Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 04/17/98

Saturday, April 11, 1998

Sunday, April 12, 1998

Monday, April 13, 1998

4 pm. Twelfth Session with Olivia Stillwell. Olivia was accompanied today to her session by her father, who waited out in the outer office while we conducted our session. He wants her to give a statement to his lawyers regarding her attack and, sensing her reluctance, is giving her little ability to escape. She feels that she's put the attack behind her and wants to forget the incident. Somehow, Olivia discovered that her father had hired a private investigator to do a background check on Stephanie Martin. The investigation revealed that Stephanie is, in fact, homosexual. Olivia went over to Stephanie's and she confirmed the content of the investigator's report, although Olivia didn't tell Stephanie that she had been an investigative target. Olivia only had the second page of the report which leads me to believe that she wasn't intended to read it. Olivia told me that her father said that he had ordered it to avoid any surprises in court, if his efforts to prosecute those responsible gets that far. That sounds like an excuse cooked up after the fact. I suspect, instead, that the report was ordered as part of a pattern of investigation on Olivia and her associates. Perhaps her father has regularly resorted to private investigators to keep him in close contact with the activities of his daughter. If that's true, it is an outrageous breach of the privacy owed to an adult daughter by a parent. And the overprotectiveness and insecurity pointed to by such behavior could help explain Olivia's other surprising revelation this session: Olivia is still a virgin at 26. She cried as she told me, so she's clearly not proud of the fact. I gave her a pep talk to the effect that she should be proud that she hasn't lowered her standards just to have sex, but the truth is that I'm somewhat concerned. Olivia doesn't seem to have any great moral compunctions against premarital sex which are holding her back. Olivia might not be able to form intimate attachments to other males in the face of her father's unwillingness to let her go. The secret admirer, who titillated Olivia with the notes we discussed during the last session, failed to materalize. She still doesn't know who sent the cryptic notes. Be mindful that Olivia's 26th birthday will occur on April 20th, the day of her next session.

Tuesday, April 14, 1998

8 am. I read an article about SII in the Wall Street Journal. They made their announcement and, even though I don't know anything about the millennium bug, it sounds pretty big to me. I can see why it has caused so much excitement among the executives who've invested in the company. I don't quite see how top executives who know that something is about to break can buy up a bunch of stock without it being insider trading, but I'll leave that to the experts in the finance group. Even though Katherine Lippard and Lloyd Major both encouraged me to buy stock, I thought it would be unethical. Now the stock is up 30% and I'm ethical as hell. Great.

Wednesday, April 15, 1998

11 am. Telephone Conversation with Robin Young respecting Sharon Lough. Robin Young (always referred to in Sharon's sessions as Rob), called to tell me that Sharon was missing and that he was worried about her. He described a bit of what sounds like a hellish confrontation--something about Charlotte walking in on Sharon and Rob while they were in flagrante delicto. Charlotte did not take it well. Sharon took off while Charlotte was still there ranting, abandoning most of her possessions. Now Robin hasn't heard from her for several days. He went through her things and, besides for finding my name and number, found a hypodermic syringe. He suspects drug abuse, although he says that he wasn't aware of Sharon utilizing any drugs more serious than marijuana. I shouldn't be surprised that Sharon may be currently injecting illegal drugs intravenously. I hadn't really considered the possibility before, but it would explain some parts of her behavior. Robin asked me to tell her to call him and also asked me to tell her that she's always welcome to stay at his house, regardless of what Charlotte may say. I told Robin that I'd pass on his message to Sharon when I saw her next.

4 pm. Forty-Second Session with Katherine Lippard. Katherine started the session enthused about SII's product announcement, and the resulting increase in SII's stock price. I've never exactly understood the mechanism of how it works, but if a publicly traded company has a large valuation by virtue of a high stock price, it can use that to pay down debt and improve its financial health generally. As I think about it, I guess it can sell stock at a big number to raise cash or to acquire another company. Katherine chided me for not buying stock, but I tried to change the subject. Katherine was in a good mood generally. Although she tried, she hasn't had anymore dreams of her father. While she attributes some of the dreams to psychic forces, she realizes that they really come from inside of herself. She sees a conflict between her own conscious feelings of not contributing enough to society and her unconscious affirmation in the guise of the dream conversation with her father. I told Katherine that conflicting feelings are natural and that her unconscious had given her some good advice--feel good about herself and use her talents to help society, if she feels so inclined. Perhaps that's a trivialization, but that's the gist of it. Phil got another art commission. This time, he's creating a tile mosaic floor mural. And Katherine reports that Jake, who's always been a thrill-seeker, has taken to omitting the normal safety precautions. I suggested that this new risk-taking behavior may be the only way that Jake has in giving expression to his feelings of loss over the end of his relationship with Katherine. Katherine expressed some nonspecific disapproval over something Alex did recently--she described it as stupid teenage shit. I suspect that she was referring obliquely to Alex's recent penchant for abusing drugs.

