Transcript of 2nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Madeline Trent, Tuesday, August 18, 1998 at 12:00 pm.

Ms. Trent: Happy Thursday, Doctor Balis!
Dr. Balis: Good day to you, too, Madeline. Please, come in.
Ms. Trent: I'm probably one of the few people who actually enjoy Thursdays.
Dr. Balis: Is that so?
Ms. Trent: Most of my coworkers think I'm nuts because I treat Thursday like they all treat Friday. I was able to convince my boss to let me work ten hour days, four days a week. That makes Friday the first day of my weekend.
Dr. Balis: A three-day weekend, how nice.
Ms. Trent: I love it. Friday is Mommy-Daughter day. It's my special day to do housework while lugging Natalie around. I really enjoy bonding with her. There are no worries about expressing milk or wishing I was home with my baby. I usually kick Jesse out of the house on Fridays, so I can be alone with Natalie.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Trent: I think he understands that I need special time with Natalie. He's very affable about running errands for me on Fridays. He usually handles the grocery shopping, dropping off or picking up dry cleaning, car repairs, and things like that.
Dr. Balis: It's good to be able to share the household responsibilities.
Ms. Trent: I try to do the grocery shopping with him, as a family, you know? I've noticed that when I don't go along, we end up with Cookie Crisps for dinner. Sometimes, it makes me want to scream. Other times, I just laugh and grab a bowl.
Dr. Balis: Do you and Jesse laugh a lot together?
Ms. Trent: Well, Jesse was always a bit of a joker. He has a knack for saying the simplest thing and making me fall to the floor laughing. During some of the darker moments in our marriage, there wasn't a lot of laughter, but we seemed to be able to revel in each other's love and that got us through. With the upcoming trial, it's been harder to re-center our focus.
Dr. Balis: Do you have an attorney?
Ms. Trent: Yes. The Rape Crisis Center helped me find an attorney I could afford. Her name is Clarice Atwood. But there's really not much she can do except advise me outside of court. I have to testify, whether I like it or not. They will treat me as a hostile witness.
Dr. Balis: Have you met with the defense?
Ms. Trent: Yes, I met with the attorney, Mr. Shuller, last week. He's slimy. I expected some poor, court-appointed attorney, not Mr. Shuller.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Trent: Mr. Shuller do I put a word, he's scum. He kept giving me the hairy eyeball the whole time I was there. It was most disconcerting.
Dr. Balis: Pardon me? "The hairy eyeball?"
Ms. Trent: You know, he was looking me up and down and undressing me with his eyes. I did not appreciate it. At one point, I told him that if he continued to treat me with such disrespect, he wouldn't see me again until I was called upon to testify. I didn't have to be there talking to him. I only did so on the advice of my attorney. Clarice felt it would be better if I knew in advance what he plans to ask me on the stand.
Dr. Balis: That will help alleviate some of your anxiety.
Ms. Trent: I hope so. When I was a kid, I used to put two pencils inside a rubber band and twist one of the pencils until the rubber band was tightly wound. Then, when I let go of one end, the pencil spun out of control. That's how I feel right now--I'm at the tightly wound point. I've been thinking about taking up kick boxing, but I'm not sure how my husband would react.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Trent: After the rape, he told me that he felt so helpless to defend me. He was out of town when I was raped. I think it really bothered him that he couldn't do anything to avenge my attack. I'm afraid he might see my interest in kick boxing as a reflection of his inadequacy as a protector.
Dr. Balis: Have you discussed this with Jesse?
Ms. Trent: No, not yet. It's a non-issue now anyway. It's a bit uncomfortable to do any kind of aerobic exercise when you're carrying two leaky milk sacks on your chest. It's okay, Doctor Balis, you can laugh. Lord knows, I crack bovine jokes all day.
Dr. Balis: That's an interesting way of looking at it.
Ms. Trent: Doc, as much as I enjoy nursing and being a mother, there are days when I feel like Natalie is never going to let go!
Dr. Balis: Many women express that same conflict. They love the bond nursing provides with their baby, yet, they also feel like their sole purpose is to produce milk.
Ms. Trent: Exactly! Now that I'm back at work, it's so much harder to get up for the nightly feedings. Since she gets bottles during the day, I feel that I have to make an effort to nurse her whenever I can. I've started sleeping without a top on and letting Natalie sleep on my tummy so she can nurse whenever she needs to.
Dr. Balis: What do you do to relax, Madeline?
Ms. Trent: I listen to Mozart and light candles. Scented candles always make me smile. I like Mozart, but I listen to his music mostly for Natalie's benefit--studies have shown that Mozart helps stimulate the brain. Scientists believe that it helps the child's math skills later in life.
Dr. Balis: I'd heard that.
Ms. Trent: And exposing a child to a foreign language as an infant increases their ability to learn languages later in life. I'm determined to do everything I can to increase Natalie's learning capabilities. If something as simple as popping Mozart into the CD player will help her excel later in life, how can I turn my back on her?
Dr. Balis: I agree that it's important for you and your husband to encourage Natalie's development, but you also need to take care of yourselves. You've expressed several times how stressed you are. You need to take time out for yourself as well as for your daughter.
Ms. Trent: My life is so focused on Natalie. Sometimes I forget to do the simple things for myself that make me smile.
Dr. Balis: Such as?
Ms. Trent: Manicures and pedicures are so relaxing. I can't remember the last time I took an hour or two to visit a salon.
Dr. Balis: If you find this to be a good way of relaxing, then you should try to find the time. Remember, a child can sense the stress in a parent and will react accordingly.
Ms. Trent: I hadn't thought of it that way. But I guess that's true.
Dr. Balis: You have an emotional connection to your daughter and it is influenced by your feelings and your sense of happiness and well being.
Ms. Trent: So another way of saying this is that my manicure is good for my daughter's happiness.
Dr. Balis: If it makes you happy and more relaxed, yes.
Ms. Trent: All right then! I'm giving myself an assignment to get my nails done this week. I also thought of getting a small fish tank--nothing too ornate or outrageous. I just think watching fish can be very soothing.
Dr. Balis: That's a good idea. And if you find aroma therapy to be a good relaxation...
Ms. Trent: Yes! The fragrant oils are a great idea! And Jesse's back rubs are exquisite.
Dr. Balis: An oil rub and a massage, that's very good.
Ms. Trent: Just this past week, we spent an evening laying on the sofa listening to Natalie coo. He had me lay on my stomach while he rubbed my back. It was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep. We really felt like a family that night. It was one of those nights that I will tuck away in my memory and always treasure. Thank you for seeing me, Doctor Balis. I'll do my best to try to relax.
Dr. Balis: We still have some time.
Ms. Trent: I know. But I have to get back to work if I'm to take tomorrow off.
Dr. Balis: All right, then. Take care of yourself, Madeline. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Trent: Goodbye, Doctor Balis.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier 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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