By Tim Stevens
Daimon Hellstrom presents as an adult male in above average physical shape. Although he appears entirely human, he self-identifies as being partially demonic. While he appears to observe all expected activities of daily living (ADLs) his attire is inappropriate for therapy session, often attending with an open shirt or no shirt at all and displaying the ritualistic scarring or tattooing (it is unclear to the writer which it is) that adorns his abdomen.
The client has repeatedly shown up for therapy after hours and without appointments. While this writer has made it clear that this is unacceptable, Hellstrom continues to ignore this redirection and comes and goes as he sees fit. Against my better judgment, and seemingly without even my consent, I have conducted sessions at these times. It is difficult for me to explain why and I have some concerns that the client is “compelling” me via some sort of ability to act against my will. However, it feels important to note that my opinions, observations, and questions do not feel or appear to be manipulated by him. He may be forcing me to perform therapy, but seems to be authentic in his desire to speak to someone without them simply being an echo chamber or yes man.
Hellstrom insists he struggles with his supposed ancestry, his father being a demon ruler of some section of Hell, and that he does not wish to “evil.” That said, by his own admittance, he often acts in ways that would make his father “proud.” Most recently this culminated in him betraying several Avengers to ally himself with Sin and Crossbones’ efforts to tap into mystical energies in an attempt to conquer the world. He becomes defensive when questioned why he would act in this way, constantly affirming he did what was “necessary and right” and that the writer, being a mere man, cannot possibly understand the choices he is faced with.
Still, he is clearly ambivalent about these and other choices. He, by turns, looks for affirmation and rejects any attempts at understanding, comfort, or questions designed to better understand why he’s done as he’s done.
In the “human” moments he allows himself, he confesses to being overwhelmed by a recent flurry of activity that has kept him busier than at any other time he can recall. He also expresses sadness at the state of his relationship with his ex-wife Patsy Walker (Hellcat), a woman he clearly seems to respect and admire, although his ability to love anyone seems very stunted. There have been times that he has also admitted a certain fear of himself, but has declined to discuss this revelation further and often hastens to paper over it in subsequent sessions.
Until the client is willing to be more open about himself and follow certain rules about the therapeutic relationship—such as scheduling appointments and respecting this writer’s right to refuse seeing him at certain times—he is unlikely to truly see any benefits from therapy. This writer is more than willing to help, but simply cannot under these circumstances.
For further information on Daimon Hellstrom this writer recommends the works of Doctors Cullen Bunn and Thony Silas. There next piece on him can be found in VENOM #23 available for review on August 22.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee.