I used to really like zombie stuff, because I obsessively research survival stuff in case i have to bail on a house or a person and live in my car or disapear. (thankfully i’ve never had to get to ‘disappear’ stage)
I kind of, always have this obsession with knowing useful things ‘just in case’ and being able to survive on my own ‘just in case’.

And I realised it’s a terrible combination of the very real fear of being abandoned or hunted because of surviving abuse, stalking, the fucked up shit my main abuser would do like dump me on the highway in the middle of the night etc.  and the fear that should everything turn to shit i am one of the ones who will die so I have to earn my survival by knowing so much stuff that I am worth keeping alive.

And part of the reason why I have this idea that I will die without relying on other people is the persistent narrative that people like me are weak, useless and worthless.

It used to be just me alone, planning.
I would say “oh for zombies lol” when people would ask me why I had a bag always packed and slept in clothes, because the answer “I need to run in case you hurt me” is not a safe thing to say.
Hypervigilance and catastrophising weren’t words I knew then either. I just knew I felt safer with a knife. With a window to jump out. With a secret stash of shit in a dozen places I could live in the bush. 

But then when people would start reccing me zombie stuff it would always be, “you die, you get fucked up, you get used, you get abandoned, you and people like you are not worth respecting, and not worth keeping alive.

And I just… 
I don’t need to watch something fictional to feel like that.

Normally when I wake up it’s like a cloud of sentences tangled together. This time it was a void with a single sentence in it. It felt simple and clean and peaceful.

Before I fell asleep I was being held, which replaced the world for me and allowed me to wake up in a different way than if I woke up in the world. Before this I had an idea for a qame where you’re a snake-oil peddler who travels from town to town trying to sell as much elixir as possible before getting thrown out. You can water down the elixir to save money or dilute it with shit like turpentine to make it seem healthy and purgative, but you’ll probably kill a bunch of people but that’s okay, there’s a million infinitely generated towns. Don’t get run out of town on a rail. Also you get to say a lot of high-falutin’ banter about cure-alls and the wonders of this panacea which will cure woman or beast. That would be randomly generated too.

I read an article about how children with PTSD grow up to have health problems. A short story I wrote got accepted to a place but later I wrote and told them not to publish it because of the way they treat trans people. I’m writing more short stories about people who are weapons and a woman who lives at the bottom of a well. I wish there was a meadow adjoining my apartment like a closet, a dark meadow to run across, for all my friends to run across, when the city becomes too close.

Hold My Hand

Entry for the Castle Fanfic Monday:

She might not be her mother but she knows all too well what she is experiencing. Alexis has a panic attack and Kate is there to calm her down. (Set between 6x16 & 6x17)


She could tell something was wrong with Alexis by the way she had rushed through the front door and pounded up the stairs without a second glance to her. Kate looked in confusion as the red headed young girl disappeared upstairs before she heard the slam of her bedroom door.

Kate knew it wasn’t like Alexis to do that, whenever she came home she would at least say hello or ask where her dad was, she would never ignore her and rush off to her bedroom without a second glance. Putting down her book, Kate made her way to the bottom of the stairs, listening out for any sign of movement from upstairs, but it was silent. Castle was at a meeting and if his text from an hour ago was anything to go by she wouldn’t be waiting up for him.

“Alexis?” Kate called, but was met with silence.

Her and Alexis had grown close over the past few months and had become good friends since Alexis had returned home. They would have nights in watching movies and eating ice cream or quick breakfasts in the morning whilst Castle was still in the shower and she was making the coffee. They were like any other family and Kate was enjoying the feeling of being part of such a loving family. It hadn’t always been that way, she had always questioned if there had been a tension between her and Alexis. After all she did put Castle in some dangerous situations; even if he insisted he was her partner and wasn’t going to leave her, but if something went wrong, if he was every hurt she would be the one to take the fall. Alexis had never done this before, ran home and ignored her and the burning questions that she had managed to put to the back of her mind were beginning to resurface.

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open RP

Cobalt zoned out, no longer paying attention to the other. Her mind blanked for a moment then was clouded with images, with terrible thoughts and memories.

Her past in the project took over every inch of her mind, her hands dug into the seat she was on, her fingers broke through the fabric. Greens stared into nothing, pained and distraught as sweat began to bead down her forehead.

update on last night

Thanks to everyone who replied and prayed last night. I really, truly appreciate it. 

Last night was one of the “much better“ nights, so it wasn’t too bad. My voice was still working, so I was able to sing (really badly) and pray until I was able to fall asleep. I’ll exchange numbers with y’all sometime today or tomorrow, for future reference.

