Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 12/11/98

Saturday, December 5, 1998

Sunday, December 6, 1998

Monday, December 7, 1998

12 pm. Telephone Conversation with Lana Michel respecting Herb Michel. I got a call from Lana Michel, Herb's mother. She told me that she thought Herb was acting "like an asshole" and that she was afraid for his life. Apparently, she's worried that the people with whom he's dealing drugs are going to harm him. She made it quite clear in our conversation that she has been instrumental in Herb's drug selling education. But she is fearful of seeing Herb because she's afraid that she'll be fingered either by his cohorts or by the police. She made me promise that I'd bring up the subject of his friends during our next session and urge him to avoid danger. I tried to enlist her support for an attempt to get Herb into rehab, but she was no help--she kept insisting that she didn't want him "jailed."

Tuesday, December 8, 1998

Wednesday, December 9, 1998

2 pm. Eleventh Session with Kelly Wiseling. Kelly was referred to a chiropractor by her general practitioner, and the chiropractor seemed to do her some good. Kelly described going to a party at the Deaf Center with her two deaf roommates. There she saw someone whom she described as afflicted with Waardenburg's Syndrome. I've heard of it, but I've never seen someone who's suffering from it. Kelly has been thinking about this guy a lot, even though she was unable to approach him at the party--she was afraid that he'd believe that she was approaching him out of pity. At least Kelly got a taste of what causes other people to sometimes feel standoffish about approaching her. Kelly spoke a little about Angie. It seems that Angie invented a boyfriend she doesn't really have. Also, when they were alone together, Angie tried to initiate further sexual intimacy. Kelly refused. Kelly was surprised that only a few weeks ago, she was very hung up on Angie. Now, she can't imagine why she was interested in her.

4 pm. Telephone Conversation with Ms. Anna Green. Anna called me to cancel her session for both this week and the next. She was calling from Martin's room at the hospital. Apparently, Martin has been suffering from a flu which advanced into a severe middle ear infection. After a painful night, which included rupturing both his eardrums, Anna brought him to the emergency room. He's been placed on IV antibiotics and made comfortable with pain killers. Anna said that she was insisting that Martin be released to her care when he's sent home from the hospital tomorrow. Anna was clearly nervous when talking to me, which I ascribed to her concern about my reaction to what appeared to be another attempt to form a romantic relationship with Martin. But that wasn't it. Instead, Anna is succumbing to the continuous attentions of Officer Trevor. Under the guise of "rehearsing" their S&M routine together, Trevor and Anna reassembled her professor's dungeon and then had a practice session together. During the preparations for the session, Trevor became aroused, and Anna noticed his tumescence. He apologized, but Anna, trying to play it cool, said that it made their performance that much more believable. Anna obviously became sexually aroused during the S&M scene that they played out--I believe more so because Anna knew that Trevor was aroused although he was only playing a part and not a true S&M devotee. Anna is falling into her standard pattern of bending her own desires to the will of a partner, all the while pretending that those desires are her own. Anna was clearly upset that we were not going to have a session together for two months, and so am I. I tried to suggest that we find a way to meet over the next two weeks, but Anna deflected my suggestion. She's going to Tahoe next week with "some friends" and says that she can't come in at all anytime before I leave. The telephone call ended abruptly because Martin's doctor arrived and Anna had to hang up.

5 pm. Seventy-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex told me that the man who was arrested for assaulting Benny was Brent Woodson. Benny was arrested for molesting a boy, and Brent Woodson is the boy's father. Apparently, he'd been stalking Benny, waiting for the right time to make his move. He knew who Alex was. Perhaps he saw Alex go into Benny's house and waited a few hours before making his move in the hope that he could disguise his identity from the police. Benny may have suffered some brain damage in the attack, at least according to Ralph who visited him in the hospital. Alex told me that his mother apologized to Katherine, as she said she would. Katherine was somewhat surprised and kept trying to figure out if Larraine was playing an angle, but apparently she was sincere. Perhaps Larraine is also sincere in attempting to forge a bond with her grown son. Alex told me that Tony made unwelcome sexual advances and that he was very persistent about it. Alex said that he kept thinking it was something that he had done--perhaps he was dressed too provocatively or said something which Tony misinterpreted. Of course, I reminded Alex that he has the absolute right to decide with whom he wishes to have sex. Alex told me that he is beginning a new relationship with Luke, although he's taking it slowly. They slept together in a bed and, although the atmosphere was thick with sexuality, they did not have sex. I told Alex that I was going away for my vacation, and I'm afraid he didn't take it very well. He chided me for giving such short notice.

