The following day, Gabriel sat beside Dr. B and asked, “Tell me again what Figley said.”
“And you’re the guy who likes quoting people.” Gabriel viewed the psychiatrist benignly. “You remember; something about turning a bad situation around.”
“Oh, yes,” Dr. B said, nodding. “Figley wrote that recovery from a trauma occurs when a victim is transformed into a survivor.”
“A victim becomes a survivor.”
“Yes, one who is able to integrate the catastrophe into his or her life history and then use it as a source of strength.” Dr. B pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, and continued. “Figley divided the process into five stages: the catastrophe itself, relief and confusion, avoidance, which you have been familiar with, and reconsideration -- which is what you are experiencing now: an ability to address the catastrophe. The last stage is adjustment and that is where we will go from here.”
Gabriel gazed intensely at the wooden clock on Dr. B’s desk, his fingernails absently grazing the fabric of the armchair.
“Something on your mind?” Dr. B asked softly.
"Do you think going to San Francisco would help me address the catastrophe?"
"In a controlled manner, I suppose."
Gabriel nodded thoughtfully. "And when do these fugue states stop?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they stop altogether now that you feel safe. Any nightmares lately?”
Gabriel shook his head, rather surprised at that fact himself.
“That’s good,” Dr. B told him. “How about the headaches?”
"Not so frequent now.”
"I'm very pleased, Gabe. And what about your trouble with anorgasmia? Are you still experiencing discomfort in sexual situations?"
Gabriel thought of the softness between Ming's thighs. "Not really."
A part of Gabriel wanted to share his feelings about Ming with Dr. B, but Ming was freaked out enough over Ramirez discovering their relationship.
Do we have a relationship?
"That is good news, don't you think?" Dr. B clasped his bony hands and brought them up to his mouth, his brown eyes glued on Gabriel’s case file. "I know you've reached the point, Gabe, that you are turning things around. You are no longer willing to be victimized."
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