Transcript of 31st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sharon Lough, Friday, September 11, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: Hi. What happened to you last week?
Dr. Balis: I had a family emergency, I'm sorry that I had to cancel our appointments. Did you call Legal Aid?
Ms. Lough: Yes, I did. I paid fifty bucks to whine to this sensitive, pony-tailed guy in a wrinkled shirt named Fielding Walker. What kind of parents give their kid two last names? He looked so young, I didn't think he'd know what he was doing, but he had a lot of experience with family law. I felt a lot calmer after talking to him.
Dr. Balis: Was he able to advise you on your testimony?
Ms. Lough: Yeah, Fielding assured me that it was unlikely that I would be charged with any criminal act. I thought I was going on trial as a child molester--I guess that wasn't very rational of me. He said the charges my landlord and his wife made were clearly fabricated because of the circumstances. They only made the accusation when I complained about the condition of my apartment, and they wanted to get me out of there and keep my deposit. My landlord said the false accusation was his wife's idea. When she used the same accusation to get rid of him, he decided to use me to back up his story.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: I kept a journal at the time, and that helps my credibility. I know exactly when the events happened, I even wrote down the times. That was when I first started seeing you; you recommended that I keep a journal.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Lough: Fielding coached me on how to act at my deposition--don't volunteer any information and only answer the question posed to me. We went through a practice session--he asked me questions, and then helped me with my responses.
Dr. Balis: How was the deposition?
Ms. Lough: It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Fielding said that my sexual history wouldn't matter, but I expected the worst. The other lawyer didn't ask about my sex life or anything too personal. Pig Pen's lawyer made certain that I specified that his wife made the accusation and told me to get out. I told the truth, but I felt dirty about it. I knew they were using me to corroborate his story. They were trying to discredit his wife, saying she'd made false accusations in the past.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Fielding said that if the case went to court, I might be asked if I witnessed any domestic violence or abuse. There's a chance that my credibility may come under scrutiny in the courtroom. They might ask about my history as a slut, an S&M devotee, a heroin addict, a psilocybin-cultivator, and a mental patient. He said if that came up, the defense could make a motion to suppress it. I'm hoping I won't have to testify in the trial. I wish this would all go away.
Dr. Balis: This has brought back a lot of bad memories for you.
Ms. Lough: Yeah. I can't stop obsessing about it. It's making me crazy. A few months ago, there was a paroled child-molester in Santa Rosa. He hanged himself when the local police enforced Megan's Law and notified his neighbors that he was a convicted sex offender. I saw a picture of him on the evening news; he was a fat, bald, middle-aged man. He looked like a big, hairy marshmallow. I felt sorry for him--I could understand how trapped he must have felt. That's sick, isn't it? I'm commiserating with a convicted child-molester. I should be feeling for the kids he abused.
Dr. Balis: You can feel empathy for people without condoning what they do. You may feel compassion for that man, but that doesn't make you a pedophile.
Ms. Lough: I know, I just...I'm not thinking straight. I needed to hear you say that. I need constant reassurance that I'm not a sickie. I'm edgy and paranoid all the time. I used to like to observe children at the mall or supermarket. I never talked to them or approached them, but I thought they were cute. I got a kick out of seeing them waddle around and get into trouble. Now, I feel like I can't even look at them any more. I feel sick to my stomach even telling you this. I probably sound like a closeted pedophile.
Dr. Balis: No, Sharon, you don't. You've never expressed sexual attraction for children. In fact, you rarely talked about them until now. True, you've engaged in some rather unconventional sexual acts, but those were always with consenting adults. I don't believe you fit the profile of a sexual predator. The feelings you are expressing--paranoia, self-loathing--they are all brought on by this case. Your current aversion towards children--or rather an appearance of anything suggesting that you might be a child molester--is understandable.
Ms. Lough: I used to want to have kids. I don't anymore. I can imagine what a terrible mother I'd be. After living down the hall from the Pigs for a year, I decided there were too many fucked-up people procreating in this world, and I don't want to add to the problem. The Pigs are a textbook example of why some people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. They were walking arguments for government-subsidized abortion and sterilization.
Dr. Balis: What other feelings and memories has this case brought up for you?
Ms. Lough: Well, do you know my reawakened sexual interest? Well, it's withered away. I thought I was getting back to normal--I was being sexually active and enjoying it. I felt like a whole person again, even with my gimpy leg. I should have known it was too good to last. I can't even masturbate, it's too disgusting. I felt so putrid and gross, telling Fielding about my sordid past. He probably thinks of me as some used-up old whore. Tony's going to have to go elsewhere to get his rocks off.
Dr. Balis: Have you talked to Tony about this?
Ms. Lough: He'll figure it out. Besides, he has all his fag friends to keep him company. Tony only went out with me to make Sick Fuck jealous. Now, Tony'll be able to appease Sick Fuck by becoming his full-time butt boy. I bet Tony will even lick Sick Fuck clean after he takes a dump to conserve toilet paper.