If something good happens to you today or you have a really encouraging thought, and you post about it, let me know or tag me or something. Exhaustion and depression always follow my episodes, and being able to praise God with you (even from afar) would really just help in keeping my eyes on the Lord today and in fighting off the depression and taking care of myself properly today and not neglecting my duties/responsibilities (like… homework and work).

Apparently, yesterday’s sermon came at a very good time, so I’m going to hold on to that and to relevant passages in Scripture.

Love y’all. <3

Reclaiming Your Process: Moving past the mental fog of emotional abuse

Tarot For the Survivor at Along the Way

One of the most common things all of us survivors experience in conflict is, I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. We are constantly at battle with ourselves and the perspectives around us to try and understand our environments. Our relationships feel like minefields. What should be simple conversations are quickly subsumed by self-doubt, confusion, memory loss, and panic. Did I just fuck up? Is anything really happening? What if I’m making this all up?

The problem is: sometimes we ARE mis-perceiving, and we know this. So how do we start to tell the distinctions between what is our misunderstanding and what is someone else’s refusal to accept our experiences?

I’ve tried to come up with a list of tools that may help you start gaining a better handle on what’s happening.

Keep reading

The call that changed him.

When I was a kid my dad came home from an EMS call and broke down. I didn’t really understand it then. 

He had responded to an MVA. A drunk driver had hit two young sisters as they were crossing the street. When he hit them they were launched in the air with such force that their shoes remained on the pavement where they once stood. My dad, another EMT and a paramedic worked on the girls. They brought them to the hospital where they were pronounced. 

The paramedic, he resigned that night. The other EMT, he never went on another call again. My dad, he hugged his children a little tighter every day from then on out. He was never the same after that call. 

Years later, on what would have been the girls’ 18th birthday, their mom came to our house, along with the other EMT and the paramedic. It was closure. Closure they all needed. Ten years later they still weren’t ok.

It’s been about 15 years since that call and my dad still doesn’t like talking about it. He still has flashbacks. 

So if you’ve had a bad call and are upset, or beating yourself up over not being able to move past it, know it’s ok. It doesn’t make you less of a person, it doesn’t make you a bad EMT. 

It’s ok to struggle, what’s not ok is struggling alone.

In the Storms, olicity roadtrip/summer rewatch fic

Ten days into their roadtrip, Felicity wakes Oliver from a particularly bad dream and discovers that, eight years after the boat went down, Oliver still has nightmares when thunderstorms roll in. So Felicity offers to help Oliver get over his fear and see the beauty in the storms. Based in part on that scene from 1x01 where Oliver wakes from a nightmare during a storm and accidentally attacks his mother.


In the Storms

“Anyone can love you when the sun is shining. In the storms is where you learn who truly cares for you.” – Source unknown


He’s on the plane: the one he took to Starling City with Ra’s Al Ghul. The one he planned to sabotage in the hopes of taking down Ra’s, the Alpha/Omega virus, and – ultimately –himself.

Only he’s alone. The engine rumbles underneath him, and he knows that the plane’s aloft, but there’s no one here. No dead bodies, no live ones. No Ra’s, and no Nyssa. It’s just him. Just Oliver.

Suddenly, the plane starts to shudder. Over the roaring of the engine, Oliver can just make out the sound of air howling faster around the plane. Through the open bay doors he spots dark clouds and heavy rain.

Then it hits without warning: a bright flash lights up the sky and a bolt of lighting strikes the wing of the plane, causing the fuselage to groan and crack. The plane takes a dive to one side, and Oliver finds himself stumbling forward toward the cockpit.

He reaches the cockpit just in time to see a second bolt of lightning strike the other wing of the plane. The nose of the plane takes a dive, and suddenly it’s in freefall. Oliver cries out as the plane’s erratic motions send him crashing into the console. He grabs onto the arms of the pilot’s chair and maneuvers himself into it. He buckles himself in and glances out the windshield. He doesn’t even have to look at the plane’s controls to know that he’s screwed.

The wind’s howling past his ears, louder than anything he’s ever heard. Oliver puts his hands over his ears. Lighting flashes in the sky, and rumbles of thunder shake the atmosphere so hard that the plane shudders around him. Oliver feels himself starting to panic. He clutches the arms of the chair and tries to slow his breathing, but the plane’s falling faster and faster. He can’t breathe, can’t see straight, can’t think. His heart’s pounding and he’s going to die before the plane even makes impact.

