Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 10/02/98

Saturday, September 26, 1998

Sunday, September 27, 1998

Monday, September 28, 1998

12 pm. Thirty-Second Session with Thomas Darden. I'm seriously considering involuntary commitment for Thomas. Although I have concluded that he's not an imminent suicide risk, I am concerned for his long term safety. Thomas is filled with suicidal ideation. He told me in detail about watching a moment which had been captured on television of a man committing public suicide by shooting himself in the head. He considers suicide as an end, rather than a solution to anything. But he also feels that an end would provide relief from the pain of his loneliness. This latest crisis was triggered, ironically, by one of the bravest things that I've seen Tom do. He replied to a video dating service mailing and even went for an interview. There he sat down with a saleswoman and told her what he was looking for in a mate. She responded with a hard sell at a high price point. When Thomas indicated that he wasn't interested in spending that much currently, she asked him if he wanted to be alone for Christmas and wasn't he willing to spend a little to find the love of his life? Thomas felt ill-used and left, disgusted with the process. I questioned Thomas about why he took this step now, since during our last session he felt overwhelmed with romantic possibilities. But he said he just saw Rachel, Sharon, and Kelly as opportunities for heart-break--the anonymous women who are theoretically matched with his interests by a video dating club seemed an emotionally safer choice.

Tuesday, September 29, 1998

Wednesday, September 30, 1998

2 pm. Seventh Session with Kelly Wiseling. Kelly really liked Thomas Darden and she is disappointed that he hasn't followed up on her obvious interest. I couldn't very well tell her that he's suffering from a phobia against societal interactions that's so overpowering that he's actually suicidal. She is seeking a romance--she even propositioned me in a light, playful way. I suggested that she seek out activities which interest her and that she have a clear idea of what she is looking for in a romantic prospect. She chided me on suggesting such a practical course of action devoid romance--a valid complaint. My advice doesn't conform to fairy tale notions of meeting a mate. Actually, Kelly seemed quite willing to take positive steps to end her loneliness. She's even willing to suffer the possibility of further rejection and continue to give Thomas a chance. We spoke about Kelly's physical appearance. She notes that she doesn't conform to modern standards of beauty and she seemed a bit wistful as she told me that people call her cute rather than beautiful. However, she doesn't appear deeply troubled by that. Actually, I have to say that I find Kelly refreshingly healthy in her attitudes and her appetites.

5 pm. Sixty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Benny's going to be released from prison. Alex met with Cecil, the lawyer who helped him when he had to testify against Benny, and Cecil told him the news. Apparently, Benny won an appeal, which I assume means that there'll be a new trial. Alex is very upset, to say the least. He wants Benny to simply drop off the face of the Earth. I urged Alex to seek a restraining order against Benny, but I don't think he even heard me. He was bent on exploring a revenge fantasy that I'm afraid may get out of hand. Alex is clearly not sleeping--he has dark circles under his eyes and he stumbled over his words frequently. We're going to have to spend some time practicing for his next encounter with Benny. The man triggers such a strong, contradictory set of emotions within Alex that Alex is capable of doing anything under those circumstances. Alex needs calm, unemotional reflection before he acts, or he'll do something that he regrets later. I have to work with Alex to give him the tools which he'll need to allow him to approach the subject of Benny with some degree of rationality.

Thursday, October 1, 1998

10 am. Fourth Session with Herbert Michel. It was more of Herb's abusive shit today. I find it increasingly difficult to respond constructively to what he has to say. I am constantly reminded of Joseph Mazurka--and that didn't end well for anybody. But Herb's not as mentally ill as Mazurka was. He's just an abusive, drug-dealing, methamphetamine-laden hot head. I'm certain that Lenore is in physical danger, but he hasn't communicated anything to me that would lead me to conclude that she's in imminent danger. Without that, I'm powerless to take any active steps to stop him. So I try to gently coax him into a position that's more reasonable towards her, with no success. Herb expressed a great deal of irrational animosity towards homosexuals. He seems like the kind of man who would assault another man merely because of his sexual orientation. Herb thinks that his phones are being tapped and that his house is under surveillance. Methamphetamine users are frequently paranoid, but Herb's observations may be correct. He is in a dangerous and illegal profession. Herb wrote a fictional story about Prometheus, which I found an interesting choice of subject matter. He clearly feels that the ancient Greeks are his personal heroes, and was distressed to learn that many engaged in homosexual behavior. But, what's more, he feels trapped. Herb believes that it's Lenore whose trapped him. I, obviously, have a different take on the matter, although I also believe him to be in a trap of sorts. At the end of the session, after I reminded him of his gambling debts, he became increasingly agitated and sounded desperate and panicked. He decided that he needed to get onto the phone and work his network of associates and left early. I find these sessions emotionally draining and, as much as I think Herb needs the help, I'm not sorry that he only shows up once every couple of weeks.

4 pm. Ninety-Fourth Session with Anna Green. Anna went with the SII Futurists group to a sexually-oriented motel catering to voyeurs and exhibitionists. It sounded like a strip club with a participatory bent. Anna found it erotic and said that she would like to go back with a lover. She's been sick and is taking antibiotics which have triggered a yeast infection. We segued from a conversation about her gynecological problems into the revelation that she's having sex with Martin. She says that she's not back together with him, they're just having sex with each other to take the edge off. Anna argued that this was a good move for her--she said that she can now approach other relationships calmly without jumping into bed with the wrong man just because she was starved for sex. Of course, I think that her renewed intimacy with Martin is going to get her right back into that relationship. I don't think that Martin is there to provide protection any longer--she's no longer really afraid Kathy's abductor is also seeking her--she's just using safety as an excuse to keep Martin around. I'm disappointed, but there's not much I can really do--Anna already attributes my negative reaction towards Martin as an expression of jealousy. Although I'm quite convinced that Martin is not the man for her, I'm not certain that she's completely wrong about me.

Friday, October 2, 1998

10 am. Thirty-Fourth Session with Sharon Lough. Sharon has been exploring the potential of a lesbian relationship with the young woman classmate who she purposely tormented. Lila is her name, not "L'il Dyke." Sharon was happy when Lila asked her out for a drink--she thought her stratagem of abuse was paying off. Lila took Sharon to an old lesbian bar called Wild Side West. Instead of staying with Sharon, Lila purposely ignored her, sat at the bar, and successfully engaged in picking up an attractive woman who was also there. Sharon took it to be Lila's revenge for being previously ill-treated by Sharon. I hadn't realized that Sharon had a sexual interest in Lila until this session, but she clearly did. When I noted this fact, Sharon almost tried to deny it by deriding Lila's body type. But she was clearly crestfallen when Lila picked up this other woman, and later, she did admit that she had an overt sexual interest in Lila and then quickly and definitively changed the subject. Beyond sex, Lila represented a kind of conquest for Sharon. Sharon said that she likes the idea of having a girlfriend rather than having a sexual relationship--she thinks it confers status because lesbians are "cool." I think Sharon is looking for a social success and sex is the only way that she really has to know that she's scored a triumph. I hope that Sharon doesn't pursue this relationship, as it seems to be built on a dishonest foundation of intense emotional manipulation on both sides.

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