Transcript of 17th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Eliza Raven, Tuesday, July 22, 1997 at 12:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good morning, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: Good morning!
Dr. Balis: You seem to be in a good mood.
Ms. Raven: I am. I quit working for SII today.
Dr. Balis: That's quite a change...
Ms. Raven: Working there was only helping promote my state of miserableness. I couldn't take it anymore--it's so banal there. I'm going to work for a metaphysics bookstore.
Dr. Balis: I see. Are congratulations in order?
Ms. Raven: They are. I know it's a big change, and that it's going to be hard, but it's for the better. Ben's picking up the insurance to cover me. I have no clue why he's so nice to me, though. I think it's still the same old story, "I have no kids of my own, so I'm going to spoil my wife's kids."
Dr. Balis: Hmm. When do you start the new job?
Ms. Raven: The First of August. This new job is the only thing that has held my attention for more than five minutes. It seems like lately I'll get all worked up and jazzed about something only to "Uh, who cares?" just a few minutes later.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Do you feel like this is due to your inability to concentrate, or is it just general disinterest?
Ms. Raven: A little bit of both, really. Like I said, something holds my interest for about five minutes, and then suddenly I don't care. I mean, damn it, I want to care. But I just can't. I almost didn't get another job to replace SII. My family is doing everything for me now. I feel like I may as well be in a nursing home with someone else feeding me and changing my diapers.
Dr. Balis: Surely it's not that bad?
Ms. Raven: It is that bad! And stop calling me Shirley. I'm sorry--a weak attempt at humor.
Dr. Balis: It's okay. How do you feel about your family taking care of you?
Ms. Raven: Like they don't have the faith in me to take care of myself. It feels like an insult. Does that make sense?
Dr. Balis: Yes, Eliza, it does make sense.
Ms. Raven: It doesn't help that I feel sad all the time. But at least the sadness doesn't hurt so much right now.
Dr. Balis: Why do you feel sad?
Ms. Raven: I feel like I've let them down. Just this overwhelming sense of guilt, and depression, and resentment, and just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Dr. Balis: That's something that we can work on.
Ms. Raven: I know. Do we have to work on it right now? It just makes me sad.
Dr. Balis: We don't have to work on it right at this moment, if you don't want to.
Ms. Raven: Not right now.
Dr. Balis: Tell me, Eliza, has your weight changed at all recently?
Ms. Raven: Yeah, I'm losing it. I can eat just about anything I want, and then blahh--it's out of my system.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. You do look like you've lost some weight.
Ms. Raven: It's a good thing. After the accident, I put on pounds like you wouldn't believe. It was awful. I just blimped out. So now, I'm glad I'm losing it. I've always been kind of on the skinny side...or just the regular side. Not the chubby side like I've been lately.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Raven: Yeah, I like how I'm looking now, actually.
Dr. Balis: Good. How have you been sleeping?
Ms. Raven: Poorly. And it's been that way since the accident--what with the nightmares and all.
Dr. Balis: How often do you have nightmares?
Ms. Raven: Well, the major one that I told you about?
Dr. Balis: For example.
Ms. Raven: That one has escalated to once every week. I have others that pop up every now and then, too.
Dr. Balis: On average, about how much sleep do you get a night?
Ms. Raven: At any one consecutive time?
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Raven: Maybe five hours, tops. The rest of the time I spend tossing and turning trying to get back to sleep.
Dr. Balis: But you can lay down and fall asleep right away, can't you?
Ms. Raven: No, I can't. I toss and turn and try to fall asleep. And then I wake back up in the middle of the night with a nightmare or what have you. I just can't take feeling this way anymore!
Dr. Balis: It's okay, Eliza. Many people experience exactly what you're going through. We're all here to help you.
Ms. Raven: You don't understand! You can't understand! You're not me! It's like I'm being punished for something and I don't know I've done. And it's not fair! Why can't I be happy like everybody else?
Dr. Balis: Here are the tissues, Eliza. And you're right--I'm not you. But I am here to help you, okay?
Ms. Raven: Okay.
Dr. Balis: So how is the reading coming along?
Ms. Raven: Slowly but surely. I'm doing the exercises. And I've started keeping a journal again, but I don't want to start showing it to you just yet. Okay?
Dr. Balis: That's okay, Eliza. It's really just to help you clarify your thoughts and feelings.
Ms. Raven: I know. I'm trying, Doctor Balis. I'm trying so hard to get well. But it's so tough. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of the cliff, knowing that at any moment I can plummet again and trying desperately to prevent that from happening. I don't want to die. I'm scared.
Dr. Balis: It's going to be okay, Eliza. I can't promise that everything will be easy, but you seem to be making the effort to get well. And I'm really proud of you.
Ms. Raven: Thank you.
Dr. Balis: Have you been taking your medication?
Ms. Raven: If my family kept an even closer eye on me, I wouldn't be able to use the toilet alone. Yes, I'm taking it. And my family is making sure of it. Mom has even marked it on the calendar. She bought me a date book and wrote on every day what time I'm supposed to take each medication. It's to the point of ridiculous.
Dr. Balis: They're just worried about you.
Ms. Raven: I know they are, but I'm not going to be a baby forever. I've got better things to do. I want to go back to school and get a degree. I don't know what kind of degree, but that's not important right now. I want to live on my own. I just want to be an adult for once, instead of my parents' daughter. And I want a fulfilling relationship with doesn't even necessarily have to be Peter, but I would like that.
Dr. Balis: Well, it's good that you have some vision of where you want to go.
Ms. Raven: I just hope that hopelessness and despair don't take over.
Dr. Balis: If you keep working as hard as you have been, I think you can realize your visions.
Ms. Raven: I can only hope that things will get better.
Dr. Balis: That's a very good attitude, Eliza.
Ms. Raven: Thank you, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: It looks like we're out of time.
Ms. Raven: No way!
Dr. Balis: Time flies...
Ms. Raven: When you're having fun, I know. Doctor Balis, do you mind if we move my sessions to Thursdays?
Dr. Balis: Just for next week or do you want move your sessions to Thursday permanently?
Ms. Raven: Permanently, please? Is it okay?
Dr. Balis: Sure, we can do that. Let's see...I'm not seeing anyone at 10 am, how would that be?
Ms. Raven: That would be okay.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week, then. Not this coming Thursday, but the one after that, okay?
Ms. Raven: Thank you, Doctor Balis. Have a good day.
Dr. Balis: You're welcome, and I'd like you to have a good day, too.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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

Button to Eliza Raven's Transcripts Transcripts of Eliza Raven's Communications
Button to Eliza Raven's Patient File Eliza Raven's Patient File

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