5 pm. Forty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is getting in a world of trouble both from the juvenile justice system and from his friends and family. Because of his shoplifting arrest, he's violated his parole, even though the store declined to press charges. Apparently, he's going to have to do some more community service work and spend weekends under house arrest wearing an electronic ankle bracelet while he stays with his mother. Luke is angry because of Alex's continued experiments with S&M under Camille's domination. His mother is angry because of the shoplifting arrest and the prospect of having to live with Alex. Ralph is angry because Alex took his car and ended up driving it into a ditch, without the benefit of a driver's license. I suspect he might have been smoking marijuana--the accident was caused by inattention which is a common cause of marijuana related car accidents. Alex also went to Ralph's strip club and performed on stage during amateur night, even though Ralph has forbid him from going there. Alex's juvenile status could cause Ralph some serious legal problems. Alex wants the freedom to go wild--he thinks it might be a stage he's going through--and he becomes very angry when he thinks someone's judging him, including me. He said that Katherine was really his only friend who wasn't judging him, and wasn't currently angry at him. I want him to try to be more mindful of what he's doing and to be aware of the self-destructive nature of his actions. I also note that all of Alex's negative conduct can be associated with his relationship with Camille and Regina.

Thursday, April 16, 1998

4 pm. Seventy-Sixth Session with Anna Green. Anna successfully moved out of the apartment leaving Martin and Kathy there by themselves. Her father hooked her up with a professor who was leaving on sabbatical to Europe for a semester and needed someone to housesit. So Anna is living in a nice house in Pacific Heights, rent free. The professor and his wife turned out to be a couple whom Anna knew from her S&M club. After he was assured that she wouldn't blow his cover, he showed Anna the dungeon which he has built into an in-law unit. Although I was hoping that Anna's experimentation with S&M would end once she broke up with Martin, she has no intention to stop and is looking forward to using her private dungeon. The move out itself was fairly uneventful. Martin was courteous, helpful, and emotionally cool. Anna was upset with his coolness and even fantasied about puncturing it somehow, which she was prevented from doing by the strategic presence of Carin and Greg. Kathy was very upset when Anna announced that she was moving out, but dealt with it by curling up in a fetal position and going catatonic, as Anna puts it. Anna doesn't even want Kathy to know her new address. Anna missed last week's session because she had a company paid vacation as a bonus for her work on the millennium bug program. She told me that she's become the resident expert on S&M and has the attention of the rest of the programming group, who are all male. Some of that attention, no doubt, has to do with the fact that Anna's S&M seminars are being held in a hot tub where they're all naked together. I'm sure all that rapt attention from the males that she works with is Anna's self-prescribed remedy for the emotional loss she feels after breaking up with her boyfriend. Now that she's single again, Anna offered to show me her breasts. She's reverting back to her pattern of expressing sexual interest in me whenever she is between serious love interests. My romantic feelings towards Anna, however, have never abated and are not variable, and I find myself continually fantasizing about consummating a physical relationship with her. Of course, I realize that it's only a fantasy ambition and can never be realized.

Friday, April 17, 1998

10 am. Thirteenth Session with Sharon Lough. Sharon arrived disheveled and bleary-eyed to our session. Her clothes were wrinkled and dirty, as if she had slept in them. She acted drugged and lethargic. After attempting to lie to me, somewhat weakly, Sharon admitted that she is injecting a combination of heroin and methamphetamine. In fact, she was clearly under the influence during our session. On Wednesday, I got a call from Robin Young telling me that she disappeared after a confrontation with Charlotte. She's missed a substantial amount of time at work and believes that she may have lost her job there. I spent the session urging her into a rehab program and finally got her reluctantly to agree to a voluntary admission through a combination of cajoling and threats. I got her admitted to the California Pacific Medical Center Rehabilitation Group for one of their two week programs. We went over together and she was admitted without incident.

4 pm. Twenty-Second Session with Thomas Darden. In today's session, we explored Thomas' current relationships, such as they are. He's recognized that Karina was just trying to use him to cause her boyfriend to become jealous. Tom said that it was particularly ironic that he should be used to evoke another's jealousy, because he was the only man in Karina's life lately with whom she hadn't had sex. He said that Karina dangled the prospect of sexual intimacy before him and then withdrew it, knowing that Thomas was hooked. Well, Thomas seems to have successfully unhooked himself at last. I must say that his read on the situation with Karina seemed to be both accurate and astute. One of his confidantes about Karina is Rachel, a very attractive woman who works with him at the SII help desk and whose cubicle is nearby. As Thomas told Rachel about his problems with Karina, he found himself becoming more and more attracted to her. He has fantasies about asking her out, but he's using the fact that she's in his department as an excuse to avoid doing so. Rachel has attracted her share of admirers from others in the company, however. One of them is Scott Collavito, a graphic artist who, through Thomas' eyes, exudes oily charm. Thomas describes him as perfect in every way, and he hates him for it. Thomas became enraged with jealousy as Scott flirted with Rachel over a period of about a month. So Thomas decided to exact revenge by surreptitiously placing a vicious computer virus on Scott's machine which destroyed his hard drive. When Scott called in to the help desk, he got Rachel. Thomas had not made much of a secret of his jealousy towards Scott and Rachel figured out that he must have been responsible. She reacted by ceasing all communication with Thomas. After a few agonizing weeks, Thomas finally confessed both to the virus and to his feelings towards her which he said motivated him. Rachel reacted rather well. She didn't report Thomas to her superiors and, in fact, complemented him on his writing. I've seen very shy patients in the past make sudden breakthroughs when they desire something strongly enough. Perhaps Rachel will encourage Thomas to take some risks in his attempt to earn her affection. I hope that those risks will be more socially acceptable than disabling his supposed rival's computer.

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