By Tim Stevens
Jubilation Lee, who prefers to be called Jubilee, is a young adult female who presents as being in average to above average physical shape. Although she self-identifies as a mutant, she was amongst those who lost their “gift” following the events of M-Day.
This writer was requested to come to do a consult after the client was one of the victims of a terrorist attack in San Francisco. While she appears to be physically unharmed by the incident, she was close enough to the suicide bomber to come into contact with some of his remains. She was immediately taken in by the mutants rights group the X-Men—with whom she retains close ties—following the incident and was given proper medical care. However, several of the X-Men noticed what they label as unusual behaviors from the client and fear possible fallout. While it is not unusual, obviously, to be negatively affected by a terrorist attack, the writer agreed that early intervention would have benefits and no drawbacks and thus was worth doing.
While Lee presented a brave front and insists that she is “fine” her appearance would seem to indicate otherwise. She appeared visibly uncomfortable throughout the session and seemed to shy away from natural sources of light. Additionally, her skin was sallow and clammy and her breathing somewhat shallow and irregular. These are, typically, good indicators of shock although her manner of speech and movement seemed to suggest that this was not the case. However, this writer feels comfortable in saying that while the client might not have a medically diagnosable case of shock, she is in “shock” the more colloquial sense of the word.
The client also disclosed she felt as though she was being spoken to, invited to leave the facility and go somewhere else. She asserted that she did not know where that “somewhere else” was or whose voice it was, only that it was both very familiar and desirable to her. She confessed that this frightened her, but, in some ways, she did not wish to resist the call. This sort of complaint is not common to Acute Stress Disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, showing up far more often in psychosis disorders. Still, given that the client has not exhibited any signs of psychosis before this and traumatic events can trigger any number of unusual reactions, it is most likely a result of the incident. Additionally, it may be a sort of auditory flashback. Nonetheless, it bears further monitoring to ensure that that is the case. If it continues to linger in the days and weeks following this, it will bear further testing and evaluation.
Beyond the voice, Lee displays no signs of possible flashbacks and denies having them. While, according to others, she initially complained of the odor of burning flesh, she says that has passed indicating it was probably a “real” smell that lingered, not a phantom one that could have been an indicator of some re-experiencing. The only bodily sensations she admits to are some aching, most likely from hitting the ground after the blast, and a powerful thirst that felt as though it was increasing. Doctors Nemesis and Kavita Rao, the physicians on hand, are running tests to ensure that no bodily harm might be causing this symptom.
While the writer agrees that the client’s behavior is unusual given her personality and presentation until now, it does not seem out of line given the experience she has just survived. This is not to say, however, that it should be ignored or overlooked. She seems to a have a strong almost paternal bond with the X-Man known as Wolverine as she mentioned him often during the session, so this writer would recommend that she be allowed to speak and spend time with him as soon as possible. Additionally, the client should continue to be evaluated for ASD and PTSD by licensed professionals.
With this in mind, a follow-up appointment has already been secured. Doctors Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto will visit the facility on January 19. The file will available for review that day under the name WOLVERINE AND JUBILEE #1.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant. He has experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma.