Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'emotional'.
Found 1 result
Now available on Amazon with a preview of Volume 2 Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SP7Q3WD Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1071417185 _______________________________________ Chapter 1 “So why are you here?” She smiled when she said it; you could tell it was routine, the first question she always asked, and the smile was just good service. Staring across the desk, slumped in his chair, not sure where to put his hands or how to answer and preserve some pride, Eric didn’t respond right away. “I guess … I just don’t want to be here anymore,” Eric replied while keeping his eyes on the desk. Cheryl was used to this. Not many people who came to an adoption center wanted to talk about it. Except the exhibitionists; they wouldn’t stop talking about it, but it was obvious from his body language and mumbling tone that Eric wasn’t here for any of those reasons. “I understand, honey,” Cheryl said, softening her voice, “a lot of people feel that way. Can I ask you some questions about how you feel?” Eric knew what coming; he’d asked the same questions himself more times than he cared to remembered. He nodded. “Do you feel like hurting yourself?” “No.” Flat, matter of fact, and truthful. “Have you ever felt like hurting yourself?” “No.” “Do you feel like hurting someone else?” “No.” Have you ever felt like hurting someone else?” “No.” Cheryl ticked off boxes on her iPad while Eric waited patiently. “I’m so glad to hear that. Can I ask a few more?” She didn’t pause for him to answer. “Have you ever been diagnosed with any of the following? Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Personality Disorder, Dissociative disorder?” “Just depression and anxiety,” Eric said as he pushed back in his chair and exhaled. He’d been with depression for eight years and had this conversation with every new doctor and therapist he’d been to in that time. It was boring. Before Cheryl could get her next word out, Eric answered her next question. “I’m taking 150mg of Bupropion once a day and Xanax as needed. I’ve was seeing a therapist every other week until about 6 months ago. Her names is in the paperwork I brought with me. I’d say my depression and anxiety are both well controlled.” “Good,” she said, “That’s all good. Do you mind if I call your therapist to talk with her?” “No, that’s fine.” “Good. I need to be sure your decision isn’t being influenced by your depression or anxiety. So, back to what you were saying earlier, you ‘don’t want to be here anymore.’ Can you tell me more about that?” Cheryl leaned forward, trying to help Eric engage. “I’m work for the county…I’m a social worker…” Cheryl was practiced at this. Nod, say nothing, the client will fill the silence when they’re ready. “I … I …” Eric sucked in air and held back a sob. “I just can’t stay here anymore. I can’t … keep doing this.” Cheryl pushed her box of tissues toward Eric, who reached into his pocket and pulled out a cotton handkerchief. Dabbing at his eyes, he said started again. “Kenard Bering was my client. You probably didn’t hear about that. Good kid, not a trouble maker; wasn’t going to be any project to Harvard story, but he was on track, ya know. And he gets shot over a fucking cellphone.” Tears dripped, and Eric occasional wiped them away as he fell into a soliloquy: “Second kid in a year killed ……………. Dies at school from a fucking asthma attack. When’s the last time you heard of anyone dying from a fucking asthma attack ……………. And this asshole cop says to this 14 year old, ‘well, what are you doing to make your mother hit you? I couldn’t believe it, I … who the fuck says that or even thinks that way? How do you send a kid home who doesn’t want to go home? ……………. Burned ……………. Dropped out ……………. Caught with a weapon his mother game him. And that was after she beat him for losing a fight ……………. But so what if he graduates, right? ‘Cause it’s not like there’s anything but a mop or an apron waiting for him out there ……………. Left her kid to sit in his own shit while she went to get high and doesn’t even tell the cop the kid is home alone ……………. Jail ……………. 