Monday, July 15, 1996
10 am. Initial session with Hal Mainor. Hal is 36, intelligent and articulate. Hal complains of having trouble concentrating. First he grilled me on doctor/patient privilege and then seemed to be satisfied. He has a wife who is more successful than he is, (she is a lawyer and he writes technical manuals) and two kids, Glen 14 and Lindy 11. He was a budding writer when family responsibilities forced him to "grow up" and get a real job. He talks of the dream slipping away and how he feels like drowning. Sounds like anxiety. I'm sure there was some recent trigger. Recommended 4 weeks therapy and then an evaluation.

Monday, July 22, 1996
10 am. Session with Hal Mainor. Hal came in feeling sorry for himself. He wrote in his journal and decided that his concerns about life passing him by were shallow and that the reasons that he wanted to be a writer were just for image. But in a flash of self knowledge, Hal asked me to talk me out of it--to reassure him that he was really a writer. I reminded Hal of his past work, which he thought was good, and told him that he needed to stifle his inner critic. I suggested that Hal write without editing until he had finished a first draft and that he might try working in a different genre than that occupied by the glories of his past. Hal admitted that his parents weren't supportive and told me about learning the violin and being patronized by his parents. He also told me about not being able to satisfy his parents with an A- grade. Paradoxically, Hal feels his parents were genuinely proud of him when he published his first westerns.

Thursday, July 25, 1996
Hal Mainor's Personnel File shows just what you'd expect. He got a badly needed job as a technical writer, scored well on his technical writing test and got the job. He works hard to repress any sense of style or personality from his work, which seems to be what the job demands. His supervisor describes Hal as having an "ironic" sense of humor. All that I was sent was the hiring section.

Friday, July 26, 1996
Got a message from the service. Hal Mainor cancelled his appointment for Monday, July 29 without explanation. I assume that he'll be here on Monday, August 5, so I wrote him into the appointment book for that day.

Monday, August 5, 1996
Got a message from Hal Mainor on the service. He wasn't sure if we had an appointment this morning, but he wanted to cancel it. No explanation. I should call him and follow up.

Tuesday, August 13, 1996
See notes on Sylvia Bows' Sixth session. Although I'm not sure, Sylvia Bows discussed having a sexual encounter with someone who sounds a lot like Hal Mainor.

Monday, August 19, 1996
10 am. Third Session with Hal Mainor. After skipping several weeks, Hal returned for a session today. He said that he had skipped sessions because he was now able to write and the physical symptoms of drowning that had brought him to me in the first place had diminished. But now he has engaged in a one-time extramarital liaison with Sylvia Bows at SII, who is his direct superior. He is worried about how this is going to affect him at work and especially at whether he is going to be able to hide this from his wife, who apparently doesn't suspect anything. But Hal feels guilty about his infidelity with Sylvia and thinks that his wife will be able to sense this from him.

Monday, August 26, 1996
The answering service said they got a message from someone whom they could barely hear, he was talking so low. But he seemed to be saying that he was canceling his appointment. I have to assume that it was Hal. I can't imagine why he would have been speaking in a whisper to the answering service, unless he was trying to hide the fact of his call from someone else nearby. Could it be that the fact that Hal is undergoing therapy is a secret kept from his wife?

Friday, September 6, 1996
10 am. Telephone Conversation with Hal Mainor. Hal is frantic that his wife has figured out that he had an affair. He has no evidence that she has actually discovered anything, but he is working himself up to an substantial level of anxiety and paranoia. Hal has not told his wife that he is coming into therapy and he is terrified that she might discover this secret. He has requested that I never call or otherwise communicate with him at home and that I be circumspect in dealing with his office. He won't come in to our Monday session, and will let me know when he is ready to return. I am concerned about Hal. His level of anxiety seems disproportionate to any reasonable external stimulus.

Friday, October 4, 1996
12:15 pm. Telephone Conversation with Hal Mainor. Hal called me in a panic over Sylvia. He's noticed that she's pregnant and he's sure that he is the father. More than that, he thinks that Sylvia is punishing him at work because he told her that he couldn't have a relationship with her. Sylvia, if I remember right, thought Hal was sweet but really wasn't interested in him at all. Now all Hal can think about is the paternity suit that he is sure she will file and that will destroy his marriage and his life. I guess the baby could be his, but Sylvia doesn't really care. I told Hal not to invent problems for himself.

