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Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Andry Buernsey on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:00 am

It was obvious that Michael felt some measure of hatred for his father, and the repressed intensity of the feeling sort of scared Andry. He couldn't imagine not having his family intact -- it was one of the two things that kept him going, the other, of course, being his girlfriend. He would have killed himself a long time ago if his family hadn't been there encouraging him, backing him up, basically dragging him through his life. He listened silently to the story, looking increasingly sad. He didn't know how to help Michael; he didn't even know how to sympathize. Andry's father was a lawyer and a somewhat detached man; he had never quite gotten over the fact that his son could not engage in any physical contact with him. It wasn't that Andry didn't love his dad, because he did, as much as he loved his mother. But the thought of touching him made the boy queasy, and Nicolas Buernsey couldn't understand this. So he put on his best courtroom pokerface and dealt with his son the same way he dealt with a jury...with cool disengagement. Nevertheless, Andry didn't hate his father; he actually preferred the detachment. It was easier that way for both of them.

The moment that really broke his heart was when Michael remembered that his mother actually had given him up. Andry supposed that he might feel the same way, but he didn't feel so much abandoned by his family as manipulated by the courts and by the mental health system. His family had merely elected to move him from the Covelli Institute in Boston to Hadley; they hadn't stuck him in Covelli in the first place. That had been the courts. He thought that it must really hurt to know that your family members didn't want you anymore, and he felt lucky to know that his family did want him, even more for all that had happened, and that he had a place to go when and if he got out of here.

"Hey, it's okay," he said quietly, not sure at all that it was actually okay. Michael was kind of a roller coaster ride; Andry usually liked hanging out with people who were a little more stable. Not that stable people were easy to find in a mental institution... Anyway, this conversation was beginning to be a little overwhelming. He drew his knees to his chin too, wrapping his arms around his legs, and said,

"I'm sure your parents love you...I'm sure she sent you here for a reason. It'll be...fine. Everything will be...aboslutely...fine." He trailed off a little, sounding more and more unsure. Maybe Michael's parents didn't love him, and it probably wouldn't be fine.

In the beginning of this conversation, Andry had been determined to appear confident and in control. But he couldn't keep that up for long, and he had known it the entire time. Even if he didn't appear it, he was always two steps away from a breakdown, and something that would cause one was always two steps away too. Feeling helpless had somehow become an integral part of who he was, and now even this interaction had come down to that. He was powerless to help this poor, disturbed boy, and it made Andry feel terrible.
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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Michael Courtenay on Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:45 pm

Michael hated talking about his father, almost as much as he hated him, although he would never outwardly say it. 'I hate my father' was never directly spoken out of his mouth, but whenever he spoke of James Miller, it was obvious that he did. A part of Michael was afraid of this- the part that genuinely wanted James to be in his life as a father, and wanted to view James with the same undying love and respect that he did anyone else. But there was another part of Michael in the subject of his father- this one being much darker. 'He abandoned you.' 'If he wanted you, he'd at least try to have you as a son.' Those were common arguments when the two sides were at war. Besides Michael's hatred for himself, the subject of his father was the only thing that made him show a darker side, one that wasn't all innocence and cheerfulness and empathy. Even though he was torn when it came to how he felt he should feel about his father, the rest of Michael Courtenay was terrified that he was showing anger to begin with, so he decided to make a switch to cheerfulness as he spoke about his mother.

As he spoke about Evie Courtenay, Andry must have thought he was bipolar, because everything changed as he told the story. His teeth were no longer grinding but were a little bit apart as he smiled. His fists were completely unclenched. His eyes did not hold the long-surpassed flame any longer, but they reverted to how his eyes usually were- bright and happy. And then, as if he couldn't go through another rapid change, he remembered that his mother had given him up, and he couldn't control himself from crying.

'Andry must think you're a nutcase,' Michael's brain scolded him as he cried in his knees. 'Stop it. You were just having a nice, pleasant conversation. What is wrong with you, anyway? Why can't you just be-'

"Hey, it's okay,"

Andry's voice was gentle, and he was trying to help Michael calm down. Andry was going through so much trouble to get him to feel better, and it was clear that he cared about him. That alone made the smaller boy stop crying other than a few hiccups here and there as he wiped his eyes again. 'Breathe. He's not mad at you. Just... breathe.' Like he had to do whenever he was caught in an anxiety attack, Michael took a few steady, deep breaths. When he was calm enough, he rested the side of his head on his knees as he faced Andry, exhausted from all of the changes in emotion.

"'M sorry," He said finally. "I didn't mean to."

He then listened to Andry again, then said: "I don't know if my dad loves me, because he never said so, and to be honest, he never showed it either. I'm kind of a nuisance. But I know my mom loves me- she just had to give me to the Michigan foster system because there was no one else who could take care of me. Then the youth home sent me to a mental hospital after I... kind of... well, okay. The only way I can explain that is if I tell a story- so like, after my mom gave me to the police and after I quit the baseball team because I was in such an emotional trench, it just got worse. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, I wasn't talking. I was just a crying zombie. And then, a few days later, I got fed up with crying because that was all I was doing. So... I sat in a chair in the living room, turned upside down and started laughing. Like, hysterically, maniacally laughing." Michael started to form a smile again, because he found it somewhat funny. "Everyone was staring at me and then one of the counselors asked if I was okay, while Jorge was making faces behind her head so I just laughed harder. And then they thought I was too unstable, which I was, so they put me in a mental hospital. I don't usually act like that, though, so don't worry. I just... didn't know how to deal with things, that's all."

Michael sighed. "And then I was back in the youth home for a few weeks before I was sent here. My mom didn't send me here- she sent herself to rehab and gave up custody of me, so she didn't have a say at all."

He took another deep breath. "My mom is the only family I have. My dad and his family don't consider me family, and the only other family members I know of are my mom's parents. I met my grandfather a few times when I was younger, but I don't remember him. And my mom's mom drank herself to death. But my mom was all the family I needed growing up- she raised me to love and accept people regardless of who they are, and she loved me enough for a set of two parents even though she's a single mom. It's just... I'd need to steer clear of her while she was drinking, but she loves me and I love her."

After swallowing, he said: "What's your family like? Do you have any siblings? Like I said before, I have two half-sisters. They're ten, but they look like they're sixteen and they kind of fling their appeal to high schoolers who think they're in high school. It's kind of sad, but I don't want to tell them because then they'd have a reason to torture me more. Even though I'm technically their older brother, I'm not really because they don't look at me like that- they think I'm childish and that I look the part too. And Morgan, Tori and Brielle don't consider me family- to them, I was just a pest who cleaned too much."
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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Andry Buernsey on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:50 pm

Andry laid his head on his knees facing Michael in the same manner. He supposed that everyone's family was a little fucked up, but Michael's family sounded particularly doomed. His own family would be perfectly lovely and normal if he wasn't part of it; he was pretty much ruining their reputation by still existing.

"I have two little sisters too. They're eleven and six, so they're not really flinging sex appeal at anyone yet. Gigi, she's the older one, likes swimming; she's on a swim team and everything. She's kind of evil, actually, but I love her. She writes me letters. Amina is the younger one; she's sweet. Gigi's diabolical mind hasn't rubbed off on her yet. I really miss them both...I spent a lot of time with them when I was at home. I read books to Amina all the time, played card games with them, that kind of thing. It's probably weird for a guy my age to hang out with his little sisters all the time, but..." he said, then shrugged. "My mom is a high school guidance counselour and my dad is a lawyer....when you put them together, there's really no way in hell to argue with them. She's got your psyche nailed to the wall, and you can debate with him until you turn blue, but you'll always be wrong. Not that I don't love them -- I really do. They never gave up on me, even when I was a total mess. My mom is the most stubborn woman alive, and she was always determined that I get better...I just kind of went along. Dad is...he's just dad. He mostly absorbs himself in his job, but he's not a bad guy. We don't see eye to eye most of the time. His parents are dead; they died in a fire when he was fifteen. My mom's parents moved back to Slovenia when she was old enough to fend for herself because they missed it so much. They fly over to visit sometimes. I have like a hundred pairs of mittens and scarves me grandma knitted for me."

There, Andry stopped. That was probably the most he'd said at once recently; he really missed his family, more so because he'd been away for so long. He felt tears start in his eyes, and turned his head the other way. Andry hated himself for crying so much...it was such a stupid thing to have a problem with. No-one wanted to talk to the guy who couldn't stop spontaneously bursting into tears. Of course, compared to his current company, he looked downright emotionally stable, but that didn't make him feel any better. The fact that he cried less than a homesick fourteen year old with serious emotional problems was zero comfort.
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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Michael Courtenay on Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:12 am

"I have two little sisters too."

