ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "deceitful" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] cf1023.  It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and directly follows "The Great Art of Life." Read that one first, or this one will not make much sense.

WARNING: This poem is very fractious. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. There is superpower overstrain with migraine-like symptoms, miscommunication, insistence on medical attention that Shiv does not want and makes him feel worse, serious interpersonal conflicts, boundary issues, minor medical details, intense stress, near-flashback levels of past problems, nobody getting what they really want, general snappishness, emotional confusion, and no happy ending. This is typical of Shiv's negative experiences with medical attention, which is why he drags his feet about it in the first place, and it is going to take a lot of work to fix later. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your taste and headspace before deciding whether it's something you want to read. However, be aware that if you choose to skip it, you'll miss a piece that lays the groundwork for several later poems.


"Deceit and Defiance"


Shiv had enjoyed the sensory bin,
even if he didn't care to admit out loud
that he liked something as simple as play.

He didn't mind cleaning up,
despite the headache drilling into
his skull between his eyes.

He liked feeling useful, and he
appreciated that Mr. Vanburen
and Rosie would let him pitch in.

As Shiv poured the found objects
into the tub, Mr. Vanburen took
each empty bowl from him and
then stacked them to put away.

Rosie picked up the cover
and snapped it onto the tub.

Then he looked at Shiv and
frowned. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Shiv said quickly,
sitting up from where he'd been
slumped over the table.

"I'm not so sure of that," Rosie said.
"Do you want to swing by the infirmary?"

"No," Shiv said. What he wanted
was to get his fussbudget counselor
off his back so he could go lie down.

"You've got that little horseshoe
between your eyebrows that usually
indicates pain or grief," Rosie said.

He caught Shiv's chin in gentle fingers
and then tipped his face upward.

The light stabbed into Shiv's eyes,
making him jerk away. "Don't."

"Does the light hurt your eyes?"
Rosie asked, sharing a look of
concern with Mr. Vanburen.

"I said I'm fine." The last thing that
Shiv needed was them fussing over him.

Rosie gave an unhappy sigh.
"Light sensitivity is a migraine symptom,"
he said. "That's not something I can ignore."

"Come on, Shiv," said Mr. Vanburen.
"We'll go see Dr. Bloch and he can
fix whatever is bothering you."

"I'm. Fine." Shiv gritted his teeth
and ground his fingers into the sides of
his seat. It was bad enough that he had
a headache without them making it worse.

"Don't make me drag you," the guard said quietly.
"I don't think that any of us would enjoy that."

"Yeah, that's really going to make me
feel better," Shiv snapped, shoving
his chair away from the table.

"Shiv, we meant this activity to be
fun and relaxing for you," said Rosie.
"I'm sorry it didn't turn out that way."

"It was great, until you two started
picking on me," Shiv said.

Mr. Vanburen didn't scold him
or grab him, though, just waved
a hand close enough that Shiv
skittered out of reach.

Toward the door.

He resented being herded
like a silly sheep, but it was
better than being dragged
through the halls in chains.

Again.

Shiv might not be able
to escape a trip to the infirmary,
but he could certainly drag his feet
the whole way there.

That got a lot more amusing
when he stepped in a puddle
that was pooling alongside
one of the water fountains.

Squeak.

Squeak-squeak
.

The soft rubbery soles of
Shiv's prison-issued shoes
caught on the linoleum floor,
making weird noises.

Rosie winced.

Shiv narrowed his eyes
and deliberately dragged
the toe of his shoe.

Squeeeaaak.

"Knock it off," said Mr. Vanburen.

Shiv kicked extra hard on
the next step. SKREEECH.

"Oh, let him play," Rosie said,
despite hunching his shoulders
against the noise. "He's hurting
and angry, and this stunt doesn't do
any real damage, it's just irritating."

Shiv experimented with scuffing
the soles of both shoes against
the floor. Squak-squak-squak.

Mr. Vanburen heaved a sigh.

Shiv pulled the side of one shoe
along the floor in long strokes.
YEE-EEE-EEEEEEEP.

And then they were there.

"What the devil is all that racket?"
Dr. Bloch said as he came out.

"Shiv found a puddle on the way here,"
Mr. Vanburen said through his teeth.
"We need to get Maintenance on
that water fountain yesterday."

"I doubt the prison budget will
extend to time travel, but I'll ask
Maintenance to hurry it up,"
Dr. Bloch said dryly. "Now,
what brings you down here?"

