A conversation after the trial

Posted on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 @ 12:01am by Lieutenant JG Ash Rowe
Edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 @ 12:01am

LTJG Ash Rowe
Karyn Dallas

Karyn Dallas' Office, USS Asgard


Karyn was pleased with their progress so far and she truly believed they were starting to get to the root of Ash's pain. "So it seems you've identified two major worries. Let's start with the first, which is you fear being out of control, of hurting someone given the amount of anger inside you. Let me ask, what evidence do you have that proves without a doubt you are a hurtful out of control person?"

Ash was silent for a long moment, swallowing hard, at a loss as she thought on the question. She shook her head slowly, letting out a long breath. " evidence, I just...worry. That I'll snap."

"I know facts can't take all the intensity away from feelings, but they can help keep us grounded," Dallas pointed out gently. "You have no history of losing control and hurting someone else. I'd also venture to guess being raped is one of the most painful and intense emotional experiences you've ever had in your life, and consider what you're doing. You're here, choosing to talk with me. You could have just as easily come here and not said anything, but you're not doing that. You're facing your trauma head on. Someone who is about to snap is unable to do that."

Ash searched her eyes as she held her breath, hoping she meant the words and wasn't just trying to make her feel better. "It would be really easy to curl up under a blanket for the next year in denial," she whispered, shaking her head at the admission. "But I lost one career, I don't want to lose this one too. I have to I wasn't in my right mind when it first happened. Couldn't think straight. Like I was trapped in a nightmare, like it wasn't even me. I was just watching this nightmare unfold to someone else, because something that...painful couldn't happen or be real."

Karyn nodded. She understood more than Ash knew, but she wasn't going to share that fact about herself unless it was absolutely necessary. She wanted to keep the focus on Ash in the last thing she wanted was for her to feel as if she had to comfort Karyn. "You were traumatized and in shock. What you've described is a very common reaction to any sort of trauma, but especially trauma associated with sexual violence. You're here now, facing things head on."

"Facing it head on," Ash frowned as her gaze dropped down to her hands at that, sitting in silence with her own thoughts for a long moment. "It doesn't feel like I'm doing that well at it at the moment. Doesn't feel like I can wade through this sometimes. Facing the guys back at work...the trial."

"Even the people who tackle the most daring challenges experience doubt and setbacks," Karyn replied. "Facing things head on means you feel those feelings and you do it anyway."

"I think that's half the problem. I don't want to feel those things," Ash swallowed past the tightness in her throat. "When it was just me who knew, I....I could pretend it never happened, that it was just the same old me," she laughed weakly at herself. "Childish. Playing pretend..." she rubbed her eyes and the bridge of her nose tiredly. "I...I didn't know....I didn't think it could feel like this. Didn't think..." she shook her head, looking away to the window with a frown, biting on the nail of her thumb. Of all things, her thoughts drifted back to her childhood. At the women she grew up around. The 'dancing' girls who entertained men in that seedy club. The hardness in their eyes and the tired shrug in their attitude to life. She got it now.

"Didn't think what?" From Ash's demeanor, it seemed like she'd gone somewhere else for the moment. Dallas didn't get the impression she was reliving the rape, but perhaps something else.

"The dancing girls, back at the club, on my home planet...they'd get this look. Like...they were tired of it all, tired of feeling, tired of being angry and hurt, and then the shutters would come down. This...hard wall between them and the world. I understand it now. I see how they get to that. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to change. I just want to be me."