Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 5/30/97

Saturday, May 24, 1997

Sunday, May 25, 1997

Monday, May 26, 1997

Memorial Day Holiday

10:30 pm. I visited Eliza in the hospital. I got a call from a Slavic sounding man who identified himself as Eliza's father and told me that she was in the hospital asking for me. I hurried down to the CPMC Cherry Street campus, and found Eliza in the cardiac ward. Apparently, she had been complaining of sharp, undifferentiated pains in various parts of her body and someone thought she might be having a heart attack when she was admitted. She wasn't. This evening, she was having a party at her mother's mansion mostly for the purpose of allowing her to introduce her new friend, Christina Herald, to Peter Hossfeld. Well, seeing Peter at the house must have been too much for Luke, who burst in and started to bodily threaten Eliza. Peter intervened and got Luke away from Eliza, and Luke assaulted Peter. Malcolm happened to arrive in what must have been either an extremely provident coincidence, or Christina is dating Malcolm again. Anyway, his martial arts skills came in handy to immobilize Luke until the police arrived. So Eliza has her restraining order, after all. Eliza wasn't hospitalized as a result of the assault by Luke, although her pains might have been triggered by the assault. I talked to the attending physician, a Dr. Culter whom I didn't know. He said that Eliza's pains were probably a reaction to the shock she experienced. He planned to hold her overnight and then release her in the morning. I had a chance to meet Eliza's mother--Ms. Rebecca Jacobsen. She was extremely attractive, almost Egyptian looking, with wide-set emerald green eyes and black curly hair. You could hardly credit her with having a daughter of Eliza's age. She had an almost regal presence that was palpable. Very impressive. Eliza said that she had just gone to the movies, but she was wearing a very expensive tailored suit in pearl gray, with not a hair out of place. If she dresses like that to go to a movie, she must be always impeccably tailored. Not at all the image that I had of her from the content of our sessions.

Tuesday, May 27, 1997

12 pm. Thirteenth Session with Eliza Raven. Eliza was released from the hospital and came to our session at her usual time. She admitted that she had tricked me into disclosing that Christina Herald was my patient--annoying, but I saw no reason to make a big deal about it. Christina strikes me as the type of woman who would have freely told Eliza the name of her therapist. The revelation which is most sensitive to most patients is the fact of undergoing therapy at all, which Christina freely discussed in her conversations with Eliza. At any rate, Eliza threatened to conspire with her new friend Christina to fix me up on a date. My experiences with blind dates have left me less than ecstatic over the prospect. Eliza described in a bit more detail the events at her Memorial Day soirée yesterday. It turns out that Malcolm was there through a romantic effort by Anders to reunite Christina with Malcolm. Eliza doesn't think it likely that Christina will take Malcolm back--both Christina and Eliza feel angry that they were lied to by Malcolm, although Eliza feels grateful that Malcolm saved Peter yesterday. Eliza talked about the possibility that she was the victim of Serena's voodoo. While Eliza discounted the possibility, she also said that the Wiccan Law of Three would ravage Serena if she was, in fact, using her magic to harm Eliza. Essentially, the Law of Three says that the doer of bad deeds receives the same harm back, but magnified thrice. It seems that Eliza is also marshaling her allies on the astral plane to rally to her assistance and is taking steps to strengthen her aura. I'm not sure what all this means in mystical terms, but Eliza is clearly fortifying herself for the battle she apparently must wage with Serena for Peter's soul. Eliza talked about her paternal grandparents who are both involved in Wiccan religions. They've moved to a farm up north and, according to Eliza, they live an idyllic pagan lifestyle. They were Eliza initiators to Wicca and she is very grateful to them for setting her spiritual direction. On Mother's Day, Luke had given Eliza a broken doll out of a malicious desire to remind Eliza of her own miscarriage. But some good seems to have come out of the hateful act. Over the weekend, Eliza and her grandparents buried the doll and Eliza used the opportunity to have a funeral for the lost baby, which she says brought her a sense of peace. Eliza said that they set the baby free by laying her memory to rest. Eliza told me more about the relationship between Anders and Phillip, and the sexual preference confusion of Josie, who believes that he is not gay because of something a psychic told him. Furthermore, Isaac--Eliza's brother--broke up with his girlfriend. So Eliza feels like she is being smothered in the emotional problems of others. She became quite emotional over the prospect of being alone--she thinks of herself that way, even despite her blossoming romance with Peter. Eliza believes that Zoloft has helped her quite a bit. She feels more in control of her emotions and her life. I also agree that Zoloft seems to have had a positive effect on Eliza's personality, making her more outwardly directed rather than inwardly brooding. Eliza cried during this session, but unlike previous emotional displays, Eliza seemed more in control and she didn't suffer any nosebleeds.

4 pm. Forty-First Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia has formed a bond with her husband Tom of the closest kind, overcoming all her fears of not being able to get truly close to him again. From Sylvia's reaction to Bruce's epileptic seizure, Tom apparently divined her previous sexual relationship with Bruce and her fears that Bruce's epilepsy might have genetically passed to Grant and Roald. With great tact, Tom contacted Bruce and discovered that Bruce had undergone a vasectomy precisely to avoid fathering children stricken with epilepsy. Bruce, who was in the awkward position of being questioned about his affair with Sylvia by the husband he had cuckolded, was so impressed by Tom's congeniality and concern for the children, that Sylvia believes they are going to be close friends in the future. And Tom and Sylvia used this as an opportunity to engage in some frank talk which ended with the two of them making love with a great deal of passion--Sylvia says that Tom touched her core. It was the first time that Sylvia unreservedly said that she loved Tom, and she went on at some length and talked about Tom in such flowery language that she left little doubt of her sincerity. I'm sure Tom feels that sincerity as well. I'm very glad that they have been able to thoroughly patch things up between them. Now they have to survive Richard's frivolous custody suit and more sniping from the gossip columnist, but they seem well on their way to a happy future together.

