PHD #119: Sympathy
Summary: Do you believe?
Date: 25 Jun 2041
Related Logs: Leonis &c
Byrne Evandreus 
Shrink's Office
Itty bitty desk. Err. Desc.
Post-Holocaust Day: 119

It's been a while since this psych eval has been ordered. Evan hasn't helped things any, having slept straight through the first time slot he'd been sent. But he dutifully arranged another appointment, and this time arrives at least five minutes early to drift aimlessly from wall to wall in the waiting area, looking at this chair, looking at that, but never sitting down, perhaps for fear he won't get up again. He still looks pretty wiped, the undersides of his eyelids darkened beyond the norm, but he's showered and in fresh off-duties, at least, redolent of regulation navy whitesoap, curly locks still wet, sitting in a toweled-off mop on his head.

And then of course, there's Dr. Byrne, waiting in his office space like a professional should. Then again, lately he's started to regret having offered to help out with the Military psych evals since he's been met with hostility, mostly for being a shrink, and then otherwise for having been a civilian shrink before. Regardless of all that, Evandreus' file is currently sitting on the desk before Byrne, though it's not as thick as a full file and has likely been censored due to Byrne's lack of military rank. When appointment time rolls around, or more aptly five minutes prior rolls around, Byrne asks the new arrival to enter and indicates for him to take a seat, "Glad to see you were able to make it down here. I'm Dr. Devin Byrne, a medical attache with the Psychiatric Department. Just to be clear, I'm not a member of the military, so I don't have any rank. That being said, I am very familiar with the various psychological issues that military personnel may incur."

Evandreus, hearing his name, tips his chin up and around, eyes wide for a moment before he nods and turns the rest of his body to suit, heading on toward the office and lifting a hand to the doorframe as he hesitates on the threshold, toeing the lower lip of the hatchway. "Uh," he begins. "Okay," he adds, light-voiced. "I'm, uh— sorry. About missing last time, Doctor Byrne," he goes on, stepping over the lip at length and moving around in front of the offered chair, settling in with his hands clenched between his knees. "I guess I didn't hear my alarm go."

Excuses are part and parcel with Psychology work. Byrne doesn't comment on it, just offering a quiet nod as he settles back into his chair and slips his notepad off the desk. He picks up his pen and jots something down briefly, "For the record, please state your name, rank and serial number for me. And…" he glances to the file for a moment, "The name of the flight instructor who cleared you for active duty after the Academy please." That's sort of an odd last question. Mental Status check perhaps? Memory? Or just ensuring that this person actually is who he says he is.

Evandreus disentangles his hands from one another, lifting up one hand to the back of his head, clutching the other one still between his knees. "Doe, Sextus Evandreus, Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Juliet three six three. Delta charlie umbrella. Six two one india," he recites patiently, then sits there a moment longer, his face calm even as he whirls through his brain for the last answer. "M… malikino? Malikina?" he finally tosses out a few tired-sounding guesses, eyebrows drifting upward at their innermost points in a helpless shrug.

There is a moment of long silence and finally Byrne jots down a few notes and offers a slow nod, "Good, good." he states faintly and looks up from his notes, closing the file before him. "So, let's begin with your thoughts on why you are here today. And I don't just mean that you were ordered here. Everyone from Leonis has been ordered to do an eval. How do you feel about having to go through this process?"

Evandreus is curious, now. But instad of letting the question eat away too much at his brain, he lets it go in the face of the new questions being posed, fingers kneading at the back of the side of his neck as if he'd slept on it improperly. "Uh. Fine. I guess. Better than, like, cracking up in the boat, right?" he asks the psych back, not confrontational— almost conversational. "It's nice to have people to come and talk to about shit. I used to come and see Glory, she was— uh, the last CMO, I dunno if you met her. She was certified for counselling, and— it was really good, in the weeks and months after the bombs fell. Just. To know there's someone there. But then… well, she died. So. I stopped coming."

There's another brief pause, but this time Byrne doesn't write anything down. Instead he just nods, listening while Evan speaks about the previous CMO and such. "So you feel that talking about what's going on with you helped in some way? If so, that's good, and you should know that if you wanted to speak to me more regularly in a similar fashion, I'm here." And then there's another pause, a quick note joted down, "Why don't you tell me what's been bothering you lately?"

Evandreus looks down, tongue poking out at the side of his mouth, then peeks up again at the offer, a shyness there, in his eyes. "Well. Yeah, I guess. Someone who knows what they're talking about, y'know? Someone to give a little… perspective?" he had to really reach for that word, trying to put into the Colonial language the good of seeing a shrink. And then Doctor Byrne's getting to the heart of the matter, and the Raptor Driver's adam's apple moves subtly, eyes brimming wet. Again. He takes a deep breath in, and clears his throat, taming his voice, lest it crack. "Do you believe in the sympathy of souls?" he asks, first.

