By Tim Stevens
Kurt Darkholme is an adult male who presents as in above average physical fitness with several unusual physical features including blue fur and a prehensile tail. He is a self identified mutant who operates under the “mutant name” of Nightcrawler.
The client is not, however, to be confused with Kurt Wagner. Although they are genetic matches, Darkholme reports that he is from another dimension than our own called the “Age of Apocalypse.” While this writer is unfamiliar with the vagaries of inter-dimensional travel, several other individuals close to the client have verified his story.
As such, despite his similar appearance, Darkholme does not behave like the late Wagner. He tends to be more abrupt, more easily prone to anger, and far less open about his thoughts or emotions beyond those that fall on the spectrum from irritation to rage.
The client also has what can best be described as a phobia in regards to churches. It is unclear at this time if it extends to all religious grounds or only those that specifically “look” like churches: pews, stained glass, many religious artifacts and so on. The phobia evidently began with a traumatic event early in the client’s life, an event he has heretofore refused to disclose to the writer. Although Darkholme raised the issue himself, he insists he has no particular interest in overcoming the phobia, labeling it an easy to avoid annoyance and not something that actually interferes with his life. Nonetheless, the writer has explained that it is something that can be addressed with exposure therapy and that it is an option to Darkholme if and when he feels ready to work on it.
Beyond the aforementioned phobia and the difficulties expressing a healthy range of emotions, his predominant diagnosis is an understandable Adjustment Disorder. “Our” Earth is so markedly different than the one he grew up and lived on that he often finds it disorienting and off-putting. Although this Earth is objectively less horrible than his, by his own admission, he finds it significantly more difficult to live here. The client describes the rules as being “unclear” and that he finds the breaks in conflict and chaos that are more common here to be stressful and disconcerting as opposed to times to collect himself and relax.
He also feels something of a level of what perhaps can best be labeled survivor’s guilt at being here instead of his Earth, especially the longer he remains. The client admits he sometimes feels as though he abandoned his fellow rebels, even though he did so to hunt down the war criminals of that reality.
Overall, this writer is focusing on providing nonjudgmental support to the client and guiding him towards being more accepting of himself, his emotions, and his expression of those emotions. In time, as the client’s comfort level increases, hopefully his comfort with disclosing and confronting his trauma history and resultant phobia will grow.
Kurt Darkholme’s next appointment is set for March 20 with Doctors David Lapham, Marjorie Liu, Greg Pak and David Lopez. Please review file X-TERMINATION #1 for details.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee who currently provides therapy and outreach at a state university.