Transcript of 6th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Olivia Stillwell, Tuesday, February 17, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Olivia, sorry I'm a little late finishing up with my last patient. You look like you've improved this week. How are you feeling?
Ms. Stillwell: Better, much better. Thanks for asking. I've been getting headaches, but the doctor said that will subside once my neck is back to 100% working order. Since most of the bruising is gone, I'm back to work. Unfortunately, staying away from work didn't stop the rumor mill. SII is just thick with grapevines. And I'm sure that making a scene in one of the lounges didn't help either.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Ms. Stillwell: Last Wednesday, the cops came to SII to see Steffy and me. They picked up a couple of punks and were holding them for questioning. They wanted us to come down and ID the kids, so we did. The whole way down to the station, I was scared to death. I was so afraid that they'd know it was Steffy and I, and that they would come after us again. I know the chances of that happening are slim, but I was still petrified.
Dr. Balis: That's an understandable fear, Olivia. It takes a lot of courage to try to help the police catch these men. So many crimes remain unsolved--some never even get reported--because the victims are scared. You did the right thing, Olivia.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, once I got there, I calmed down some. Steffy and I did the ID's separately. And, sure enough, we identified the punks that beat the crap out of us. We hung around a bit longer to talk to the cops, to go over our statements, to find out about what happens next. But then another cop came in and called out the other cops. When the first group of cops came back in, they told us that they had to let those little creeps go! I was so furious! I could see the steam shooting out of my ears!
Dr. Balis: Why did they let them go?
Ms. Stillwell: Those punks have diplomatic immunity! Can you freaking believe it? Their parents are diplomats in DC; they are going to school out here and can do whatever the hell they want with no repercussions! Steffy and I just stood there in shock. Then, we saw them walking down the hall together. They were laughing. Laughing! I charged at them, but the cops held me back. I swear I would have torn out their eyes and shoved them in their filthy little mouths! I just wanted to claw their skin off. When we got back to work, Steffy and I were screaming at each other in the lounge. I just started kicking things and throwing things. Steffy punched me in the stomach and told me to chill. Then we both just started sobbing. We just stood there, the room in total disarray, holding each other and crying.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Olivia. You didn't get justice. What do you think makes you the angriest about this whole thing?
Ms. Stillwell: All of it! Every single stinking part of it. I'm angry that it happened, that we were beat up, that people thought we were gay, that the butt-heads didn't have to pay for what they did, that they were laughing. Laughing...
Dr. Balis: The tissues are right there on the table. Olivia, let's work on your anger. First, I think it is important to understand what has hurt you. Although it's fairly obvious, let's discuss it anyway, all right?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, those guys hurt me. They hurt me physically and emotionally. I could have fallen off my bike and been hurt just as much physically. But this is different. I don't feel safe anymore; I'm afraid that someone else is going to prey on me again. I feel like a walking target. And when they laughed, it was like all the air was sucked out of my lungs.
Dr. Balis: What do you think can make you feel well again?
Ms. Stillwell: I need to feel safe. When I thought that they were going to pay for their crime, it helped. But that's not going to happen.
Dr. Balis: They still might be punished, Olivia. Often times, colleges and universities will enforce some kind of punishment for inappropriate behavior, especially when there are legal ramifications involved. And I think that I would get the police to file a report with the State Department. Although these kids can't be prosecuted here in the United States, the State Department may decide to expel them. Maybe you can create a diplomatic incident.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah! Actually, that's a bit comforting. I feel so helpless knowing that they will get away with this and not have to pay for what they did. It seems like they have carte blanche to do this any time they want!
Dr. Balis: I'd like you to talk about what happened--how it has affected you and how it makes you feel. I'd also like you to talk about what you feel you need to get past this. And you don't have to just talk to me about this. Talk to your friends, your father, your co-workers, and talk to Steffy. It would make you feel better to release your feelings this way.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, I don't really like people to know my business.
Dr. Balis: Just think of yourself as a balloon filled with air. Every time you talk about what happened, you will be releasing a bit of your anger, just like releasing air out of the balloon. Talking about it will help take the sting out and help you move closer to overcoming this.
Ms. Stillwell: I understand. I shouldn't keep it all pent up inside me.
Dr. Balis: That's right. It will help you accept what has happened and move forward with your life. Mind you, I'm not advocating becoming obsessed with what happened. Rather, I'd like you to get to the point where you feel comfortable talking about what happened without any undue rage or anger. That will be our goal, okay?
Ms. Stillwell: I can do that. It does help to talk about it. I like talking to Steffy about it, because she understands how I feel. Steffy is still pretty sore. She's back at work, but it will take a while for her ribs to be completely healed. She's still so shook up about the whole thing. She even went to the woman in charge of security at SII to see if it would be okay to bring a dog to work. Steffy wants to get a guard dog, and she said she plans to take it with her everywhere. I told her that wasn't very practical, but she is insisting on taking the dog to work with her. It should be interesting. SII is pretty accommodating with its employees. I even heard that some of the guys get together and watch porn in the conference rooms after work! Anyway, the company is pretty liberal--with its flexible work hours, work at home situations, and all that--but bringing a dog to work? I'm not so sure how well that will fly.
Dr. Balis: It would make for a very unique work environment.
Ms. Stillwell: You know, Doc, I do feel better. I can breathe, and don't feel so weighted down. I'm still really pissed about everything that has happened, but I can think about other things. Oh, this past week, I was down in the accounting department getting info on the advertising budgets for the different projects. We have to know how much money we can spend. And even though the project manager tells us we can have the moon, we know better and double check everything. Well, anyway, I was down there talking to this really nice guy, Jeff, when his boss came in. Wow, you want to talk about a cold, hard, executive woman! She's all business, let me tell you. Jeff said she's a good boss--fair and helpful and all that. I don't know though. If making the big bucks means you have to have this ultra-bitch persona and be so aloof, I don't think it's something that I want for myself.
Dr. Balis: Are you interested in becoming an executive?
Ms. Stillwell: Heck no, Doc! Not yet, anyway. I know I don't want to be a peon at the bottom of the barrel, but I'm not so sure the top of the heap is any better. I must say, though, there's something about that Ms. