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Katarina Smith
Principal Ballerina
Old Wyrm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject: Solo Reply with quote

The feeling of nervousness would never go away for the dancer. Not after years of dancing in front of hundreds of people or just a handful. It wouldn't matter if she danced for her family or for kings and queens. Being nervous was an aspect of her life that she had learned to accept and therefore, attempt to control. She didn't make silly mistakes during performances anymore, and her fingers wouldn't visibly shake when her arms were delicately on display. Even now when she felt the flutter in her middle, she could see that her fingertips barely moved as she twirled the pen in between her fingers.

Are you seriously considering committing suicide?
No

Are you in the midst of a serious emotional crisis?
No

Have you or anyone in your immediate family been diagnosed with a mental disorder?
No


The questions went on for what seemed like days, listing extremities that made Katarina reconsider why she was here. No, no emotional, mental, even criminal history.

Have you ever had an eating disorder?

The short, abrupt question brought a muscle spasm in her right hand, and she tightened her jaw. If she couldn't be honest with a piece a paper, she maybe had more difficult problems than she previous imagined.

Yes

The questions continued on a wide spectrum of questions, including her family on Hope and Rhy'Din. Explain your household. What does your average day look like? Be specific. Why are you here? What do you hope to gain? Highest level of education? Occupation? Finally, after returning the paperwork and waiting with nerves in her chair, a woman with brown-rimmed glasses and a pleasant smile appeared and looked to her, “Miss Smith?”

Katarina gave a small smile in return and stood to follow the woman into her office. Colors of ivory and shades of lavender decorated the walls and furniture. If she wasn't so nervous, she might have sighed in contentment for the immediate comfortable atmosphere.

“I am Dr. Fabre, but you may call me by Susan if you would prefer.” She offered out her hand and gave Katarina's a gentle shake, “And if I read your file correctly, you prefer to go by Katarina?”

“Hmm, yeah.” It wasn't often that Katarina met the height of a woman that wasn't into dancing or athletics. But Susan was near the same height and if Katie guessed, age as well. Susan didn't gesture where to sit, and so Katarina moved to the corner of the loveseat and was tempted to hold a pillow in her lap but withheld. Susan adjusted a simple but comfortable-looking chair to sit just off center in front of her.

“Now, before we get started, I would like to ask if you have read through our confidentiality statement?” It was assumed that Katarina had since she had signed the document, but many signed without thought. When the dancer nodded, Susan continued, “I would like for you to know that everything that is said and mentioned here in this room will be held just between you and me. There are only a few things that can break that confidentiality. Those things are any suspicions that you are going to harm yourself, harm someone else, in which case I will have to alert said person, and if you mention any type of abuse. Is that okay with you?”

“Yeah, shiny.” Katarina didn't know what to do with her hands, so she folded them in front of her. She still felt nervous, and now unsure of what was to be expected of her. Fortunately, Susan leaned forward slightly and continued on.

“Now, I have looked over your paperwork and reason for referral,” she picked up a small stack of familiar-looking paperwork from the nearby end table and placed it in her lap, “but I would like to ask you some of the questions again, if you don't mind. I may ask for further details on your answers. I am doing this because I would like to get to know you, and I want you to know about me and my approach. So, what brings you here?”

Katarina shifted a bit, but appreciated the honesty from Susan. “I'm here 'cause Dr. Barta recommended me fer a referral fer a' unidentified eatin' disorder, and 'cause my fiance thinks tha' it migh' help me put th' weigh' back on.”

The questions continued. Describe what you mean by unidentified eating disorder? Do you believe this is accurate? Tell me about your relationship. How long have you been engaged? Is there a date yet? Susan didn't ask the questions rapid fire, but instead waited, pressing just enough to discover deeper feelings and events but backing off and changing the subject before Katarina appeared to be uncomfortable. I see that your family is quite a distance away, are you close? How is your relationship with your aunt and cousins? Do you enjoy your job?”

With each change of direction, slowly Katarina relaxed a little. She didn't mind talking about herself. It was talking about others – particularly Locke – that she struggled. For so long she had to keep secrets and danced around the issue that her body automatically tensed when Locke's lack of social life or fiancials came into view. Luckily, it seemed that Susan avoided those subjects all together.

“So, coming back to the reason that you are here.” Susan crossed her legs, much in the same fashion that Katarina was sitting, “You are here because you would like to break the cycle of not eating, and find a way to maintain a healthy weight. Is that correct?”

“Yeah, tha' sounds 'bout righ'.” Katarina glanced at the clock on the wall, and was surprised to see that her 50 minutes were almost up. Her body nearly relaxed all the way.

“Okay. In order to develop a solution, I will be asking questions that may seem unrelated. My goal is to understand the bigger picture first, and from there, narrow down any hints as to the cause of your lack of appetite. After that, then we will work on solutions to the problem. I must ask though, if you feel that you are so weak that you will not be able to eat a reasonable amount of food without medical assistance. I can provide that for you.”

“Lemme try fer one week before makin' tha' kinda decision. I hav' been better, an' wit' Locke knowin' now, I thin' tha' he'll be keepin' a close watch 'n me, yeah?”

With ending formalities finished, Katarina mused on this new experience during the long walk home. Talking about her “bigger picture” would include many heartaches, and some of those may be things she didn't want to admit to herself. Hopefully she would have to proper tools to have emotional control when the time came.
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Katarina Smith
Principal Ballerina
Old Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"So, after our last meeting, you mentioned that you started being aware of your lack of appetite within the last year, and that you had experienced it several years earlier."

"Yeah, tha's righ'." Katarina fingers absently fiddled with the fringe on the pillow next to her. Her second trip to Dr. Fabre's office was not exactly relaxing, but at least this time the dancer felt a little more comfortable to open her mouth and provide information.

"Can you tell me how they each started? Do you think that a similar experience has brought it back again?"

"Well," she shifted a little on the couch, "I dun really thin' tha' they ar'. Th' firs' time... well, it's was kinda self-inflicted. I was young, a newly assigned principle dancer, an' go' all caugh' up 'n how a ballerina's 'posed ta look. This time.. " a slight shrug, "maybe stress an' worry brough' it on."

There was silence as Dr. Fabre looked at Katarina, and then she nodded slightly, "Being a young principle dancer sounds like a stressful experience."

There was another shrug, "Yeah, I guess it was. I dunno, I still 'member making conscious decisions ta skip meals back then. This time 'round I knew wha' was happenin', an' tried my damnedest ta avoid it. Obviously," an absent wave down her thin form, "it didn' work so well."

"Umm hmm." Sounds of understanding came from Susan's throat before she continued, "And do you know what was the stressful trigger this time around?"

"Hrm, yeah, I thin' so." Katarina's fingers continued to toy with the strands of fabric, and Susan let silence grow between them. It made Katarina chuckle a bit, "Sorry, I've jist been so used ta nah talkin' 'bout it ta pretty much anyone." She took a deep breath, "Locke ran inta some legal trouble, an' was put unda house 'rest fer a year."

"That sounds like a difficult situation."

Katarina's eyes moved away to absently look at a bookcase, "One o' the worst things I've ever experienced." A deep breath before she looked to Susan again, "I mean, yeah, th' house 'rest was bad an' all, bu' it was betta 'n th' alternative, righ'? He didn' hav'ta go ta jail, an' I could suppor' us 'nough. Bu'.. bu' it was like watchin' th' happiness drain outta him, yanno? He' so full o'.. " she waved her hands around as she searched for a word, "spunk an' life, an' ta watch all tha' creativity and joy leave 'im.. it was killer."

"Can you share more of the details with me?"

The dancer pursed her lips, "I guess so, since it dun break any o' your rules er whatever. A few years back, Locke stole fra a bank an' go' 'way wit' it. Then we met, started datin' and gettin' serious.. an' I guess th' guilt was eatin' 'im 'way. I noticed th' same thin', the withdrawal an' stuff. An' then he told me, an'.. well, he thought tha' would be th' end of tha' an' I ended up proposin'. It didn't matta ta me, yanno? It was done an' 'n th' past, an' I kin't be mad a' tha'. So 'n ova time he talked ta a lawyer an' workin' somethin' ou' so tha' he could giv' all o' his money back ta th' bank, an' 'n work fer the bank ta help wit' th' security systems ta make it betta an' stuff. He had ta leave th' job he loved and entered a hostile work environment, and does the same thin', day in an' ou'.”

