Rav (corvid) wrote in little_details,

Bad reactions to psychic abilities?

I have a question that is more speculation than something I can actually verify with facts. I've tried google for stuff like post traumatic stress, stress and soldiers, etc.

The simplest gist of my question is that I'm curious about ways that empathy could frighten someone and reasons why someone would react poorly to it. (I'm not as interested in why someone wouldn't be frightened of this character's abilities, but I'm certainly not going to complain about ideas.)

The character in question is named Delano. He's a more or less completely uncontrolled telepath/empath mix, but he thinks he just has the ability to read body language well and some very very accurate guesses. (He's also fairly convinced that he's not sane.) As part of an activist group, Delano poses as the rather popular "Suicide King" or the "King of Hearts" on the radio and on illegal television broadcasts.

Delano started having odd spells where he'd, in his words, "see" something about other people when he was in his early teens. He tends to get mostly hunches about people's present emotional state, odd little facts (names, birthplaces, names of friends,) and rarely he picks up on actual specific memories. He tends to see memories that people are trying to forget. Basically, if there's something unpleasant, embarrassing, incriminating, or just plain weird that someone's trying to not think about, eventually, Delano will probably learn it. He does not pick up everything in someone's mind, but instead has a fragmented view of the world. Since Delano has a rather vague speaking style that uses a lot of questions (and answering questions with questions,) it's difficult to tell how little he knows.

He tends to have his powers manifest in hunches, vague feelings that he doesn't even really notice, and hallucinations. For example, if someone isn't feeling well or is disturbed by something, Delano frequently "sees" that pain translating into blood on the person. If Delano's stressed, he occasionally has what he calls a "bad day" wherein he more or less spends the day curled up and babbling.

In his area, there isn't really anything like the Christian religion so there isn't going to be the idea that he's possessed by demons. Psychic powers are - really about as accepted as they are now. You've got some people who think that foresight and all that exists, some people who scoff at the very idea, and the usual shady attempts to get rich quick by pretending to be psychic. Medical knowledge is slightly more advanced and the technological level is also a little higher compared to present-day Earth.

I can provide links to examples of Delano's speaking pattern or abilities, if needed. I'm basically seeking ideas about how people might react to Delano's powers.
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