PWD #04: Counseling Hurts
Counseling Hurts
Summary: Gen helps Duke deal with a few things.
Date: 01/January/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Duke Iphigenia 
The chapel is one of the few quiet places to be found on a battlestar. Even rarer still, it's one of the few places that doesn't look like it's part of a battlestar. Heavy blue curtains have been hung from the walls, obscuring the bulkheads. The lights are kept low, adding a certain mystery and gravitas to the space. The central altar is made of a pale grey wood, as are the several rows of pews which extend from it. Laid against the far right wall is a long, low table with several rows of simple white votive candles to be used as vigil lights. Centered among them is a brass plate for burnt offerings from supplicants. Several cushions rest on the floor before the table, where the faithful may kneel to offer their prayers to the Lords and Ladies of Kobol. On the left wall are several compartments which have been sectioned off for private use.
January 01, 2005

It's appointment time. Whatever may have occurred the night before, they're not apparent on any part of Iphigenia today as she calmly waits in one of the conference rooms used for counseling sessions. It's slightly more relaxed than most of the clinical conference rooms, for putting people at ease.

It's been a while since Duke's last appointment, perhaps because he's been busy, perhaps because he feels he doesn't need them. Still, he knows he can be a stubborn idiot sometimes and he knows Gen honestly wanted to help him…and…well, she did. "Lieutenant" comes Duke's voice as he steps inside, wearing his full duty blues, looking a little wrinkly after a long day work. He steps inside the familiar but avoided room and takes a deep breath, closing his eyes.

"Hello, Bumper." she greets, rising and smiling like she's glad to see him. Which she is. "Promotion has suited you." she compliments, and gestures to a chair. "Come in, come in. I'm glad to catch up with you."

"Gen" offers the man, showing a faint, tired smile. When she mentions promotion, he looks down at his outfit and another weak smile appears, and he nods his head after that. "Thank you, Gen…." See, he calls her Gen, this is definitely an improvement. When she gestures to the chair, he nods his head and takes the offered seat, leaning back against it "Thank you for having me, I was…" he licks his lips "I guess I'm just…" he goes silent again and then lightly chuckles to himself "You know, I shouldn't be nervous when coming here"

Iphigenia smiles faintly at that, but in such a way that invites him to be amused with her. "Well, you are baring little bits of yourself here." she explains. "Exposing nerves. Revealing what you might consider weaknesses. It's understandable that it makes you nervous. But try to remember that I'm here to help you, and that there's no rush. "

This does draw a little more of that smile and Duke looks down as if trying to conceal it "I guess you are right" says the man however, defeating the purpose of hiding anything. He swallows and then looks up at Gen again "I wanted to apologize to you, Lieutenant…I know I haven't been the easiest to work with.." He never disrespected her, this is true…he was just…very locked down. "You've, really helped me a lot, and…" He closes his eyes and chuckles at himself, rubbing his fingers over those closed eyes before he adds "You know, when I got to Orion…I was a mess, I'm sure you've noticed that. Borderline drunk, no life expectations…"

"It's certainly accepted, though there was no real need for it." she tells him. "Look at all you've accomplished since then. That's the finest assurance that what we've done - what you've done - isn't in vain."

"It's necessary for me, Gen…" offers the man, showing a faint smile "I was…" he shakes his head "This is going to sound stupid and perhaps even childish. I was terrified of you…you make it easier, for people to sit down and talk to you about their problems…I was…scared of that" He is really doing some heavy revelations here.

"It's neither stupid nor childish. It's actually very normal and understandable." she tells him gently. "Have you ever had an experience where you were so overwhelmed by what you were about to do, but then when you did it, it was the most natural thing in the world?"

Her question finds him silent, and he remains that way for a long time "Hm." Slowly, a smile draws on his lips, a smile that shows happiness at first but then a deep, deep look of sadness. "The first time I flew solo. I was fourteen, it was the most amazing experience only second to…." he swallows and presses his lips together. He clears his throat and then asks "Gen…" and he looks at her "If we fail outside of…" he looks around as if representing the entire Military. Now he looks at himself and asks "Does that mean this is all of what we are?"

"What we do here is talk. And talking is one of the most natural things in the world." she explains, until his question grabs her attention. "That depends on how you define 'fail', Richard."

"My marriage failed, my life spiralled down…I ran, basically speaking" says Duke, but not really hurting about this, more like trying to define himself now based on these past events. He looks up at her and smiles "Not a lot of people call me Richard"

"If you like, I can continue to call you Bumper or Duke instead?" she offers. "Whatever makes you more comfortable."

