Finding Home Ch. 04byXantu©
Cassy woke up as he was lifting her into the wheel chair. She felt a wave of dizziness and struggled briefly, throwing her arms out trying to catch her balance. "Its OK, calm down, you are safe." She wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his chest. He had to forcibly break her grip from around his neck to get her to sit in the wheel chair.
"What happened? Did I go away again? Where are we going?" Cassy was alarmed by the edge of panic in her voice.
"Sh... Don't get yourself worked up. You are just a little disoriented. You have some adrenaline left over in your system. Just remember you are safe."
He wheeled her back to her room. "Get dressed for dinner pretty girl. It is early but I want you to wait downstairs with Momma. I don't want you to be alone for a while. And you have managed to monopolize my time all day today. I have a ton of crap to deal with."
As they walked down to the kitchen he kept a firm grip on her arm. "Are you still dizzy at all?"
"No not dizzy but I feel weird, my whole body feels tingly and my mouth is dry and tastes awful."
"Cassy I don't want you to work on that childhood memories assignment anymore. Just write your journal when you get a chance. I want you to stop putting the ointment on for the time being. I think we have been pushing you along a little too fast and we were waking up some monsters best left sleeping until you are better prepared to do battle."
Mia was sitting down drinking a cup of tea when they came into the kitchen. "Look Cassy we found her sitting down on the job."
Momma sputtered. "I work hard morning, noon and night for you, you young pup. I cook your meals. I massage your inflated male ego."
The Professor roared with laughter. "Point, set, match and the wise Momma wins hands down. This inflated male ego bows to the ancient female wisdom and surrenders."
Suddenly more serious, "Momma, Cassy has had some medication that makes her not be able to make really good choices for a while. I want her to stay here with you until dinner. She can help you but no running with sharp objects, no using heavy machinery, and no major financial decisions."
Cassy found herself giggling a little hysterically as she followed the banter between these two obvious good friends. She had her hand in front of her face.
Momma put her arm around her shoulders and led her to sit at the table. "Did you eat a good lunch?"
"Oh yes it was delicious. I ate it all. The professor said he would make me eat it cold if I did not eat it hot." She giggled again. "I am kind of thirsty could I please have a diet soda. I promise to eat lots at dinner but I love diet soda."
"You stay sitting down. I will get it for you. I don't know what it is with you girls these days. Skinny as sticks and drinking diet this, diet that." She sat the can down in front of Cassy.
"Thank you. What are we making for dinner tonight."
"I like that you say 'we'. We are making pasta with fresh vegetables, chicken breasts with Parmigiana and almond crusting, and fresh garlic bread. I think lemon sorbet for desert."
"I am not going to be much help. I am a terrible cook."
"You will do fine. By the time I am done with you, you will be a super cook."
Mia was a good teacher. She had Cassy help make almost every part of the meal. The time before the dinner flew by. Soon Cassy found herself standing behind her chair waiting for the Professor to come in and sit. She was surprised to see that both Windy and Mary were standing quietly waiting as well as William and Acadia. At precisely 8:00 the Professor came in and smiled. "It is nice to see everyone on time this evening."
He sat and everyone sat down after that. He looked at Windy and Mary, "I think both of you have something to say?"
Windy nodded and said, "I apologize for being so beastly at the table last night. It was impolite. I hope you can accept my apology." Cassy thought to herself that Windy seemed way too practiced at apologizing.
The Professor looked toward Mary. She turned an ugly shade of red and scowled. "I am sorry I was rude." Cassy thought that while Mary probably hated to have to say it, she was certainly more sincere than the pretty speech of Windy. Mary looked up at Cassy and met her eyes. She jerked her eyes away and looked down at her plate.
Mia wheeled the meal in and began to place the dishes on the table. "I would like to thank Cassy for helping me make this meal tonight. She is going to make a fine cook. She has a lot of natural talent."
Cassy blushed and stammered. "No I didn't. I only helped you. I couldn't have done anything without you telling me what to do."
The Professor intervened. "Well whoever made it, it looks delicious. Pass me some of those chicken breasts." Soon everyone was focusing on the food on their plates. The Professor raised his glass of water and proposed a toast to the cooks and everyone raised their glasses.
