Date: January 06, 2024 07:51 pm Title: Chapter 57 - A First Date
So we're approaching the end of this epic. And I do mean epic story. To think it's all happened over the course of just a few days. Just wow.
Really love that Jim's idea of a date is to get Pam painting and involved with art again. The spend all this money in this time frame was a great idea. Kinda funny that he underestimated how much art supplies cost. C'mon Jim, remember the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Same goes with women too. But it opens the door for future dates and gifts as well.
Pam's recollections during the drive showed her growth really well. She has names for her feelings and experiences now which help her to make sense of it all. If you can name something, you can deal with that thing. So even though it's recalling some brutal times, those times are also still tinged with hope and I love that she's leaning into that.
Likewise that she trusts Jim so much. First with the whole date idea, and then when telling him everything she's figured out. Open honest communication really seems to be the way forward for them and it's great to see Pam leaning into that as well.
Yes, I think that I have about 4 or 5 more chapters as things begin to wrap up and move toward the future. They will be long… haha, but worth it.
As always you pick up on everything so well. The way Jim so easily has the date idea in his head and the manner Pam is now beginning to be able to accept it. Once the barriers of ‘everyone knows’ have dropped and she has found her voice she can start to relax into life.
Open and honest communication are absolutely key, even when it is about difficult topics.
Date: October 19, 2023 10:45 am Title: Chapter 12 - Jim's confusion
Mmm I have felt the very real feeling of not feeling safe in a hospital and it can be scary. Sometimes it feels like a prison, and that's even worse.
Author's Response: So true. I truly wanted that ‘just go to the hospital’ ‘just call the cops’ myth to be dispelled a bit. These places aren’t the bastion of safety many imagine them to be.
Date: October 19, 2023 08:17 am Title: Chapter 6 - Her fear
I like the callback here to "grabbing for balance" I don't know if it was an intentional call to Company Picnic but I like that it was a phrase used so different for her at that time, then it would be in that moment. :)
Author's Response: Because I am FULLY deviating from canon beyond this moment, there are a LOT of call backs to silly things for later!
Date: October 13, 2023 10:16 am Title: Chapter 56 - Morning After
The opening bit with Jim worrying so much about Pam. Yeah I get why he needs to work out some things too. Reasonable worry over someone is good. Unreasonable worry feels like it can lead to dark places that we don't want to go to. But to his credit he's doing his best to try and think about the best way to respond for both him and her. Telling himself to slow down and be patient. Despite the length of this story, it's still early in the working out of all of this and there's still a lot to learn.
Wonderful JAM banter in the car. The sausage and meatballs line had me cracking up. Lovely to see Jim and Pam being Jim and Pam like this.
I think just the fact that Gizmo is there is the big selling point for Pam. Feels like just by his wonderful canine presence he's able to keep a lot of the anxious ticks and nervousness at bay. Wonderful how animals can do that for us. Even though it was a get-to-know-you type session it feels like Pam connected well with Maureen. It very much came across that she's in a safe space which is drawing out feelings of her wanting to be an active part of therapy. Not just a person who was told, "go there, it'll be good for you." She wants to unload and process everything and it feels like she finally has the professional help to do so. Friends and family can love and support and that's a huge thing. But the formal training and guidance of a therapist, also being a neutral 3rd party, helps a lot too. Great chapter.
YES! Air high five for this chapter hitting well. It can be hard to try and navigate the space of ‘things are good but calm waters on the surface don’t always belie what is below’
Gizmo is a blend of all the dogs I have owned and the therapy dogs I have worked with in abuse centers. He is my love and I want to pet him myself!
Maureen is me… 100% she is going to be who I am as a therapist. Pam is going to stick with her :)
Date: September 27, 2023 02:02 pm Title: Chapter 55 - Love & Trust
To think all this has happened all within the space of a few days for them. To go from the sheer panic of the last time they were in the office. Separated from each other, scared for a host of reasons, still closed off. And now there is life, laughter, joy, and love flowing in abundance.