He shakes his head "No, you can use Richard if you'd like…I guess I just" he licks his lips "Let me ask you this, Gen. Out of three options. Richard, Bumper, Duke…what would /you/ prefer to call me?" Now he nods "Saying that it's up to me is not counted as a valid answer"

"I quite like all three, depending on the moment. All part of who you are. Now I'm going to let you in on something, and it may shock you. Are you ready?" she leans forward conspiratorially.

Duke considers and nods his head "I guess that's a good answer" another faint smile is shown and then he nods in silence, leaning in to listen to what she has to say. "Of course" says the man, perhaps showing in those words a bit more of the 'solid' persona.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have marriages that don't succeed, spiral, and pick themselves back up." She grins at him. "Amazing, isn't it?" The tease is very gentle, a way of giving him a little nudge. He's not the only one in the worlds.

Duke looks at her, opens his mouth to say something but nothing. Technically speaking, she is right, and he knows this. He sits back against his chair, thinking about her words "Remarkable" says the man now, nodding his head afterwards. "You are welcome to use all three, by the way" says the DCAG now, nodding once again. "I, picked myself up or…well, I had people that picked me up…you among them"

Iphigenia shakes her head. "You were offered hands, and you took them. Don't discount your role in your own healing…but don't kid yourself about the road you have ahead, either. The fact that you're opening up more, and the fact that you're willing to move from hearing to listening is excellent progress."

The left corner of his lips lift just a little and he says "And I'm actually pretty good at listening" /When/ it doesn't involve his own issues. A Flight Instructor has to be good at Listening, and in a way, or many ways, a Flight Instructor can also offer a helping word, sort of. "But I know I haven't been doing that when my own problems are involved." He presses his lips together "Gen, do you think it would be possible for me to visit more often for private counseling?"

"Of course." she says immediately. "We'll sort out a schedule. But we still have time right now if there's anything you feel like you want to get out."

"I've been very busy lately, lot of things to do but, well…" says the Viper Pilot, going silent to think of a few things. "What do you plan, Gen? After these 18 months…what are your plans?" He looks down, tapping fingers on his knees "I can't help to keep thinking about that. I want to but an old Mark II, see if I can find one in the junk yards…"

"I don't give much thought to it, really. If I don't continue further into the chaplaincy, I'll likely see about taking up duties in a temple on Virgon." she says with a faint smile. "Or perhaps I'll teach. I have faith that whatever I'm supposed to be doing, I'll do."

"I wish I could have your determination, Gen." says Richard Duke "My focus is something that failed me when…when Laura and I got divorced. While I'm here, I know what I have to do, I do what I have to do…" he clears his throat and nods "I see myself going the entire way, perhaps some day even Command a bucket like this one here" He smiles faintly. But then there's another side of me, that wants to have a family of my own, that wants to…" He clears his throat, apparently a little ashamed to say "…that wants to, hold someone in my arms…I" And now, a little of the old Duke shows up, the one that avoided topics, the one that tried to get away. However, he fights it, and this can be seen "I just feel that, all that side of me just, ended…with Laura gone."

"You know, in a way you're grieving." she points out gently. "Though a person has died, your marriage has. And what you've experiencing throughout all this time is very much the stages of grief. Consider this - if that side of you ended when you and your ex-wife parted ways, would you still feel like it was something you wanted in your life? What you're experiencing isn't a sense that it's ended. It's the realization that you've got to start over, from scratch. And that's very overwhelming. You're a flight instructor. Haven't you seen students so overwhelmed by the prospect of what they're about to do they have a moment where they decide they just can't? It's your job to get them to do it anyway, and then they realize there was nothing to be scared of. There are risks of course, but the joy is worth it."

Richard Duke remains in silence, listening to what she is saying, really paying attention to what she is saying. When she is done, he immediately says "It…it is, something I wanted in my life, something I still want in my life" It's hard to admit, in a way…well…it is a scary thought. Now, he shows a faint smile "Yes, I've seen students like that, some of them turned into some of the best pilots I've seen" he shakes his head "Absolutely nothing to do with me, these kids had it in them since day one" There is fondness in his words, he seems to have held his students in high regard. "There's a…" says the man, apparently remembering something "There's something I wanted to show you" he pats on his chest pocket and slides his fingers inside. He pulls a small set of photographs, about 5 in total. Duke hands them to Gen and says "That's Laura" An in those pictures, she will see Duke smiling in a way that he has never shown here. But also, she will see her, the green-eyed brunette that looks so very happy in those pictures as well.

