(2016-04-14) Shrinking Heads
Shrinking Heads
Summary: Mon finally gets a chance to talk with Amy about her twitchiness.
Date: 2016.04.14
Related: None

Monica wanders in to the club house, in hopes of finding coffee. Late night, hot metal, she's been busting hump trying to get the machine shop up and running. She finds some, cold, but still in the pot, and pours a mug, then waves to Amy. "Hey. If I remember, you're a trained psychiatrist, right?"

Amy comes into the clubhouse. She's hungry. Bringing the travel mug and bowl she got to the camp with, she gets a little cereal and water. then sitting, she's snacking byt eh time Monica arrives. Giggling, her answer comes with a wave. "Um. No. I was a clinical psychology student when everything fell apart. But I'm trying my best to help. Want to talk here or like um, somewhere else?"

Monica looks at Amy's breakfast a moment, and gets some smoked venison for her own out of the storage chest formerly known as a refridgerator. She tries not to add up the amps it would cost to run all the appliances in the room. That's a battle for another time. "Well, that's about a hundred percent more than I know on the subject, so congratulations, you're a psychiatrist." Mon smiles, ruefully. "Might as well do it here, since we're eating." She slips off her hat and finds a place to sit down.

Amy is snacking on cereal. IT's a simpole meal but it's food. It works. "Alright. So… um." She takes a sip, and looks to Monica. "I'm Amy by the way. What's on your mind?"

You say, "Monica. We've met once or twice, but… nice to meet you." She takes a bite of smoked meat. "A couple weeks ago, Piper and I were out scavenging a trailer. It turned out to be a meth lab, and we both kind of freaked out about it, because she had little Quinn with her, especially. I was getting myself under control and she was still freaking so I patted her on the shoulder. She body checked me into the trailer. But what I want to talk about is what happened next. She realized what she'd done, that she'd… lost it, basically, and grabbed little Quinn and ran. I had my gun out, and only barely didn't pull the trigger and shoot her in the back. That's what I want to talk about. I want to be safe to be around, but not lose… my edge, if you want to call it that, if the camo kids or a silencer show up. And right now, I don't think I'm safe to be around."

Amy takes a deep breath, and nods. "It's perfectly normal," she starts quietly. "That's.. luckily why someone like me can be of help. You're like most of us. You have some PTSD going on." Taking another breath, she purses her lips. "There's a plan we can start you off with. Mindfulness training. IT's about keeping you in the moment. IT really does help. PTSD isn't your edge. It's you reacting in ways that aren't you."

Monica exhales softly and chews. "Okay… so the fact that it… manifests as stuff my persona would have done is just because that's rattling around in there?"

You say, "Okay. You know there are people who do Civil War re-enactment, right? They dress up in period clothes, pretend to be someone from the 1860s, have mock battles, and all that. It's… kind of like a giant live-action role playing game, at least the way we did it. My persona was a member of Quantrill's raiders. Basically a group of Confederate guerillas who did a lot of sneak attacks on Union supplies and sympathizers and like that. Jessie and Frank James were members of the Raiders in real life. You've probably heard of them."

Amy shakes her head. And looks into Monica's eyes. "If you were like, playing as a soldier. That… that's perfect." She shakes again. "They were probably all PTSD'd too, and you're just emulating their symptoms, you know?"

Monica ponders that. "Well yeah, they would be. I mean, life was hard then, generally, and these guys were usually poor. I mean, my family farmed and ranched, but mechanized farming is a long way from doing it with animal and human power. And we were a lot more… sensitive about the animal's pain when butchering time came, too. Or de-horning and de-balling time." She ponders. "So you're saying that all the shit that's happened has messed me up, and not that I've just… gone bad?"

Amy nods quickly. "I'm pretty sure, yeah. I mean, what you're saying, totally makes me think that. Everyone who lived through that, has been through some crazy stuff. And your brain takes a while to recover from that. You're having symptoms. You can get better. Talk to Piper, ask to borrow the mindfulness book."

Monica ponders some more and looks down. "So the fact that I've killed six people doesn't change that?"

Amy goes wide-eyed at that. Covering her mouth briefly. "How.. did it happen?"

Monica shakes her head. "Different times. Two were… mercy killings. There's a stage in dying of plague where you start swelling up until you burst. It's very painful. We… my mother and I… made sure my little brother didn't go that way. I made sure she didn't. Three more were in some wide spot in the road in Kansas. Do you know what a rape tree is?" Monica swallows and isn't eating anymore. Her hands ball into fists repeatedly, and she's working to keep her voice level.

Amy closes her eyes, and just puts a hand up. Sucking in a breath sharply. "I don't think I want to know." her face in her hand a moment, she gather sherself before opening her eyes to continue. "Killing someone can cause PTSD. It’s the other way around. You're messed up because you had to kill. You didn't kill because you're messed up. Start the mindfulness therapy. Watch your symptoms. Come back and talk to me anytime."

You say, "Don't worry, I shot two of them before they got the chance. Lynched the third. The last person I shot was a camo kid."

Amy sighs sharply. "I've gotta go," she mumbles. "Sorry. I was the only person where I was, who didn't die from getting sick. It's… you know. Sorry I can't talk more but I have to go lie down a bit."

Monica nods. "Anyone who says your job is easy or nice or not worthy… they don't know what they're talking about." Mon gets up and pats Amy's shoulder. "I'll read it. I'll keep you posted."

Amy takes a sip of water. "Thank you," she nods, looking down at her bowl before picking it up. "Good luck. If you need help with any of it let me know." She breathes deeply again, through her nose. "You're not a bad person. You're just having trouble coping. This will help you cope, and you'll be back to normal."

Monica nods. "Okay. And you don't think… if there comes a time when I need to pull a gun and shoot without hesitation this will… blunt that?

Amy shakes her head. "No. What it means, is, you're a human being with feelings, and the next time you have to shoot someone, we'll talk again and you'll pull the book back out."

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