Mia brought in the Lemon sorbet and served it with little cups of hot black very sweet coffee. Cassy inhaled the aroma of the coffee, her expression dubious. Coffee had always smelled wonderful and tasted horrible. She watched as the Professor took a small spoon of the lemon ice and then sipped the coffee. He sighed. She tried to do the exact same thing. The contrast between the cold sour sweet lemon and the hot bitter sweet coffee combined in her mouth. It was an very interesting flavor mixture. She wasn't sure if she liked it. She didn't hate it.
The Professor cleared his throat. "Cassy, I need a helper to get the library straightened up. I saw that you had worked in a book store for a while. I was hoping you would volunteer to do that."
Cassy looked up a little startled. "I would love to do that, sir."
"Thank you. Could you stay for a few minutes after dinner and discuss that with me."
"Yes, Professor sir."
After the other residents left, he beckoned for her to move to a seat closer to the head of the table. "Work on the library when you have any free time. But I don't want you to neglect your therapy. I want you to make writing in your journal a priority. I also want you to make time to socialize with the other residents. Be sure to do at least thirty minutes of exercise every day."
His eyes measuring, he tipped up her chin and looked into her eyes. "How are you feeling after the medication today?"
"I feel fine now. I felt a little silly for a while in the kitchen, but that seems gone for the most part."
"Good. Cassy, the medication I gave you was a mixture of a mild sedative to keep your anxiety down, a truth serum to help get past your emotional barriers and an amnesic that prevents you from remembering what happened. It is very helpful for me to have an idea of what has you so hurt and frightened that you cannot face it."
Cassy felt a wave of dread. Her heart began to race. Her stomach lurched. Her hands started to shake. His voice became sharp and directive. "Cassy, stand up. Stand up, now!" She leaped to her feet. "Tell me what your body is feeling now."
Suddenly irrationally she felt a wave of rage, "I feel like I want to hit you." Her hands were clenched, a wave of heat spread from the crown of her head and down her body. She could feel the hair on the back of her neck stand up. Her muscles tensed and trembled.
"That is the anger speaking. Its normal to feel angry. I am keeping you from running away. Take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose hold it for a count of three and then exhale through your mouth slowly." His voice slow and controlled he coached her through ten slow deep breaths. "Good now back to the feelings. You need learn to recognized the beginning signs of your fear so you can start blocking the behavior patterns you have developed. If you can start blocking and relaxing early you won't feel the misdirected anger you just experienced."
Cassy nodded, "My heart started to beat fast, my stomach felt sick, and it felt like I had to pee. I noticed my hands and legs started to tremble."
"Good job. Back to the original conversation. I want to talk with you a little about what I learned. I am not going to go into any details but I need to warn you that the reason that you can't remember and have so much fear and anger is because you were abused. I am sure you knew that on some level but could not think about it without disassociating." Cassy nodded and a shudder ran through her frame. He stopped and directed her to breath a few breaths. "You are doing really well."
"The amnesic medication is not permanent. You will gradually remember the things you revealed to me today. This is going to be a difficult time for you. I am going to try and make sure you are not alone for a while. The cameras in your room are turned on. During the day I want you either in the kitchen, the library, or the game room. Stay with somebody as much as you can. If you feel panicky or like hurting yourself I want you to come directly to me or Momma. I will be giving you a sleeping pill every night to help with nightmares. I want you to know that we will be here to help you through this. Facing this will be hard but I know you can do this. It will make you a stronger and happier person. It will mean you can stop falling."
Cassy was struggling to breath like he had directed her to. She felt like she was going to vomit any minute. "I think I am going to throw up."
"Sit down and lean over. Put your head between your knees. Keep breathing. Good girl. This will pass. I want you to follow my directions carefully. Go up to your room and change into gym clothes. Go down to the exercise room and run on the treadmill. Not just jog. Run. I want you to use up a lot of energy. I want your body to think it is getting to run away. Run until it is time for you to go to your room. Then go and write in your journal. Thats a long list. You have any questions?"