I liked that they had time to relax first. At the apartment to get scrubbed up, then at dinner. The slow walk through at the office felt cathartic. A quiet time to process what happened and be grateful at how things have changed. Re-doing Casio Night was a nice touch as well.
Then they are finally and fully together. It's new territory for both of them so it makes sense there's some fear. But they overcome the fear by being open with each other. It's great to see. Of course it was all very sensual to read as well.
Really glad they've made it to this point. The scars of the past will still take time to heal and fade, but there's a much brighter future ready a d waiting for them.
Author's Response: I very much wanted to bring them back to exactly what we saw when season 3-4 happened. They weren’t together and then BAM, it was like they had always been together. My AU headcanon is that Pam was absolutely holding herself together all these months, she was making the best of it all and not complaining. The sheer high panic was because of the attack, because now all secrets were out. Now that everyone knows, there is nothing left to contain and so all her energy and mental space can go towards hope, life and love with Jim.
Date: September 18, 2023 02:17 pm Title: Chapter 54 - New News & Plans
So glad these two have been able to slip into what feels like a very established relationship, even if they're not quite all the way there, in that sense, yet.
Very relieved Roy won't be getting out for now. And also seems like Pam will be making some progress moving forward with a therapist. Am intrigued to see who she'll pick.
Good job with these!
Thank you! I always liked how we went from the season 3 ender to season 4 when they were really a cute old married couple. So I tried to imbue that same feeling here. The angst of season 1-3 was just *poof* gone!
I look forward to what comes next and hope you continue to enjoy.
Date: September 18, 2023 12:06 pm Title: Chapter 54 - New News & Plans
Let Roy rot! Good that finally the screen is gone and he's seen for the monster he always had been. He can't charm his way out of it and is being held to account. Good!
You can feel the relief Pam and everyone feels when they get that news. Same later with Sam's call. A few the the last real big worries are gone and can be relegated to the past.
Big emotional move from Michael for sure. That he's asking for permission to do something and also taking responsibility for his actions is massive. He finally woke up that acting like a child all the time probably isn't the best idea. That he's an adult and needs to act like an adult. It's fine to have fun, but also well past time to leave the immaturity of youth behind him.
The other big thing I see in this chapter is hope for the future. For years it was always just survive the now. Hold onto the scraps of happiness now brings because that's all there is. Now that's they're together, the future is finally wide open. Both near and long term future. And what's more is they get to cling to it hand in hand. It's new and exciting and in reality what they always wanted. Wonderful that they get to start exploring it now.
This chapter was all about HOPE... you are darn right. And hope that is allowed to be recognized and bloom. I was never going to saddle Pam with anything long term (other than the mental stuff to work through) but wanted that to be a very real part of what many people in her situation worry about and experience.
Michael, oh Michael. We saw such growth and maturity come out when he met Holly. He swallowed his more crass comments in exchange for actual humor and genuine silliness. I loved bringing this to this space sooner.
Date: September 18, 2023 11:12 am Title: Chapter 53 - Quiet Rainy Morning
Another warm blanket of a chapter, though with more than a little helping of steam. It was all very sensual and intimate. I loved that Pam is realizing just how good a truly healthy relationship can be. It makes sense that some comparisons show up. How could they not? Yet she's reveling in the feel that now she has a say and a voice in things happening to her and can also reciprocate that. She's not just something to be used, she's her own person who has her own part to play. It's wonderful to see that kind of growth from her.
Well done Jim for staying open and honest about everything too. Clearly he'd want to do more, but he also knows how important it is to not push. That's a hard line to walk and from where I sit, he threads the needle very well.
Great job in helping to grow their relationship here. Being able to trust each other in word and deed. It all feels very powerful for sure.
Author's Response: Yes - so much that, I wanted to get to some of the lovely steamier parts while being courteous, respectful of my lovely characters development.
Date: September 17, 2023 03:01 pm Title: Chapter 54 - New News & Plans
Another great chapter. You are really making me want to get back into my own therapy— Maureen sounds great! And like the second therapist, it is difficult when they only have limited availability. I loved your interaction with Michael and his apology. I think that’s very much how Michael is… he doesn’t think… and while he isn’t entirely malicious in his comments, he also must be responsible for them too— so this was really great and heartfelt. I’m so glad that Jam is talking future and Pam feels relief from knowing that her tests were negative. Again, this is such a well done and sweet representation of Jam navigating this difficult situation… thanks for all the love and care you put into this! Can’t wait for more!!
