|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
It is a bit after Lunch on Saturday when Siobhan and Simone meet out in the front grounds of the School. Simone has set out a large picnic blanket under a tree . It's a quiet day thus far, but people are of course excited about the 4th coming up tomorrow. Simone is sitting on the blanket waiting for the student to arrive.
Siobhan isn't as quick, hobbling around on crutches like she is. She left earlier than she might have otherwise, but she's only, just now, coming across the lawn. She pauses, smiling to wave, before continuing toward the blanket. "Sorry I'm a little behind."
Simone waves her hand. "Oh dont' worry about it." she says with a grin. "How are you doing today?" she asks as she waits for the girl to take a seat.
It's a bit of a chore to get settled on the blanket, but Siobhan's getting better at it. She keeps her left leg stretched out straight, and lays her crutches on the ground beside her. "Not too bad. I'm getting better about hobbling around on these things."
Simone smiles a bit. "Well hopefully you'll not need them for too much longer. Any hoo, how are your empathy exercises going?" she furtherly inquires.
Siobhan manages a smile as she makes herself comfortable. "Well.. I've been being careful. I still haven't managed to control the emotions and how I react to them, but at least I'm starting to recognize when they're not my own."
Simone nods. "That's good." she grins. "How about we start with identifying emotions then. " she stands up. "I'm going to get outside your zone of influence and then I'll slowly move into it.. then you tell me what you are sensing, then once you've named it.. try to divide it from yourself.. That sound okay?"
Siobhan takes her lower lip between her teeth, rolling it back and forth before releasing it. "Okay." She's a little nervous, not wanting to get it wrong. She sits herself up a little straighter, folding her hands in her lap as she watches you.
Simone isn't going to do anything hard! Set them up for success is always a good way to start. She turns around once she's 11 ft away from the girl and thinks about flying, the exhilaration, the excitement of freedom in the skies. She doesn't turn around but steps a closer, so her face doesn't give any clue to what she's thinking and feeling. "So what do you feel?" she asks, still thinking of how good the wind in her feathers feels.
Siobhan's heart begins to beat a little faster, and she can't help the smile that forms. She has to think a little, and states the first thing that comes to her mind. "Happy.. no.. it's more.." She furrows her brow as she tries to focus on the feeling. "Excitement.. like I've felt on a rollercoaster.. or something like it."
Simone smiles. "good." she turns around and takes another step closer. "Now, try to resist it. You know this is coming from outside yourself.. I think they key is not to try to make it vanish from your awareness, but to truely realize that it's an alien sensation and doesn't need to affect you."
Siobhan looks like she'd love to get up and dance around, skipping across the yard.. but her ankle keeps that from being a possibility. She giggles, unable to keep the sound from bubbling up, though she /does/ try.
Simone eyes the young woman and grins. "Lemme know when you think you've done it.. " since she herself isn't an empath she can only guess.
Siobhan lifts her hand to clamp over her mouth to stifle the giggles, and slowly, they begin to fade as she regains a measure of control over herself. She takes a few deep breaths before speaking. "I can still feel it.. but I don't feel like jumping up and running around anymore." She smiles. "And I've stopped giggling." It took awhile, having to acclimatize herself to your emotions before she could get herself back under control.
Simone nods and takes a few more steps forward, trying to see if being closer will tip the scales again. "How about now?"
Once familiar with the emotion, it's easier for Siobhan to keep herself under control. The closer you come, doesn't seem to effect her.. it seems to be more the prolonged exposure to the same emotion. She shakes her head. "I'm still good. I feel it a little more strongly, but I'm still okay." She smiles. "I guess once I get the feel for the emotion, and separate it from myself.. I'm okay."
Simone nods. "Cool.. Let's try something else then.." she steps outside the zone again and ponders what to try. There's been ample emotions, still fresh in her mind as of late. She feels a bit guilty for having to inflict some negative emotions.. but guilt that too is an emotion.. and less toxic than some of the others.. So Simone focuses in on that, and on the regret she feels for some of her less than legal activities she had to do over the last few years. " Ready?" she says and then again stepping backwards she moves into Siobhan's area of influence.
Siobhan immediately gets a sick expression on her features. Her shoulders bow and she seems to shrink in upon herself, becoming smaller somehow. Her size doesn't change.. only her posture. She recognizes the emotion as not her own, but she struggles against it. It's even more difficult, because she /too/ has things to feel guilty about, and it sparks her own guilty feelings as they begin to mingle with each other.
Simone turns around when she doesn't hear Sio say anything. She holds onto the feeling, it won't help the girl for Simone to be overly forgiving. "What are you feeling?" she says as she takes another step forward.
Siobhan's breathing a little more heavily as she feels the weight of the guilt on her shoulders. "God.. it's awful." Her voice cracks a little as she struggles with the emotion. "I feel so guilty.." She closes her eyes, pushing against the emotion, trying to separate yours from her own. The intensity of the struggle is clear on her face.
Simone doesn't get any closer. She wants to help her, not crush her under the weight of dual emotions. "You can do this.." she tries to encourage without giving an accidental hand up. She closes her eyes to focus some more on that sick in the pit of the stomach feel.
Siobhan's expression becomes even more tense, her breathing more labored. She bites her lower lip, biting so hard an impression of her teeth will be left in the skin. Slowly, she begins fighting her way to the surface. Slowly, the tension eases a little, and she begins to breath a little easier.. but she doesn't relax completely.
Simone waits and lets out a sigh. Holding onto that type of remembered emotion is a bit straining, especially when other emotions start to seep in. She lets go of it and shivers, toes to wing tips. "You okay?"
With the release of emotion, Siobhan lightens up, breathing a lot easier. She manages a smile, and nods. "That one was much harder to deal with." Her cheeks blush lightly. "I have some of my own guilt that I struggle with, and even though I knew some was coming from you.." She sighs softly. "It was just harder."
Simone nods. "I don't think there is a soul alive.. well unless they are just a sociopath that doesn't have some guilt here and there." she says with a smile and a sigh. "What has the Professor asked you to do when encountering other emotions? "
Siobhan tries to think. "It's been awhile since I've talked to him. I remember him saying something about.. holding it.. no.. embracing it." She thinks a little harder, trying to remember it. "Breathing.. /through/ it, and something about a bubble.. and passing through me.. I didn't understand exactly how to do that."
Simone chuckles. "Yea all this psionic stuff is a bit misty isn't it?" she grins. "From what I've found, what works for one person doesn't always work for another, so what we have to do is find out what works best for you.. either rejecting the emotions, to focusing in on your own happy place emotion or just blanking out your own mind.. We can try both until you find out which works best.
"I'm not sure how to do it." Siobhan heaves a sigh, lowering herself to lie back on the blanket. "Jono showed me his place, and how it works for him.. but he wasn't able to help me find mine. He says I need to find it for myself."
Simone nods. "Don't let that discourage you.. There aren't any instruction books on any of this.." she says with a grin. "It took me a long time to figure out how to summon my psi wings.." she tells the girl. "We'll figure this out.. " she grins encouragingly.
Siobhan folds her hands over her stomach. "I feel better knowing I can at least recognize the feelings as belonging to others. I just wish I could control my reactions to them already." Ah.. the impatience of youth.
Simone grins. "I understand..it's normal.. I was pretty impatient, wanting to know what the reason for the glow that I could almost bring about meant. I mean why would something do that? Seemed pretty silly.. a glow that came from one's back?.. not exactly useful huh?"
Siobhan giggles, feeling a camaraderie with you. "Yeah.. I guess." She smiles. "I still don't see what use the Professor sees in my gift. I mean, gee, sure.. I can feel what others are feeling. What good does that do?" It's hard to see the good, when you're controlled by it.
Simone blinks! "Seriously? Oh man there's lots you could do with it!" then again, Simone tends to be very creative! She sits down on the blanket and grins. "Depending upon what you want to do as a career one day, you might be able to use your gift in conjunction.. Perhaps as a psychologist you could help others learn to understand what they are feeling.. or if you wanted to be a doctor.. maybe a vet? You might be able to identify what a critter is feeling.. ah assuming you do sense what animals feel too.."
Siobhan looks more thoughtful. "I like helping people. I always have." She has a bit of a tender heart. "I've always thought going into a field where I was able to help people would be a good thing."
Simone nods. "Yup. And depending upon how your ability operates, you might even be capable to suggest emotions to people.. It could be really helpful.. stop some one from going into shock from fear after a bad accident.. calm some one in a hostage situation who's having a psychotic break.. really it's only as limited as one's imagination.. "
Siobhan props herself up with her good arm, watching you. "You really think so? You mean, I might be able to do something that great?" There is hope in her eyes.
Simone does believe it. "I don't see any reason you couldn't.. do you?" she asks back. "I'm not saying you'll be able to do those things over night, or even next week, but if you continue to practice, experiment.. then sure, the sky's the limit." she grins.
"Wow.." Siobhan says in awe. "That's like.. unbelievable." She murmurs, sitting up a little straighter. Her expression falters a bit though. "I'd have to master the control first." She wrinkles her nose. "It feels overwhelming."
Simone mmms. "Try not to think of it that way.. Really hon, it's like any other skill. You don't wake up one day to be a track star.. you gotta get up every day and run, chase the goal...ya know?" she says. "So you ready to try some more?"
Siobhan takes a deep breath, nodding. "Can't say I've ever shied away from a workout." She smiles. "This one's a little more overwhelming.. but.." She rolls her shoulders.
Simone nods and stands up. "Okay so this time, don't be afraid to try a different way of resisting the emotions okay? It's only by trying new things that we'll find out what works best.. " and with that she wanders out of Sio's range.
Siobhan chews her lower lip. "I'm not sure how to do any other way.. unless.. just let the feeling hit me.. and go with the flow.." She shudders. "What if something happens?" She lowers her eyes.
Simone smiles "Like what? You attacking me? Or you running away? " she asks. "I'm pretty sure I could catch you, or stop you from hurting myself or anyone." she says tapping her chin. "as for the other way? Sure.. accepting the emotion and then trying to focus it could work, think of it as water.. Water.. it was Bruce Lee's big idea.. water flows, it becomes whatever it enters... it can be anything.. warm.. cold.. mist.. solid.. That might work.." she suggests.
Siobhan still looks nervous and unsure about this new idea, but she nods. "I'll try it." She tries to brace herself, not sure what kind of emotion she'll be feeling next, and trying to plan for whatever may come.
Simone turns back around and focuses. This one is going to be hard. Some emotions are easier to handle than others. She balls up her fists briefly and takes in a deep breath. A big part of her doesn't want to even go there, but if her pain can help another? Well then maybe the events that occurred will be not worth it, but useful. She begins to dredge up her saddest memories.. the day her father died, the day after her mother threw her out of the house after the anger and fury died down.. the shock and dismay at seeing her dead friends.. Her eyes begin to water as she forces herself to play back the memories in her mind's eye and concentrate them.
Siobhan is hit with intense emotions. She has nothing specific to associate with the same level of emotion. She's been relatively sheltered her whole life. As the emotions hit her.. her first instinct is to fight against them, trying to push them away and keep them separate from her own. She has to remind herself not to do that this time, instead letting the feelings wash over her.. letting herself feel them. Tears begin to spring to her eyes, and she feels her heart ache with the terrible sadness. She sobs softly, as tears escape to roll down her cheeks. She looks up at you, and you can see the mourning reflected in her eyes.. but there is no struggle. "I'm so sorry.." Her wrods are filtered through the tears and sobs.
Simone turns around, blinking away her own tears. She hates feeling sad.. it's a weak emotion and she doesn't care for being weak. She sighs out, brushing the wetness from her eyes. "Don't be sorry.." she sighs out. "Be ...creative.. What are you going to do ?"
Siobhan inhales in staccato breaths. "I don't know.. I don't know what to do with it. I just.. I let myself feel it.. and.." Her mind rolls over how she feels.. how it all feels. ".. but I don't feel like I'm drowning.. I just.. feel it."
Simone steps closer then, testing Sio's ability to handle it. "Not drowning is good.. " she says letting the girl try to with the influx of alien emotion. "But is it better than the other way?"
Now that she's not trying to block it, when you step closer, it's stronger for her to deal with. Siobhan's tears build again. "I don't know, it's different. I don't feel stuck.. like I can't do anything.. but I can't seem to stop crying."
Simone stops focusing in on those sad events.. and she sits back down on the blanket.. "Oh.. that's enough of that..I think.." she sniffs a bit.. "Sorry.. " she sighs. "I don't want us to both start bawling.." she forces a smile.
As the emotion begins to fade, Siobhan's tears slow, though those that have passed leave damp trails down her cheeks. She shakes her head. "Don't be sorry. I.. just don't know to control this." She closes her eyes, lifting her hand to rub her temple. "I wish I could figure something out.. how to deal with this." At least, the second method was less stressful.
