Transcript of 10th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sharon Lough, Thursday, March 5, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sharon. How are you feeling?
Ms. Lough: Not too bad, I guess, considering.
Dr. Balis: Did you have the laparoscopy as scheduled?
Ms. Lough: Yeah. I went through with it. I'm glad it's over. I have a follow up appointment in two weeks.
Dr. Balis: That's good. Are you still having pain?
Ms. Lough: Some. I'm still pissed that they wouldn't give me any cool drugs. Laparoscopy is considered a major surgery. Why couldn't they have given me a prescription for pain killers?
Dr. Balis: You seem very eager to obtain a prescription.
Ms. Lough: You would too if you had your nads ripped off.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Okay, maybe that's a little extreme. I've been feeling really rotten lately. Between work, my female trouble, and the banality and emptiness of my existence...well, I'm not exactly doing cartwheels.
Dr. Balis: You've had a rash of stressful situations lately.
Ms. Lough: Bad things happen to bad people.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Explain what you mean by that.
Ms. Lough: I see it as karmic retribution.
Dr. Balis: Retribution for what?
Ms. Lough: I don't know. The sins I committed in my past life. There must be some reason why I am what I am.
Dr. Balis: Last week, you mentioned that you would welcome an early death. Have you had any thoughts about taking you're own life again?
Ms. Lough: I distinctly remember saying that I was too lazy and passive to actually do anything. So you can't say I'm a suicide risk and lock me up forever in a rubber room, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Given your history, I would be remiss in my duties as a therapist if I did not ask you that question. You need to be honest with yourself, Sharon. Do you feel you're at risk?
Ms. Lough: No. I really don't. I don't have the energy to actually carry it out. I get some comfort by thinking about it, though. Like it's always there for me.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How do you feel now compared to how you felt before your attempt last year?
Ms. Lough: Last year, I felt frantic and desperate. Now, I just feel numb, like I don't really care about anything. I'm not really depressed, though I'm so used to feeling down that I can't really tell any more.
Dr. Balis: About a month ago, you gave me a copy of a poem delineating various suicide methods. If you were to formulate a plan to take your own life, what would it be?
Ms. Lough: Jeez, who are you, Kenneth Starr? I'm starting to feel like I'm being interrogated in front of the Grand Jury. You're starting to sound like the Special Prosecutor.
Dr. Balis: I'm just concerned about you. You've been expressing feelings like those of people who are deeply depressed and even suicidal.
Ms. Lough: I'm lazy and suicidal.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: There aren't any easy methods. Remember that book, "Final Exit?" It detailed suicide methods for elderly people who were seriously ill. It stirred up all this controversy; the media made it seem like everyone who read that book would try to kill themselves. What's funny is that the methods detailed in "Final Exit" aren't exactly user friendly; you have to have access to prescription drugs and the patience to hoard them. That's out of reach for an ordinary person like me. And that was supposed to be the point of the poem I gave you--it's just easier to let life take its course.
Dr. Balis: That can be a very self-destructive point of view.
Ms. Lough: Well, I'm not going to kill myself, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I'm relieved to hear that.
Ms. Lough: Do you believe in destiny?
Dr. Balis: Destiny? Why do you ask?
Ms. Lough: It seems that some people are destined for greatness, like Stephen Hawking or John F. Kennedy. Or Monica Lewinsky.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: I guess Monica was destined more for notoriety.
Dr. Balis: I see your point.
Ms. Lough: When I was watching all the tabloid coverage of the presidential sex scandal, it seemed that Monica Lewinsky was programmed to be what she was. Her mother was a social climber, her parents went through a bad divorce, her father was critical and distant. You know that saying, "You are the sum total of your experiences?" Maybe I was destined to fail so that I could be the bad example. I was placed here so overbearing maternal types could point at me and say, "Don't be like her."
Dr. Balis: That's a rather negative view of yourself.
Ms. Lough: I feel so weary of life. I don't even want to get up in the morning. I hate my job, my pet ferret is dead, I have no reason to live.
Dr. Balis: You mentioned earlier that you loathe working for SII.
Ms. Lough: I've been demoted. When I came back after being out for the surgery, my boss told me to report to Human Resources. I'm doing clerical work--filing and sorting stuff. Ordinarily, I'd be angry and frustrated because I worked so hard in that department. But now, I'm just don't care any more. I don't care about the demotion from secretary to clerk, about the cut in pay, about the fact that I do grunt work for this monstrously obese woman who eats M&M's all day. She makes me think of a whale engulfing swarms of multi-colored plankton.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: I'm beginning to think my boss planned this just to torment me. He has me working for the most repulsive person at SII. I always knew he had it in for me. Maybe this is a way of getting me to quit.
Dr. Balis: I think you might be reading too much into this.
Ms. Lough: You can never be too paranoid, you know? Especially when you're working for a corporation.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: Maybe it's the corporate environment that's getting to me. I wish I could get paid for watching television. Maybe I could get disability? I'd have to be certifiably nuts first. I've always envied people who were seriously mentally ill, like paranoid schizophrenics or manic depressives. I wish I had a bipolar disorder instead of merely being dysthymic.
Dr. Balis: Can you think of any constructive things you could do to make your life more enjoyable?
Ms. Lough: I've tried all that, Doctor. I've tried positive thinking, meditation, pop psychology. I'm a hopeless case.
Dr. Balis: But you come to my office every week. That must mean there's a glimmer of hope.
Ms. Lough: I need a fairy godmother not a psychotherapist.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: I need someone who can wave a magic wand and turn my life around.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure many psychotherapy patients feel the same way. How is your home situation?
Ms. Lough: It's been kind of weird. Charlotte comes around during the day when her husband isn't home. During the week that I was out, I realized that she's been...uh, entertaining there.
Dr. Balis: Do you mean she is carrying on an affair?
Ms. Lough: Something like that. I locked myself in my bedroom. I don't think she knew I was home. It was uncomfortable. They were in the room right next to mine, and I could hear what was going on.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: I don't know if Rob, her husband, knows what she's doing. She must take long lunches at work and then come to the house for afternoon trysts.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel you're being disloyal to Rob by not telling him about his wife's activities?
Ms. Lough: Well, yes, though they've lived apart for some time, and he probably suspects she hasn't been celibate. It's pretty seamy, though, the way she's fucking some stranger in her own marital bed. It's almost as though she wants to flaunt it, like she wants to get caught. I guess I'm not as liberated as I thought.
Dr. Balis: How have you been getting along with Rob?
Ms. Lough: I don't see him much. I get along best with people I don't have to come in contact with.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: Is our time up? I feel like I've been talking forever.
Dr. Balis: We still have a few more minutes.
Ms. Lough: Can I go? I'm all talked out.
Dr. Balis: All right, Sharon. I'll see you next week. Right?
Ms. Lough: Thanks, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sharon. Try to take care of yourself. And give me a call, especially if you feel anything is overwhelming you, okay?
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Sharon Lough's Transcripts Transcripts of Sharon Lough's Communications
Button to Sharon Lough's Patient File Sharon Lough's Patient File

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1998. All Rights Reserved.