"What if it is night and I feel scared? Can I come out of my room?"
"I will give you a panic button to push. Someone will come to you. I will drop by your room around 11:00 to give you your sleep medication."
When Cassy got to the basement, she saw that all four of the other residents were gathered watching a video on the big screen TV. It was a some action thing, with lots of shooting and car crashes. Cassy had the random thought that she had not watched television or gone to a movie in so long she could not remember the last time. She smiled and waved.
She set the treadmill for a slow jog and then as she warmed up she increased the speed. As her muscles warmed up she noticed that the nagging feeling of nausea was beginning to fade. The quick pounding of her feet and the stretch and swing of her legs and arms felt right. Soon she was completely relaxed letting the rhythm of her feet hitting the treadmill lull her.
She thought to herself that she should ask her Master to get a treadmill like this. It took her completely by surprise when she suddenly had a visual memory of running on a track, a group of girls in gym uniforms around her. She faltered and almost fell of the treadmill. She remembered. Yes, she had been on the track team. She was a good runner.
Another memory floated up, a man in a white uniform, looming amazingly tall over her, his hand gripping her wrist as she looked up at him, talking to someone, "You have to watch this one, she is a runner." Cassy was aware enough to step off the treadmill. She held to the handle bar and forced herself to breath like the Professor had directed her to earlier.
She flinched and whirled when she sensed someone moving up behind her. William was there, a frown of concern on his face. "D... Did you fall?" Cassy took one more deep breath and shook her head. "I was going too fast. I needed to take a break. Thanks for coming to ask."
As she walked back up to her room, Cassy was bubbling with a heady mix of exhilaration and nervous fear. To her surprise she felt an overwhelming sense of curiosity. She wanted to remember. She didn't care that it would be hard. She remembered the face of the little blond girl with the tears on her face that had been in the test last night. Somehow she identified with that face, like it was someone she used to know, someone she wanted to find. She had a deep feeling that the little girl needed her somehow, needed her to help her.
Cassy took a quick shower and pulled on a nightgown and robe. She sat down in front of her computer and read what she had written so far today. She read what she had written about having an orgasm in the morning. It seemed like that had been weeks ago. She tried to untangle all the experiences and feelings she had gone through today. She was still typing when the Professor knocked on her door.
"Oh sir, I remember, I remember that I was a runner."
He smiled and nodded. "I bet you were fast." He had a small white pill in a cup and a glass of water. "This will help with nightmares."
Cassy obediently took the pill. "I never have any dreams."
"Silly girl, everyone dreams. You just never wanted to remember them. One of the things I did today was give you some directions while you were deep under. I gave you a strong suggestion to remember. That you want to remember. That is one of the reasons you were so excited to tell me about being a runner."
He reached into his jacket pocket and got out a small plastic wireless intercom button. "If you feel panicked or like you might hurt yourself I want you to use this. Don't be dragging me out of bed because you want a drink of water. Or are feeling lonely." His tone was gentle and teasing.
He led her to her bed and pulled back the blankets. "Climb in and scoot over."
Cassy felt a rush of nervous excitement as she slid over. Was he going to get in bed with her? She felt a wave of disappointment as he covered her over and tucked the covers in. He lay down on the bed beside her on top of the blankets and gently pulled her to lean against his chest, his hand stroking her fine blond hair. Cassy sighed and snuggled closer.
Cassy for the first time felt brave enough to ask a question that had been echoing around inside her head. "Sir, did they abuse me sexually?"
He continued to stroke her hair. "None of the memories you found during our session were about sexual abuse. But Cassy you have some pretty scary memories inside this pretty head of yours."
"Why am I so afraid of having orgasms?"
"Only you know the true answer to that question. But it is likely to have a lot to do with you believing whether you have the right to feel loved. You will feel comfortable feeling pleasure when you feel like you deserve good things to happen to you."
Cassy sighed and snuggled close. He smelled good like pine and smoke. "I like this. If I pleased my Master he would hold me like this sometimes."
The Professor did not comment but his arms tightened, holding her closer. Cassy was deeply asleep before he left.
