The seventh floor is where all the offices are as well as the psychiatry unit. The offices all have glass walls that are enchanted to be sound proof, and many of the offices can be enchanted to have foggy class if needed. The Head Healer's office is located at the very end of this floor in the back.
He sits in the waiting room, arms crossed tightly over his chest as he watches the clock. His dad's therapist has recommended he come to the hospital for some more advanced care - and he didn't want any more change in his life, but he wanted to get better, so here he is.
This kid wasn't one of hers but it didn't matter. She'd have the same results, plus it was her job at the end of the day. Only two minutes after the appointment was meant to start, she swung her door open. "You must be Ezekial," she said with a smile, "do you mind if I call you that?"
He stands slowly - he may be able to walk on his leg, but it does still hurt sometimes - and walks over to the office. "Yes, that's fine," he says with a small smile, tucking his hands into his pockets. "It's nice to meet you...Healer Zhang, right?"
"Uh...just call me Hailie. Healer Zhang doesn't have a ring too it in my opinion," she said with a shrug and swung the door open so he could come in. "I'm so happy you could make it today, I hope I haven't kept you waiting," she said as she headed back into the office, throwing herself onto her chair, "our appointment was now, right? I'm terrible with my schedule."
"Start wherever you want," she said with a shrug. "Where you're comfortable with, where it started. It's up to you. Some people give me their whole life story before actually getting to the point that they need help with. Some people get straight to the point."
"Well...I guess I'll get to the point. A couple months ago I was attacked by...somebody. And I can remember everything about it except who did it. I keep dreaming about it but nothing ever changes and I just can't get past it."
Hailie had a good idea of who did it. Or at least, one out of a few options, but she had her suspicions on who the perpetrator was. Not that she was going to tell Ez this. "Why do you think this is?" She asked, tapping her pen against the notebook. "Do you think your mind is protecting you from something? Or someone."
"Why would my brain only protect me from knowing who did it? Why not just...repress the entire thing!" He stops himself and takes a deep breath. He doesn't need to be shouting. "No one close to me would ever do something like that. And I want to know who did this to me; I want to be able to report them."
Hailie could take the shouting, it didn't phase her. Hailie had a lot of people yell at her growing up that it was just something to shrug off. Especially by people in here. Traumatized people yelled a lot. "Brains work in weird ways," she said with a shrug, "if they didn't, I wouldn't have a job." Hailie could probe further into it. Ask if it was a spell but she didn't want to help Ez actually report whoever did it. For obvious reasons. She didn't doubt for a second any of the other killers would rat everyone else out if the situation called for it. Hailie probably would herself. "And not being able to do that, it makes you feel...helpless?"
He nods. "Helpless fits. I'm..." What was it his dad's therapist had said? "Lacking closure. I can hardly think about anything except the missing piece. Isn't - is there anything we can do, just in case it was a memory charm or something? My brain has always been reliable; I don't know what I'd do if it just...fucked up." He'd go mad, probably. "What would it mean if it just...did that? Why would it want to protect me from someone I don't even know?"
"Well," she said carefully, "if it was a memory charm then you'd have to go looking into maybe spell reversals or track down a potion that can counteract it." Helping him in this wasn't in Hailie's best interests. "But what if you're not ready to find out what happened? It might not be protecting you from someone you don't know but the events that unfolded. When something is too traumatic, your brain hides it to protect you, knowing you wouldn't be able to handle it. Have you tried channelling your emotions through something else? A hobby?"
He's silent for a minute or so, thinking. What if there was something else missing from what he remembers, instead of just who did it to him? What he remembers is bad enough; he isn't sure he could handle anything worse, especially not right now. "I like making beer..." he admits quietly, trailing off a bit. He hasn't been working much with it lately, not since the attack, but he'd made a lot of progress before, and he had fun doing it.
Callum was sitting in the chair waiting for Hailie to arrive. He wasn't too sure about this meeting, not because of something that happened but because of the lack thereof. He felt he was doing better and didn't need to come anymore.
Hailie didn't know too much about her next patient except what was in his files. This was the first session with him and Hailie wasn't sure if she was excited or wary. Basically, teenage kid with a messed up mum. Only five minutes late, she pushed into her office wearing skin tight jeans and heels. The blazer jacket and shirt was, maybe, slightly unprofessional but it was on Hailie. "Mr. Dane, good afternoon," she said with a smile as she slid into the seat across from him. "I really hope you don't mind but I was dying for a coffee so I just couldn't help myself. It's what happens when they decide to have a gold class cafe just a few corridors away," she said, shaking the coffee cup in her hand, trying to make the other boy more at ease, who was no doubt not exactly comfortable. "I'm Hailie Zhang, but call me Hailie."
"Nice to meet you Hailie," He said, a small smile on his face. He hoped this went well, and he was pretty nervous to have a new therapist. His previous one had moved, and so he was transferred here. "You already know me from my file, so I guess I don't really need to introduce myself."
"I know the bare details," she responded, "but I never really feel like it captures the person it describes. Sure, I don't need your name. Don't need your age, but a file isn't everything. Right now, since I am under the impression we'll be having more sessions–" Hailie would highly recommend this "–I just want to get to know you. Not from your file, but how you describe yourself and everything else. So why don't we just...put the file aside and start fresh. What are you here for today?"
He took in a breath, "Well," He exhaled, "I'm here for a check up I guess? But not really? I've been working with the other therapist for a few months after I had a mental break, and I've been progressively getting better. I think this check up is to see if I'm mentally stable," He told her. "I know my other therapist was worried about me having a relapse in the case that something triggering happened,"
Hailie nodded. She already knew this from his file, his previous therapist had gone into great detail with that. Hailie wasn't going to ask if he considered himself mentally stable because she already knew what he would respond with. "How have you been sleeping?" She asked instead, taking a small sip from her coffee. "Any nightmares? Sleeping through the night?"
"I've been doing better, but I haven't had a full nights sleep yet." He replied truthfully, "My dreams aren't so bad anymore, but I still have nightmares once or twice a week. Probably once a month I have night terrors as well,"
"Yet," she echoed, writing something down in her notebook. "How about I make a deal with you," she said, leaning back in her chair, "if you can reach one month without a night terror. Without any hint of a bad dream and you're capable of sleeping a full night, then we'll consider edging you out of therapy. But until then you see my twice a week. Only hour, maybe two hour, sessions, and I'll make sure they don't interfere with your classes either.
"I'm not sure I can do that," He answered, fiddling with the hem of his shirt. "I don't think I'll be able to ever fully sleep through the night, I haven't since I was young and this incident with my mother has just made it worse."
"Well..." He shrugged a little, "Ever since I was young I had nightmares, but only recently I've had night terrors and only nightmares. I would always wake up because of my nightmares, but nothing as bad as I've had them recently. I never knew my brain could make things so horrible and disturbing..."
"Your brain, and body, can always surprise you. Whether in a good way or bad is up to you. Are you able to describe them? Opening up about them can often help to at least decrease them. If not, have you tried writing them down?"
"I've tried writing them down in my dream journal, but it doesn't help and it seems to just make them worse," He said with a small sigh, fiddling more with the hem of his shirt. "My dreams are too dark, I don't like to talk about them and especially not out loud. I don't even tell my mother because I don't want to scare her,"
“Y-Yes,” he admitted, before going quiet for a solid minute. “I-I don’t want to give her any reasons to to get rid of me,” he said and sniffled. “I-I fear that she adopted me out of pity and is just waiting for an excuse to get rid of me,” he said as tears rolled down his cheeks.
Hailie leant over to grab a box of tissues and placed them on the table between them for Callum's use. "People don't usually go through the extensive procedure of adoption because they pity someone," she said after a moment. "From what I can get from your files, your mother loves you, even if you're not her own. I think you need to give your mother more credit, trust her more."