But he doesn’t.

Oliver stays alive long enough to feel the plane crash into the ocean outside of Starling City, hitting the surface with a force of impact equal to concrete. He lives long enough to hear the cockpit windows shatter, long enough to feel the small space quickly fill with water.

He lives long enough to hear her voice.

Oliver?

Felicity? he calls back.

It’s her, he knows it’s her. Even with the water pouring in, even with the storm raging above him, even with his heart pounding out of his chest, Oliver would know her voice anywhere.

Oliver? she calls to him again.

Felicity!

Oliver thrashes in his seat, forgetting about his seatbelt in his haste to get to her. He grasps at the belt with trembling hands, but he can’t get it off. It must have jammed on impact. Oliver grabs the straps in his hands and tries to yank them away, but he can’t. He grips so tight his hands start to bleed, but he can’t do anything. He’s trapped, and the water is getting higher by the second.

Oliver, where are you? Oliver, help me!

She must be on the plane with him. Somehow, some way, she made it onto the plane and he missed her. Oliver struggles against his restraints once more, but he’s panicking horribly now, breathing erratic, and he nearly blacks out.

He stops struggling, gasping uselessly for air.

Oliver, I can’t find you. Where are you?

The water’s up to his neck now, and he can still see the lighting flashing high up in the sky even though the plane is fully submerged.

Felicity! Oliver screams her name, voice shaking as badly as he is.

Help me! Please! Oliver!

Felicity! he screams again. Feli-

He turns his face up to the ceiling as the water reaches his mouth. He spits it out and uses his last bit of air to whisper her name like a plea:

Felicity.

The water covers his head and he’s drowning. He’s drowning – again – and all he can hear is her.

Oliver! Oliver, come back to me! Oliver? Oliver, wake up! Wake up! Please!

He can’t breathe, he knows he’s going to die, and the last thing he’ll ever hear is the woman he loves calling to him, begging him to-

“WAKE UP!”

Keep reading

Veterans just got one step closer to medical marijuana treatment.

Thanks to a historic vote Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee, vets may soon get the treatment they need. By an 18-to-12 margin, senators approved an amendment to a massive military spending bill that would allow VA physicians to recommend the use of marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious injuries and conditions. But there are still hurdles to pass.

Think about the likelihood that Mickey has PTSD or another type of trauma-related disorder from almost 20 years of physical, mental, and emotional abuse.

Think about Ian going through therapy and learning more about mental illnesses. Realizing that Mickey’s constant nightmares aren’t normal, that Mickey’s occasional “it’s no big deal, really, just leave it” freak outs are panic attacks.

Think about Ian finally, after ages of trying, convincing Mickey to go in for a therapy session. To try anti-anxiety medication because “it helped me, maybe it’ll help you too” and damn, Mickey hates the idea that he is weak or broken, but Ian keeps reminding him that he is strong.

Think about Ian and Mickey getting full-time jobs that give them medical insurance, which means they can afford their therapy and meds.

Think about Ian and Mickey learning to be healthy and happy together.

2008 to 2015.
I would wears large skirts, because I couldn’t fit into cute jeans. I also was just getting back into classic rock, and thought I was special for wearing beanies. 😄

I binge ate so much then, and exercised by walking 3 miles when feeling anxiety. Then I would eat again, and again.
So happy that I understood more about my #bingeeatingdisorder as I got older, and the #generalizedanxietydisorder and #PTSD that drove it. 🙌🏻

Here’s to not having to wear big skirts to cover my body. 👌🏼

#2008 #beforeandafter #FlashbackFriday #healthy #fitness #girlswholift #running #hiit #kickboxing #weights #weightlosstransformation #weightloss #fatloss

The first review is in on Dear Friend!  (well, non mod review- what the mods said can’t be seen on Etsy.)

If You are a non US resident who would like to purchase a copy- unfortunately the post office closed today before I was able to go- but what you can do is start a conversation with me and give me your zipcode. That will allow me to figure out how much shipping is to your area and charge a different price if necessary. 

‘Dear Friend’ is a zine that aims to help you tell others about your PTSD. It includes small notes about how telling someone about your PTSD doesn’t mean you want them to fix you, and also hey, please be respectful and only give advice if you (the zine writer) has said it’s okay.

there’s a glossary in the back that covers terms like hyper-vigilance and panic attacks and foreshortened sense of future.

There’s a section about triggers, there’s a list of common symptoms that you can alter/cross off/circle/write stuff in to, there’s a place for crisis contacts and boundaries and self care things. 

