Transcript of 33rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, February 18, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Hey.
Dr. Balis: Come in. You're looking rather...
Mr. Rozzi: Goofy. Yeah, I know. I can't seem to get this stupid look off my face.
Dr. Balis: Well, that's not exactly what I meant. You do look much happier today than in recent weeks. What's going on with you?
Mr. Rozzi: A lot. So much has happened, it's been a busy week. First of all, my mom had the baby last Sunday. A boy, just like they said. His name is Aaron Justin Jarrod.
Dr. Balis: That's good news, Alex. And how are the baby and your mother doing?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, he's doing great, the little trooper, even though he is almost six weeks early--just like me. But my mom...well, she didn't get through it all that well. She was in the ICU for three days. But right now, they have her in the SCU.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it was real weird. I was right there when it happened. See, she was laying there in her bed after she had the baby. The delivery was pretty rough on her, her blood pressure was way up. And while she was just laying there, I saw her eyes kind of roll up to the back of her head, and then she started jerking and stuff. Well, I didn't know what to do. But I went on auto-pilot or something, because before I knew it, that room was crowded with all these people doing shit to her. And they were pushing me out, but I was going, "No way." So, she had this seizure thing. Toxi something...toxemia, I think. She had very high blood sugar, and she stopped breathing for a couple minutes or something. She had no pulse, and they were doing CPR on her. And then she just kind of came back. They're still keeping her in the special care unit and running all these tests on her.
Dr. Balis: That's awful, Alex. I'm very sorry about your mom. How are you feeling about all this?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I don't know really. A little guilty, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Guilty?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I kind of wished it on her, you know?
Dr. Balis: Alex, regardless of what you wished, you were not responsible for what happened. Complications during pregnancy are still relatively common.
Mr. Rozzi: I know, but I guess I feel weird about it, too. I mean, for a minute, for more like an hour or two, I thought she was going to die on us. It's so not real, you know? Here she has this little tiny baby--and he was born on the anniversary of my grandmother's death even, and he's totally too early, and she goes through hell like she did with me--and I'm worrying that she's going to die. Then I'll be finally alone, you know?
Dr. Balis: Alex, you thought you were watching your mother die. That's a lot of stress...
Mr. Rozzi: But it's all not real. I am like...well, totally stoked about Aaron. And my mom has only been able to see him two times. When they had her in the ICU, they wouldn't bring the baby in to see her, and she was crying and totally freaking about that. But you should have seen Mark after Aaron was born. He came up holding him in his big arms, and Aaron is so totally small, he almost looked fake. Mark was beaming with pride. Later, they let me in, and I got to hold him. I never held a baby before. It was so weird. I thought I was going to break him or something.
Dr. Balis: Babies are tougher than they seem.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, Aaron's pretty tough, that's for sure! But my mom...well, they checked her for epilepsy and put an oxygen mask on her. She was unconscious for seven minutes, and then she had no pulse. It was all a big trauma for her--giving birth, I mean.
Dr. Balis: I can understand that.
Mr. Rozzi: Katherine was real happy to hear about the baby, too. I think she sent a huge basket with flowers and stuff to my mom. I wonder why she doesn't have any kids herself. She'd make a great mom, you know? But I'm still worried about my mom. They just moved her to the special care unit this morning; they're watching her pretty closely. I guess now they can bring Aaron to see her. If they don't soon, she's going to freak on them. And I wouldn't want to be there for that.
Dr. Balis: Well, if they moved her out of the intensive care, we can assume she must be improving.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, yeah. She looks so much better. She's starting to get the color back in her skin. And they need to let her breast-feed Aaron, at least that's what Mark and Rosemarie said. What a trip, you know?
Dr. Balis: Yes, childbirth is quite a miracle.
Mr. Rozzi: I know. Everything is a miracle. Oh, I almost forgot. Cecil came by last week. He wants me to get ready because Benny's trial is coming up. And I totally forgot to tell him that I changed my mind and don't want to testify. I wanted to asked him to tell them--you know, the courts or something--that I don't want to do it anymore. I just want it to go away. I mean, why should I help them anyway? They got enough on him already without my help. It's not like I don't have something better to be doing with my time.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: What? Why are you looking at me like that? What is that look on your face for?
Dr. Balis: Well, I was just thinking about the possibilities. If you refuse to do it voluntarily, it's possible they could subpoena you. Also, what if they don't have enough to put him away without your help?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, shit! You really know how to fuck things up, don't you?
Dr. Balis: I guess I have to be the Devil's advocate sometimes.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I didn't think don't think they would, do you? Would they call me up on a subpoena? They've got to have enough evidence against him without my testimony. They have the tapes. That should be enough, don't you think?
