelya knew this as well. Now it was just a question of addressing the matter tactfully while not reinforcing the ACMO's discomfort at being caught so suddenly vulnerable. "Offering my support to you is the least I could do after you so generously didn't judge me for my feelings during the mutiny. I'd like to pretend I'm over all of that, but I know it's going to take much more talking it through to get my choose to. If I'm being completely honest, it's not easy for me to be vulnerable in front of a fellow medical colleague, but I think with time and opportunity, it will become easier for me to let my professional mask down for at least a little while. We all have to do it sometime, right? It's either that, or we explode emotionally, I think."

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #8
It seemed like Hayden hit the spot just right when she spoke up to her. She smiled and nodded slowly before sighing "I'm sorry I'm not behaving like a normal patient... It's just stronger than myself." she sighed before she shook her head "You're right about the emotional stack up though... Yet I think I might have a way to cope with it. I'm planning to work out a little more, for two reasons mainly, one to depressurize myself a little so I don't breakdown, two because I don't want to go through the same scenario again. I want to be ready when... Or if that time comes." she said softly as she looked over at Hayden. It seemed this was as close she could get to lower her guard, willingly.

"What about you Hayden... Do you have anything planned? Or would you like to just do some follow up talks, not necessarily in this environment but at a more relaxed place. The lounge perhaps or anywhere really? Just to get away from all the medical vibes." she suggested.

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #9
Hayden smiled in return and dismissed Amelya's apology. "There's no such thing as a 'normal patient' and there's no need to apologize for being yourself. I can't understand exactly how you feel after having lived through the experience you have, but as I said, I can imagine how I would feel and react under similar circumstances. Unfortunately, the professional hazard is having some understanding of all that and still desiring to alleviate your pain." O'Connor smiled wanly. Even therapist sometimes fell in the trap of wanting to fix other people's problems. Fortunately, Hayden caught herself and she also was confident Amelya would not resent the impulse because she understood it.

O'Connor considered the question and took a few moments before answering. Honestly, she hadn't thought about her plans, personally or professionally, beyond broaching the subject. Of course, she would feel particularly hypocritical in current company if she were to admit she planned just to focus on work for the foreseeable future. She chuckled and then decided to come clean. "Would you believe I was about to tell you I had nothing but work plans for the foreseeable future? I believe that makes me a hypocrite and a bad role model. I would love to meet you for more casual talks, actually. That sounds exactly like what we both need. I'm open to location just as long as it gives us a certain degree of privacy, yes?"

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #10
Amelya smiled as Hayden mentioned that she had no foreseeable plans in the future besides work. "Really? Will we should change that." she said with a more happy tone. At the mention of going somewhere more relaxed but with a bit of privacy, Amelya ad to ponder about where they could go. "So you'd rather not go to the lounge? As it is pretty open... I'm sure we can find something. Just a place where we can just calm down and relax. Perhaps the holo decks? For a girl's night." she mentioned and laughed at the idea alone.

She walked closer to Hayden and nudged her shoulder against her "We'll find something to wind the both of u down right? Can't have two medical officers be overworked and on the edge of a breakdown now can we?" she teased Hayden as she already started to feel more relaxed around the counselor.

Re: DAY 02: A Friendly Chat [1300 hrs.]

Reply #11
The counselor smiled in response to seeing Amelya smile, but then took on a more serious slightly distant affect when thinking of the possibility of burnout. As proactive as she knew she needed to be to stave off such an outcome, not just as a clinician generally, but as a clinician under these intensely stressful circumstances, a small part of her in the furthest corners of her mind knew that staving off all potential burnout under this amount of stress would be impossible. 

"No, we definitely can't allow ourselves to become burnt out," Hayden replied with a shake of her head. "I have a feeling before this is all over we will have treated the crew in various ways several times over." Realizing how maudlin she sounded and reminding herself she was trying to console Amelya, who didn't deserve to have her more positive mood ruined after she had worked to find the silver lining, O'Connor looked to her and smiled genuinely. "I'm open to meeting in the lounge or the holodeck, wherever you're comfortable. I just wanted to ensure some degree of privacy if you found yourself wanting or needing to talk about more personal things. In any case, I would love to meet with you again in a more relaxed setting. As you said, we healers need to stick together."

 
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