Also if you are a SCaR follower- please comment that when you’re ordering.  for reasons.  It’s basically just a small tiny thing that I don’t know non-SCaR followers would be interested in.

Some of the Many Conditions That Marijuana Helps Treat

Medical marijuana has mead leaps and bounds over the last few years. It has been recorded in the past that it has many medical uses. Just recently these uses have actually started being applied to modern medicine. With great results in a wide variety of treatments in many types of illnesses, marijuana is proving its ability as a medicine. With the new laws passed in Colorado and Washington, tests are being done finally that are showing how marijuana is good for you as opposed to why it is bad for you. Caffeine nicotine and alcohol are all bad for you in some way but are legal and can be bought at every store around just about. Here are some of the Illnesses and a brief on how marijuana helps to treat each of these conditions.

Cancer

Patients who use marijuana find an increase in appetite as well as reduced pain. It also helps with nausea from treatment and medications as well as with depression symptoms associated with various types of cancers.
Cannabinoids are known to cause anti-tumor effects. These are caused by various mechanisms,things like induction of cell death, the inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.

Cannabis and Alzheimer’s

Agitation is a common behavior issue in patients who suffer this disease. (Affecting 75%) BY using medical marijuana these individual experience a calm that allows them some clarity and their loved ones a little peace in a frustrating and emotional time.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Medical Marijuana

It helps by slowing receptors called CB1 receptors in the brain that would otherwise trigger an anxiety attack in patients. Also they find it helps with shaking muscles that can be uncomfortable and painful. Not to mention treat an individuals depression assiated with PTSD.

Cannabinoids Treat Scoliosis Symptoms

These symptoms are helped to be kept at bay by providing pain relief. It also allows people who are suffering the ability to take less of harmful prescription drugs. CBD Oil is used in what is calle a tincture. There were 2 of these in 2003.
1.CBD tincture: 5 mg/cc CBD and 5 mg/cc THC.
2.THC tincture: 11 mg/cc THC and 2 mg/cc CBD.
CBD helps to prevent the build up of THC toxicity.
The balanced THC/CBD tinctures, where the CBD Oil is a minimum of 4 mg/cc, really are truly amazing tinctures.
The best results are seen (nearly 100 %) when using a tincture that has only 2 mg./cc of CBD oil given two times a day.
Guess who patented CBD Oil? It was the Federal Government. They patented CBD Oil back in 2003!

Diabetes and Medical Marijuana

Marijuana helps to stabilizes blood sugar levels. It also has Anti-inflammatory abilities. Also marijuana has neuroprotective, anti-spasmodic effects and it acts like a vasodilator as well.

Cannabinoids Lower Blood Pressure to Normal Levels

Another great attribute to medical marijuana is its ability to help regulate and to lower blood pressure. This helps to greatly relieve stress allowing for a healthy heart and better blood function. Studies have shown that regular cannabis use can greatly suppress cardiac contractility and in return reducing blood pressure to a normal level. With prolonged and regular use it can also regulate and prevent hypertension flareups.

Muscle Spasms and Medical Marijuana

People who suffer from this condition have trouble with everyday life. Functions such as driving, working and social functions can be impossible. Marijuana helps control these spasms giving them some control of their lives back.

Autism and Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is shown to relieve many symptoms that are associated with Autism such as, aggression that is uncontrollable, panic disorders due to increased Nero receptors, temper tantrums, property destruction due to rage, and self-injury.

Asthma and Cannabis

Most would not know that for the last 3,000 years or more, marijuana has given relief numerous amounts of asthmatics. Throughout the 19th century it was widely used as a treatment option. When you smoke marijuana it causes bronchial dilation. This will last up to an hour. The bronchodilator effect you get when eating THC can last 6 hours, however it is not as strong as smoking marijuana. THC aerosols do not prove to as effective as using medicinal marijuana because aerosolized THC is a nasty pharmaceutical attempt and it irritates and has a horrible effect on the air passages.

Depression

Marijuana shows great abilities in preventing depression and helping to deal with depression. By slowing the receptors in the brain it allows the user to not get as worked up or dwell on a multitude of things that may otherwise trigger depression outbreaks. With dates like 1621 where English clergyman Robert Burton said that cannabis is helpful in treating depression.

Marijuana Treats Us Well

As you can see marijuana has several real world applications on a medicinal level alone. These are just a few of the diseases that marijuana helps to treat and there are many more. Each day that passes is another step closer in America being able to use a treatment that has been denied to us because of the control the pharmaceutical industry has had on our government. Thanks to the internet and the power of words they cannot keep marijuana from the American people anymore. They have poisoned us for long enough.