“Hmm.” Susan leaned forward just a little, “You said that it didn't matter to you that Locke had robbed a bank before you starting dating. Does that mean that you have no feelings but forgiveness in the matter?”

Katarina looked back to the bookcase, “Well, nah, I guess nah entirely. O' course I was hurt an' upset. Our life togetha up till then..... it was near perfec', save th' nah bein' able ta touch par'. An' I was mad tha' he assumed tha' I'd let him walk outta my life so easily. An' the repercussion o' his decision.. well, I guess it led ta all this nonsense.”

“Do you think you would be here, if he hadn't turned himself in?”

“Dunno. Ain't worth going down th' road o' 'wha' ifs' an' all. I wasn' 'bout ta let all tha' guilt eat a' him.” A soft sigh.

“I only ask because most people would hold blame and anger towards the other person. I know that you say that you don't, but sometimes our mind and our feelings do not agree.”

“Nah,” Katarina's fingers stilled with their movements on the pillow fringe, “they don't.”
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Katarina Smith
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“How have your eating habits been lately?” Dr. Fabre settled into her chair and folded her hands into her lap.

“Good, I guess.” Katarina glanced down at her hands and figited with her fingernails, “I've gained a coupl'a pounds back since th' wors' o' it. Nah back ta wha' I was before, bu' getting' there.”

“That's very good, Katarina. What do you think has been different, lately? Why do you think you are doing better?”

“I think... acknowledgment has been good, yeah? An' tha' has led ta Locke knownin', and even though I wan' ta do it fer me, I dun like 'im worryin' 'bout it eitha. It's a strong motivation.” Her lips curled up in a corner. “An' he'll make my lunch fer work sometimes, or drop hints o' some places I should just try durin' my lunch breaks. He's real sweet 'bout it.”

“It sounds like his interest in your well-being matters a lot to you.”

“Well, o' course it does. I love him ta bits, an' would do th' very same thin'. I neva hav' doubts tha' he loves me, yanno? Yeah, there's tha' trust thing he's go', bu' I know I'm nah th' cause o' it. Dun make it any more nice, bu' 'm hopeful tha' time will heal, yeah?” She stopped playing with her fingers and looked up at the woman in front of her, “An'... I dunno, maybe it makes me feel like he's jist as invested 'n our future as I am. Since we dun talk 'bout.. well, th' marriage thin', his concern an' support shows me tha' he's stickin' 'round.”

“You had previously mentioned your unexpected proposal. Can you tell me more about what was said?”

“Sure, though it's been a coupl'a years back now. I asked 'im ta marry me, an' told 'im somethin' 'long th' lines o' not carin' how or when.” She looked back down at her hands again.

“I see. Do you still feel that way?”

Katarina was silent for several long moments, “Yes.. an' no. Look, I'm nah really religious er anythin', an' I know people tha' stay togetha an' love each other tha' dun get married. Bu'.. I thin' it's hard now 'cause we did make th' pledge, an' started makin' plans before thin's were shot ta hell, righ'? We talked 'bout elopin' firs', an' then some friends convinced Locke ta hav' a ceremony. I dun care, really. An' now.. we stopped talkin' 'bout it. An' I'm so tired o' makin' all th' firs' steps.” When there was no reponse from Susan, Katarina continued, “Mos' o' our relationship has been wit' “me 'n th' driver's seat,”as Locke would say. I tol' 'im I had feelin's firs's. I tol' 'im I loved 'im first, I approached th' idea o' livin' togetha, I proposed, I pushed th' mods... Th' only thin' I didn' push was breachin' th' usage o' the mods, yanno? I didn' wan'ta press 'im or push 'im th' wrong way.”

“Mmm hmm.” Susan nodded her head and made sounds of understanding, “You said you feel tired of.. what sounds like, you leading the relationship?”

“Maybe tired's nah th' word. An' it's nah disappointmen'. I dunno, I guess if he breached th' idea, er said somethin', I'd feel like he wants it as bad as me.”

“Have you told him how you felt?”