"I think Shiv has a migraine,"
Rosie said. "We played
with the sensory bin --"

"Oh, how did that go?"
Dr. Bloch asked, perking up.

"He enjoyed it for a while --
your obsidian scalpel blade
was a big hit, thanks -- but then
in cleanup he started showing
migraine symptoms such as
light sensitivity," said Rosie.

"Shiv, how are you feeling?"
Dr. Bloch said, turning to him.

"I'm fine," Shiv insisted.

"You don't look fine," Dr. Bloch said,
and there went the last-ditch hope
of getting out of this. "Hop up on
an exam bed so I can check."

Shiv didn't feel like moving,
but neither did he want anyone
to know that, so he did his best
to mimic his usual bounce.

It was hard with every sharp thing
in the infirmary poking him in the brain.
What usually felt relaxing to him was
miserable all of a sudden, and Shiv
had no idea why. That was scary.

He tried not to flinch every time Dr. Bloch
touched him, but Shiv really didn't
want to be touched right now.

It was all he could do not to hit back.

"Come on, work with me a little,"
Dr. Bloch coaxed. "I can't fix
the problem if I don't know what
it is, and my own observations
can only tell me so much. I
don't know exactly how it feels
to you unless you tell me."

"I told you," Shiv repeated.
"I'm fine. I don't want to be here."

Sure he felt like he was being
stabbed in the eyes with an ice pick,
but a bunch of people bothering him
about it only made it worse.

What he needed to make it
better was peace and quiet, but
they wouldn't let him have that.

So Shiv ignored the doctor
as much as he could, and only
answered questions if they were
repeated several times, mostly
with "No" or "I'm fine."

When Dr. Bloch tried
to shine a light in his eyes,
though, Shiv really buckled down.

He shut his eyes, locked his chin
against his chest, and clenched
the edge of the table in his hands.

If they wanted to torture him,
he'd make them work for it.

Dr. Bloch gave an exasperated sigh.
"I can't help if you won't let me," he said.

Well that was the point.

Shiv opened his eyes long enough
to glare at the older man, but
did not say anything.

Dr. Bloch took off his glasses
and tapped them thoughtfully
against the palm of his hand.

Shiv scrunched his eyes closed
again, trying to ignore the motion of
the tiny screws and the crisp edges
of the lenses inside the frames.

"I know you're not doing well,
you look miserable," said Dr. Bloch.
"Sit up a little here, and --"

"Fuck off," Shiv snapped.
"I don't want your help, I didn't ask
to come here, and I don't want you
touching me. Leave me the hell alone."

"Fine." Dr. Bloch's tone went flat.

Shiv cringed. Now he was
really going to get it.

He could hear Dr. Bloch
talking with the other two men,
but couldn't quite make out
what they were saying
about him now.

Then came the sounds of
Dr. Bloch rummaging around
the room, opening and closing
cabinets and drawers.

"All I can tell is that you're in pain,
probably a headache, which could be
due to the practice session or something
entirely unrelated," the doctor said to Shiv.
"I can't do any better than that without
some cooperation from you."

"Didn't ask for your stupid help,"
Shiv said in a mulish tone.

"You have made that perfectly clear,"
said Dr. Bloch. "You still have some right
to refuse treatment, and unless your life is
in danger, I don't feel inclined to keep
arguing with you over that."

"Really?" Shiv said, looking
up at him with slitted eyes.

"I brought you a painkiller,"
said Dr. Bloch. He set down
a bottle and a paper cup on
the table, hard enough to make
the blue pills rattle inside. "This is
the same one you've had before,
so we know it works for you.
Take it or not, your choice."

Shiv snatched the bottle and
the pills without bothering to look
at either, then swallowed hastily.

Then he sputtered. "This is water!"

"You play nice, you work with me,
you get treats," Dr. Bloch said evenly.
"You sulk, you lie to me, you
make do with plain water."

Shiv sulked.

His mouth tasted like chalk
and something bitter. He took
another long drink of water,
trying to wash it away, but
that didn't help a bit.

Dr. Bloch simply ignored him
after that. "I've done all I can,"
he said to Mr. Vanburen. "Take him
back to his cell and make sure that he
gets some rest. Call me if you think
he's getting worse, because Shiv
obviously won't say anything."

Shiv hated it when people talked
over him like he wasn't there.

