Reviews For Severance
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Reviewer: Lil black dog Signed [Report This]
Date: 08 Dec 2013 21:04 Title: Severance

This was a gut-wrenching piece.  As someone who grew up with an absent mother (for different reasons, but the vacuum was there all the same) this really hit home.

Yes, she is an addict, yes she is abusive, but seems to have blinders on.  Is only concerned with how the absence of her son will affect her, not how her 'absence' affected him during his formative years.

It speaks to JQ's strength of character that he was not drawn into this quagmire -  doomed to repeat the pattern mapped out for him during his life - but able to transcend it and focus on much loftier goals.  It sounds a bit cruel, but I almost wonder if it would be better for all involved if he did just cut his losses and run.  It would certainly be better for John, and without someone to fall back on, someone to enable that kind of behavior, you have to wonder if that would give his mother the incentive to turn her life around.

A very thought-provoking piece, to be sure.

Reviewer: SLWalker Signed [Report This]
Date: 07 Dec 2013 06:35 Title: Severance

I know I've read this; cannot figure out why I haven't reviewed it! But God, poor John. (Poor everyone!) The push and pull, the part of him that just wants so much for her to actually love him like a mother should... I mean, ouch. Because after all this damage, there's still this little boy inside of him that wants it to all become right, and okay, and pins all his hopes on her showing up just this one time...

And he knows she won't a second later.

Again, very well done.

Reviewer: trekfan Signed [Report This]
Date: 28 May 2013 03:45 Title: Severance

Oh, poor JQ. I love him as a character, his steadiness, his loyalty, but even he has limits and his mother is one of those. She’s not a kind person anymore, to herself or others. When he left those years ago to go off to the Academy I’m sure she was saddened by it, maybe even devastated, but she was so drowned in her addiction I doubt she could properly express it. I feel bad for her. I don’t know why she became what she did but her sins have clearly hurt JQ.

To the point where he had to give up on her. He had to, there’s no denying it, as should would have dragged him right into the same pit she’s been stuck in all these years. Such addictive behavior has a way of repeating itself in the children, a vicious cycle if a break isn’t made and JQ realizes this on some level. He still holds out a bit of hope, after all she’s his mom, but that hope is very small. He knows what she is and what she will do. He knows how she’ll react and he knows he can’t be there anymore.

She’s messed up and is unable to fix herself. He’s done everything he could but damn it, sometimes you just have to abandon ship. In this case, JQs right to do so.

The pain and sadness that he feels is apparent to me. He may be resigned to the fact that she is what she is but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel badly about it anymore. He has a life now, one that doesn’t need her and her mess in it, but it’s a life devoid of motherly love and caring. He’s gone on so long without it now he’s probably used to it.

But it’s a sad tale all the same. Well done.  

Reviewer: Nerys Ghemor Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Sep 2011 02:07 Title: Severance

For something with so few words, this still packs a powerful punch.  This has stuck with me for a long time as I've questioned what life in "Paradise" is really like.

The behavior you're describing in John's mother not only looks like a typical addict's pattern, but it also looks kind of like (though not exactly like) Munchausen's syndrome, in which someone either makes themselves sick or exacerbates the symptoms of an existing illness in order to gain attention.  I certainly hope she never used him in that way--made him sick too get attention.

I'm kind of surprised that, given how authoritarian the Federation sometimes seems to me (I've seen some make reasonable arguments that they are essentially Communists without the brute violence), that they were not able to order his mother into treatment or remove him from her custody.

It really is sad, but the way you've portrayed this, his mother comes off not just as an addict, but as a child abuser.  Given that...I can't blame him for wanting to cut his ties and perhaps come to terms with it at a distance where she can't manipulate him anymore.

Author's Response:

Thanks so much, Nerys.  John's mom is definitely abusive.  Not violently so, but emotionally.  He's been looking for a way out for a long time.  (Don't worry, she never made John sick to get attention, though.)

My take on the Federation is this: People are free to do anything they please, even if it's self-harm.  As long as John never reported her abuse (and he never did), they would have no cause to force her to do anything.  Only if your actions harm someone else can you be rehabilitated against your will.  I actually think there's plenty of evidence for this in canon.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing.  I'm glad this piece had an impact for you.

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