“Dr. Wilson your 11:30 is here” Sam looked up from his next patient’s case files that he was reviewing.
“Thank you Sharon, send him in” Tony Stark, genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, CEO of Stark Industries and Iron Man. Saying Sam was surprised when he got this case is an understatement.
Mr. Stark has been having weekly session with Sam for the past six months now. The prickly man refused to speak during the first session after stating he was only here to fulfill an obligation to a friend. But while Mr. Stark is a certifiable genius, a mime he is not. And with each session, Sam was able to slowly but surely chip at his walls. Found that beneath the public bravado he mastered, was someone with insecurities and trust issues taller than Stark tower. All stemming from years of abuse from his father, betrayals from those around him and the constant public slander from the media. It’s a wonder how he stayed relatively sane. Emphasis on the relatively. Only for the proverbial bomb in the form of Afghanistan to drop on top of everything.
Which is why Sam is currently taking Mr. Stark’s case. Sam specializes in PTSD and trauma for soldiers. Help them make sense of what they went through and try to help them find their place in the world again.
“Dr. Wilson” Mr. Stark said as he plopped himself down on chaise and stretched out his legs.
“Good afternoon Mr. Stark. Have you put any thought in about we talked about last time?” Tony didn’t stop toying with the pendulum on the coffee table at his question but Sam could see the tense lines in his hands.
“You’re going to have to be more specific Doc, we talked about a lot of things” Tony was deflecting but Sam wasn’t going to be deterred.
“About undergoing regression hypnotherapy”
“Ah right, the whole make think I’m a chicken and cluck around method. Tell me, how is that supposed to improve my mental state?”
“Not quite but don’t tempt me” Sam replied dryly. “I’m not going to make you think or act any differently than you normally would. Regression hypnotherapy merely allows your conscious thoughts to take a backseat so that your subconscious can be examined. Mr. Stark, you’ve improved significantly since we’ve started but you still comment on how you feel incomplete, unbalanced and you’re not sure why. Regression hypnotherapy can help you find out the reason why so that you can began the healing process”.
Tony remained silent, eyes not meeting Sam’s and he tossed and caught stress ball up and down. “So no chicken clucking?”
“No chicken clucking”
Tony sat up and took off his glasses. “Alright then Doc, knock yourself out, though I guess in this situation, you’ll be knocking me out”
“Alright Mr. Stark, sit back, find a comfortable position and listen to my instructions. It would help with the experience if you just feel. Try not to think or analyze or use your left brain, just experience and you can analyze later” Tony quirked an eyebrow at him.
“You do know who you’re talking to right?”
“I also know that you are a genius and is capable of accomplishing unheard of feats, including getting hypnotized”.
“Damn, you’re good Doc”.
“Sit back and relax Mr. Stark. You’re using up your minutes”.
Close your eyes, focus on your breathing
Imagine you can breathe out the tension and stress in your body. Imagine you can breathe in all the energy around you. Breathe out stress, breathe in energy.
Relax deeper and deeper. Relax the muscle in your face, of your neck and shoulders, down to your arms, through your body to your legs. Letting go all tension and tightness as you go.
Let go, let my voice carry you deeper and deeper into relaxation. Let go of any thoughts or background noise and distraction. Let them fade away into a deep state of peace and calm.
Visualize and imagine a beautiful light above your head, it is a wonderful healing light. It gets rid of discomfort and disease everywhere in your body. And it is a relaxing light connecting above and around you. You can choose the light’s color or colors.
Let this beautiful light inside you from above your head, illuminating your brain and spine and healing your organs. And flowing down from above to below, touching every cell of your body. Every fiber, every tissue, with peace and love.
And imagine the light is surrounding the outside of your body in a beautiful cocoon of light, protecting you completely.
In a few minutes I can going to count down from ten and you are going to be in a space so deep that your mind is not going to be limited by space or time. So deep, you can remember every experience you ever had, whether in this body, or any other body or even in between. So deep, that you can experience all levels of your multidimensional self because you are far greater than the limitations of your body or brain.
Imagine a garden, this garden is your sanctuary, where you can remember everything. Let us start with something small, a childhood memory. When I count down from five, you will recall a childhood memory. Any memory, good or bad, and let that memory come into complete focus.
Callum woke up to a rooster’s crow in the distance. He slowly lifted himself out of bed and gazed out the window, taking in his family’s plantation. His family owned the largest plantation in Virginia and utilized the highest amount of Negros as well. His father would always say how one day, all of this would belong to Callum so he had to make sure he continued his education so that he would be ready to take over. But Callum didn’t want to own a plantation, not really. He wanted to spend his days tinkering with new mechanisms and gears and learning how to make things work faster and more efficiently. But Callum knew his place in the world since he was even younger than he is now. And he knew there was no fighting it.
He rung the bell for his personal valet and proceed to get ready for the day.
“Young master Callum, you rang?” Wilson is the family’s old butler and one of Callum’s closest confidents. He was always willing to sneak him old tools and parts for Callum to toy with.
“Good morn’ Wilson, could you please prepare the bath? I would like to freshen up before going to the stables”
“Right away young master” While Wilson was preoccupied with the bath, Callum sneaked a book about fairytales into his sack, making sure it was hidden beneath his schematics and other papers.
When Callum was finally set, he made his way towards the stables on the west side of the main house. Looking back an forth, he checked to see if there were any workers or slaves in the vicinity before slipping into one of the empty horse stalls. Already waiting for him, was a young negro sitting among the hay.
“Terrance! I see you were able to get away” Callum greeted happily. Terrance was one of the few boys around his age that was willing to talk to him, willing to treat him like a regular boy. Callum liked Terrance, even though he was a slave.
