Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dark paradise

Round 15: February 2024

Rianna Midlock is 54, Anthony is 50, Emily is 16, Sara is 15 and Jesse is 11.


Narrated by Anthony Midlock.

We thought that the worst was over with Emily grieving over Ethan's death but it seems that she has just scratched the surface. She started school with everyone else and we haven't heard anything from the teachers so apparently she's doing well there. She got a couple of weeks off work but she's been back there for months now and says it's going fine. But in the evenings she just sulks in her room and only comes downstairs for dinner and that's just because we order her to join us. She's not even spending time with her sister anymore which is really worrying.

Every night we hear her listen to the same song with really haunting lyrics over and over again.

"Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you
I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side"
(Grant/Nowels)

I can tell Sara's hurt for being shut out by Emily but she's channeling her frustration on her dance. It can't be easy for her either though. She and Emily have always been each other's best friends and now Emily hardly even talks to her.

I'm glad that she has other friends to hang out with though because I'd hate to see both of them miserable all the time. She even brought home this boy, Freddie, one day. Rianna says they're not dating but they do seem to enjoy each other's company and it's the first time that I've heard Sara talk about a boy so often. He's the same age as her but in a different school. He's in the military's training corps and they have pretty strict rules so I'm hoping it means that he'll be on his best behaviour when he's with my daughter.

Unfortunately Emily finds it hard to be happy about her sister's budding romance. She walked in the kitchen, took one look at Freddie and Sara and stormed out. Later that evening she practically attacked her sister, accusing her that she was just trying to show off that now she has a boyfriend.

"You even picked out someone who looks like Ethan! I hate you!" she screamed.

Sara ran upstairs and Emily just stood there looking oddly content. In a way I think she's trying to make herself feel better by making everyone else feel bad. One thing is for sure: we can't handle this on our own anymore. It's obvious she needs help that we can't give her.

Rianna stayed in the kitchen with Emily and I went upstairs to check on Sara and found her crying in her room.

"Dad, I really didn't do it to make Emily feel bad" she said.

"I know you didn't. And I know that Emily didn't really mean what she said. She's just sad about Ethan so she's not thinking straight right now" I said and tried to console her as best as I could.

Rianna and I told Emily to come to the living room with us. We told her that she couldn't continue acting this way. She just pouted and looked away.

"We know you're hurting but it won't make you feel any better if you take it out on everyone else. You just push everyone away and make everyone feel as miserable as you feel. You're beyond our help, sweetie, you need therapy" Rianna explained.

That seemed to snap Emily out of her shell.

"I'm not crazy" she yelled. We said that we knew she wasn't crazy but we also knew she needed help and nothing we said or did seemed to make any difference.

"This is not negotiable, Emily. We'll book you an appointment with the therapist and you will go there" I said. It took all the strength in my body to stay tough but I knew in the long run we needed to do this - even if it meant she'd hate us now.

"Ok, I'll do it" she finally said and got up. "I'm sorry, mommy, for being such a brat. I want to be nice but I just can't help myself" she said as Rianna took her in her arms.

We had been thinking about what to say to Sara and Jesse but then we just decided to tell the truth. So one morning Rianna sat down with them and said that Emily was going to therapy and we were hoping she would start to feel better soon. Jesse asked if Emily was really sick but Rianna explained that she was just so sad about Ethan's dead and missed him so much. I could tell they were both relieved that something good was going to happen. They had been tiptoeing around Emily for months now - in fact we all had been doing it.

Luckily we got the appointment pretty quickly. Emily was really nervous before her first session so we went to the hospital with her. Rianna and I both had already met the therapist and talked to her and we were confident that she would be able to help our little girl. She had talked to us for a long time to get some background information and also suggested that we could all come for a family session later on. Rianna said that it might be a good thing to do so since the situation had taken its toll on everyone.

"Thank goodness, the waiting room is empty so nobody sees that I'm going to the looney bin" Emily said while we waited. It was clear that she was still thinking that only crazy people would go see a therapist.

The therapist came and shook hands with us all.

"Now, why don't we go into my office and we'll let your mom and dad read all the old magazines while they wait" she said to Emily. I felt relieved when Emily went into the office - I had feared that she might end up refusing to go in and talk.

We didn't want to pressure Emily when she came out of the office but we did ask how it went.

"It was weird. I thought she'd talk all this psychology mumbo jumbo but she just asked me about school and work and my friends. She didn't even talk about... you know... Ethan until I mentioned him. I'm going there again next week."

Later that night Emily went to Sara's room. They hadn't talked to each other for a few days. I eavesdropped shamelessly behind the door but I couldn't quite hear what they said.

I guess it went alright since Sara let Emily stay in her room while she did her daily practice on the ballet barre. Sara's been accepted into the Pre-Ballet class which means she's well on her way to becoming a real ballet dancer. She says she can't wait to go to college and dance all day.

It's easy to see that Sara and Jesse are still a bit cautious around Emily but at least now they all spend time in the same room. Sunday morning they even had breakfast together and nobody ended up crying.

Notes:
  • Title reference: Dark paradise by Lana Del Rey.
  • It's been about 6 months since Ethan died and I thought it wouldn't be realistic for Emily to be acting like nothing had happened. Hopefully she is finally starting to heal with the help of therapy and her family and friends.
  • This was Jesse's last update as a child! He's aging up to teen next year. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of him in this update but I promise he'll be better featured when I play this family the next time.
  • I cheated Sara on the next level in her career because I thought it wouldn't be realistic if she was stuck in the Creative Movement class forever. I'll probably give her another promotion to the highest level of the teen career before going to college.
  • As I mentioned on Twitter, I have been giving my future and present elders Maisie's "Dealing with death" treatment. I'll definitely use this method for all my elders in the future.

6 comments:

  1. So glad that she's getting help and that they were firm in getting her that help, sometimes it's easy to let teens do as they wish.

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    1. I think they were hoping that she'd start feeling better but it became clear that she needed help that they couldn't give her. She's on the right track now.

      Thanks for reading. :)

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  2. That's great that Rianna and Anthony sent Emily to see a therapist. I think having someone who she can talk to and know will be completely non-judgmental will help immensely. It was obviously too much for her to deal with on her own.

    And yikes, Jesse's almost a teen! Wow!

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    1. I agree that it really helps Emily to talk to an "outsider". She still has a life to live even if it seems difficult right now for her to even think about the future. I just realized that this was her last update as a teen! She'll be moving to college (if she gets in) in 2026.

      I had to double-check to see if Jesse is really 11! It feels like he just aged to child. I can't wait to grow him up, teens are so much fun to play.

      Thanks for reading. :)

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  3. Awww, that's sad - glad that she's getting help and is getting on a bit better with everyone, though.

    Funny how some sims seem to grow up faster than others - some really seem to fly through the stages.

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    1. I think she has finally started the healing process. It'll be a lot easier for everyone if she learns to handle her feelings in a healthier way.

      Sometimes it really feels like "hey, I just aged that kid and now they're aging again", lol.

      Thanks for reading. :)

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