Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sharon Lough, Friday, November 21, 1997 at 10:00 am.

Ms. Lough: Sorry I'm late.
Dr. Balis: That's all right, Sharon. Please come on in.
Ms. Lough: God, what time is it?
Dr. Balis: You're about fifteen minutes late. How did things work out last night?
Ms. Lough: Well, I called Charlotte--the woman whose cats I used to feed when she and her husband went out of town. I told her what happened. She insisted that I stay with her. She even came with me this morning and helped me get my stuff.
Dr. Balis: You went back to your apartment?
Ms. Lough: Yeah, I called my landlord and told him I would come by early. I called in sick, so don't tell on me, okay? I put Harriet the Ferret in her pet carrier and got some clothes and other stuff. I left a lot of things behind.
Dr. Balis: Did you get a chance to call an attorney?
Ms. Lough: Charlotte recommended an attorney, and I called him this morning. He is not a criminal defense attorney, but he did say that this is a clear cut case of wrongful eviction. I was so upset, it was reassuring to hear someone take my side. He told me that I could press charges, if I wanted to go that way. He also recommended a good lawyer I could contact to help me deal. I haven't called her yet. And I don't know if I'll press charges, either.
Dr. Balis: Why not?
Ms. Lough: It's the child-molestation charge, for one. People will automatically say I'm guilty, even though I didn't do anything. God, it makes me so angry! There's nothing I can do, no way I can get back at them. They're probably laughing at me now.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. What exactly did your landlord accuse you of doing?
Ms. Lough: She--the landlord's wife--was very vague. She said I had "sexually molested" her son. When I asked her what she meant by that, she said that "I touched him inappropriately." She said she had taken him to the doctor, and the doctor confirmed it. I know that has to be a complete fabrication. I never touched him in any sexual sort of way. The past two weeks, I've been working so much that I hardly saw him at all.
Dr. Balis: Did they say they would press charges?
Ms. Lough: No, at least not yet. I was afraid I'd be arrested and held for interrogation. I was afraid to go to the police, I thought they'd assume I was guilty and lock me up forever. God, that sounds so irrational now. But last night, I was so panicked, I was almost hysterical.
Dr. Balis: Did you tell the entire story to the attorney? It sounds as if your landlord might have contrived the whole story just to get you out of your apartment.
Ms. Lough: Yes, I told him as much as I knew. But I feel like I should have done something differently. Maybe I should have called the police and told them the whole story. I didn't get any witnesses to their threat or any written verification from them. My landlord didn't even give me an eviction notice.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: I don't know. Maybe if I just can get it on paper...I can't let them just walk over me. It makes me so angry. They probably think I'm some wimp--some weak, quiet, feeble person who wouldn't fight back. They get to keep my deposit and last month's rent, and I'm broke. I don't have the money to get another place. Plus, I lost a lot of my stuff. I can't stop thinking about it, I was up all night fuming. I wish there was something I could do.
Dr. Balis: What are you thinking about?
Ms. Lough: Building a bomb.
Dr. Balis: Sharon!
Ms. Lough: I would never really do that. But in times like this, I'm glad I don't own firearms. I fucking hate my landlord for doing this to me. That bastard! I hope he rots in hell. You're not going to have me committed, are you?
Dr. Balis: No. What makes you ask that?
Ms. Lough: Well, don't I sound irrational? I better watch what I say.
Dr. Balis: You may always speak freely here. What I'm hearing is you venting anger...rage, towards people who treated you horribly. Your feelings in this case seem justified. The only time a mental health professional can intervene is if there is a real threat of danger.
Ms. Lough: Yeah, I'm harmless. I'm all talk. I feel so stupid. I wish there was something I could do. I called my sister last night to see if maybe I could stay with her, you know? I knew that was a mistake. She told me I was always causing problems, getting into trouble, making my parents worry.
Dr. Balis: This is the first time you've mentioned a sister.
Ms. Lough: We're not very close. She moved to San Francisco a few months ago. Sometimes, we have lunch or do things together, but it's always a strain for me. She's such a bitch, constantly nagging me. She's just a very argumentative person. And she never misses an opportunity to tell me what a loser I am. And I don't need her to tell me that, I already know.
Dr. Balis: And when you told her about your situation, she responded by blaming you?
Ms. Lough: Yeah, she said it was my own bad judgment. When I told her they falsely accused me of molesting their son, she said, "I told you to stay away from those kids." It's always, "I told you so." She's always right. I don't know why I even called her. I felt so lost. I just needed someone to talk to.
Dr. Balis: It might not be a bad idea to keep some distance from your sister, just for the short term. You're going through an enormously difficult time, Sharon. You need people to be supportive of you.
Ms. Lough: I don't have many friends, thanks to my dazzling conversational skills. That's another thing she constantly harps on--my astounding lack of social graces. She just has to rub my face in it every chance she gets: "You're so shy. That was so awkward." I already know all that! She's known me all these years, and she knows how every social encounter is just torture to me.
Dr. Balis: How old is your sister?
Ms. Lough: She's twenty-seven. She's the youngest.
Dr. Balis: And do you have any other siblings?
Ms. Lough: No, it's just the two of us. She's the chosen one.
Dr. Balis: The chosen one? Could you explain what you mean by that?
Ms. Lough: She's the one my parents like. Linda is going to be a success. I'm always going to be a failure.
Dr. Balis: That seems a rather extreme view.
Ms. Lough: Linda is one of those people who know how to play the game. I'm not. I'm so clueless, it's not even funny. But she is a people-person, a charmer, a manipulator, and aggressive about getting what she wants. She's also a cranky bitch and a real pain in the ass. This must be hard for you to listen to.
Dr. Balis: What makes you say that?
Ms. Lough: Well, it's depressing, isn't it? Don't I seem pathetic and hopeless to you?
Dr. Balis: Have you been feeling depressed, Sharon? With all of these recent events, feeling stressed or down is really quite a normal response.
Ms. Lough: I don't know if "depressed" is the right word. Mostly, I've been really angry. I've been fuming inwardly all yesteray and all last night. I can't stop thinking about it. And what makes it ever worse is there's nothing I can do. I'm completely helpless. I just lay there like a worm, while that scumbag landlord walked all over me. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse. You know, when I first came to see you, I thought my life was at it's lowest point since I'd been out of the hospital. I didn't think it could possibly get any worse, and it did.
Dr. Balis: Have you had thoughts about hurting yourself?
Ms. Lough: If I did, I wouldn't tell you--you'll stick me in a padded cell.
Dr. Balis: Sharon...
Ms. Lough: No. No, I haven't felt like doing that. It's mostly about hurting my landlord--revenge fantasies. They're pretty silly, really. I get so worked up, my adrenaline starts going. It's almost a rush.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Lough: Yeah. Listen, can I go now? I'm really tired. I couldn't sleep last night. My head hurts.
Dr. Balis: If that's what you really want, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: Sorry I was late. Isn't that considered bad form to arrive late and leave early?
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Ms. Lough: You should be reprimanding me for being so rude. That's what my sister would do. I can almost hear her voice in my head. You know how some women always have that shrill, piercing, nagging tone?
Dr. Balis: It's all right, Sharon. Look you've got to get in touch with the attorney that the lawyer recommended to you. You'll probably will get all your stuff and your deposit and last month rent. But you've got to act right away, okay?
Ms. Lough: Okay. Thanks.
Dr. Balis: You're welcome. Try and get some rest. And I won't see you next week--it's Thanksgiving weekend. But if you need to get in touch, call my service. They'll know how to get in touch with me.
Ms. Lough: All right. Bye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sharon. Take care. I'll see you in two weeks.
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
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