"Perspective is always a good thing, and objective third parties are often good for such advice." Byrne responds almost systematically and then clears his throat just a bit, realizing he's sounding like a drone, "So yes, I would be more than happy to provide objective assessments and perspective." A few more notes are jotted down on the pad and then he glances up again, handing raising to become a rest for his chin as he quirks a brow subtly, "Would you mind explaining what you mean by that?"

"You know, if—" Evan starts out of the gate sounding fit to finish the race, but then stumbles, having gotten ahead of his words. "If two people are really close. And… something happens to one of them. And the other one can feel it, even if he's… a long way away?"

This is a difficult question for Byrne to answer, and it shows as he leans back in his chair. He's an objective scientist permiated constantly by the subjective realities of the human mind. A finger taps idle at the side of his cheek for a few moments and then he speaks with some consideration to the words spoken, "I'm a scientist. I believe in things I can measure, things I can know. That being said, I work in a field of unknowable things. The human mind is still a mystery in many ways, regardless of how we as Psychiatrists have objectified it. So while I haven't ever known that sort of …" he hesitates a moment, "Soul sympathy…I can't in good conscience deny the possibility of it existing." And then he pauses once more before speaking again, "Did you have an instance where you felt the loss of someone close to you over a great distance?"

"I don't… I dunno," the corners of Evan's mouth waver downward hard in a look of pain, tears finally making their way down just-shaved cheeks, stinging with salt at a nic cut down at his jawline. "After the bombs fell… I kept having these… these nightmares," Evan swallows, once, lifting his hand to wipe across both nostrils. "Glory probably… had them…" he doesn't finish the sentence, but looks at the file on the man's desk, indicating that he thinks they're probably in there.

There's a slow nod offered, though Byrne doesn't even glance at the file, he just continues to watch Evandreus, "They are in the file. She noted sereval possibilities. What you need to understand that is that nightmares or night terrors as they can often be described, are a common sympton in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We all suffered great losses that day, and we all deal with them differently. There is no shame in the trauma we experienced." He pauses for a moment and writes something down quickly, "Are you still experiencing nightmares?"

The question only makes the tears pat down into his lap more rapidly, Evan tilting his head down and squeezing his eyes shut as he shakes his head. "They stopped," he manages to get out, sounding some strange mixture of relieved and entirely distressed by the fact. "When we were down on Leonis. I'm— from there," he asides, even if it's already in his file. "We found this… facility. The Cylons. They were… taking people. Off the streets. They were… cutting… them apart," breath coming faster, at this point, cheeks flushing red, almost hyperventilating. "The faces… they were… they were alive… when they were dissected."

Byrne frowns deeply at this revelation and clears his throat just a bit, "Alright, deep breaths Lieutenant, deep breaths. I need you to close your eyes and concentrate on breathing for a bit for me." He opens a drawer and pulls out a clean hankerchief, walking around the desk and holding it out for Evandreus, "Take this, it'll help some." It's just a hanky, but it's quite useful in these situations. He doesn't say the obvious, that it seemed like his nightmares were coming true. He performs a mental checklist, recalling the location of the emergency meds in the office in case he needs to administer something to reduce the pilots stress levels. "Would you like to talk about something else for a bit?"

Evandreus lifts his hand to take the handerchief, just clutching it in his hand and leaving his chin there by his throat, facing his lap as he gasps through a couple of long, shuddery breaths, holding them forcefully and then letting them out again, a throbbing beginning in his skull, by his temple. He doesn't reply to the question, but is silent for a good few moments, before he swallows once, and plows on. He has to know. "In the tower," comes as an evident negative to the offer to talk about something else. "I found… someone… I…" words try to come out through a throat clenching down around them. "We… were… supposed to get married." There we go. "And… it was… it was just like… it was like… I was right there. Feeling… the same things."

And suddenly things become a bit more clear to the headshrinker as he leans up against the desk behind him with a sympathetic nod. No notes being taken now, but he's probably got a tape recorder going in the office for transcription purposes. He remains silent, allowing Evan to talk, though at the end of that he runs a hand through his hair, scratching at the back of his neck when it completes the journey, "And this wasn't in the nightmare, this was what happened when you were on Leonis?" Clarification is important, and it lets Evan know that Byrne is actually listening.

Evandreus's throat declines to let any more words out. He just sort of nods his head haplessly, eyes fixed on the handkerchief clutched on top of his lap. "It was like… someone wanted me to know. Wanted me to feel what was going on. I should have been there. I should have known to go and help. And instead… they just… the dreams just stopped," he looks up, a terror in his wet eyes. "They -stopped.- And I didn't even -know.-"

Byrne hrms quietly and offers a faint nod towards Evandreus, more comforting, than affirming as he remains leaning against the desk behind him, "You couldn't have known, Lieutenant. Dreams are a strem of subconcious thoughts pooling together in order to code and priortize information in our minds. Their meanings are often ambiguous and nearly impossible to fully understand. Even the previous Doctor wasn't aware of any true significance to them. How could you have been?" Seems like a logical argument to Byrne anyway.