Dr. Balis: I don't know, Alex. I'm not an attorney.
Mr. Rozzi: You had to do it, didn't you? Oh well, I guess you're right. Okay, so let's say they subpoena me and make me do it. I could forget everything and answer: "I don't know," "I can't remember," and stuff like that. It's just that I don't...I mean I can't do this right now. I don't want to face him again. It just brings it all right back in my face and shit, you know?
Dr. Balis: I understand. The letter you read to me was a good start in putting some closure to all this.
Mr. Rozzi: A good start? A good start? You think that it was only a start? I thought it was a good finish to it all. I told Luke, and he was so cool about it and made me feel a lot better about this. I was able to put it in a different perspective. It was like...I'm so ready to get over this, you know?
Dr. Balis: I can understand why you want to move on with your life. But I think testifying is part of it, too. It would give you some control over what happened to you. It will help you achieve closure.
Mr. Rozzi: Gee, thanks! You know, I thought that...I thought...well, I keep telling myself that I'm doing good...better with everything. I'm not staying awake all night long, and I'm not walking all over town like I've been known to do. But still there's something else there, deep inside of me, calling out and making me notice that things aren't all completely right. Luke wants so bad to touch me and I'm like, "Back off dude." He's so confused, but he's trying so hard to be a nice guy about it. I don't know. I wish I could hit my head and forget things--forget about Joe and forget about Benny. I wish that it would all just go away.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps it's unfortunate, Alex, but that's not possible. I think you are doing tremendously good work here. You're making huge strides towards getting better and healing your emotional scars, and I know how difficult it all can be. Not a lot of people have the kind of courage you do.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, you make it sound like I'm some kind of superhero or something. I just want things to be normal, so that I can be a normal person without all this...uh, this baggage and bullshit.
Dr. Balis: But, Alex, you really have accomplished a lot already. Think about it for a minute. You've literally taken the bull by the horns and faced the issues that most affect your life. I want to you recognize that and try not to diminish the progress you've made.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I think I know what you mean. Tony and I have talked about Joe and what he did to me. We talked about Benny and what he did. Tony sort of went through the same thing with Tim, in a way. He said that eventually he began to enjoy the kinky stuff that made him sick in the beginning. So we both kind of understood that part, and it wasn't embarrassing to admit that to him--that I think I liked it sometimes when Joe...uh, when Joe and I, uh...well, you know. But he is like my best friend, and he seems to understand.
Dr. Balis: And there is another accomplishment. You brought Tony in on this aspect of your life. You have his support. I'd like you to start keeping track of these accomplishment, Alex. How about a journal? I think it will be helpful to have a record of your thoughts and feelings. It would be useful to have something to look back on, to have a way to measure what you have accomplished.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't have to show it you, do I?
Dr. Balis: Only if you want to. It's mostly for you. It would be for your own reference so you can go back and take stock of where you've been and how far you've come.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I guess I can do that. I sort of already write stuff down. Sometimes, I mean, not everyday. I doodle a lot. I started to work on some paintings again, too. I even brought some more stuff over to Jake at the gallery to see what he thinks. I brought over all of the panels that go with the series I showed you a few months ago. So that's another accomplishment, my artwork. Maybe I can sell some more of them. I guess I'm not a lost cause after all. I'm not hopeless.
Dr. Balis: There you go! Try to remember these things when you feel like it is hopeless. Good work, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: We're out of time, I know.
Dr. Balis: Almost.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I guess I better tell you about one more thing real quick then.
Dr. Balis: What is it?
Mr. Rozzi: You may get a call from Marty, my social worker.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, see, I sort of...well, I kind of like...I cut school for a couple days.
Dr. Balis: You did? Why did you do that?
Mr. Rozzi: I did it for about...uh, I don't know, maybe three to eight days.
Dr. Balis: How many days was it?
Mr. Rozzi: Eight. I think they want to expel me or something. But Marty came over to my mom's house on Friday--he doesn't know I live at Ralph's--and told my mom. And you know the funniest thing was that the school never even called or anything like that. Well, they called, but not my house. They called social services, and then someone found Marty and called him. But I went back to school, and they told me to go home.
Dr. Balis: Oh, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Well? What can I say? I just couldn't go to school, my head wasn't there, you know?
Dr. Balis: I know, but I wish you would have told me about this.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I'm telling you now!
Dr. Balis: Okay, Alex. I'll try to run interference for you this time. But I don't want you to make a habit out of this. If you need to be out of school, please call me so we can talk about it, okay?
Mr. Rozzi: Okay. Fair enough, dude. Thanks.
Dr. Balis: Okay, then. See you next week, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Later.
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