Thank you ALL who reviewed my other Batman fic. This one runs along a rather different vein, so please don't expect a sequel to "Be Afraid" . . . this fic is much more about our dear doctor, and less about those around him. It's mostly a musing from Crane's point of view, a bit more than a month before the actual movie, written when I was wondering what it would be like (alliteration is wonderful, isn't it?) to see things from Jonathan's POV. Since I don't like writing things from people's POV, I decided that Jonathan would be sitting down at a computer, musing to himself about himself. It worked rather better than I expected.
I posted this fic mostly because I've noticed the fics on this site having a tendency to create the Scarecrow at a relatively early point in Jonathan's life - usually as a response to his constant torment - and I wanted to toss up the idea that, while he was certainly not stable (mentally) during his childhood, the alter-ego of Scarecrow only formed as he was slowly exposed to his own toxin, which explains why a large dose of his toxin would complete the breakdown and complete the manifestation of Scarecrow.
Anyway, I'll let you get on with the fic. Please remember to review! Thank you all!
UPDATE: So on a routine breeze-through of my profile I noticed that for some bizarre reason the ".doc" at the end vanished without trace or explanation. In order to preserve this story in the format I originally intended, I have placed INCORRECT spacing so that I no longer appear to be naming a real document file. Hopefully this will fix this strange and inconvenient problem. Also fixed some spelling errors in the intro above.
One of the disadvantages to being a sociopathic psychoanalyst is the tendency to psychoanalyze oneself.
I tend to avoid the situation as much as possible. When I notice myself beginning to break down my own words and actions into Jungian archetypes, I recognize the opportunity to return to whatever project I am currently in the midst of, and throw myself into it with all my available mental energy. My projects usually require my complete attention, since my test subjects are often unable to endure multiple trials. I must pay close attention to all details so that I may record everything accurately. My long-term studies may require the connection of a single detail I previously considered insignificant, and as I would not want to waste any of my research nor burden my mind with the task of remembering so many trials (I have never had anything of a photographic memory, much less a perfect verbal one), I must commit all of these details to paper (or the virtual equivalent). This usually distracts me from myself long enough for me to forget my previous self-analyzing trains of thought.
However, there are those nights in which I am unfortunately sane enough to become conscious of my own attempts at distraction: nights in which I cannot force myself to even ignore my internal voices, and begin to talk to myself in an effort to re-assess my mental condition. These efforts always culminate in a sinking, irreversible, pre-suicidal, and of course carefully analyzed depression, the practical upshot of which is that I spend the night curled up in a small ball in the corner of my tiny room, shaking uncontrollably, watching my most painful and over-analyzed memories play in agonizing slowness on the life-sized screens of my closed eyelids. I lock myself in, because I am acutely aware that, should someone violate my privacy during these episodes, I would be forced to confront the borders of what little sanity I still possess. I would become violent, psychopathic, homicidal or suicidal, and perhaps dissolve into complete and utter madness for whatever remained of my life.
Usually, the night passes in what seems like an eternity (to my depressed mind, which is telling me that the lengthening of time is a common side effect of internal confrontation and slow disintegration of sanity) until I fall unconscious out of utter exhaustion. If I am fortunate, I am tired enough not to dream.
In the morning, I consume large quantities of suppressants until I can force myself to appear calm and collected. I immediately return to my work, which I bury myself in before I can begin to even assess my condition following the episode, and subsequently consul myself as to the best course of action in order to reduce the chances of a following occurrence.
Today, I have had no such pleasure. The insufferable Ms. Dawes has, as usual, insisted on her personal psychoanalyst's report of one of the asylum's more recent acquisitions, so I have no time to begin any of my usual projects. I have no fears that Dr. Lich will cause any unnecessary stir to affect the current proceedings – and I refer to both the court's rulings of Mr. Anton and my own scientific investigations, of which Mr. Anton was a quite recent participant. His was a rather interesting experiment: he professed to being "ready" for any mental trials which would affect his psyche enough to escape legal confinement, which seemed to intensify his fear of the experiment, magnifying it to many times the amount the actual experiment may have caused. Note: must remember that the newest ratio of hallucinogen to carrier to hormonal intensifier seems to require more pressure to vaporize than the older samples, though it seems thus far to be much more potent. I must ask them if they have a limit as to how much pressure the hallucinogen requires.
But I digress from my original purpose in this writing: to capture my state of mind directly after an extreme episode.
As I was saying, the episodes have been increasing recently in both number and intensity. I fear it is a side effort from secondhand exposure to the hallucinogen: unlike the patients of the asylum, who suffer immediate breakdowns resulting in direct and condensed exposure, I suspect that I will slowly slip farther and deeper into my own preexisting conditions until the day when a combination of stressful environments, poor physical condition, worsening mental disorders, and some external source of irritation or torment will provoke me into an action which will finally reveal what I have spent so many years carefully disguising under a barrier of calm politeness and quietly hidden emotions.