Wednesday, May 28, 1997

12 pm. Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex described in some detail how he was stalked by a man who looked familiar but whom Alex couldn't quite place. In my office, Alex suddenly thought that the man looked like the one he assaulted a few weeks ago. I'd like to believe that it was some twinge of conscience on Alex's part, but I don't. I think he really might be the target of that man's revenge. To make it worse, Alex's mother has taken off for over a week, leaving Alex alone in the house. Since Alex is 16, I imagine it wouldn't be considered child abandonment, but it seems close to me. How completely irresponsible! Alex described a series of symptoms which sound a bit like hypomania. Specifically, Alex describes a distinct period of elevated personality lasting several days. During that period, he has a decreased need for sleep, he has a feeling of elation, and he has a pressure to keep moving--psychomotor agitation. I would guess that, during his manic phase, he has excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for unfortunate consequences--specifically sexual indiscretions combined with thrill-seeking. Although I haven't noticed any particular tendency towards depression, I should keep it in mind when treating Alex.

4 pm. Sixth Session with Katherine Lippard. Katherine apologized profusely for being late when I read her as being right on time--perhaps she was two minutes late. She seemed fresh and rested during the session. Katherine has made her peace with Frank Herald. She had the talk that I urged her to have and found that Frank, far from setting her up as the scapegoat, has really just been distracted with family problems--specifically the revelations that Christina Herald told me about the undisclosed half brother that her father had with her aunt. Frank complemented Katherine on her work and believes that if they present an honest, impartial view of the numbers to the board of directors that the negative consequences of the Apple deal will all be on Major. Frank decided that he would accompany Katherine to her presentation to the board so that, together, they would present a united front. As a result, Katherine doesn't have the stress about the presentation that she did during our last session. But Katherine is dissatisfied with her life as a whole. She ticked off a whole list of indicators of success, all of which were financial, and said that she had it all--except that she feels empty. The mysterious Phil--who turns out to be her brother--is an artist who is mostly broke, and he is happy. Katherine, who obviously has extremely strong feelings towards Phil, is accustomed to dealing with such issues in monetary terms--she talks about being rich and miserable versus poor and ecstatic--but she doesn't seem to think in terms of Phil following his passion rather than his pocketbook. My guess is that Katherine's passion really is in her work somewhere. It's just a matter of helping her find it again. And I think she needs to be urged to find some social outlets outside of work and Phil. I think that Katherine is really quite lonely. She seemed almost reluctant to leave at the end of our session.

Thursday, May 29, 1997

12 pm. Eleventh Session with Christina Herald. Christina came in sporting an impressive black eye. Although I already knew the story from Eliza, I had to pretend that I did not. Luke hit Christina while she was at Eliza's house to meet Peter. Luke burst in and assaulted the people there--especially Peter, whose injuries I haven't heard about yet. But Malcolm rushing in like a knight in shining armor didn't hurt his cause with Christina. In fact, Christina found herself seeking his comfort in the lobby of the hospital when she finally allowed herself to feel the events of the evening. Her reaction to the events in Eliza's house could best be described as almost amused, even given her painful eye. Christina is still very defensive about how she feels about Malcolm although she is starting to be a bit more honest with herself. I think that she is afraid of falling in love with him--but it might be too late for her. Christina told me that her brother is dating Greg, and their romance seems to be blossoming, and she told me a bit about her new job. She has a principal, Mr. Gottleib, who seems like he is drawn from central casting--if one requests an over-the-top parody of a lisping nerd. And she told me about a history teacher, Aaron Fraiser, who she liked but also thought was very familiar--but she couldn't quite place him. Christina is moving to her aunt's condo--which sounds more like a divided house than an apartment. She seems happy about the move. And she finally got her cat spayed.

4 pm. Forty-Fourth Session with Anna Green. Anna believes that Martin may be back in town. She saw someone who could have been Martin on Saturday but she wasn't sure because she was too busy trying to avoid being recognized herself. I was about to dismiss this as just someone who looked like Martin. But then she said that this morning, there was a large chalk drawing in Martin's style outside her building--a headless female figure with pubic hair and a nipple tied to the rail of the steps going up to her door. That certainly sounds like Martin. The man that she saw on Saturday was probably just a look-alike. I can't imagine that Martin would be in town for five days without making any contact with Anna before this morning. I'm sure Anna has seen over a dozen people whom she momentarily believed to be Martin--this one just took on added significance after the chalk drawing. Anna thinks that she is weak--although she doesn't want to go out with Martin, she might not be strong enough to refuse his advances. Anna believes, based on the information that Martin has been feeding her over the answering machine, that Martin has a graduation ceremony to attend. But she has no way to check, and Martin may have his own motivations to give her false information. Anna wanted to hide out by staying with me tonight--a situation which was clearly untenable. I urged her to stay with a friend, and she finally chose Kathy. She hurried away at the end of the session to try to reach her. I have to say that I'm worried that Anna is pliant enough to be taken advantage of by Martin, if he can get a hold of her.

Friday, May 30, 1997

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