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Regrets Are For Memories

Posted on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 @ 8:30am by Commander Jordan Gunning & Lieutenant Erin Whitlam PhD

Mission: After the Storm

"I think if I could remember what it was that drove me to do what I did in the first place then it might be different." Gunning told the counselor for what felt like the ninetieth time since he'd starting seeing him. "They told me what happened to me in the hospital but if I don't remember why I was there, or why what happened to me happened then how am I meant to move on from it?"

“You seem frustrated by that,” Counselor Thaddius Pickering mused, his eyes not lifting from the PADD on which he was scribbling notes. “Is that how you’d describe your feelings about this situation? Frustration?”

"It's weird I suppose. I've got no memory of it happening so it's clinical... sanitary even. It's information rather than experience." He looked at the same spot on the painting of a mountain that he had focused on in every session. "You can't be traumatised by something that didn't happen."

Pickering placed the PADD down on his crossed legs and steepled his hands under his chin. “That’s the purpose of the memory treatment, Jordan; to make it easier for you to move on from what happened to you and regain a normal life.” He shifted the PADD onto his desk and leaned forward, looking more engaged now than he had all session. “So instead of coming to terms with the traumatic event, you need to come to terms with and accept the hole in your memory. Getting caught up on why there’s a hole there won’t be traumatic, but it will hold you back from healing.”

"And they want to make sure I don't go trying to follow it up." Jordan looked over at the orders which had spilled out of his bag when he put it down. He was being reinstated in Starfleet pending psychological clearance and he couldn't help but feel that someone was trying to stop him doing something stupid. "So there's always going to be a hole, sure. That's who I was for months though. My motivation for leaving Starfleet in the first place seems like it happened to someone else - I've read the file notes. It doesn't make sense. It's like I've jumped into someone else's life."

Pickering leaned back in his chair, clasping his hands beneath his chin. "Quite apart from how you got here," he said, musingly. "How do you feel, right now, about going forward?"

"Like I don't have a choice. I can't go back, I can't spend my life in therapy so here we are. I've got to move forward."

"That's interesting," Pickering nodded. He left a silence to linger for a moment before he drew in an elongated breath and continued his thought. "There are plenty of things in our lives that we cannot control," he began. "And there are things that we can control. If where you're heading is outside your control, consider the things that you can control. What is in your control here, Jordan?"

"The future. Where I go, what I do, who I am. What I make of this whole thing, I guess."

"Precisely!" Pickering said with more enthusiasm than he'd showed in any of these sessions to date. "And that's the value of this clean break you have. You are free to focus on what you can control; moving forward. Acknowledge the past, but acknowledge it as you would a dream or a faded memory. Don't allow it to ensnare you, and you will move forward just fine. I'm confident of that."


Jordan Gunning


Thaddius Pickering
[Played by Erin Whitlam]


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