Thursday, December 27, 2018

Merry Christmas! In/Exhale Returns!

Hey, everyone,

Hope those of you who celebrate had a good holiday, and even if you didn't, hope this gift will cheer you up: the first episode of In/Exhale in a very long time.

The long and short of it is my dad got sick very suddenly two years ago and was in the hospital for a month before he died, and the stress of all that pushed me into a very, very bad flare up. I did eventually get a diagnosis *finally* of a super, super rare genetic disease, and started a new treatment, but it takes a very long time to work. So for the past couple years, honestly I haven't been able to write very much.

So I'm especially happy to bring the conclusion of Season 3 to you starting today. I'm sorry I don't have a "previously on" recap written, so I'll just run through the highlights of S3 to refresh your memory (though of course re-reading it yourself is always best, and if you want to, check out the Table of Contents).

If you want to read the abbreviated summary of what happened before this next episode, hit the break. Otherwise, you can jump right into reading here:

February 12, 2001 - Part I

I will most likely post on an every-other-week schedule as I still haven't quite finished the final day of the season, and I'm praying that will give me enough time to get it done without another interruption. The blog is really busy right now (which is awesome), so I'll be changing days after today. I'll  post every other Wednesday after this week for the time being (alternating with Devogirl). So the next episode will be the Wednesday after next, or Jan 9.

Thank you so much for all your support and understanding. It really means a lot to me. I do read (and often re-read) everyone's comments even if I don't always reply. They often help keep me going when times are tough. So thanks again.


Previously On In/Exhale:

-After his first disastrous flashback over Thanksgiving (at the end of S2), Kai voluntarily committed himself to the JMH psych ward. It was a very traumatic experience, and because of the medication they gave him, he got sick with a very serious GI infection. Jon was forced to allow the doctors to treat Kai with a drug combination that saved his life at the potential cost of damaging his inner ear.

-Kai spent weeks in the hospital, and even once he was discharged he struggled with nightmares, flashbacks, and blackouts, and for Renee's safety (and to protect himself), he kept his distance from her. They did have a few special sessions with Dr. Miller in early January so that they could learn how to safely touch one another, but it wasn't until the end of the month that Renee got to truly spend some time with him.

-Despite trying to put himself out there (like attending a Deaf social, interpreting for the ASL club at school, mentoring Martin, and making friends with one of his psych classmates, Steve), Kai struggles with balancing his classes, his continued recovery, dealing with his hearing loss, and his survivor's guilt. Not to mention his frustration that Jon has decided to move in with Vicky so they can raise their baby together. The stress of being torn between both his brother and Vicky wears on Jon until Kai finally agrees to move in to Vicky's as well.

-Although Kai continues to open up slowly to Renee, his battle with his mental health takes its toll. His self-harming behaviors escalate, and he finds it increasingly difficult to fight his suicidal thoughts.

-Though Kai begins to see his support network expanding, it becomes increasingly clear that he needs a second hospitalization, so he and Jon visit a private hospital in Omaha called Harbinger. While it seems to be everything JMH psych isn't, Kai is still wary, his trauma from his first hospitalization weighing heavily on his his mind.

-Kai allows Dr. Miller access to his childhood records, and she finally is able to understand where Kai's cynicism with mental health workers comes from. Additionally, she discovers the physical effects of the abuse Kai experienced when he was ten, along with the chilling revelation that he was sexually abused by a man who was never caught.

-One of Kai's mental health medications has affected his ability to orgasm for months, which has helped fueled some of his anger and violent outbursts.

-After Kai is kissed by Frankie (a boy he knew at County House) when he goes to dinner at Frankie's adoptive family's home, Kai fractures. He takes more Xanax than he should and goes to Nikki's, where they try and fail to have sex, and Nikki realizes that, like her, he is a victim of sexual abuse. Out of love and attempting to protect him, she poses as him in texts to Renee to cover his tracks.

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