Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 4/04/97

Saturday, March 29, 1997

Sunday, March 30, 1997

Monday, March 31, 1997

I'm still quite sick with the flu. I've cancelled my appointments for today, but I'll try to keep the ones for Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 1, 1997

4 pm. Thirty-Fourth Session with Sylvia Bows. I patched myself together as best I could and went to face my first patient after being laid out by the flu for the last five days. The contagion had passed, but the exhaustion hadn't. Sylvia commented on how charming I looked--I felt like a used dish towel. She gave me photographs of Roald and Grant. Roald, the older of the two, looks very healthy, if maybe a bit jaundiced. Grant has the frailty of a preemie newborn. The picture looks like it was snapped while he was inside his incubator. But he is home now and his mother says that he is gaining weight and doesn't have that preemie look anymore. The boys were with a nanny and I didn't get to see them during this session, but I didn't press the point with the remnants of my flu. After telling me that she is crying every night, Sylvia admitted that she had stopped taking the Sinequan I had prescribed for her. There were two issues--being in the hospital had disturbed her routine, and I also got a feeling that Tom wanted her to stop because he was worried that the drug would be secreted in her breast milk. I reassured Sylvia that the Sinequan was safe for nursing mothers and urged her to continue taking it. The edginess that I've been observing seems to be a result of her noncompliance. Sylvia wants to resume her sexual relationship with Tom, but Tom is trying to avoid any personal contact that doesn't involve the children. Sylvia is trying to seduce him through her dress and actions. It hasn't yet been successful. The one thing that Sylvia doesn't seem able to do is to talk to Tom. Tom isn't likely to let go of his anger and resentment without at least an acknowledgement from Sylvia of the damage that she has done to their relationship. If Sylvia would just open up to Tom and tell him how she felt, then I believe that Tom could express his turbulent emotions. After the likely storm, they have a chance for reconciliation. But playing games by provocatively showing her breasts, for example, is not going to solve this problem.

After dinner tonight, I took a drive around the city. It was a spectacularly clear night and I found myself parked in a lot near the beach at Crissy Field looking out across the Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge to my left. Over the bridge was the Hale-Bopp comet. It is marvelous! I'd seen it before and been impressed, but the clarity of the night and its position over the bridge made it superlative. As I was enjoying the sight by myself in my car, a police car pulled up behind me and turned on its lights--not the revolving globes, but white spotlights mounted on the top of the car. I know that you're supposed to wait in the car, so I put my hands on the steering wheel where they would be in plain sight and I waited for an interminable period while I guess my license plate number was being checked out. Finally, a young polite policeman came over and asked what I was doing. When I pointed to the really magnificent comet, he was clearly not impressed. I had to produce my license and registration. He disappeared again--I suppose to call in my drivers license to find out if I was a wanted criminal--and then finally gave me back my papers and let me go.

Wednesday, April 2, 1997

2 pm. Eighth Session with George Landau. George has felt a rush of empowerment by admitting his phobia of computers. He feels strong enough to go and tackle a training session without the benefit of any type of previsualization. I wanted to guide George through what he might expect--an attempt at desensitization. But George was immediately resistant. Now that he has a bit of courage, he wants to jump into the situation without thinking about it in advance--like jumping into cold water. I'm afraid it's a terrible idea, but the more I tried to talk George out of it, the more he accused me of trying to undermine him. He agreed to give me a call on Monday after the training session. I hope that it doesn't go as badly as I fear.

Thursday, April 3, 1997

12 pm. Fourth Session with Christina Herald. Christina arrived in something that seemed almost like a daze in the beginning of our session. But surprisingly, she seemed well-rested and her complexion seemed to have lost that sallow look. She really is quite attractive, when she regains that impish joviality that seems to most typify her personality. She quite purposefully avoided talking about Kevin, who is presumably languishing in jail somewhere unless he has raised bail. Instead, she seems to be beginning a romantic attachment to someone named Malcolm who accompanied her to the session and waited in the outside room. I caught a glimpse of him as I was saying goodbye to Christina. He is an impossibly tall man with short black hair, a goatee, numerous body piercings and an impressively muscled physique. My impression of his personality was that he was somewhat gloomy and forbidding. The mental image of him and Christina together in a romantic way is somewhat ludicrous, but it's probably best not to dwell on that. We talked mostly about the amount of activity, both physical and emotional, which Christina is taking on herself. Although she's cut back on caffeine, far from shedding some of her responsibilities, she is taking on more--to an impossible degree. The professor whom she has always reviled had a heart attack and, while recuperating, settled on her as his choice of teaching assistant. It appears that they really have a substantial mutual fondness for each other, which they each do the best to mask through vociferous arguments. But a full time academic schedule, coupled with her assistant manager position at the bookstore, and now her work as a teaching assistant--not to mention the emotional demands which Kevin and Jonny and her father are all placing on her--all are conspiring to increase her panic disorder.

