By Tim Stevens
Kaine (NLN) is an adult male who appears to be in above average physical shape. He claims to be a clone, something impossible for this writer to verify but does appear to be true given that his appearance is a near mirror of another client of this office.
In session, Kaine is generally cooperative, although he can be reactive at times. He is prone to bitter sarcasm, usually directed at himself, but sometimes turned on others if he perceives he is being judged. He shows strong signs of wanting to change. This commitment, though, is often undercut by feelings of hopelessness and self-repudiation.
Formerly, Kaine suffered from a degenerative condition—apparently not uncommon to clones created by Dr. Miles Warren—that left him disfigured and affected his personality, cognitive processes, and ability to process emotions. As such, he was often violent, cruel and prone to great resentment towards the man he was cloned from.
Somehow recently, this has changed, and although the client was not entirely clear on the details, it involved his seeming death, resurrection during the so-called “Spider-Island” incident in New York City, and subsequent “curing” of his mutation into a monstrous spider-like creature. Unlike many, however, Kaine retained certain abilities, like the ability to stick to walls, a sort of early warning system for danger, strength, stamina, sharp bony protrusions, and the ability to “shoot” webs from his wrists.
While the client appears to have been cured of whatever maladies were inherent in being a clone and no physical defects are turned up in the physical exam performed by the staff, interacting with the world around him is still problematic. The organic causes of his rage, resentment, inability to express emotions in a healthy manner, and limited empathy have been removed. However, having lived his life for years in this state, it remains the only way he knows. In essence: nature has been taken out of the equation, but nurture remains.
As such, Kaine grapples with how to make a place for himself in the world. He is able to recognize that he has no reason to resent the man who is his genetic identical but still has those feelings in him after years of accepting their truthfulness. He feels increased empathy but struggles with how to express it and the guilt and shame he feels having lived a life relatively free of concern for others for years.
Social skills also present a problem. Given the nature of his appearance and abilities, Kaine has spent much of his existence in the shadows, interacting with very few people and in ways that would be charitably described as “outside the norm.” For the first time, he is now able to be social in a more typical way and he finds the thought of it to be confusing, exhilarating, and frightening all at once.
Finally, the client is searching for purpose. He feels that he can now live a life more on his own terms, but finds himself unclear on what he might want or how to go about achieving it. He does not wish to ignore the “gifts” he has but he also does not wish to live a carbon copy life and is trying to find a way to honor both drives.
Part of that process for him demands, in his opinion, that he leave New York City and find somewhere else to call home. As such, he will be unable to continue to meet with this writer. He has, however, agreed to take sessions with other colleagues focusing on the goals described above.
Kaine’s first appointment with Doctors Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman is scheduled for January 11. All information about the client can be found in file SCARLET SPIDER #1.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a community mental health facility and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.