Simone waves a hand.. "Don't be, like I said it took us a while to figure out my wings.. " she says using the edge of her sleeve to dab her eyes. Don't think about it! Just don't! There are too many other joyous things to focus on. She takes in a deep breath. "Well we just have to worry out the details really.. Don't get frustrated so easily.." she says bringing out a smile. "We have time.. there is no rush.. the more we practice we'll figure it out.. " she says. "Okay Sooo what do we know now? When you don't block it, you still feel the emotion fully right? But you don't feel..what? locked up? Like you can't move? can't think? Is that how you felt the other way you tried?"
Siobhan tries to concentrate on how she felt before, and how she felt this time. "I'm not sure how to put it. It was harder to fight against the emotion.. more draining, and it still effected me.. but at the same time.. when I successfully separated myself from the emotion, I could feel it, without it causing me to react in a way I didn't want it to. When I let myself feel the emotion, it wasn't as stressful, or hard.. but it effected me right away.. and when you got closer, it was stronger.. effecting me more. Both were hard, but in different ways. I'm not sure which is better."
Simone mmms and ponders. "Well ultimately I think we oughta go with the one that paves the way to the real goal.. Which is.. what? Maybe there isn't just one way to deal with it after all? Maybe you can have more than one method, depending upon what you need to do." she suggests. After all there is more than one media in painting, why should there only be one way to deal with empathy?
Siobhan chews her lower lip as she ponders your words. "I guess.. I just.. I feel lost. Not quite as lost as I did before I knew it was a gift, and not a curse.. or that I was crazy."
Simone grins. "I have an idea.. " and she pulls out a sketch book that was on the edge of the blanket. "How about you write down what your goals are? And write down what it felt like when you tried different things.. "
Siobhan takes the sketch book. "I don't know.. at least right now.. other than to not have to react to every emotion that comes at me.. you know what I mean? Like with the guilt.. or sadness.. I don't want to start crying, just because of someone else's feelings." Simone nods. "And how does it feel before? when you weren't trying to block it or deal with it?
Siobhan pauses for thought. "It didn't feel overwhelming.. but I still couldn't help crying."
Simone mmms and ponders. "So when you do nothing at all, you don't feel so over whelmed any more.. That sounds probably because you know what's going on now.. as they say, knowings half the battle right?" she chuckles. Then she glances down at the paper, and what may or may not be written there. "I like the idea of you not having to struggle or fight it.. I think I might understand what the Professor was trying to say about a bubble. " she comments. "Perhaps we should think of it like this.. Identify, and instead of trying to fight the emotion, let it pass by like he said, by focusing on the emotion that you want to feel. Your emotion."
Siobhan furrows her brow slightly. "I'm not sure I understand.. how would I do something like that. It feels like I can't help but feel the emotions. I never know when they're going to hit me.. so I don't know how to let them pass by."
Simone nods. "I think a lot of this is just going to be learn by doing but I'll try to think of some examples.. " she grins. "Okay think of some one in a theme park wave pool.. they are thrashing around when the waves come crashing over.. So what's going to happen to them? They wear themselves out, getting much more water in their face and they get battered around by the waves.. But then take some one who is more passive, they float with the water, anticipating when the waves come so they can gently rise up when they come. They save energy, so they can last longer, have more control as they move with the flow of the water.."
Siobhan listens intently, picturing in her mind what you're describing to her. "The first sounds like what I was doing when I was fighting the emotions.. and the second sounds more like what I did the last time.. but I didn't feel like I had control."
Simone grins. "Control comes with practice.. But does it make sense to you?" which really is the foundation!
Siobhan thinks a little, then nods. "It does.."
Simone grins. "Awesome.. so how about we focus on that technique. If we find that improvements aren't happening in a few weeks we can try something else.. Sound good to you?"
Simone smiles as she stands up. "Good deal... so let's give this another try.." and once again the exercises begin. She moves out of the empaths range and picks some memories to stir up new emotions. Starting slow is the way to go, and they'll repeat the process a few more times. And if Simone has her way she'll end on a high note, centering on some positive emotions. Once it seems that Siobhan is tiring the art teacher ends the lesson. They'll meet again soon to try some more! For now it's time Sio to enjoy the rest of her day!