“Umm.. nah really, an' nah 'n so many words.” Her cheeks turned pink, “How do ya approach someone 'bout tha' kinda thin'? 'I know I said I love ya, an' tha' I didn' min' bein' 'n charge o' this thin', bu' will ya pick up some slack and show me ya wan'ta move forward too? Thanks'.” She sighed deeply, “Like I said, it's nah the marriage thin' tha's bothers me – it's tha' I though' we were 'n th' same page an' movin' forward an' then... I dunno, I feel like since I haven' said anythin', and if I neva brin' he up, 'n neither will he.”

“And what if he doesn't? Will you say something?”

Katarina laughed, “I dunno. I'm thirty, nah married, no kids, and obsessed wit' my career. I'm 'lready an unusual Smith, an' I hav' no problem stayin' tha' way.”

Susan smiled, “I know these are difficult feelings to talk about. Thank you for sharing them with me.”

Surprised, Katarina self-searched those said feelings. She didn't feel so upset about them, and held no reserves about sharing them. It didn't seem like something Dr. Fabre should be thanking her for, but nonetheless she returned the smile in kind, “Yer welcome.”
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Katarina Smith
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This week has nah been a good one fer me." Katarina eased back into the corner of the chair as she looked over to Dr. Fabre. The office was becoming such a place of ease and comfort that Katarina didn't noticed about how relaxed her pose was or how her body language was more open. What Katarina did notice was how Dr. Fabre's solemn brown eyes alway held a spark of interest and that her position seemed so comfortable that she could remain still for days.

"Well, what happened?"

"There was this.. thin', a' work. Th' Count go' all crazy an' threatened ta... kill Alik, I guess. Leo an' I jist happened ta be a' th' wrong place a' th' wrong time. Anyway, I guess it's shaken me up a bi'. Haven' ate well th' pas' coupla days. Which is bloody awful, 'cause I've been doin' so well till then."

"Yes, I have heard about the incident of the troupe. Crisis counseling is available to those that were exposed to this event, but since you are already seeing me, I requested that we keep our schedule. Is that okay with you?"

"Yeah, tha's fine. I feel like ya 'lready know so much 'bout me, it kinda makes it easier, yeah?"

"My thoughts exactly. So," Susan folded her hands into her lap, "Tell me more about what happened."

"Well, some o' us were stayin' late an' practicin', yeah? Even though th' troupe dun hav' anythin' goin' on in January, it dun mean tha' we dun work, righ'? Anyway, so we're headin' towards th' door, an' I hear this... argumen'. Righ' 'way, I knew it was comin' fra th' Count's office. I've been there too long ta nah notice righ' 'way. An' then I try to get Anna an' Leo outta there." She drew a deep breath, "I mistakenly foun' ou' several months 'go tha' th' Count an' Alik were romantically involved. I mean.. it didn' really mean anythin' ta me a' th' time. Lef' me wit' a lot o' questions, but' explained some stuff a' th' same time, yanno? An' then Leo go' Anna ta leave an' he stayed wit' me.. an' I'm real glad tha' he didn' listen ta me. An' then we pop in 'n th' Count an' Alik arguing, an' th' Count's all worked up 'bout Alik wantin' ta leave. I figured thin's had jist gone sour wit' 'em, righ'? Bu' it seemed like a lot more than tha'. Th' Count wanted me ta convince Alik ta stay, an' I declined, 'cause I didn' wan' ta git 'n th' middle o' thin's. An' then he pulls ou' this blaster, all pretty as ya please." She gave a long sigh, "It was jist gorram crazy afta tha'."

Susan was silent for several beats as Katarina abruptly ended the story, "Were you afraid?"

"Terrified. I've neva had a blaster poin'ed a' me before. Ever. I mean, my Pa has one er two, bu' I've neva seen th' thin'. Bu' he pulled tha' thin' ou' an' started makin' all these statements an' commands, an' I couldn't do anythin'. My body an' brain froze an' it was like I could jist see through a holovid." She fidgeted with her fingers, "When I look back 'n it now, Alik an' Leo were so calm.. er a' leas' they looked th' par'. I couldn' even thin' 'bout wha' would happen if Christophe started shootin', I was jist all froze up."

"That is not an unusual reaction, particularly for something that you have never experienced. Your body goes through a 'fight or flight' phenomenon, and sometimes the body stops right in the middle."

"I guess so. I mean, I neva liked th' Count, an' he drove me crazy a lot, bu' I jist neva 'xpected anythin' like tha' ta happen 'round me, particularly my workplace. Dunno wha' it's gonna do to th' troupe, er my job. Nah tha' 'm concerned 'bout money. I know I kin sub 'round an' teach till thin's settle down. I would just ratha dance, yanno?"

"What do you think will happen?"

Katarina let out a puff of air that moved her bangs to the side, "Haven' th' foggiest."
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Katarina Smith
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“So Katarina, does being married feel different, or meet your expectations? The last time we had spoken, we talked quite a bit about it.”

“Yeah, I'd say it meets my expectations an' all tha'.” The dancer looked down at the pillow that was stuck between her and the side of the couch. Her fingers started to twist the fray of loose threads there. “I dun hav' any regrets 'bout how it was done, eitha. It was a special slice 'n time jist fer us... an' it was perfec' jist th' way it was, shiny?” She paused, and when the silence grew, the pressure had her speaking more, “I thin' it's been good fer both o' us. Kinda lik'... the weigh's off o' our shoulders, an' life kin really star'ta move on,” she inhaled deep and let out a slow, long breath, “finally.”

Susan folded her hands in her lap and leaned forward a little, “Do you feel the need to move on?”

“I thin'.. I thin' we all experience thin's tha' shape an' define us, righ'? Good thin's, bad thin's.. dun matta. They alter th' paths tha' we otherwise migh' hav' taken. So yeah, I thin' getting' married is on' o' those kinda thin's.”

“Certainly. You mentioned that these 'experiences' change the path that we were on. When you look back on your life, what other experiences have led you on a different path?”

Katarina chuckled a bit and took another deep breath, “Lor' an' Skies, wha' a hard question.” Her fingers let the threads of string slip through, “Like nah eatin' so much tha' yer needin' help?”

“Sure, that is one. What else?”

Katarina was silent for a long time as she thought on the defining moments of her life. It was a matter of brushing away the gentle memories to find the solid event that formed all of the others, “Havin' my bes' friend leav' as a teenager.” She missed Johnny even now, and so she tried to continue through what came to mind, “Makin' principal dancer fer Hope. I kin't say if tha' led me ta nah eatin' by choice, bu' I know tha' my choice 'n profession has added so much ta tha' kinda pressure.” She thought more, her fingers now moving up to the various trinkets around her neck. “Fallin' 'n love wit' Cal, an' plannin' this life together, an' watchin' 'im die.” The pain was swift and acute, but left just as quickly. Still, she was silent for a long while, “I'd say tha' was th' bigges' one.”

Susan watched Katarina, waiting to see if deeper emotions or thoughts would surface. When they didn't, she gently queried, “And after?”

“Nothin', fer a long while. Stayed wit' my folks fer long while an' danced. I danced until I couldn' feel th' ache anymore, an' then danced more. My troupe was wonderful. Some knew, some didn', bu' we were a close group, righ'?” She laughed a little, “I had this partner, an' we were real close-like. We played fer th' same team, if ya know wha' I mean, so he was perfec' company fer me. He didn' wan' his parents ta know, so he'd introduce me ta his folks all cryptic-like an' let 'em try ta figure it ou' fer themselves. I thin' it was jist th' kinda relationship I needed.”

“It sounds like you adjusted as well.” Dr. Fabre settled back from her lean and eased into her chair.

“Sure. I traveled more, made a name fer myself. An' I kept a lot o' people a' arms length. Friend ta many, known by few er whateva tha' sayin' is. So, when my cousin's family jumped ship ta follow 'im off ta some God-forsaken place tha' was everythin' Hope wasn', it didn' take me long ta follow.” A corner of her lips pulled up, “Ready ta 'move 'on' an' all tha'. It woulda been a lot harder fer me ta leave if I didn' 'lready hav' family ou' here. Bu' followed 'em I did, an'.. I dunno, I guess I need to branch ou' an' 'way 'n my own. Dunno why, 'cause I was quick ta learn tha' I didn' enjoy being by myself much. Meet lot'sa nice folk.” Her smile grew soft with memory, “Started a troupe an' made a name fer myself. I inherited a wonderful new cousin-in-law tha' I could talk ta 'bout everythin'.” She willed her hands to still, "An' 'n.. there's Locke. Kinda has been th' real las' big shift, an' it's gone 'n all kinds'a ways." A small chuckle, "Goin' straigh' fer a li'l bi' would be movin' 'n jist fine fer me."
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Katarina Smith
Principal Ballerina
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


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Can Be Found: Home in New Haven
39119.26 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“I’ve gained all m’ weight back.” Katarina couldn’t keep the large smile at bay. It took concentration just to keep her hands together in her lap as she looked over to Dr. Fabre. The welcoming comfort and colors from Susan’s office were easily becoming a sense of security and comfort for her. It had taken months for the nerves to set side and for Katarina to open up more, but now there wasn’t a single trace of discomfort in her tone or body language.

Dr. Fabre gave a genuine smile, “That is great news, Katarina. How does that make you feel?”

“Like ‘ve really mastered somethin’, yanno? Well,” She looked away for a moment, “maybe I haven’ really mastered it, ‘cause I dunno wha’ it’s gonna take ta nah go through this ‘gain. Bu’, it was so gorram hard ta be tha’ vulnerable an’ ta need suppor’. ‘ve been a suppor’ fer everyone it feels like fer a lon’ time, an’ I was worried tha’ all those people would still need me while ‘m tryin’ ta handle my own business. Nah ta say tha’ they didn’ need me, bu’.. we kin help each other, yeah?” Feeling like she’s been rambling a bit, she then shrugged, “I thin’ we’ve grown real close ova it, yanno?”

“You mentioned that you are not sure what will happen the next time you experience severe stress.” Dr. Fabre leaned forward slightly, “What do you think will happen the next time you’re stressed?”

Katarina took a big sigh, “I dunno, ta be hones’. I dun thin’ tha’ ‘m gonna be able to change how I show it real well. It’s too engrained ‘n my job to have control ova my emotions. So, I dunno if Locke would be able to notice righ’ ‘way. I’d more ‘n likely hav’ta come ou’ wit’ it. Or maybe he does notice, bu’ dun say anythin’.” Though that last thought brought some sadness, but then she shook her head, “Nah, I dun see ‘im doin’ tha’.”

“So, what you are implying is that you hide your emotions well, and for someone to know how you are feeling, that you need to voice it.”

“Yeah, I guess so. I dun thin’ it’s ‘lways been tha’ way. When I was younger, Cal could-“ her throat tightened unexpectedly, “well, he just seemed to know.” She managed to squeeze the words out before she reached for a nearby tissue. “Sorry.” She took another deep sigh and dabbed at her moist eyes. “I’m starting to think that will never go away or not happen.”

“And that is perfectly all right.” Dr. Fabre gave a gentle smile but didn’t console further.

“Anyway, he jist had this way o’ knowin’, righ’? It drove me crazy an’ I hated it. ‘m sure it has ta do wit’ growin’ up together, an’ all tha’. Jo’s pretty good a’ readin’ me, too. Bu’ otha ‘n tha’, an since then – yeah, I thin’ I need ta voice my feelin’s. Which… I thin’ I do ‘n okay job o’ doin’.”

“You mentioned feeling vulnerable.” When Katarina only nodded, Susan pushed further, “Is that the reason that you don’t share when you are stressed?”

“No. Yeah?” She used the side of her left hand to rub the side of her nose and cheek, “It’s there, bu’ I dunno if tha’s th’ only reason. I do thin’ tha’ some o’ it has’ta do wit’ feelin’ like I gotta be th’ suppor’ – th’ foundation, yanno? I dun wanna let people down. Particularly th’ people I care bout.” She wrung her hands around the barely-used tissue “An’.. I dunno, maybe ‘m ‘fraid tha’ ‘m nah gonna fin’ th’ suppor’ ‘m lookin’ fer or need.”

“I see.” Dr. Fabre sat back, and while Katarina wasn’t looking at her during the moment, she could hear the unspoken words in the tone of her voice, ”There is the problem.”
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