Tuesday, October 8, 1996
4 pm. Thirteenth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia discussed Hal in her session.

Tuesday, October 29, 1996
4 pm. Sixteenth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia discussed Hal in her session.

Wednesday, November 13, 1996
11 am. Telephone Conversation with Hal Mainor. I was surprised by a call from Hal today. He has been working at home for the past few weeks and dreaming up a scheme to transform himself into a successful writer. He wants to dump his wife and marry Sylvia Bows. He can be the father of her child and at last be with someone who understands his talent and has the money and contacts he needs to succeed. He has no doubt that Sylvia would jump at the chance to be his bride. How do I explain to Hal that this scheme has nothing to do with reality? If I leave it to Sylvia, I don't think she would be especially kind. Hysterical laughter followed by a swift termination seems the more likely response. I urged Hal not to take any precipitous action although it is not unthinkable for Hal to go off half cocked--or quarter cocked, as the case may be.

Tuesday, November 26, 1996
4 pm. Twentieth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia saw Hal at the office today. Far from being ready to bend to his advances, Sylvia described his touching her hand at one point as creepy and making her shudder. I hope that Hal doesn't do something precipitous with his wife over the hope that Sylvia will come around. He doesn't have a prayer with her.

Wednesday, November 27, 1996
9:30 am. Telephone Conversation with Hal Mainor. Hal called today. Apparently he saw Sylvia go into my building and assumed that she was coming here to see me. Of course she was, but I pointed out to Hal that she could have been coming to any one of a number of offices. I felt bad prevaricating to Hal, but I couldn't let him know whether Sylvia was a patient or not, and I told him so straight out. Hal has decided that he is going to wait until after the holidays to run off with Sylvia (or declare his intentions) out of consideration for his kids. Of course, Sylvia thinks Hal is creepy and I'm afraid that Hal is going to do something precipitous before discovering how Sylvia actually feels about him. I asked Hal to come in for a session to talk about these decisions and he agreed, but refused to make a definite appointment--his wife still doesn't know about these sessions.

Friday, January 24, 1997
4:30 pm. Fourth Session with Hal Mainor. Hal surprised me by showing up unannounced at my office this afternoon, just as I was preparing to go home. He's unhappy because he has run into a hitch in his plan to profess his love for Sylvia and leave his wife and kids. He has no access to Sylvia. Sylvia is at home, on bed rest, and isn't taking telephone calls, e-mail, packages, anything. Her plan of working out of her house has apparently been aborted. Hal tells me that he believes that Sylvia is being aced out of her position at work and that a new guy that has been shifted into the department has been trying to dig up dirt on Sylvia to use in the event that she challenges her termination. Hal is still completely clueless about the state of affairs between himself and Sylvia. He has concocted this fairy tale notion of Sylvia as pining away for him--completely disconnected from any reality. He wanted me to access Sylvia's personal information in the company health records and, when I refused, became somewhat abusive. I tried to bring him back to reality a bit by saying that I'd seen Sylvia and her husband in the hospital together and that they looked like they were reconciling--all true, although not to the full extent obviously--and Hal ignored the information and fixed on the fact that she might be in the hospital. So he took that as another avenue of access to her and rapidly departed.

Tuesday, January 28, 1997
4 pm. Twenty-Seventh Session with Sylvia Bows relating to Hal Mainor. Sylvia said that she saw Hal in the hospital waiting room yesterday. He waited until Tom went to the bathroom and then came, knelt down in front of her, and placed his hands on her belly. Sylvia was appalled. Tom came back in and Hal did a little backtracking, although he told Tom that he and Sylvia were "very close." Sylvia said that she wanted to kick him and described his behavior as reminiscent of a weasel. She really is developing a sharp distaste for Hal. When I asked if Tom was suspicious of Hal, Sylvia said that she thinks that Tom believes that she had one lover and that was Richard. But Sylvia and Tom have clearly not discussed this at any length. Sylvia said that she hasn't been getting any e-mail from Hal or Richard for that matter, which makes me a bit suspicious of Tom. He might be keeping Sylvia isolated. I can imagine he could justify it by saying that he is trying to reduce Sylvia's stress, but I also imagine that it plays well into his agenda. When Sylvia said that she should try to contact Richard, I discouraged her and suggested that she wait until after the babies were born. Sylvia seems to be in the dark about her situation at work--she thinks that Lloyd has been doing his best to relieve the pressure of work for her benefit, although from what Hal told me, he might have more sinister motivations.

Wednesday, February 26, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-First Session with Sylvia Bows relating to Hal Mainor. At 30 and 32 weeks gestational age, the twins are doing fine. Sylvia went to a prenatal check-up yesterday and there was Hal, lurking around the hospital. Hal pretended tha the didn't see Sylvia so Sylvia pretended she didn't see him. But when she left, Hal tailed her car across town to her house. Apparently Hal wanted to find out where she lived. So today, Hal comes back with a big ladder strapped to the roof of his car. He puts it up against the side of Sylvia's house and, balancing a boom box and a basket of flowers, tries to play a balcony scene with Sylvia. Sylvia called for Tom, who was home, and Tom's entrance completely flustered Hal, who tried to rapidly descend the ladder. But he lost his grip and fell to the bushes below. Sylvia was laughing until she discovered that Hal had really injured himself. So, much against Hal's will, Tom took Hal to the emergency room where is he is now. I ended the session early with Sylvia because I wanted to go see Hal while he was still at the hospital.

5:15 pm. Conversation with Hal Mainor and Tom Bows. I managed to catch Hal still in the emergency room. His leg was in a cast and his face had been bandaged. Judging from the dressing, he suffered a fairly serious laceration just above his left eye. He looked completely dejected and the presence of Tom and myself just seemed to make things worse. He obviously felt like he had made a complete ass out of himself and, to be frank, I did nothing to disabuse him of that notion. He wanted us all to leave him alone in the worst way, but I felt strongly that Hal needed to put this incident into an appropriate context against his life with his wife and children. Hal realizes that he has some serious explaining to do to his wife as to how he came by his injuries and, presumably, as to why he didn't call her when he was at the hospital. Somehow, I don't think he'll tell the truth. I once heard about a guy who had a major scar on his forehead that he had always maintained he got playing football. The truth was actually that he had injured himself on the rim of a toilet bowl while he was throwing up from too much alcohol. Hal is going to find his own football story. I think Hal has awakened from his Sylvia dream, however. He was very upset that she was up in her window laughing at his calamity. He saw himself as a dashing romantic figure and was mortified to find himself seen as a slapstick comedian.

Tuesday, April 8, 1997
4:15 pm. Fifth Session with Hal Mainor. Hal went to the office today and was confronted with dozens of copies of the Sylvia Bows article. Apparently, it has made a big stir within the company, with Xerox copies proliferating everywhere. It's also the subject of general conversation. As far as I know, Sylvia hasn't even seen the article yet. Although the article didn't list him by name, Hal is certain that he has been named in Richard's lawsuit. That lawsuit, which is a public record, is just waiting for his wife to go look it up, or so Hal fears. His name is on a piece of paper as an adulterer and that paper sits in the same building that his wife often works. So Hal is beside himself. He also thinks his wife is having an affair because he's seen certain signs--she's in a good mood, has spent money on underwear, and changes her clothes when she gets home--that he's interpreted as her infidelity. Obviously, it's a projection phenomenon. Hal said something odd. He said that Nils Landor, Sylvia's replacement, had a fistfight with Richard. Hal assumed that Nils was one of Sylvia's lovers whom Richard had named, but I'm pretty sure that Nils and Sylvia never slept together. Actually, Sylvia told me that Nils was the gay lover of Lloyd Majors. So what's he doing in a fistfight with Richard Winters? He certainly had no interest in defending Sylvia's honor. As I recall, Nils led the witch hunt against Sylvia and would like nothing more than for Sylvia to resign her post at SII so that he could claim it as his permanent home.


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