Date: September 17, 2023 02:35 pm Title: Chapter 53 - Quiet Rainy Morning
What a lovely chapter of just Jam… you make me fall in love with them all over again… and Jim is just the sweetest at figuring all this out with Pam. The love and care he shows in his words, his caresses, his looks, his kisses leap off the screen in this story. What a perfect sweet way to spend a rainy day… such lovely work!! Thank you!
I am 100% in love with them myself. I have such MARVELOUS things for them in the coming chapters, these in-between NEED to happen but I am worried I will grow impatient... have to temper myself about that because I just want to get to all of the wonderful things I have in the next months of their story!
So glad it comes out as sweet and PURE JAM as I see it in my head!
Date: September 04, 2023 11:22 am Title: Chapter 52 - Finding a Voice
The slow build up to this point was worth it. After a morning of support and care, and a lunch filled with more of the same we finally get to the courthouse. It almost feels like time is starting to slow down for Pam here. Like she can hear every tick of the clock. Good way to draw out some of the effects of flight and fight. That's a very real sensation, time seeming to slow down. I do love that one of the new ways people have to support her is to ask her to draw. To give her a creative way to express her feelings without having the stress of verbally naming them. Great bit there.
So they all get set into the courtroom and in come reinforcements. Michael leading the way too. She has more than her physical family, she has her work family there for her as well. Great way for them to show up and also for Michael to have a mature moment. Lead them in, tell her they're there for her, but fall back and not claim the limelight.
Then Roy shows up. All his bravado, swagger, ego, come into. Predator stalking his prey feels apt. He probably thinks that he's about to get out and he can go back on the hunt. Though I don't think he was expecting so many people to be there. His treatment of Pam had been hidden for so long. He'd made sure of it. Once he finally took in the room and saw how many people were there, including people he knows he can't intimidate I'm sure the first feelings of panic and fear sink in. This carefully controlled world he'd created for years is now truly in danger of falling apart. Then the one thing he didn't ever want to see happened. Jim leaned in to Pam and it all snaps. Gone is the carefully controlled persona he'd shown to the world. The true face of how is is right there in the open for all to see.
And Pam rises to the challenge, literally. She's clearly not cowed by him anymore. She's not the woman he can force into a quiet acceptance of what he's going to dish out. Through the weekend of love, support, new information, and healing her voice breaks through all the years of pain and tells him to go back where he belongs.
The bailiff using the taser 100% helped as well and was more than deserved.
Then the wagons circle once more. I loved how Dwight was the one to suggest that they build their own force field. How Angela and Oscar have thought through ways of overcoming some of the triggers. Once more, with a solid support system more and more rings of safety can be maintained.
Roy's mom's speech was really interesting though. That she knew what kind of person Roy was. That she did try to get her son to change. I kind of think that maybe there was some history of Roy's father behaving similarly when Roy was growing up to create this kind of a reaction. I saw it as Sharon knows first hand what kind of trials Pam had gone through, she wishes she could have done more, couldn't, and now the only thing she can say is for Pam to run since as far as she knows that may be the only solution.
Really interesting that Pam does run. But she drags Jim with her. Then has her mountaintop victory scream. She faced her dragon, held her shield to the fire, threw her own lance at the beasts heart, and prevailed. The dragon was wounded in such a way that it can't fight back and she proved she could face the hazard. No wonder a primal scream of victory leapt from her throat. Outstanding moment for her in every way. I wish I still had a jellybean for this moment since it's so huge.