She was running. She could hear the fast patter of her feet as she fled down what felt like an endless corridor. Her heart was in her mouth. A horrible sense of terror seemed to loom behind her. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out.
The familiar nagging beep of her alarm pulled Cassy awake. She was sitting straight up in bed, her hands clutching her blankets in a panicked grip. The dream was gone but the terror was real, it rumbled through her. "Oh god breath, just breath. In one, two, three. Hold, one, two, three. Out, one two three." Her voice was breathless and high as she tried to talk herself down. Suddenly keenly aware that she had an overwhelming urgent need to pee she raced to the bathroom.
Cassy wondered why she was not disassociating. Anything that intense normally would have had her sinking away into the safe dull grays of her empty quiet unconsciousness. She pulled on her gym clothes and went down to the exercise room. She was a little nervous, nobody was down there and the Professor had instructed her to try not to be alone. Cassy was beginning to realize she was one of the few early morning people at the clinic. And the only one she had seen using the exercise equipment.
Curiosity overcame her inclination to obey the Professor's exact directions. He had said 'try' to stay around others, not never be alone. The experience of remembering the running was too exciting. She wanted more. She climbed up on the treadmill and set it for a quick walk and let her muscles warm and loosen up. Soon she was jogging and then running. The faster she went the faster she wanted to go.
She thought to herself, 'I really am a runner', and then she realized that meant she was someone who would run away. In that memory the man in the white coat, he meant she would run away. She suddenly remembered the tall chain link fences and the dingy peeling paint of a place. Not a place, it was the Center.
Cassy slowed the treadmill to a walk and let her mind float, the Center. She remembered the Center. There had been lots of girls there, little girls all in ugly green dresses. Men and women in white coats were there too. They all ate in a big room and they all slept in beds in a big room. She tried to remember how old she had been or what she looked like but the only face she could see in her head was the picture from her computer. She remembered lining up and taking medicine, she had to take the medicine and the lady in the white dress would make her open her mouth to show she had swallowed it.
There was a big field, mostly dirt, with a few patches of grass and weeds. All the girls would run and scream. She remembered playing chase. She remembered a little girl complaining that Cassy always wanted to run away and would never play fair. "Cassy you're it, you are supposed to chase us." There was a chain link fence around the field and she remembered climbing it and running away, not sure to where but wanting to be free. She clearly remembered the panic as she was chased down by heavy pounding feet and they laid heavy hands on her arms, stopping her, pulling her back to the Center.
She was pulled back to the present by the Professor calling for her. He was coming down the stairs with a cup of coffee in his hand. "I am down here."
"You are late for breakfast. Are you all right."
"Oh my god, I am sorry sir. I must have lost track of the time."
Cassy stepped off the treadmill and walked up to the Professor and knelt, unconsciously falling into the patterns of her behavior around her Master. He smiled and lifted her to her feet. "I am not your Master, Cassy, you do not need to kneel for me. But I must say you make a pretty sight down there. Did you disassociate? Is that why you are late?"
Cassy frowned and shook her head. "No sir, its more like I am associating. I feel kind of like a computer that has a huge file to down load. I have been getting lots of memories and they seem to be linked to other memories and those lead to others. I feel like I am getting lost in my head a little. But I am here. I don't feel like I am fading at all. In fact everything seems a little sharper and brighter if that is the correct analogy."
"It will be like that for a while. Anything you couldn't handle?"
"I had a dream that left me feeling really terrified, but I breathed like you taught me. I don't know why I didn't fade out on that."
"I told you to stop doing that."
Cassy felt an irrational wave of panic and rage. "You can't do that. I need it. You don't understand. I need it. I have to be able to go there." She pushed at him, grabbing his arms, trying to shake him. "Give it back, I have to go there. She is lost in there and I have to go there. She will be lost without me."
His coffee cup dropped and splashed. He pulled her tight against his chest and held her arms tight against her sides. "Tell me who is lost."
Cassy struggled and wailed, "The little girl, she is lost." A tiny part of Cassy's rational mind stood back and watched. She was puzzled. What the hell was she doing.