Catharsis (AOS)

AN ~ 2000 words of Simmons getting attention from a professional psychologist. That’s what this is. For more on the idea of Simmons and mental illness see this post (x). Otherwise, enjoy.

-

Simmons sighed.

Fitz wrapped her nearest hand in his, and squeezed. She laid her other hand over where theirs were intertwined, and looked over to him. He smiled, as reassuring as possible, but even he couldn’t quell the tumultuous pit below her ribcage. She swallowed instead of breathing, and tried to smile back. Fitz moved, perhaps to hug her closer, but at that moment, Skye appeared. Upon seeing them, she tempered her grin and the spring in her step, and gestured to the door through which she had just emerged.

“You’re up, Simmons.”

Simmons pulled herself to standing, and let her fingers slip free of Fitz’. Skye watched her pass, concerned, and she could feel their burning eyes on her, even of Andrew, waiting.

She shut the door, but only came a step and a half inside.

“Would you like to sit down?”

He gestured to the armchair opposite him. She crept to it and obediently perched on the edge of the seat, fiddling with her fingers in her lap.

“My name’s Doctor Garner,” he said. “You can call me Andrew, if you’d prefer.”

She smiled and nodded. And bit her tongue. The pit was growing. Her legs trembled, demanding that she run. She sighed again, slowly, trying to breathe through it. Fitz was just outside. May and Skye trusted Andrew. And, if nothing else, the questions if she left would be worse.

“Would you prefer Doctor Simmons, or Jemma?” Andrew asked.

“Jemma’s fine.”

“Okay, Jemma. Is there anything I can get for you before we start? A blanket, some tea?”

Her eyes fell to the teapot on the table between them. It was fresh, still steaming. She glanced back at the door. Had Skye told him?

Andrew pressed a full teacup into her hands. She looked down at it, and back up at him as he returned to his own seat and picked up a notepad.

“Drink, please,” he offered. “We’re not in a rush. Do you have any questions about what we’re doing here today?”

Simmons peered at the lined pad resting on his knee. “I thought psychological evaluations were standardised forms.”

“They are, but I didn’t have enough with me.”

“And?”

Andrew pressed his lips together, impressed. Simmons shuffled in her seat and smiled briefly to herself.

“And I deemed it appropriate, given the circumstances,” Andrew explained, “to take my assessment a little off-book. It would be unreasonable, would it not, to try and shape my variables to my questions rather than to let the results speak for themselves?”

“I know what you’re doing.”

“And what is that?”

“You’re trying to make me trust you by making this feel like science.”

“Is it working?”

Simmons looked down at her hands, not gripping the cup as tightly as she’d expected. She’d moved a little further back from the edge of the seat and her legs rested comfortably underneath her. Even her stomach had quelled somewhat. Not that thinking about it was helping.

“Look.” She moved to put the cup of tea down, and couldn’t quite manage it. “I really - I’m busy. I appreciate all this but I really would like to just get on with it.”

“No problem. Returning to the standardized questions – what is your role here, Jemma?”

“I…I’m an Agent. I run the science division.”

“What does that entail?”

“Well, usually I’d coordinate the staff and the projects we’re working on, make sure we have the materials we need, that sort of thing.”

“Usually?”

Simmons snorted. “It probably hasn’t escaped you that our current situation is not ideal. We’re an underground secret secret base in the shards of SHIELD and we have very limited resources – or at least Coulson let us think so until recently. And I just participated in a life-saving surgery for one of my colleagues who’s flatlined twice today.”

After taking a bullet in the back. To save the man she loved. From Ward.

Simmons took a shaky sip of tea.

“You’re a biochemist, correct?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have any medical qualifications?”

Simmons shrugged. “I did field medic training at the Academy. I find it interesting, so I’ve read a lot. Plus things have happened that sort of…necessitated it.”

Skye. Fitz. Bobbi. Another sip of tea.

“Was it necessary today? That you help Agent Morse? You have a team of qualified people around you. More qualified, in fact, by the sounds of things.”

“But I could help.”

“Which has apparently had a significant effect on you.”

“So? I couldn’t stand around and do nothing. Besides, she saved my life. She’s my friend. And she was – Ward was –“ She ground her teeth together. Bobbi’s knee. Her fingers. Traces of paralytic and anaesthetic. How dare he. How dare he, that monster. How dare he be disappointed in her.