Oh I am so very glad this worked well and that all the pieces fit well. It felt a smidge tedious to ensure all of the pieces and characters fit in together well and didn't come off like separate moments. Each person got to have a little bit of 'show off' moment: Larisa coming in as an official new sibling, Jim really wholeheartedly seeing he doesn't need the answers all the time, Michael truly growing up and stepping back, Dwight accepting both direction from Angela but settling in more to his friendship with Pam, Angela and Oscar making plans rather than bickering and Roy... ohhh how I loathe him (as do we all). I appreciate all your support in making choices about things and what we discussed will show up later ;) For now, I wanted no moment for him to speak or 'sound contrite' nope... he was all cruel. And you got it... his mom is absolutely in the space of knowing from her own experience.
I know that the next few chapters will take me some time to put together, so I wanted this one to be really lovely and feel like a kind place to pause the story rather than angsty.
Verbal jellybeans gratefully accepted!
Date: September 03, 2023 05:46 am Title: Chapter 51 - Monday Mourning
Jim’s just so good to get here, but obviously we wouldn’t expect anything less from him. And it’s great that Pam is comfortable enough to share things like the cemetery with him
Another well written chapter that deals with some big topics and emotions
Author's Response: Oh, I am so glad it came off well.
Date: August 30, 2023 09:43 am Title: Chapter 51 - Monday Mourning
So this was a nice warm blanket of a chapter. After a lot of soul searching, and a lot of big emotions it was a very welcome break to have an easy morning like this one. You wrote them orbiting each other really well. Jim taking care of Pam and more importantly Pam letting him. It really feels like they're starting to not just get their footing, but start walking on the path of their lives together.
I think it's huge that Pam realized that she didn't wake up scared or check the go bag. Her mind isn't in flight or fight anymore and can start to relax. Same with the drawing. The idea that as she gets a pencil in her hand again, her creativity starts to come out once more. Like the talk of wanting the ghosts to come out and say hello.
Jim's getting more in tune with her too. He's figuring out how to be with her in meaningful ways. Case in point letting Pam take the lead in her almost freakout at the counter. Great way to show he's there to support her. I also loved the detail that Jim picked up on what Pam was going for in her drawing of leaving the tomb door open a crack. Shows that he's still very invested in her.
Then a beautiful heart-to-heart talk there in the cemetery. Feels like laying the foundations and starting to build the kind of life and love that will last the ages. Bravo!
Author's Response: Oh, I love that it was received as the warm blanket it felt like while writing.
Date: August 15, 2023 01:55 am Title: Chapter 50 - The End to the Long Weekend
Phew! Very glad Pam wasn't pregnant there. Also love how well the families get on. Very sweet potential meeting way back when for them, that's a cute backstory! Would love to see if the dads remember meeting!
Author's Response: I keep going back and forth if there will be a Gerald/Bill finding that out scene. Might happen in later chapters, if one of the kids happens to mention it. But some very big other events are going to happen first… and it will all be worth it :)
Date: August 14, 2023 10:35 am Title: Chapter 50 - The End to the Long Weekend
Thanks for including Gerald's whisky den. Great fun there.
Big relief with the pregnancy test news. That felt like a big axe hovering over her head and now it's gone. Granted there are some lingering feelings to hash out, but the big thing is dealt with.
Great speech of Ella's there about what someone should expect from a therapist. I really liked how she laid it all out for Pam like that and changed Pam's expectations.
Then the families gather round and show how they're willing to support Pam and Jim. Words are cheap, but actions are what's meaningful. The fact that they immediately circle the wagons but in a way of loving support was great. Especially with the sketchbooks and colored pencils. It's not much, but it's a start.
After a rough start to this day, ending it in a cozy bed, filled with good food, provided by good friends was great. Her apartment is getting some life into it, rather than just a place to exist. Slowly but surely, life is coming back and it's great to see.
I am glad you liked the nod to Gerald and his whisky den! Definitely adds personality to his character for sure.
As this is a huge love letter to all my past clients, and anyone else out there considering therapy, I allowed Ella some space to share all of that. I felt, anyone who was still with this story is invested and this could be useful information.
I planned for there to be a significantly start contrast between the rest of the weekend and now. That having support, family and friends, as well as accepting some pharmacological support would help Pam in seeing the bright life and color of the world.
Date: August 11, 2023 10:43 am Title: Chapter 49 - Everyone Needs Family & Friends
A cliffhanger? For this moment? You're killing me! Figuratively of course.