12 years old and pregnant and bipolar and both parents on drugs – what can I even do for that? ……………. He had priors ……………. I lost him to the pipeline ……………. Caught out on a corner ……………. Neighborhood says the cops did it ……………. ……………. ……………. ……………. …………….” Eric had stopped crying. He wasn’t sad. He was angry and disgusted and indignant. “For every one I save, whatever that means, there’s five I don’t. It’s like watching a never ending catastrophe and it rips my guts out every time.” Tired now, he slumped back in his chair, “Everyone said give it a year, you’ll get hardened to it. And I never did. Eight years, never gets better, never gets worse. It just is. And I can’t do it anymore. I can’t see it anymore.” Cheryl nodded her, “Uh huh…” waiting to see if Eric had more to say. When she thought he was done, she asked, “That sounds very hard for you. Can you tell me, though, why go to the other dimension? That’s pretty drastic; couldn’t you just change jobs?” “No,” Eric answered, “Because I know it’s all out there. I can’t live with myself if I quit. Or at least I can’t do it here.” That made sense to her. A sad kind of sense. Eric sounded like the kind of person there are too few of, but those qualities that made him so valuable to everyone else were the same qualities that made him so unhappy. Classic burnout. It wasn’t the first time Cheryl had seen this in a client, but it was obviously the worst, and she understood how Eric could believe there would never be an end to it if he stayed. He might even be right, she thought. “Eric, I’m going to be very frank with you. The dimension is more like our world than a lot of people want to admit. In some ways, it’s much, much worse, the way they treat people like us. It’s different in different countries, but in some of them we’re not seen as people. If you’ve heard anyone compare it to slavery and torture, they weren’t wrong. How does that make you feel?” Eric wasn’t surprised. He’d heard it all. It was right there in the web forums: kidnapping, mutilation, mind alteration. Even “Island of Dr. Moreau.” “I know,” Eric replied. “That’s why I came here and not some other place.” “Because you know we only work with people who live in Itali?” “Yeah.” “Well, that was smart of you. Some people get impatient and will go anywhere, or just go somewhere in the dimension and take their chances. You seem like someone who does his research, but I just want to tell you some things to separate fact from fiction: · Itali only permits adoptions through license agencies like ours, and they only adopt direct from our dimension to Itali. Not from any of the other countries there. · While humans can live there independently with the same rights at Bigs, if you adopt yourself out, you’ll have the same rights as a minor there. Anything that is permissible for a Big to do to their own children can be done to you. Anything that is impermissible for a Big to do to their own children cannot be done to you. · You can select the stage of life you wish to begin with as a Little: newborn, infant or toddler. Those are the only choices. That is binding on the Bigs who adopt from us. However, they retain the right to decide the details associated with your stage of life, which may vary from your expectations. Whether and at what pace you progress through life stages, and what point, if any, you stop progressing, is up to the Big. If you choose or consent to it, your Big may further regress you from your current stage at any time. · You’ll notice we call them Bigs. They call us Littles. ‘Amazon’ is a pejorative there. · There’s no amending the adoption agreement. It says what it says. We can make your wishes known to prospective parents, but they can break any promise they make. But we don’t adopt out to just anyone. We thoroughly inspect all of our clients. We wouldn’t work with them if we believed they were bad people. · Our adoption agreement prohibits the following: o Involuntary physical or mental alteration o Giving, selling, or trading Littles o Having custody of any Little not adopted through an agency licensed in Itali o Violations of any Itali laws; suspicion of violations to be investigated, with a preponderance of evidence sufficient to be considered a violation of this agreement o Withholding or unduly delaying adequate medical care o Abuse, neglect, or negligence as defined by The Agency; suspicion of abuse, neglect, or negligence to be investigated, with a preponderance of evidence sufficient to be considered a violation of this agreement o Traveling with the Little to, or sending the Little to, any country where any of the above are not expressly forbidden by law · We have offices in Itali that conduct surprise inspections and work with the authorities there. If they find any violation of the adoption agreement, under the treaty permitting inter-dimensional adoptions between us and Itali, the police are required by law take you into their custody and return you to us. · Unless your parents violate the adoption agreement, you must remain with them as their Little for 10 years. You can asked to be returned to us, but they are not obligated to comply. Conversely, they can return you to us whenever they choose. At the end of those 10 years, you