Michael's ears perked up a little more, and listened quietly as Andry talked about his sisters. He wasn't really expecting that similarity- but then again, it was evident that Andry and Michael had a lot of things in common. They were both shy and soft-spoken, and there were other things that Michael couldn't really pin point at the moment. For now, he would listen.

To Michael, Andry describing his family kind of reminded him of hearing a description for characters in a story. He knew they were real people, obviously, but it reminded him of that nonetheless. They all sounded like interesting, and not to mention stable, people. It was clear through Andry's words that they were happy for the most part. He couldn't help himself from smiling when Andry talked about all the things he did with his little sisters. He thought that was so nice- not too many teenaged boys did that sort of thing. That just solidified Michael's view that Andry was a good person.

When Andry shrugged, Michael said what he thought: "I think that's really sweet. You must really love them."

He listened intently again when Andry told him about his parents. He smiled again when Andry talked about how his mom never gave up on him, but this one was more distant than the first. He thought about his own mother having the stubborn idea fueled by love (that their sons could get better), although... Evie, at first, had the same attitude about Michael's problems as she did her own. Like most alcoholics, she denied that she had issues... and she did that with Michael until she absolutely had nothing to ignore. Michael was ten times more anxious than he was at the moment (if that could be imagined), had a stutter, rigid routines and cleaning compulsions and crippling social anxiety. Once he got help for his stutter, once he could talk freely, he gained a touch more confidence and his social anxiety evaporated. And after he was in therapy, things were looking up from where they had been in his childhood... until last month. But he wasn't thinking of that right now- instead, he was listening.

His eyes displayed sympathy when Andry mentioned that his father's parents died in a fire when he was a teenager. He knew that must have been terrible for him, and wondered how that affected his relationship with Andry... if it was affected at all.

When Andry paused, Michael lifted his head to lean back against the tree. "Your family sounds wonderful- you're a good person, and they sound like good people too. I wish I was as close with my sisters- although, I kind of don't at the same time. They were always trying to get me in trouble. Both of them knew how ticklish I am, so when I was carrying a vase, Brielle squeezed my sides and made me drop it and it shattered. Morgan was furious. And sometimes,-"

Michael stopped dead when he saw Andry turn away. He heard sobs, sounds of anguish... and he berated himself for talking so much while Andry was in turmoil like that.

"H-Hey... are you...?" Michael lifted his hand to place it on Andry's shoulder but decided against it. He saw how much hesitation Andry showed when he did that to him... so he figured the other boy must not have liked physical affection.

Michael was silent for a few moments, pondering what to say. Then, he spoke, his voice being gentle and sober.

"I'm really sorry. It must be terrible to be so far away from your family. You all love each other so much, and that can witstand anything. I have a feeling that they won't give up on you. Ever. They won't abandon you. And that's something I know you'll always cherish." A sigh. "Do you think St. Christina's allows visitations? In the other mental hospitals I was in, family could visit you. The first time I was hospitalized, my mom visited me every hour she was allowed. But the second time she was in rehab so she couldn't. Maybe if they do, your family could visit you."

Michael offered a small, genuine smile even though he wasn't sure Andry could see it. "Even if they're not here with you right now, you'll always have them. But it is really hard... I understand."
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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Andry Buernsey on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:48 am

(OOC: Sorry for the shortness. I had to strangle the muse with piano wire to get even this much. o.O)

"Thanks," Andry said, wiping his eyes on his sleeve. "I'm sorry. Its sucks of me to be like this. I don't...I don't think that I want my family visiting me, even though I miss them. I don't think I want my sisters to see me living here. It's like a big fancy Guantanamo Bay. And I know it would make my parents too upset. As much as I want to see them...not like this."

Andry had spent too large a portion of his life missing his family, and it was just that double separation that hurt so much. Just when he'd entwined himself into their lives again, he'd had to leave a second time. He wondered if they'd forgotten what he looked like entirely by this point, or if they were still picturing the nine-year-old version of him that they'd been picturing since he'd been kidnapped. That was who they should have back, that happy, normal child, not this newer, damaged version of him that did nothing but cause them trouble. There was some guilt there, even though he sort-of knew that almost none of this was his fault.

Suddenly, Andry just wanted to be alone. It happened sometimes. The inside of his head was like the sky, and it could get stormy all of a sudden and stay that way. He'd been sitting here too long, for one, and thinking about all of these unpleasant things was a little bit too much. He stretched out his legs, looked at Michael, and said,

"I think I'm going to go inside for a while...it's been really awesome talking to you, Michael. You're a cool kid. We definitely need to talk again sometime...I'm in room B1, and I spend a lot of time here. And in the courtyard, and the rec room, and, you know...wide open spaces. That's me. Wanna walk back with me?" With that, he stood up and stretched, brushing the dirt from his pants, waiting for the boy's response.
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Re: Sense of Direction? Nahh... (Andry)

Post by Michael Courtenay on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:53 am

"You're welcome," Michael offered kindly, happy that Andry was feeling a bit better. "I-It's okay. You don't have to apologize."

Michael, truthfully, wasn't used to receiving apologies. He was always apologizing, most of the time unnecessarily, and multiple times... unintentionally causing the other person to feel awkward or angry. Sometimes when others apologized to him, he didn't understand it- wasn't the problem always his fault?! Dr. Ivanova, his previous therapist, talked about internal and external loci of control in one of their sessions. Katerina Ivanova then began to explain what they were- from his understanding, if someone had a high internal locus of control, they'd think that they were the cause of events happening around them. When someone had a high external locus of control, they'd think that other people were the cause. Michael thought it over and fidgeted in his seat, then responded with, 'Well, it's half and half with me- I think I'm to blame for all the bad things happening around me, and everyone else is responsible for the good things. I don't know... it's just... I only see the good that everyone else does and only the bad that I do.' 'Do you know why that is, Michael?' 'Um... I guess it's because I only keep record of the bad things that I do and eventually I forget the good things because I don't like to draw attention to the things I do right.' 'Why is that?' 'Because I don't want to show pride. I'd be arrogant then.'

Michael's eyes shined sympathetically to Andry saying that he doesn't want his family visiting him. He wondered how Gigi and Amina would actually think when they saw the facility itself. They'd probably be sad that they had to leave Andry there after a visitation, but he didn't think their reactions were as drastic as Andry might have thought them to be. A knot of fear was twisted at the bottom of Michael's stomach when Andry compared St. Christina's to Guantanamo Bay. It was true that they were on an island against their will, and they couldn't leave until administration said so. But Michael decided on the ferry ride to try to make the most of it while he was here- his previous two hospitalizations were really just quick fixes. He probably wouldn't get any better if he stayed in Michigan, hopping from hospital to hospital for only three days to a week each time. The thought of a long-term facility scared him, and he didn't know how long he'd be here, but he was an optimist at heart- he believed that the psychiatrists in St. Christina's, and all the staff really, genuinely wanted all the patients to get better and would want to offer whatever assistance they could to make that happen. Maybe this was just another one of those moments where he saw the best in people and they turned on him in the end, but he was a firm believer that mental health professionals don't go into the field to collect a paycheck- an accusation made by many of his fellow patients over the years. For all the challenges that they face, the job truly didn't pay enough- you'd have to have the right heart to continue to help people.

He heard Andry mention his parents being upset if they visited him, and he looked at the ground, his expression sobering. "I understand."

Michael remembered when his mom visited him during his first hospitalization. The worst part for both of them was that they had to say goodbye once visitation was over. He cried all five times- he only stayed for five days during that hospitalization, but time went by very slow while he was at Marquette General. He knew it was rough on his mom too.

Suddenly, Andry stood up and brushed his pants off. Michael did the same, out of a habit of copying people.

"I think I'm going to go inside for a while...it's been really awesome talking to you, Michael. You're a cool kid. We definitely need to talk again sometime...I'm in room B1, and I spend a lot of time here. And in the courtyard, and the rec room, and, you know...wide open spaces. That's me. Wanna walk back with me?"

"Oh! Okay!" Michael smiled as he began walking with Andry, then said: "I'm in A2 if you ever need to find me. Let me know how you're doing sometime- I'll be sure to look for you."

Michael put his hands in his pockets and looked up at the bright blue sky. Maybe this whole experience wouldn't be so bad after all- he made a friend, didn't he? And he'd never been called 'cool' before in his life.

*KONTSE*
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