Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Madeline Trent, Monday, August 10, 1998 at 11:00 am.

Ms. Trent: Pardon me, is this Doctor Balis' office?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I'm Doctor Balis. Please come in.
Ms. Trent: Hi, I'm Madeline Trent. It's nice to meet you, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Have a seat please, Ms. Trent.
Ms. Trent: Please call me Madeline. Jesse, as I'm sure he's told you, has a penchant for calling me Maddie. I prefer Madeline.
Dr. Balis: Madeline, before we get into the...
Ms. Trent: Jesse has explained to me that you're a bit uncomfortable seeing both Jesse and me. I can understand your apprehension. I'm sure this could be considered a conflict of interests. Please be assured that I have no intention of crossing the line of doctor-patient confidentiality. Jesse may be my husband, but what he says to you is strictly between the two of you. And I know that you will treat my sessions with the same respect and confidence. I'm not here for marital counseling, despite what my husband believes.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Trent: Doctor Balis, I'm sure our discussions will proceed without incident. I just hope that when I say things about my husband you can catalog them as "Madeline's husband," not as "Jesse Trent, the patient."
Dr. Balis: I will do my best, Madeline. So why don't we get started? I want you to tell me why you feel you need my help.
Ms. Trent: I'm totally stressed--completely, totally, incredibly, exhaustibly stressed.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Trent: I'm not even sure where to begin. My husband and I have been married for several years. It was a wonderful, whirlwind romance. We must have fallen in love with each other the moment our eyes met. The envy of all our friends, our romance was the stuff fairy tales are made of. But somewhere along the way, I grew up. My husband didn't.
Dr. Balis: Go on.
Ms. Trent: Now that we are parents and have to be "real" adults, I'm the one carrying the weight of the family. I'm finding the stress, coupled with other external stressors, to be unbearable. I'm testy and snappish.
Dr. Balis: What are the external stress factors?
Ms. Trent: Hmm. Well, maybe if I explain all of this quickly, I won't break down into tears.
Dr. Balis: Do what makes you feel most comfortable, Madeline.
Ms. Trent: I was raped last year. It wasn't a picnic, but then no rape ever is. You may have heard about the rapist, he was in the paper when they caught him a few months ago. He was the property manager for the building where I live. I think that's the part that has bothered me the most since he was captured.
Dr. Balis: Why is that?
Ms. Trent: I was expecting some psychotic maniac with wild, stringy hair, low education...maybe even a junkie. A clean-cut, educated, professional man who could have passed for a minister was not who I imagined as my attacker.
Dr. Balis: You didn't recognize him during the attack?
Ms. Trent: No. Most of what he did to me occurred after I lost consciousness. The doctors in the emergency room said they would be surprised if I were able to get pregnant. Little did they know that my husband had sealed the deal just before the attack. I've never told my husband, but I don't know if our sweet Natalie will ever have a brother or sister.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Trent: Natalie, my daughter, is a miracle. She's truly an angel sent to save my sanity.
Dr. Balis: Children are precious.

Natalie Trent at 3 months

Ms. Trent: Here's her picture. She's thirteen weeks old now, and she's just starting to see the world around her. But the road to having Natalie wasn't easy. I'd rather not talk about that just yet, if you don't mind.
Dr. Balis: We can come back to that later.
Ms. Trent: I need to get a grip on this stress. Work has been crazy. I'm still trying to breast-feed my baby. That, in and of itself, is a difficult task. At first, I would meet Jesse at lunch and feed Natalie. But that was just too difficult, so I've started expressing milk several times during the day. I feel very strongly about nursing Natalie for several more months. Jesse just doesn't seem to understand why it's so important, but then he doesn't get a lot of the reasons why I do the things I do.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Trent: As you can imagine, expressing milk in a cubicle-oriented workplace is somewhat difficult. I feel very self-conscious doing it in the rest room because the pump is electric and noisy. I finally ended up using a small conference room. That's stress number one. On top of that is my desire for a promotion. I've been working very hard to get ahead at SII. I'm hoping that I'll be promoted to a department head in the not too distant future. But that means working a lot of hours and really going the extra mile. Couple that with a newborn...I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from.
Dr. Balis: You're being pulled in quite a few different directions.
Ms. Trent: That's not the half of it. I have to testify at the trial of my rapist. Even though I didn't see his face for more than a blurring second, I have to get up there, in front of all those people, and tell them every detail of what happened to me. I haven't even told Jesse some of the things he did to me. How can I tell a courtroom full of people? And, he's going to be there--that animal will be there to watch me suffer yet again. Thank you, I have some tissues here in my purse.
Dr. Balis: When are you scheduled to testify?
Ms. Trent: September 25th. It's tentative, it depends upon how quickly the prosecution is able to go through their witnesses. I don't want to testify. I feel like I would rather die than testify.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure the prosecution will be sympathetic to your feelings and needs and will do their best to prep you with their questions and with the possible questions of the defense team.
Ms. Trent: No, they won't.
Dr. Balis: Pardon me?
Ms. Trent: The defense was able to subpoena me before the prosecution did.
Dr. Balis: I don't...
Ms. Trent: The defense wants me to testify that I didn't see who my attacker was. They feel it will weaken the prosecution's case. And I think they are also going for the shock value of having the victim testifying for the defense.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. That's most unfortunate.
Ms. Trent: Yes.
Dr. Balis: But keep in mind that you will be a hostile witness and the prosecution will be able to cross-examine you.
Ms. Trent: I'm really afraid that he won't be convicted.
Dr. Balis: Madeline...
Ms. Trent: He has murdered. He could come back for me. Am I being paranoid?
Dr. Balis: No, you're not being paranoid, Madeline. I think that your fears are based on very real circumstances. As a victim of a brutal attack, you are on the defensive and your survival instinct is working overtime. Combined with your newfound maternal status, you are working through your circumstances as best as you can. It's natural to think of all the possibilities and outcomes and to try to prepare yourself. But try to rule out the most unlikely scenarios.
Ms. Trent: That's a small comfort. I know that we're basically out of time. Doctor Balis, although I do feel better after having let all this out, I'd like to come back again next week. Originally, I thought that every other week would suffice, but I think that until I get past the trial, weekly sessions might be better.
Dr. Balis: Would you like to continue on Thursdays at nine in the morning?
Ms. Trent: Yes, that would work well for me. Doctor Balis, thank you for allowing me to see you. As often as I disagree with my husband, I do feel that seeing you will be good for both of us. Even though you're seeing my husband and me as separate patients, I'm reassured to know that the practical application of diagnosis, therapy, and methods will be consistent for both of us.
Dr. Balis: I will do my best, Madeline. It was nice to meet you. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Trent: Thank you. Goodbye.
Arrow, Left, Up & Out Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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

Button to Madeline Trent's Transcripts Transcripts of Madeline Trent's Communications
Button to Jesse Trent's Patient File Jesse Trent's Patient File
Button to Madeline Trent's Patient File Madeline Trent's Patient File

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