can decide to stay their Little, return to us, or remain in Itali as a full and independent citizen. · Your property and assets with be placed in a trust our non-profit partner manages. If choose to return to us or to become an independent citizen after 10 years, your property will be returned to you less the what we spend eliminating any remaining debt you have here. If you choose to stay a Little after 10 years, your assets, property, and any interest are liquidated, the revenue will be used to pay off your debt, and anything left over will be donated to fund the non-profit. I just want to remind you that Itali is like here; there are good people and bad people. We only work with good, but if you’re looking for a Utopia, that’s not Itali. Does all that make sense? Do you have any questions?” “No. Well, I guess yeah – what happens next,” Eric asked. Eric was familiar with provisions like these. It was part of his job, dealing with foster parents and adoptions. This aligned closely to the laws of he was used to dealing with. He made a lot of those inspections over the years himself. “I know that was a lot to take in,” Cheryl answered, “It’s all in the paperwork I’m going to send you home with. If you have any questions, please reach out to me, and we will be testing you to ensure you read and understood the adoption agreement before we approve you for adoption. So next I’m going to process all the information on those forms we asked you to bring in, then I’m going to call you doctors and last therapist. Our compliance department is going to run the background check you’re allowing us to do, and that includes all of your financial history so we know what we’re taking on when if you decide to move forward. Once that’s done, I’ll be in touch. It usually takes about 10 days for the average person. I’m guessing because of your job you’re going to appear in a lot of court records, so it may take longer. And in the meantime you just go about your life like normal. Don’t make any drastic decisions; don’t go on a spending spree; don’t do anything dangerous or stupid. Anything like that has the potential to cause us to reject your application. If you have any questions, you can call me or one of our licensed therapists – I really encourage everyone to do that anyway. And if at any time you change your mind and want to just forget this, we can do that, too; everything here is confidential, and all your records will be destroyed. Do you have any more questions right now?” With her monologue done, Eric thought for a moment. It was a lot to take in, and even though he was far from the end of it, everything seemed very real now. “Uh, not a question really. Can I tell you one thing I’m looking for in a Big,” Eric asked. “Of course.” Eric felt sheepish. He’d thought about this a lot, and he was embarrassed by it, as if this entire thing weren’t embarrassing. “I don’t know what life stage I want to start at, but, uh, can you, um, put it in my file that I don’t think I ever want to grow up again?” “I can’t promise your Big would abide by that, but I will put it in your file, and we’ll try do our best to find a Big who wants the same as you. Anything else?” “No,” Eric said as he stood up and stuck his hand out. “Thank you for your help. I’ll do all the things you said.” “Thank you for coming in today,” Cheryl replied as she shook Eric’s hand. As Eric reached the door, Cheryl felt compelled to add, “Eric, we’re going to make sure everything turns out right for you. I’ll make sure. And while all this is going on, please … just try to take care of yourself … for me.” Eric nodded and left. Cheryl liked Eric. She had a soft spot for people who had soft spots, and she knew people like Eric were worth protecting. We need more people like him in this world, Cheryl thought, but he needs something else. She understood why Eric wanted to be with a Big who didn’t want him to grow up: so he’d never have to see the kinds of things he saw everyday here. Returning to her desk, Erica started taking in on her notes for the file: Eric is 29 years old and suffers from depression and anxiety which are well controlled with medication … overwhelmed by work and the suffering he sees in the world … is educated and intelligent … is a sensitive and kind person … appears physically healthy … exhibits signs of PTSD, though he has not been diagnosed, and may benefit from therapy post-adoption … will likely need substantial emotional support ... did not admit to any fetish as a motivator .. may have trouble adapting ... desires to NOT progress from initial stage of life … will likely match best with a female head of household looking to dote on her Little and who has a large support network …