I notice I have become more depressing as I continue my analysis. The fact that I have analyzed this is depressing in itself. I will take a few more suppressants before the meeting. If Dr. Lich has been manipulated as much as I have been told, she will not cause any irritation that would spark action on my part.
To ensure that I will not jeopardize myself, I have locked the Mask beneath my desk.
I notice that I capitalized this.
It is NOT a problem. I stress this to the utmost extent. The Mask cannot possibly become any manifestation of alter ego, much less a late-forming MPD, for the simple reason that I cannot find within myself any of the symptoms that necessarily precede these conditions. At the most, it is a channel for repressed emotions, and since it has become a central point in my research, it is a positive channel at that. My personal equivalent of exercise for the overweight aristocrat. Completely justified in all regards.
Even Mother could not deny me this vice, considering that it furthers my own research. She would be proud of me for finding something useful to immerse myself in.
It is interesting, how quickly I connected my inner voice of justification to the face of my mother. I would have thought that Father represented the sensibility in my mind, but I suppose that Mother's Christian self-sacrificing ideals appear a harsher form of justice.
In effort to leave this subject, Ms. Dawes shares uncanny physical resemblances to Mother. I believe this has subconsciously increased my dislike of her (as if her idealistic philosophies and "can-do" attitude were not irritating enough), and has made me annoyingly uncomfortable in her presence. I grow more concerned that her actions will catch me in an unsuitable moment and trigger some of the unpleasant side effects of the hallucinogens that I described earlier. Hopefully, her superiors in the legal justice system are men of more corruptible natures and will for their own safety restrain her inquiries into the connections between the odious Mr. Falcone and myself. I have heard that her mother's failing health may take her away from her desk for a short period of time, and I hope that this is true: it would save me quite a lot of trouble. Perhaps, cooped up in that cottage her mother resides in near Wayne Manor, Ms. Dawes will "cool off" slightly.
Wayne Manor . . . silent for quite a few years now, but such a psychological study! If Mr. Wayne should reappear, I would quickly take the opportunity to suggest counseling (from myself, of course). I remember the scandal involving the untimely death of the man who killed his parents, as I was at the time preparing to leave for college and needed a subject for my summer studies and early essays. How fascinating a study he would have been: early traumatic parental death often leads to a deep-set guilt complex and long-term violent tendencies involving a twisted sense of vengeance. His external psychological tormentors would have manifested at a very young age, no doubt, and so are intense and powerful in their basic forms. He has most likely buried them within his subconscious inner child, giving him an underlying depression syndrome, but it would be a simple matter to strip away his masks and uncover the true center of his fears . . .
It is almost poetic in its beauty, the nature of fear. The more complex the fear, the more beautiful the poem . . .
In metaphor, my own fears have long since lost their iambic pentameter, and have become orderly lines of symptoms and resulting conditions scratched in my own (oddly neat, for a doctor's) handwriting on sheets of medical forms stacked in the office of my mind. I suppose it would look much like the office I sit in now. My imagination seems to become more realistic every day. With all the truly terrifying and wonderfully beautiful things in the world around us, what need have we for imagination?
Now I border on the philosophical. This is most unlike me. Perhaps I, too, retreat in some small way to my inner child after my episodes. Not that my inner child is still very childish.
Or perhaps it is, in a way . . . a peculiar mix of vindictiveness and suppressed rage, residual of childhood trauma, spiteful and even sadistic on occasion. It is certainly near opposite of my own personality as a child, but the id has been known to change over time, so perhaps I could lend some of the positive emotion I have begun to notice stemming from cruelty to this metamorphosis. Perhaps I could even attribute the Mask to this new inner child, associating its sadistic tendencies to its release of those suppressed emotions of the inner youth.
I believe I have touched something powerful here, even thought I was forced to address the mask as a persona to describe it correctly. I suppose they are less superstitious than I had thought when they say that writing clears the mind. I still am uneasy with the construction, however.
If I am going to go on giving the Mask attributes of a kind of sub-persona, I suppose I should give it a better name, so as to disassociate the object from the psychological complexities that seem to have surrounded it.
Perhaps, if I make a few adjustments to it visually, I could give it a name that was once my own.
Of course, that would permanently tie me to it. I am not sure if I am comfortable with that association, much less the implications I have begun to recognize from my choice. I had not realized that I had taken this name so much to heart.
But I suppose it does look like the head of a Scarecrow. With a bit of stitching . . . and a rope. Yes. I do believe it would work.
Scarecrow . . .
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