Transcript of 6th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Madeline Trent, Tuesday, November 3, 1998 at 12:00 pm.

Ms. Trent: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: It's good to see you, Madeline. Are you all right? You look as though you've been crying.
Ms. Trent: Normally, I'm not a weepy person, but sometimes, I just start crying for no reason. I thought that I was past the rape, I really did. But it's back again. All the fear and distrust...I can't even remember the last time my husband and I made love. It's such a cliché to say: "Give it time" or "These things take time." I don't want to give it time; I want to be better now!
Dr. Balis: Do you need some more tissues?
Ms. Trent: Yes, thank you. Doctor Balis, when will I feel safe again? When will I be able to touch people and let them touch me without jumping? When will all this anger go away?
Dr. Balis: I know you don't want to be told to work on it and give it time, Madeline, but it's the truth. There is no quick fix for your trauma. Every day, it will hurt a little less...
Ms. Trent: It sure doesn't seem that way. I feel like every morning, I wake up a little more angry and hateful. Jesse and I are hardly speaking because all I do is snap at him.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Well, you know that acting out doesn't solve the problem...
Ms. Trent: No, but it makes me feel better.
Dr. Balis: Does it?
Ms. Trent: Yes. I feel the anger instead of letting it sit inside of me and simmer. As I blow up at Jesse, I feel like I let out a little of my fury.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Trent: How do you do that?
Dr. Balis: Pardon?
Ms. Trent: How do you see inside me, Doctor Balis? I tell you that letting out my anger makes me feel better, but you know it's not true. Somehow, you know that I'm just fighting to keep my sanity.
Dr. Balis: Your anger is definitely justified. I'm concerned about the ways you are allowing it to manifest. But I'm glad that you are able to recognize that you're not being fair to Jesse.
Ms. Trent: Yes, poor Jesse. It must be horrid to live with such an irrational bitch like me. But Jesse has plenty of friends, Doctor Balis. He doesn't need you on his side as well.
Dr. Balis: I didn't realize that sides were being drawn.
Ms. Trent: Never mind. I can't believe that I'm baiting you and trying to pick a fight with you, too. I feel like I'm going crazy. And I've been like this at work, too. Sammy is just about the only person who understands me and can deal with me when I'm like this. She and I have been friends for what seems like forever. You know, I was reading an astrology site on the Internet--it's not that I believe all that stuff--and it was saying that Gemini's deal with stress best by talking about it. I know I feel a lot better after our sessions, but I also feel better about my problems when I talk about them. The problem doesn't seem quite so bad after I've told it to a few friends.
Dr. Balis: Sometimes, airing the problems helps to vent the feelings.
Ms. Trent: Sammy is coming out to visit for a week. I'm hoping to be over this darn sinus infection by the time she gets here. I hate being sick. Lately, it's all I can do to get out of bed and go to work. I feel like crap all the time.
Dr. Balis: Have you seen a doctor?
Ms. Trent: Yeah. I'm on some mega-decongestants and some other stuff. I had to quit nursing Natalie. The doctor said it was too much of a pull on my body's resources. I cried when he told me that. I really wanted to try to nurse her until she was at least six months old. I know most working women nowadays try to dry up as soon as they go back to work, but I wanted to give my daughter as much natural sustenance as possible.
Dr. Balis: But if you have an infection and are taking antibiotics, it's probably a good idea not to nurse--it will give your body a chance to recover, and it won't pass chemicals into your daughter's system. But I can understand how hard it must be for you to give up this connection to Natalie.
Ms. Trent: Yeah, I feel as though I've let her down. I'm sure I'm over-dramatizing the whole thing.
Dr. Balis: How are you and Jesse communicating? Do you talk to him about these concerns?
Ms. Trent: Well, that's a change of topic.
Dr. Balis: You don't mention Jesse very often, and when you do, it's usually in a negative connotation.
Ms. Trent: Jesse. Well, Jesse and I are like old roommates but with special niceties tossed in for variety. When Jesse and I met, I fell head over heels in love with him. He was so cavalier, slightly arrogant, and ever so charming. His smile could warm my heart on the coldest day in February. I got pregnant, so we got married. I'm sure we would have married eventually even if I hadn't gotten pregnant. We were so in love. With our love child on the way, we felt like the world was our oyster.
Dr. Balis: You're smiling. Those must have been happy times for you both.
Ms. Trent: Oh yes. Even though our parents were trying to rip us apart, we felt invincible. We were in a terrible car accident and lost our child, but even that didn't damage our bond. I know Jesse remembers how close we were after we lost the baby. We were both devastated. My parents said that we were being punished for sinning--for having sex outside of marriage. Jesse and I just tuned them out as best we could and continued supporting each other. As we healed, I guess we began to slowly move apart.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Trent: Hmm, I think I grew up and he didn't.
Dr. Balis: In what way?
Ms. Trent: I have nothing against Jesse's fascination with his scooter. I think it's a great hobby.
Dr. Balis: But?
Ms. Trent: But I think he treats it like a high school obsession, rather than an adult hobby. He really does obsess about his scooter and his scooter buddies. Sometimes, it's to the point of ignoring his responsibilities. He thinks nothing of being late to work or changing his schedule at the last minute to accommodate his scooter pals. Part of the reason he chose to work at the bookstore was so he could take off whenever he wanted to tool around on his scooter. For a while, I wasn't sure why it bothered me so much. But after I really sat down and thought about it, I realized that he's afraid of responsibility. Working as a book clerk isn't really a glamorous job. Most people would consider it a high school job. Jesse is intelligent and creative; he can do anything he wants. And yet...
Dr. Balis: What he wants is to work at a bookstore?
Ms. Trent: Yes. He wants to work at a bookstore. Working at a bookstore is no big deal. It's the reasons for it that bother me. I hate to sound so petty, but I feel like the more I excel, the higher salaries I get, the less he wants to work. Mr. Mom is cute, but only for so long. Anyway, I seem to have run down a rabbit trail here.
Dr. Balis: That's okay. I think it's productive.
Ms. Trent: Well, to continue the Trent saga, we just kept living day to day. We weren't fighting, but we weren't growing closer to each other either. After a while, I started really hearing my parent's complaints about Jesse. I really heard what they were saying, and some of it started to make sense. I found myself wishing he was more of a take-charge man, that he would deal with the day-to-day facets of running a household--like paying the bills and managing the budget. I wasn't unhappy, mind you, just a little miffed, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Trent: Then, I met Travis. Travis and I worked for the same company but in different departments. He was about thirty years old when I met him. He really impressed me with his command of the English language. He was very articulate and had a large vocabulary. It sounds funny to say that I was impressed with his use of a dictionary and thesaurus, but he exuded intelligence and decorum. Boldness and grace floated around him like a woman's perfume lingers around her. Travis was definitely a take-charge man. He was aggressive, but not obnoxiously so. When he saw what he wanted, he assessed it, weighed the pros and cons, then made it his. It didn't matter if it was a new policy he wanted put in place, or a new car, a lunch, a piece of real estate, or...or a woman.
Dr. Balis: Were you and Travis...
Ms. Trent: I was attracted to him. Very much so. So much that it scared me. And he made no effort to hide his interest in me. He pursued me shamelessly. He was never crass, or obscene, or demanding. He just made sure that I knew that he found me attractive, demure, and, to quote him, "the epitome of femininity." I was flattered, giddy, scared, and tempted all at once.
Dr. Balis: Did he know you were married?
Ms. Trent: Oh yes. I told him many times that I was married and very much in love with my husband. But he said that the way I blushed when he complimented me told him everything he needed to know.
Dr. Balis: Did this cause problems for you at work?
Ms. Trent: No, he was very discrete. I'm sure there were a few whispers, but there was nothing to substantiate anything other than speculation.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Trent: I didn't sleep with him, Doctor Balis. I'll admit that I was tempted, but I couldn't do that to Jesse or to our marriage. Once I realized that I was on a quick road to divorce court, I put out my resume and landed a job at SII. For better or for worse, I was on the fast track out of St. Louis.
Dr. Balis: Does Jesse know about this?
Ms. Trent: Oh God, no! Even though I never cheated on him, he'd be broken hearted and demoralized to know that someone else almost stole me away from him. I couldn't hurt him like that. Jesse loves me so much, but he just doesn't know how to love me. Maybe I'm too fickle or too hard to live with. Jesse and I may not have as much in common now as we did when we first met, but we do value each other and love each other. I know that we can overcome our problems and will end up stronger in the long run. I don't want to be another couple who hits some bumps and just gives up. That's not what marriage is about. Too many people get married and then give it up at the first sign of trouble. I've invested so much in Jesse and in our marriage, and so has he. I won't let go of that.
Dr. Balis: It's good to hear that.
Ms. Trent: I'm glad you understand, Doctor Balis. My parents sure don't. Hmm. It's getting late, Doctor. Why don't we go ahead and end the session now? We can talk more about my parents next week, okay?
Dr. Balis: Will you be here next week?
Ms. Trent: Yes. I'm sorry I've been so lax about making it to my sessions. I've been so scatter brained lately. I always mean to call you and tell you when I can't make it, but I forget or get side tracked. But I'll see you next week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Good. Have a good week, Madeline. Take care of yourself and drink plenty of liquids.
Ms. Trent: Yes, Doctor. Goodbye.
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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