“Callum, you’re late”, Terrance responded blandly.
“Come on now Terrance, is that anyway to great your teacher?”
“No, it’s how one greets a lazy friend” Callum merely smiled at that. Having a friend was nice, he didn’t have very many, or any at all.
“Scoot over, we must get started right away, I have double lessons today so I have not much time”. And with that Tony pulled out the book of fairytales and began to go over the letters he taught previously.
It was in moments like these that Callum forget who he was, who Terrance was and what was expected of him for the future. It was moments like these that Callum was just Callum, a boy teaching his friend how to read. But Callum was a smart boy, and he knew that those moments don’t last forever.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING BOY?!” Both Terrance and Callum jumped, scrambling to hide evidence of their sins but it was too late, they were caught.
Standing before them, in a flash of white hot rage, was Mister Gregory Valor, master of Grand Valor Plantations and Callum’s father. Master Gregory grabbed his son’s arm dragging him out of the stall.
“You pathetic excuse of a son, how dare you teach this dirty worthless Nigga how to read! You make a mockery of me and this family. I could have you killed for breaking the law”, his father roared, spit flying with harsh word. Callum curled into himself, knowing that there was nothing he could do to prevent the inevitable. Even through he mentally prepared himself, he could help but gasp when the first blow of his father’s belt met his back. And then again, And again. Each searing crack ripped through his shirt and broke open his skin into a bloody mess.
Pain, so much pain…Stop…Stop…Please Father…make it stop!
Tony woke up with a gasp. Wrapping his arms around his back to feel the raised edges of the scars only to find nothing. He vaguely realized that he wasn’t breathing and tried to regain control of his body.
“Tony are you okay?” Sam reached out a hand and grasped his shoulder, eyes wide with concern.
“What the fuck was that?” Tony spat out. His heart was beating wildly and he could feel his hand shaking.
“I merely asked you to recall a childhood memory. Good or Bad. Though I’m going to assume by your reaction, it wasn’t a very pleasant memory. I’m sorry that it made you feel uncomfortable” Sam tried to explain in a level voice, carefully to not agitate the man further. But Tony did not look appeased.
“That was not a fucking memory”
“What do you mean?” Tony fisted his hands in his hair and struggled to formulate a coherent explanation.
“I mean that unless I was born in the 1840’s, that wasn’t my memory” Sam looked taken aback by that.
“Describe to me what you saw”. Tony glared at Sam defiantly, but his desire to make sense of what he saw won out.
“There was a boy, named Callum he was probably around 12 or 13 years old. He was the son of the plantation owner and this was back when enslaving human beings was an acceptable past time in America. He had a butler, Wilson, and was secretly friends with the stable boy, Terrence. Callum was teaching him how to read as slaves weren’t allowed to learn. And then that endeavor didn’t end well” Tony spit out bitterly. “And it felt so real. The sounds and smells, I can still feel the scratchy bed sheets and I can remember how his breakfast tasted. It felt like a memory but there’s no way that it’s mines”.
Throughout his story, Sam listened with a cautiously blank face. When Tony finished his mini rant, he drooped back into the Chaise and gestured towards Sam.
“Well? Aren’t you going to explain what you did to me?”
“I didn’t do anything other than guide you towards an old memory” Tony tensed with annoyance, he opened his mouth to refute him but Sam cut him off. “Mr. Stark, what do you know about past lives?
“You’re joking right, you’re talking about the whole ridiculous unfounded theory that human beings have multiple past lives because of reincarnation. Are you telling me I’ve been seeing a shrinking that believes in reincarnation?”
“It’s not completely unfounded. There have been quite a few cases that use regression hypnotherapy to unlock the memories of a past life, in order to resolve a current conflict. There was one confirmed case of a man who had severe migraines and could not determine it’s source and using regression hypnotherapy, he found that he was shot in the head in a past life. When he came to terms with that, the migraines stopped”. Sam tried to appeal to Tony’s logical nature. “For some reason, when prompted to revisit a childhood memory, your subconscious recalled this particular past life. Something must have occurred that is continuing to affect you today. And if we can dissect those memories, maybe it can help you achieve balance in your life”
Tony took his time contemplating Sam’s words but Sam knew that he won him over.
“Alright, I’ll bite, what does being the son of a plantation owner have to do with the fuck up that is my life?”
“This process actually takes several hours to complete and is done across multiple sessions, so I can’t give you a definitive answer until we explore this past life more” Tony’s face contorted in a grimace.
“So I’ll have to go through this again?”
“I’m afraid so, Mr. Stark” And just like that, Tony’s public mask slipped right own and Sam knew this session was over.
“Right, well then Hypno Doc, I’ll see you next session”, Tony stood, adjusted his suit and sunglasses and strutted his way out.
“Dr. Wilson, you have a new case”
“Thank you Sharon, if you could please put it on my desk, I’ll go over it tomorrow morning”, Sam was exhausted, his schedule was booked with appointments and he just wanted into bed a marathon the hobbit movies while eating cold pizza.
“Doctor, I think you might want to read over this now”, Sharon pressed, eyebrows furrowed in and stance firm. Sam quirked an eyebrow at her but took the file nonetheless.
Name: Steven Grant Rogers DOB: 07/04/1918 Age: 94 (biologically 27) Bio: Steven Grant Rogers aka Captain America and leader of the Howling Commandos fought in WWII and presumably died in the line of fire. Recently found in the Artic and revived. Rogers struggles with re-acclimating with the current world and is showing signs of depression and PTSD.
“Well fuck” Looks like Orlando Bloom and cold pizza is going to have to wait.