"Will do, doc," said Mr. Vanburen.
"Shiv, let's go, there's nothing
wrong with your legs."

Grudgingly Shiv pushed himself
off of the exam bed and then
headed toward the door.

Rosie moved aside, not looking
at him. "If you need to talk, Shiv,
then I should be available again after
an hour or so," he said over his shoulder.
"Meanwhile, I suggest that you practice
some of your quieter coping skills."

"What?" Shiv said. Rosie was
acting all weird and tight.

"You're not the only one who
needs to use coping skills,"
the counselor said quietly.
"I will be in my office, but
not available for a while."

Then he just walked away.

Shiv stared at Rosie's back,
wondering what the hell
had just happened.

Here he was standing
outside the infirmary with
no soda, no sucker, no nothing
but the same headache that
he'd gone in there with.

Shiv finished his bottle of water,
squinted through the glare in his vision,
and tossed the bottle at the trash can.

It bounced off the rim onto the floor.

Mr. Vanburen picked it up without
a word and dropped it in the trash.

Shiv scraped his tongue against his teeth
and wished that he could have something
more to drink, even if it was only water.
The nasty chalk flavor still wouldn't quit.

Now Dr. Bloch wasn't speaking
with him, and Rosie was gone,
and everything was horrible.

And why did his throat ache all of a sudden?

Shiv slumped against the outside wall
of the infirmary and crossed his arms,
each hand clutching the opposite elbow.

He felt like crumpled tinfoil inside,
and he didn't even understand why.

He started to bounce his head
against the wall, only to have it
land on the soft cushion of
Mr. Vanburen's palm.

"Not right now," the guard said.
"God knows, you make me want
to beat my head against the wall,
but doing that when you already have
a headache is a real bad idea, at least
if a migraine is anything like a hangover."

Shiv thought about that. The level of
pain felt comparable to a bad hangover,
but it was sharp and spiky like an ice pick
rather than dull and throbby like a vice, and
he was shying away from bright light
instead of strong smells like bacon.

But it would probably still hurt worse
to hit his head on anything now.

"Why do I feel so ..." He twitched
his arms, unable to find words, then
settled for, "... fucking awful?"

"I don't know, I'm not a doctor
or a shrink," said Mr. Vanburen.
"I'm just a guard. You can ask
them later, if you want to. All I
can do is follow instructions and
take you back to your cell. Maybe
you'll feel better if you lie down."

"Yeah," Shiv said. That would
probably help. He pushed himself
away from the wall, wobbled,
and started walking.

Then he noticed that the guard
had a hand just behind Shiv's back.

"What?" he said. "I'm already going,
you don't have to keep pushing at me."

"I'm spotting, not pushing," said Mr. Vanburen.
"You're not feeling well, and you're also on
medication. So I'll keep a hand ready in case
you lose your balance. I won't touch you
unless you slip or take a swing at me."

"Fine, whatever," Shiv grumbled,
and tried to ignore it all the way
back to the private wing.

Mr. Vanburen paused for a moment
at the secure fridge just inside the door
that separated this wing from the hub.

"Here," he said, offering Shiv
another bottle of water. "Use this,
and don't drink out of the sink --
you know that Dr. Bloch thinks
that's unsanitary, even though
the water's perfectly drinkable.
Buzz me if you need more."

Shiv had to uncross his arms
to take the bottle. It felt cool
and damp in his hand, which
helped clear his head a little.

Then Mr. Vanburen let Shiv
into his cell and latched the door
securely behind him.

The first thing Shiv did when he got in
was toss the bottle onto his bed and
take a drink out of the faucet.

Then he wrinkled his nose,
shaking off his wet hand.

The sink water might be safe,
but had a faint funky taste that
was nowhere near as appealing
as the cold, bottled springwater.

He sat down gingerly on the bed
and cracked the seal on the bottle.

It still didn't wash away the chalk,
but it felt good on his dry mouth and
helped soothe the lump in his throat.

Too bad he had no candy in his cell at
the moment -- Shiv had gotten so used to
people giving him stuff that he'd forgotten
to hold some back for when they quit.

He leaned back, very carefully
settling his sore head on his pillow,
but it felt soft as a cloud under him.
That definitely helped.

He wrapped himself in his blanket,
still nursing the bottle of water.

That helped even more -- for once,
Shiv felt grateful that he couldn't get
his superpower into the Microfyne.
There was nothing in it to scrape
against his raw senses.

One hand slowly stroked the blue fuzz,
comparing the pillow to the blanket,
and the soft contact slowly made
Shiv feel a little bit better.

Thank goodness for Microfyne,
and right now, he didn't care
if it was habit-forming.

He was exhausted, and miserable,
but at least he was alone and
that made it easier to deal with.

The drug lapped at the edges of
his awareness, making him drowsy
and starting to wash away the pain.

It was working slower this time,
though, he could feel it. Shiv
really missed the speed boost
of the passionflower soda --
not to mention the way it
had killed the chalk flavor.

Maybe the world would suck less
if he took some time out for a nap.

Shiv closed his eyes and went to sleep.

* * *

Notes:

"There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted."
-- Dick Cheney

Eyebrow language can create expressions of sadness or pain. The inverted horseshoe is sometimes called Darwin's grief muscle.

Sensory overload is associated with migraines. Many factors in modern life contribute to headaches. The risk is higher for people with especially keen senses and/or extra senses. Understand how to prevent migraines and reduce sensory overload.

Migraines include not just devastating pain but also other symptoms, such as light sensitivity. Shiv is always at least a little sensitive to light, probably a result of the earlier head injury, but it gets worse under stress or overstrain. Headaches from overuse of superpowers tend to develop in stages, much as migraines do. Recognizing the symptoms quickly makes it possible to avert, reduce, or treat the condition more effectively. Read about the causes and treatments of migraines.

The dangers of psychic development include head pain, often referred to as a reaction headache or overstrain headache. At more severe levels, it can cause nosebleeds.

Overstrain is a condition in which using superpowers beyond safe limits begins to cause problems. At lower levels, normal expression of powers tapers off, such as a glow diminishing or going out because there's no excess to tap off that way. Then comes tiredness, general achiness, and slow or fuzzy thinking. Using superpowers becomes uncomfortable and then painful. The most famous symptom is a terrible headache, similar to a migraine, which does not respond well to most medications. At higher levels, nosebleeds can occur. Sometimes people get other symptoms particular to their abilities. Overstrain usually builds up slowly from using superpowers too long, but it can happen quickly from pushing them too hard. Much like use of physical abilities, attempting to exceed your limits can cause ruptures in painful places. It is possible, though not common, for people to die of overstrain; rather like pushing oneself into a heart attack. The most important treatment is rest, preferably somewhere dark and quiet. Blue chamomile helps somewhat. Prescription-strength painkillers may or may not take the edge off, and are more useful for helping the victim sleep through the worst of the misery.

Body language can reveal discomfort or pain. Touch aversion is another key sign, especially as a change in customary behavior. Shiv waffles back and forth between sensory-seeking and touch aversion under normal circumstances, but consistently withdraws when he feels bad. It's not just the increased alertness to threats, either; like many people, he finds skin contact irritating or painful then.

Leveling is one of the Satir Modes, characterized by direct and literal speech, and the most effective when it is safe to use. Shiv only levels as a last resort. Whenever a habitually evasive person levels, that warrants complete attention -- and caution. It's one of the last things he does before completely losing his shit.

There are many reasons why people may not want help, usually due to negative experiences with it. In particular, most people resist helpiness, which is purported to be helpful but is actually irrelevant or harmful and often turns the intended recipient into a help object. Shiv has had many unpleasant experiences with this, and his superpowers have only made it worse because they push him further from the standards that caregivers have been trained to handle.  Plus of course he never formed healthy attachments to begin with, thus has little framework for help-seeking.  When someone doesn't want your help, don't force them unless it is an emergency. Understand that if you force them, even in an emergency, they will quite probably resent it; and decide how you plan to handle that before you cross that line, because it could well cost you the relationship. Taking no for an answer is especially hard on health workers, but is an essential part of their profession. Violations of this boundary tend to exacerbate existing issues with trust or clinical interactions.