“This is Agent Grant Ward,” Andrew clarified, “who revealed himself to be Hydra last year, and dropped yourself and Agent Fitz out of an aircraft.”

What I regret the most.

Simmons threw the teacup. It was mostly an accident. Maybe.

She stood up, and paced behind the chair, resisting and failing against the urge to bury her face in her hands.

“I’m sorry.”

“No problem. Didn’t even break, see?” He held the cup to show her, but she didn’t look. Pacing. Pacing. Fury clawed its way up her throat. She opened her mouth, letting loud breaths quell it, praying that he wouldn’t give her permission to speak.

But of course, he did.

The first sound that came out was a growl. A snarl. Frustration, bitterness and anger in one. She pulled at her hair.

The second was: “He doesn’t care.”

She stopped pacing, and fixed burning eyes on Andrew as if that was a sufficient answer. Her heart raced. He watched her calmly, waiting for her to explain. It wasn’t nearly as intimidating an expression as she’d been anticipating. Letting her tense shoulders fall, she resumed pacing, and blurted,

“He doesn’t care what he’s done. He doesn’t care that we hate him – that I hate him – I tried to kill him and he laughed in my face.”

“Why does this bother you?”

“Why-?!” Her arms flew out from her sides. Her mind searched, like the spinning barrel of Russian Roulette, for ammunition, for words, in a sea of black and red and rage and Ward.

“Because I watched my best friend. Die. Because of what Ward did. And I could do nothing. Sure I pulled him out of the water but he- he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t even think clearly at first, and he got so upset. And then he’d get angry at getting upset, and I think it scared him to be near me – to be near any of us. And he felt stupid. He’d felt stupid his whole childhood and he is bloody brilliant and Ward took that away again. And he took me away. That’s Ward’s fault.

“And then there’s Skye? And May? And Bobbi? He’s- he’s a monster. And he doesn’t care. I don’t understand how you don’t see it.”

“It doesn’t matter what I see,” Andrew assured her. “I haven’t tried to kill him.”

“Oh. Yes. Excellent. I wondered when we were going to get to this.”

“There’s no need to get defensive. I understand. Ward is a threat to your people. You had the opportunity to take him out, and you took it.”

Simmons blinked at him. “Noone else-“

“At least one other person gets it. I promise. You remind me a lot of her, actually.”

Slowly, Simmons returned to her seat and sunk down.

“But. I.” She studied her fingers. “May wouldn’t have messed it up.”

“Well, you didn’t kill him. We’re yet to see if that was ‘messing up.’”

“Yet to see?” She doesn’t have the heart to stand up this time. “What about Bobbi? And Hunter? One or both of those two could have died today and that would have been on me. On my failure.”

“No, it would have been on Ward.”

Simmons bit her lip. “That’s what May would have said.”

“She’s a wise woman.”

They smiled briefly at each other, before Andrew added –

“In all seriousness, I think you should approach her. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. May’s not the big deal type. Ask her to train you, maybe, or join in yoga. I think it could be valuable for the both of you.”

He looked down at his page. His eyes scanned the letters. It seemed to take a moment longer than it should for him to look up again. By the time he did, Simmons’ heart was creeping back into her throat.

“I…I’ve been doing some observation around the base and in this session, and based on what some of your colleagues have told me about your behaviour. I wouldn’t usually make an assessment so early but given the length of time these symptoms have been present, and the number and severity of them…”

“Symptoms?”

“Jemma.” Andrew leaned forward, meeting her eyes with a gaze that was so gentle, it was frightening. “I have reason to believe that you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

She waited for the horror of it to hit her. For her to resist and claim she was fine and insist that he was making mountains out of molehills, just as she had been prepared to do to anyone who’d given her a second glance these past few months. But no such urge came.

What hit her instead, was relief.

Cleansing, bone-shattering relief.

“Oh.” The sob turned into a giddy sigh and back again “Oh.”

“There’s some exercises to help you out. And I don’t know how bad it is at the moment, but I can recommend some medication to manage some of the symptoms if you like.”

She could hardly hear him between hitching breaths and joyful weeping, broken up with the occasional sob. She pressed her hands over her mouth and nose, and felt herself smile. Felt the hot tears – the frustration, the anger, the pain – flood down her face and for once, leave her body at the same time.

There’s a knock on the door, and a hesitant, “Jemma?”

“Can I –“ She looks from Andrew to the door. “Sorry, I need to –“

In a flash, she’s pulled it open, and thrown her arms around Fitz’ neck. She buried her face in his shoulder and relished the warmth of him hugging her back.