One can tell that all the new found support Pam is now getting is a new sensation for her. I really liked your analogy. She'd been frozen so long she didn't know what warm was. However while this all might be unfamiliar, it's not really uncomfortable. There's always some anxiety with something new or something we're not used to. But it's getting better. Her own self reflection, literally I might add, of "I told the truth," is another one of those newly found moments. She'd probably been told for years that no one would believe her. No one would care. There's no point in saying anything. Clearly she's risen and continues to rise above that lie. Good job Pam.
Gerald just bullrushing through any hint of avoiding hard truths was another welcome relief. Also painting a scene of happy times with dinners and barbeques. Great to see more hope starting to shine in what had been a very bleak picture.
Color is starting to come back into Pam's world. Kind of like a dimmer switch slowly cranking on. Gradually the blacks, whites, and greys take on soft and hushed tones at first, but eventually will shine out with all the bright colors on the spectrum.
Author's Response: Hehehe.... promise I won't keep the cliffhanger lingering too long.
Date: August 07, 2023 05:28 pm Title: Chapter 47 - Put to the Test
For me the highlight of this chapter is Pam having that girl time. Being around like people for the scarier parts makes it easier to talk openly - Larisa and Penny will have a way better understanding of Pam’s concerns than Jim does - so it was great to see her be able to do that. Even just trusting her instinct to not have Jim there for that moment was a good little step for Pam. Glad Lisette seems to be a safe person for Pam and can keep that professional guidance and support, seems exactly what she needs right now. Will be interesting to see how this in turn impacts Penny and Larisa also. Glad to see Gerald make an appearance too! Oh also loved the mom-tuition to give some privacy!
Author's Response: I am purposefully creating more interaction with others, brining in LOADS of other characters intentionally to make a very stark contrast against the 24 hours preceding where Pam was largely ONLY interacting with Jim (same as how Roy would have isolated her.. she was following a pattern she understands). Now, she both got meds to help reduce the immediate panic and vigilance AND is now able to see other people supporting her and she feels better.
Date: August 06, 2023 07:04 am Title: Chapter 48 - Jim Loves Dads Too
I love your Gerald, he’s making amends for my one! I love all of your Halperts actually! Great job with them
I’m biting my nails about Pam’s situation and praying it’s going to work out ok!! Looking forward to where we go next, hopefully somewhere with Roy in jail for a very long time to come!
Author's Response: I enjoy writing the families too! I like finding the ways they have their flaws, but still come together and use change and growth for their children.
Date: August 05, 2023 10:30 am Title: Chapter 48 - Jim Loves Dads Too
Loved reading Gerald like this. Especially that bugger off Scottish genes line. Great bit of levity in an impactful chapter. Another big growing moment for Jim. He's getting a huge life lesson crash course. He thought he could navigate it on his own and that came crashing down around him, and Pam. So now, when those further down the path of life than him show up, they show up with wisdom, understanding, support, and a bit of a pull your head out of your butt you're an adult now attitude. Loved reading that. It all felt like a really big and needed heart to heart conversation between the two men and I'm glad it was held.
YES! Gerald is going to come in with the life lessons space. I *almost* went to a place where Gerald had wisdom to share from a past girlfriend of his own, but it felt fake and so I abandoned that thought. For now, Jim is being clearly told that the families are bonded, all getting along, and that they need to ask for more support and help. Basically the whole story is about COMMUNITY rather than individualism.
(And, my Scottish wife would never let me live down if I didn't throw in a few sillinesses based on Gerald wearing a kilt in cannon)
Date: August 05, 2023 10:18 am Title: Chapter 47 - Put to the Test
Yes I was a bit surprised that Karen didn't give Jim a verbal lashing. However she's also a smart and intelligent woman. Makes sense she'd be able to piece things together and realize some of the deeper implications.
A few more heavy moments for sure. Though I'm very glad they're all in a very safe place to navigate these moments. Surrounded by all the love and support needed. Jim walking away and not insisting on staying feels like a step of growth for him. Trusting Pam to make her own choice and also that Larissa is his stand in to help support Pam.