Body autonomy includes the right to seek or refuse treatment for problems. This causes a great deal of controversy, and in local-America, is all too often ignored because it is inconvenient, less profitable, or the person is perceived as powerless. Imprisonment complicates this because inmates are not free to seek their own caregivers. In theory, they have the right to request or refuse health care; in practice, violations of both occur frequently and the quality of institutional care is usually marginal at best. T-America has higher standards, as described in this scene, but that doesn't mean they never go haywire. For survivors of child abuse/neglect, the issues are even more fraught. Among the many lasting effects is usually severe damage to boundary awareness; survivors often do not maintain their own boundaries or respect other people's boundaries because other people have violated theirs so often that a healthy pattern could not develop. A lot of Shiv's misbehavior comes from not being able to see the lines that he's crossing; he doesn't always notice when people are crossing lines they shouldn't with him, and even if he realizes it bothers him, sometimes doesn't object because he thinks it's normal or they have a right to it. So it's crucial to protect boundaries when caring for abuse survivors, even if -- or especially if -- they do not defend their own. Finally, as Dr. Bloch just discovered, you can make things happen but you can't make them work.  Not listening to people is miserable at best and fatal at worst.  Forcing people consistently produces negative results, rarely produces positive ones, and undermines the possibility of better interactions later on.

Positive discipline is a set of techniques for improving behavior at home or at work. It uses natural and logical consequences to show the results of a person's actions. Discipline differs from punishment in that discipline teaches while punishment hurts. Shiv's experiences are so awful that he doesn't always respond well to positive discipline, but definitely responds worse to punishment. Dr. Bloch tries both coaxing and commanding first, and when neither works, resorts to logical consequences -- no more effective in the moment, but less damaging than other options. Browse some positive discipline techniques and learn how to apply them.

Defensive and closed body language indicate that someone does not wish to interact. One way to encourage people to open up emotionally is doing something which causes them to open up physically, such as handing something to a person with crossed arms who must then uncross in order to take it.

Another example of damage from child abuse is obscured emotions. Alexithymia is a common result, where someone has trouble feeling, identifying, and/or expressing emotions. Shiv's view of his is patchy, sometimes too intense and other times muffled or absent. Know how to recognize and show your feelings.

A disconnection between cause and effect may have many reasons. Young people often struggle with this, and it's harder for survivors of child abuse/neglect, but some adults do it too. This can lead to high-conflict personality patterns. Shiv does this because it's what he grew up with, which left him with problems that make it worse, and he's not finished growing up yet. It's a perfect storm.

Contrary behavior is often diagnosed as Oppositional-Defiant Disorder. The problem with this is it routinely fails to acknowledge the fact that people whose desires and goals differ will naturally oppose each other! It's only a disorder if someone is unable to work together with others while pursuing their own goals. As such, this is part of a general trend toward pathologizing natural behavior just because it is inconvenient or displeasing. Shiv actually has a subordinate mode. He just doesn't share it with people who haven't earned his respect, and that's not easy to do. Know how to deal with contrary kids and adults.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-16 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron
Spare spoons mean a longer comment.

>>despite the headache drilling into
his skull between his eyes.<<

I've had (more than) my fair share of migraines. This bit made me wince. Shiv's lucky he didn't get so much of the nausea side of things, because even keeping water down? Bit of a daunting prospect.

>>What he wanted
was to get his fussbudget counselor
off his back so he could go lie down.<<

I can't really blame him here. Shiv doesn't appear to have much experience with migraines, but Rosie's trying his best to balance want and need here. Defining need in a superpowered individual, in a difficult situation, and without significant science done can't be easy, so he's going with his best guess, but it's not quite right.

>>Squeak. <<

Oh, fond memories.

>>"You don't look fine," Dr. Bloch said,
and there went the last-ditch hope
of getting out of this.<<

This. Shiv doesn't get enough chances to choose for himself, and when he does, it's often a trivial matter. This just reinforces what foster parents and teachers told him all along: his opinion doesn't matter. Sure, he could probably use some blue chamomile instead of the stress of a trip to the infirmary, but we'll see if Dr. Bloch or Graham might pick up on that gap in the future.

>>"Fine." Dr. Bloch's tone went flat.

Shiv cringed. Now he was
really going to get it.<<

ECR Boy needs a hug, if only he'd been taught that such things were alright to accept every once in a while. (Also, after the migraine ends.)

>>"You play nice, you work with me,
you get treats," Dr. Bloch said evenly.<<

Shiv's learned that working for privileges means they're his. He has to realize that the premise works both ways, and somebody around's got to realize he doesn't understand the concept all that well. I can imagine it in a storytime with Edison, especially with one of the "do-unto-others" books that exist at least in thousandfold here.

>>"I'm spotting, not pushing," said Mr. Vanburen.<<

Yay, concrete descriptions! Travis is catching on, little by little.