Thursday, December 10, 1998

Friday, December 11, 1998

9 am. Invitation Received from Ms. Katherine Lippard. I received an invitation to a charity event from Katherine Lippard to benefit the Bay Area Youth Alliance. She sent me two tickets and a nice handwritten note. However, the event is on December 20th. My trip to New York took the pressure off my having to decline the invitation to Katherine. I left her a message thanking her but explaining that I can't come. Even if I was in town, I don't think it would have been appropriate to go to the event. I feel that Katherine is still my patient and her close ties to SII virtually assure that I'll run into some other patients at this event. I refuse to create awkward situations for my patients solely for the purpose of enhancing my social life.

10 am. Fortieth Session with Sharon Lough. Sometimes I feel so ineffectual with Sharon, I wonder if I'm giving her anything of value. Her cast came off and she's experiencing that sense of weakness caused by atrophied muscles. She also fixed her hair somewhat--it's now very short, but all one color. Rob has some undiagnosed stomach ailment--the diagnosis of peptic ulcers was reversed. Because of the pain he's in, he's been given a prescription for Percodan, which Sharon clearly covets. I urged her not to think in those terms and Sharon explained that she's making do by abusing over-the-counter NyQuil. When Rob needed to go to the emergency room, he called Charlotte, his ex-wife, instead of calling a cab. Sharon took it very personally. She pointed out herself how her relationship with Rob has changed: before, she was in it solely for mercenary motives; now, she feels something for him, although she steadfastly denies that it's love. Sharon tried to veer the subject away from relationship issues--she chose a broad monologue about the sense of accomplishment she gets from producing a load of snot when she blows her nose. I steered the conversation back on track and Sharon admitted that she feels used by Rob. Sharon expressed dissatisfaction with all her previous relationships. I suggested that perhaps she may want to think about taking positive steps to improve her communication with a partner. Sharon said that she feels unable to tell the lies that she believes are necessary to make a relationship work--she even gave me a few examples. Her examples were all lies to help a partner over their insecurities. When I suggested a workshop, Sharon said that she'd rather shoot herself. She veered away from the subject again, this time professing a sexual interest in me. Of course, I tried to deflect her interest, but Sharon pretended to believe that I was rebuffing her because of her physical appearance and her personality. She threw me off base by going into another monologue on the difficulties of suppressing a gag reflex during fellatio when the penis passes the epiglottis. I ended the session by telling Sharon about my vacation plans, which she also pretended to see as further proofs of my rejection of her.

1 pm. Telephone Conversation with Sgt. Tracy Keefe of the SFPD and Ms. Lenore Marconi respecting Herbert Michel. Sergeant Keefe informed me that Lenore bit off Herb's penis, apparently during a forced act of oral copulation. Herb is in the hospital, where they are attempting to reattach his member. They were unable to find the severed part of Herb's penis until they pried open Lenore's mouth--she had retained it there all the way to the holding cell. Lenore is apparently in a state of shock and that's the primary reason why I got the call from Sergeant Keefe. He wants me to treat her. But I cannot. I'm Herb's psychiatrist and, clearly, there is an irreconcilable conflict between their two positions. If I were to try to treat both, I would be in an unsupportable ethical situation. I was always leery of the role that they both desired I take--separate counselor to each of them--but they prevailed upon me and I gave in. Now, I must take a hard line stance. Lenore is subject to criminal sanctions and Herb is likely to be the one pressing charges. I suggested to Sergeant Keefe that he give Lenore a rape test and try to preserve evidence of sexual assault. I also spoke with Lenore and got her assent to voluntary commitment at the California Pacific Medical Center In-Patient Psychiatric Facility. I referred Lenore to Dr. Whitestone, who's particularly skilled in dealing with post-traumatic stress resulting from spousal abuse. After I hung up with Lenore and Sergeant Keefe, I spoke with Dr. Whitestone. I think I made the right choice. She said that she would negotiate something with the police and the district attorneys office to get Lenore released into her care. After a few hours, Dr. Whitestone called me back and told me that she had arranged for Lenore to be released into her custody on the condition that she give the police 24 hours notice prior to releasing Lenore. Lenore hadn't been formally arrested yet, although the police seem to think that she will be immediately upon her release. Dr. Whitestone agreed to keep me informed about Lenore's progress. I felt compelled to give Dr. Whitestone some of the particulars of Herb's problems and his history of abusive conduct towards his wife. She assured me that she'd do her best for Lenore.

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