Callum took a tissue and wiped away his tears, sniffling a little and then blowing his nose. "I-I just feel like such a burden to her, here she adopts me just to have all my baggage come with it." He said and sniffled more, "I just feel like I should run away and it'll make everyone's lives easier-"
"How far have you entertained that idea?" She asked, sitting back in her seat. This was dangerous waters. There was certain topics that Hailie couldn't stay private on, especially considering he was underage. "I can tell you it won't. It would just make it worse. Your mother would worry and she knew what she else she was adopting when she took you in."
"I-I could never actually go through with it," He admitted and glanced down with a heavy sigh. "I-It's just where my brain goes when I get overwhelmed," He told her and rubbed his face a little. "When I start thinking about it, I always think about what it would do to my mum and I could never put her through that."
"Have you thought about making a safe space? Like a little area somewhere that no one can find you. A place where you can run too the moment you feel overwhelmed?" She asked. "Something that's not quite so...permanent."
"So?" She asked with a shrug, "it's okay to be a kid sometimes. And anyway, everyone needs a safe space to be alone sometimes. Not just kids. Plus, sometimes kids have the right idea that us adults can learn from."
"I think it would help everyone. There's a reason throwing ten people into one room for an extended amount of time wouldn't be a good idea," she said with a smile, "people need their own space. It helps them process everything around them. A private area."
He nodded a little a time that, “I’ll have to do that, thank you,” he said with a smile, “Is there anything else you want to ask me? I think I should be fine,” he told her. “Talking really helps me feel better,”
"It's been hard, but school helps get my distracted," He told her with a small nod. "My mom writes me nearly every day, and we make sure to meet up whenever we can. She's really the best, and has helped me through some hard things while I've been away," He said, glad that he had someone like her in his life. "Being Quidditch captain has forced me to keep a clear head, and I'm grateful I have something to keep me on my toes."
"That's a good healthy way to deal with pent up energy," she said with a nod, noting that down. "And I'm glad you realize it's been helping you. Can't say I'm much of a sports person myself. Not much of a team player," she said with a shrug before taking a sip. "Do you have any plans after school? Only two years away."
"I don't really know what I want to do with my life... I'm thinking of getting a job at a store or working at the bank, something to help me figure out what I want to do," He admitted with a small sigh, "I've been struggling with it for awhile,"
Hailie hummed at that and nodded once or twice. "I'm just worried it'll hit you when you graduate. You have so much consuming your time and then, after graduation, you might hit a slump. But that's a while away and just speculation. Do you have an idea of which store? Could always go pro with quidditch."
Hailie paused at that before humming. "You know, I'm always a fan of fighting. It's healthy. It means you learn how to handle it. You learn how too compromise with each other. I could go on, such as saying studies have show those who do fight have stronger relationships. Not that I know your relationship, I just hope neither of you go down the path of shutting up and putting up with things that might bother you instead of confronting the other. Are you open with her about your own problems?"
He nodded slowly at that, ashamed to admit it. "I don't want them to leave me... I can't be alone..." He said with a shaky voice, "If they leave me I don't have anyone else and no one will want me, they'll through me into foster care or worse-"
"I promise you they won't," Hailie said, her voice was soft, easy going, slow. "Look, I know you don't feel...comfortable with the idea of opening up to them, but I think it might help. I can promise you they probably want you to open up to them. You'd be surprised what people can take. Maybe take baby steps. Tell them just how you're feeling, don't go into detail. Then slowly open up to them more."
Hailie paused at that before saying, "no. I think they will be upset. But not upset at you. Upset that you're hurting. Upset that you're in this position. Upset because they love and care for you. No one is going to be over the moon about hearing their loved ones hurting. But do you trust them?"
Hailie smiled over at him as he said that. "I think you'll feel better too, keeping all this emotion inside of you really isn't the best option," she continued. "I think you have a very good support system around you."