>>Too bad he had no candy in his cell at
the moment -- Shiv had gotten so used to
people giving him stuff that he'd forgotten
to hold some back for when they quit.<<

I have a feeling Graham will be talking with him about this soon enough, especially since there's a standing promise for the next day.

>>Shiv felt grateful that he couldn't get
his superpower into the Microfyne.
There was nothing in it to scrape
against his raw senses.<<

I can't wait until technology develops enough that we have good Microfyne of our own. I need some of that stuff, and I'm pretty sure my dog would steal my blanket for herself, so I'd better get two.

>>Maybe the world would suck less
if he took some time out for a nap.<<

Maybe. Around here, that would be nice.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-17 01:41 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I adored the post, I can see every bit of it so clearly. Shiv is probably my favorite character, because I see a lot of myself in him. So, this post AND your author notes? A double whammy of useful and thoughtful and very timely. Thanks so much for posting, your work is damned important, especially Polychrome. Best, KellyC

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-17 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm honestly kinda annoyed at the adults here. Way to teach Shiv that his opinions mean basically nothing and he gets no real say in his own body. Yeah, they had to at least check it out, but how many ways, verbal or not, does he have to say 'leave me alone' before it matters? Frankly, Doc's reaction came across a little like the kid's "I'm taking my ball and going home" routine.
FWIW, this just hits a lot of my issues, and I'm reading a lot of personal history in, and just wanted to get some of it out of my head. Still enjoyed the story, just kinda want to slap them upside the head with a wet noodle or something.

Yep

Date: 2016-08-17 11:55 pm (UTC)
cf1023: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cf1023
Seconded!

This is great. Thanks for posting

Date: 2016-08-17 11:52 pm (UTC)
cf1023: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cf1023
The whole time I was reading, I was going, "Aww, Shiv!" He feels bad and can't express it with anything other than being his prickly self, and the staff try to help but aren't very effective at communicating with him.

I had a feeling this one would hit on medical consent issues--they are a hot topic for me, as a practitioner and as a reluctant patient. I was not pleased by Bloch's withdrawal reaction because it strikes me as manipulative. I've seen practitioners use this approach and it is often successful in making the patient feel bad for "refusing care" or "being non-compliant" so they take treatment they had refused in order to make the practitioner accept or like them better. It kind of makes those patients think ~Here, I'll do what you want. Just don't abandon me.~ It's just icky.

I am proud of Shiv's restraint throughout this poem. He manages not to lash out when he is touched--instead, he withdraws, which isn't the ideal response, but better than violence in this case.

Again, wonderful! Thanks so much for posting!
Edited Date: 2016-08-17 11:54 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-18 08:56 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I really enjoyed this on first read. On second read, I still enjoyed it, but was also troubled and fascinated. Looking forward to third read. :)

Typo?

Date: 2016-08-16 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zianuray.livejournal.com
Perhaps "vice" should be "vise"?

but it was sharp and spiky like an ice pick
rather than dull and throbby like a vice, and

So Shiv is being petty -- I don't like people nagging at me when I feel rough either, so I can empathize. But it doesn't mean we don't both need to grow up about it. He's doing so well overall, though!

Re: Typo?

Date: 2016-08-16 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Perhaps "vice" should be "vise"? <<

Fixed, thanks.

>> So Shiv is being petty -- I don't like people nagging at me when I feel rough either, so I can empathize. But it doesn't mean we don't both need to grow up about it. He's doing so well overall, though! <<

Petty in terms of things like deliberately making noise that hurts someone's ears. But his health concerns are not petty. He's had a lot of so-called help that was useless or worse-than-useless, especially when people won't listen to him about his needs. You can't treat abuse survivors that way, it compounds the damage. And treating soups that way will often get them hurt, because there are just too many ways they're not quite identical to ordinary people -- who also have more variation than most folks realize.

The main problem is a communication failure. Shiv doesn't have the skills to articulate his feelings and needs clearly, or self-advocate effectively, because people haven't responded to his attempts. You can't learn without good feedback.

Also, nobody thought to ask Shiv, "What would help? Has this happened to you before, and if so, how did you handle that?" They went with "Prison policy is X" and that doesn't work for everyone.

Getting effective care of any kind requires clear communication and competent response. This is not always available. On the bright side, folks in T-America are typically more sensible than here. Having seen that this approach didn't work out well for anyone, they'll troubleshoot in hopes of doing better in the future.

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