4:00 pm. Thirty-Sixth Session with Anna Green. Anna told me a long story out of some science fiction book that she read once which was almost an allegory for her feelings about her relationship with Martin. A man crashes on a distant planet and is taken inside a giant female pod plant creature. Communicating by telepathy, the plant saves the man and they develop an inter-species romance. To reproduce, the pod needs to be split open by a sharp object and she is able to prevail upon the initially reluctant man to treat her in this way and thus enable her to fulfill her reproductive destiny. Anna told this story to Martin, and Martin said that it was very similar to S&M because S&M is also about love. Martin tried to describe the experience of being whipped to Anna as one of letting go and completely trusting another person. Anna is interested in trying it. She has formed a friendship with Kathy, the woman from the adult bookstore. Kathy is into S&M, although apparently not with the intensity which characterizes Martin. Anna's friendship with Kathy is apparently strong enough that Anna is considering asking Kathy to whip her so that she can understand what Martin desires to experience. Actually, Anna is quite clear that what she likes is fantasy and role-playing rather than actual S&M scenes. I urged her to communicate this clearly to Martin, and after some hesitation, she said that she would.

Friday, April 4, 1997

8:52 am. Telephone Conversation with Diane LNU regarding Jerico Freeman. I had an almost surrealistic conversation with Diane, Jerry's girlfriend. Just as Jerry had started to assume a comforting consistency in my mind, the phone call has revealed that I actually know little about my patient. Diane, who wishes to keep her phone call to me confidential, told me that Jerry had drunk himself into a stupor and wouldn't be coming in for our session. She said that he had achieved some sexual performance success after our last session, but had a setback on Wednesday and ended up drinking so much that he was unable to go to work on Thursday. Then Diane told me that she and Jerry have been living together for six years and dating for another four before that. She's thirty-one now, and met Jerry when, as a construction worker on a college campus, he gave her a wolf-whistle. Far from being the ex-prostitute that Jerry described, she was a college student. Since then, they've been involved in a monogamous relationship. But the revelations didn't stop there. Diane said that Jake, the worker killed in the sewer collapse, wasn't Jerry's friend at all. In fact, Jerry hated him. She intimated that Jake tried to do something to Jerry, but became distracted when Jerry started to awake and had to end our telephone call. In response to my question, Diane told me that Jerry is extremely honest and hates bullshitters, as he puts it. So where does that put us? Diane could be lying about how she met Jerry I suppose. I would assume that a prostitute, in ordinary social commerce, does not admit to her profession. But I didn't get the idea that she was prevaricating. She seemed quite forthright about her past with Jerry and was almost insulted that I didn't know that she and Jerry had been dating as long as they have. Jerry could have lied about both Diane's past and about his relationship with Jake, but only for reasons that I can't fathom. If Jerry was lying to me about Diane's past, is it that he has a need to feel superior to Diane? When they met, she was a student and he was a laborer. Does that prey on his mind? I will have an interesting next session with Jerry, but I must maintain Diane's confidentiality. I'll even treat Jerry's missed appointment as a "no-show" rather than a cancellation.

4:00 pm. Fourth Session with Thomas Darden. We spent most of the session talking about Thomas' stepfather for two years when Tom was approximately 12 to 14 years old. John was an ex-military officer who, together with his two older sons Dave and Lynn, practiced both mental and physical abuse on Tom and his brother Alex. John seems like the most petty of tyrants, using his power to humiliate and abase primarily for his own amusement. As all too frequently happens in these cases, Tom's mother ceded authority to John and then emotionally withdrew, closing her eyes to what was happening. John drove Tom and Alex to complex fantasies of murder and revenge. Even today, Tom feels a murderous rage when he remembers the actions of his stepfather. Although Tom doesn't believe that John ever sexually abused Alex or him, he thinks that John might have come close a few times. Tom's anger over his stepfather needs to be defused. And the meaning of John in Tom's life--and in his current interpersonal difficulties--needs to be explored.

Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later
Button to Charles Balis' Diary & Log Charles Balis' Personal Diary & Log

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1997. All Rights Reserved.