"Because -I- was the one who -LOVED- him, is how I should have known," Evan raises his voice to the Doctor, as if this 'love' thing were some magical property that lets the unknown become known and the impossible possible. And then, in the wake of the outburst, he retreats again into a meek hunch— being angry isn't his thing, evidently. Abashed, he quiets down. "Can I go to the bathroom for a minute?" he asks meekly.

The raised voice doesn't seem to bother Byrne, but then, he's been doing this a long time, people get agitated, he knows to just stay calm in the face of it. "Love, while a powerful thing, doesn't make you psychic or give you the ability to predict the future, Lieutenant." He states quite calmly and matter of factly. "And yes, you can go to the bathroom. There's one just outside my door to the right."

Evandreus keeps his eyes lowered, standing and turning around the chair, heading out the door at a heighened pace, turning aside to the right and disappearing off into the head, bypassing the toilets for the sinks, turning on some cold water and leaning in to splash some on his face.

And now that Byrne is alone, he moves back around the desk to his notepad and starts to write a good chunk of information down. Copious scribbling of notes in fact. A sigh is released as he finishes scribbling and rubs at the bridge of his nose, right between his eyes, awaiting the return of his patient.
Air-Wing> Quinn has connected.

It takes a while, but finally an abashed Evandreus with a newly cleaned face returns to the office. Wordless, he comes back and takes a seat. Wordless, he continues to sit, until, finally, he volunteers up: "I've been sleeping a lot. Since we've been back. And when I'm awake, I'm really tired. Just. Wiped out. Tired. All I want to do is go back to bed."

The new admission compels a nod from the doctor who jots this down on his notepad and tilts his head ust a bit. "Do you feel that way from the moment you wake up till when you go back to sleep?" He's already got ideas as to the cause of that floating around in his head, but doesn't comment on those ideas just yet.

"Most of it," Evan admits blankly, eyes going dim and turning downward. "I try to get up to the Starboard hangar every day to volunteer, since I'm not on the line yet. Sometimes when I'm up there with people I wake up some. The kids are— it's— nice, to have kids around."

"And how do you feel about the prospect of going back on duty again? Any concerns, or worries about your performance given how you've been feeling lately?" Byrne continues to jot down a few notes here and there as he speaks, quite adept at the multitasking needed to write and speak all at once.

[Intercom] Tillman says, "Sawyer Averies to the XO's Quarters, please. Sawyer Averies, Deck Four, XO's Quarters."

"I dunno. I'm hoping it'll get better when I'm back on shift. Give me something to do instead of… just… sitting around thinking about stuff," Evan tells the guy, folding his hands together between his knees again.

"And you don't feel that your tiredness will impact your ability to perform your duties at all?" Byrne inquires with a relatively firm tone before looking up from his note pad which he had been jotting down tidbits on just a moment ago.

Evandreus looks back up at the Doctor warily. "I don't think I'd fall asleep on CAP, if that's what you mean," he begins. "Do you have anything I can use?" he goes on to ask, "Like, uh, am I just tired because we hardly slept on Leonis? Or… is my brain broken or something?" Technical terminology, there.

Byrne scratches the side of his cheek for a moment, creating a mild crunching sound as his nails press through his beard, "The body only requires a few good nights sleeps to undo even the most extreme of negative sleeping patterns. That shouldn't be a factor anymore. To be entirely honest, my current diagnoses is depression and lingering PTSD symptoms." He clicks his pen twice and then jots down another note, "So, I am going to recommend you return to see me next week, and in the mean time I'm going to give you some medication which should help you with some of the issues you are experiencing. I'm not quite prepared to clear you for full active duty just yet, but I will go ahead and clear you for training and things along those lines. Get you back into a routine without potentially putting your life at risk just yet."

Evandreus takes a deep breath, then lets it out with a sigh of disappointment even as he lowers his head in acquiescence. "Alright," he finally replies, eyes closing a moment. When they open again, he looks up toward Byrne without lifting his head, about to ask something further. It dwells in his throat, though, retreating once more. "Should I just make another appointment at the front desk?"

Which, of course, is code for 'can I go now?'

As Byrne's father used to say, 'Get used to disappointment.' and in this line of work, disappointment is Byrne's middle name. A nod is offered to Evandreus and he pulls out a small pad, writing down the prescriptions that he mentioned. He tears the sheet loose and stands up, moving around the desk and holding it out, "Try not to see this as a glass half empty resolution, Lieutenant. My goal is to get you back out there, keeping us all safe as soon as you are ready to do it. Use this week to work towards that. One of those pills is going to help you sleep, make sure you get solid rest. The rest should help to balance you out a bit. Next week we'll reassess. If all goes well, maybe we can get you cleared for duty, alright?" And then he offers his hand to shake Evandreus'. Which is of course code for, 'yes, you can go now.'

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