Dr. Balis: A month ago, you expressed sympathy and concern for Tony. You even forgave him for withholding his HIV status from you. Now, it sounds like you want to cut off contact with him without even an explanation.
Ms. Lough: Yeah, so?
Dr. Balis: That's rather harsh, Sharon. What emotional impact do you think this will have on Tony?
Ms. Lough: Whose side are you on?
Dr. Balis: I'm not taking sides...
Ms. Lough: I'm the one that's in a world of shit. I don't need a pushy bottom bi-boy on my ass. He'll find someone else. And if he doesn't, he can rely on your venerated profession for solace.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Don't look so disapproving. I'm drumming up extra business for you guys.
Dr. Balis: Sharon, I can understand your anger, and I can see how this case can diminish your sexual interest. But taking it out on Tony is not right.
Ms. Lough: I can't control it. I'm angry all the time at myself, at the Pigs, at the whole fucking world. The Pigs deserve slow and painful deaths. They should kill themselves and spare their children the horror of having them as parents.
Dr. Balis: Do you know when their case will go to trial?
Ms. Lough: It could be a couple of months. Fielding said these things drag out for a long time. I'm relieved--I don't want to have to think about it for a while.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How are things at home?
Ms. Lough: Rob asked Charlotte to paint the bathroom--he even paid her for doing it! He's given her nearly sixty thousand dollars already as part of their settlement, and now he fucking pays her for desecrating our bathroom. He complains bitterly whenever she comes over. He hates it when she even calls him; it puts him in a foul mood for the rest of the evening. But the bathroom needs painting, according to the High Priestess of Wall Treatments, also known as the raging cunt breed sow. Rob didn't want to do it himself because of his hand.
Dr. Balis: Has Rob seen a doctor about his hand?
Ms. Lough: Yes, Rob went to a hand specialist a few weeks ago. They took an x-ray and couldn't find anything. They said it might be arthritis. Rob got a prescription for muscle relaxants, but it's not doing much good. He keeps dropping things.
Dr. Balis: I see. Does Rob work at a computer terminal?
Ms. Lough: No, he's a proud Luddite. Rob might use a computer at school for administrative stuff, but that's only because he has to. He's still in the stone-age--he uses an old, manual typewriter. It's not carpal tunnel syndrome, if that's what you're thinking. He bitches and whines about his hand more than I ever did with all the broken bones in my body. Men are such babies.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: You should see what Charlotte did to the bathroom, it's beyond hideous. She found this article in the Martha Stewart rag describing how to texture wall surfaces. I don't know what's so objectionable about a plain white wall. Charlotte tried--tried is the operative word here--to create a faux-marble effect, using sponges and this marble pattern from the magazine. It was one of the most revolting things I'd ever seen. It was in this putrid orangy-pink color like rancid Peptol-Bismol. She painted on these wriggly lines--they were supposed to be the veins in the marble--with silver metallic paint. I think what I did was a great improvement, but Rob doesn't share my vision.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Ms. Lough: I thought of it as a Keith Haring tribute with an obscene twist. After Charlotte left, I used some old black paint and drew stick figures of a man fucking a hippopotamus and wavy lines around them to indicate ecstasy and intense thrusting. It was supposed to be of Rob and Charlotte, but I don't think the hippo was fat enough. I wanted to paint a metaphorical image of their marriage, but the only accurate representation would have been of a hippo attacking a man and then sitting on him, taking his wallet and gleefully running up all his credit cards. I wasn't sure how to portray that--the bathroom is so small, and I thought it would be too didactic and lack the primitive minimalism I was going for.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: I felt rejuvenated afterward. The first layer of paint was still wet, so the orange and pink swirls mixed in with the black paint. I thought it looked really cool. My mind was reeling when I was done, but maybe that was just from inhaling paint fumes. I added some graffiti, too, to give it that New York subway look. I was in the midst of scrawling, "Martha Stewart Sucks Big Donkey Dicks For Breakfast," when Rob walked in. He was upset when he saw it.
Dr. Balis: I'm not surprised.
Ms. Lough: He had to use several thick coats of white, high-gloss paint to cover up the black. We ended up with a plain white wall, which was what we originally had. It was all very Zen. I told him he had great potential as a monochromatic minimalist.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Rob complained constantly about how much it hurt to paint with his bad hand. That was actually very satisfying--he didn't do much to help me when I first broke my foot.
Dr. Balis: I find it interesting that you enjoyed the act of painting.
Ms. Lough: Don't worry, I'm not going get artsy-fartsy on you. I've stopped shaving my armpits, though. Maybe that's a bad omen.
Dr. Balis: Sharon, your recent circumstances would be stressful and difficult for anyone. A creative outlet like painting would be an effective way to express your feelings and discharge your negative emotions. I would recommend, however, that you confine your creative expressions to paper.
Ms. Lough: Damn. I was going to follow you home and tag the side of your house.
Dr. Balis: Very funny. Give it a try, okay? Take a blank sheet of paper and paint, write, or draw something the next time you feel a need to express your feelings.
Ms. Lough: Okay.
Dr. Balis: Take care, Sharon. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Lough: Yeah.
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