And here's Gerald. Really looking forward to this interaction.
I purposefully left Karen on that "she saw this" cliffhanger from previous chapters, and given how I wrote her in the beginning I knew people would be expecting her to be full of anger again. I really wanted to show that she LIKED Pam at work, she had begun making friends and that she was feeling betrayed, then scared and frightened after Roy showed up. Her response was not so much from an 'entitled bitch' place, but far more about her own swirling emotions.
I believe Jim wouldn't have left, if Larisa had not been there. That he implicitly trusts his sister, they have SUCH a bond, because (spoiler alert) Jim is going to figure out some of his own stuff from his brother's treatment of him when he goes to therapy. So he was able to trust in Pam based on a lot of her actions, plus the acceptance of Larisa and Betsy in the room. If she trusts them then it makes it easier for him to trust her.
Date: August 05, 2023 09:50 am Title: Chapter 46 - A New Voice
So we have three independent sources of documentation. All three taken without collusion with date or timestamp. This feels very powerful. Probably a windfall for Mel. At the same time, it also means re-visiting some of those old wounds and memories, which of course would be hard. Very much also get a sense of the cost of keeping secrects.
To me though, all that pales with this new voice in Pam's mind. For who knows how long she's had a destructive voice beating her up from inside. As if the physical attacks weren't bad enough, she also faced internal mental attacks too. Now as that destructive voice fades, a new voice takes its place. One of support, love, and healing. Loved it, loved it, loved it!
So glad you enjoyed it! I loved the interplay of the Beesly's all making these plans and not talking about it because they didn't want to put more pressure on Pam.
And I ADORED Jim's voice showing up in her head. That one happened organically with heartfelt reminders from some clients who say that they use my voice to counter thoughts in their head because we worked on it in sessions.
Date: July 30, 2023 09:57 am Title: Chapter 45 - Sunday is not Funday
Glad that Pam is out of her spell and expressing what it feels like (which can be extremely difficult so good on her) and that she’s finding analogies that help her understand the importance of the current support tools available. Nice that she has met Larisa and Betsy and found comfort in having them around too, to me it seems that although Jim thinks this could be a fawn move she does actually find benefit in his family knowing he is supported too, and that she can benefit from them too. Also love the little detail of Pam just ordering a plain pizza because it’s been a complicated day - sometimes that is the best move for a busy mind ha! Hopefully the Roy thoughts she can work through and process especially surrounded by support.
Nail on the head, glad my ideas are coming through so well. I often find people worry about fawning with their loved ones who they know have been through trauma… but there is a FINE LINE between actual fawn responses and simply compromising with a partner. In my mind, Pam came out of the catatonic experience and was safe with meds that kept anxiety low, so she could make those decisions easier.
I truly can’t wait to finish the next chapter and get it out. I think everyone will be SO happy with it!!
Date: July 29, 2023 06:39 pm Title: Chapter 45 - Sunday is not Funday
Nice to see this particular storm has calmed down. Tons of good advice from both Ella and the doc. Seems like Pam's more open to hearing it too. Especially with a few more options that seem to make her feel more in control of things.
Jim's still learning too. He's got his own issues still to deal with, but I think he's not quite so quick to just "jump in and fix it." Unless it's ordering pizza.
Pam wanting and asking for extra support in the form of the Halperts feels great too. The more love and support both of them can get the better.
Her flashbacks with Roy's voice seem ominous. It's going to take quite a bit for them to die down, but just the fact they start off from the other side of the field and not right in her ear feels like some progress at least.
Annoying and frustrating that it appears Roy will be let out on bail. Though after a weekend in jail who knows what kind of effect that has had on him. Yes he could be the charming guy who always gets off. Or maybe something will have snapped in him and the judge will see what a monster he really is and keep him where he belongs. It is odd to say I'm looking forward to that moment?
Anyway, as always what I'm also looking forward to is the next chapter. Can't wait.
Author's Response: I am definitely moving us toward more ease. The internal monologue and intrusive thoughts aren’t going away but they are less PRESSING. And the med adjustments always need to happen to help our patients get more control.