"She's very lovely." Gen remarks after taking a considerate glance over the pictures. "And you look very happy in these pictures." She offers them back to him. "What else makes you happy in your life?"

Duke takes them back, looks at them and then saves them in his pocket "I never know if I should get rid of them or not" He half smiles and then answers her question "Flying." Which oddly enough, is something that as DCAG, he doesn't get to do /as much/.

"That's not a decision anyone but you can make." she says. "But there is a third option other than keeping them so close or getting rid of them completely: put them away. It's alright to look at them from time to time; there's nothing wrong with returning to fond memories, or even ones that bruise. To answer your earlier question about being all their is…you only named two things that make you happy. Do you think," and there's that tone again, the one that sounds like she's about to ask him a question that has an answer he'll already know but just hasn't realized, "In all the worlds, on twelve colonies plus that one very special planet down there, there might not be another person - but other pasttimes, other places - that could make you happy? If you don't take the time to explore the opportunities that present themselves to you, you may never know. Try things, Bumper. Things you haven't tried before, when given the opportunity. Give yourself permission to enjoy them. You won't be punished for it, and I think you believe, a little bit, that you're afraid you will be if you tried."

"I…just don't know what else I like. Well, I like teaching but that's linked with Flying. I like carving…I should show you some of the things I made sometime." explains the man, going silent to think about other things. But perhaps the realization that his life is lacking in many aspects brings a hint of sadness. "I don't know what else, I guess I never…" Oh shit, this is probably one of the reasons they divorced, because he was so damn locked in his own world. "Oh gods…" says the man, leaning his head down, placing his hand on his forehead.

Iphigenia is silent a few moments. This is how Iphigenia works; she doesn't tell people what to do, she just presents things to them in a way to make them consider the perspective themselves, and then reach the eventual inevitable conclusions. She lets him process through it for a little bit and says, "Regardless of who you were before, what you is the opportunity to become more now. Not for anyone else, just yourself. Seizing opportunity is entirely up to you."

"But…" comes from Duke, and now, he looks up, into Gen's eyes. "How? How do you do that? How do you…find…new stuff." Now, he licks his lips and adds "Let's be honest, with are in the Colonial Fleet, we basically from our lives while outside and carry them with us when we come in…" Which was, not entirely true in his case. He met his wife while teaching in Picon, which was…not long ago.

"You have an entire Air-Wing full of people from all over the Colonies. Surely they have diverse interests. You're endeavoring to get to know them, aren't you? Get them to show you different things." she suggests.

"See, that's the problem. Getting to know people in depth can create bonds of friendship, as CAG…or…well, DCAG, I have to show another side." explains Duke, and this is the truth, he can be friends with people, he has to be a Leader…which in turn, has the potential of being a very lonely place.

"Or you're a thoughtful leader who is getting to know his people." Yes, it can be lonely, but it doesn't always have to be.

Duke nods "I have been doing something like that, well, perhaps not 'get to know them' but…I am meeting one on one with each of my Pilots and ECOs, see how they are doing, see if they have questions.." He half snorts and just shakes his head "I say /my/ Pilots and ECOs but, I mean, I will go back when the CAG and Major Wisdom return" And there is no regret in his voice, but there's also no happiness.

And Duke does listen, and does stop. He just nods his head. "You want to know something else? Another reason for which I was…reluctant, to talk with you is that, Laura was a religious woman, devout and…gods…I can totally see why we got divorced"

And Duke does listen, and does stop. He just nods his head. "You want to know something else? Another reason for which I was…reluctant, to talk with you is that, Laura was a religious woman, devout and…gods…I can totally see why we got divorced" He half chuckles and just shakes his head "I was…a bad husband" He clicks his tongue and then looks at her, smiling, faintly. "Gen, do you mind if we stop here…I think I need to be alone for a while. But if you'll have me, I would like to return."

"You may come to find that the meaning of words like 'devout' and 'religious' are different things for different people." Iphigenia offers diplomatically. "But I think at this point, yes, you should take some time for yourself to think about what we've gone over. There's no 'if you'll have me' about it, Bumper. This is my purpose, here on the Battlestar. It's as essential to me as being a flight instructor is to you." She gives him a smile. "We'll speak again soon."

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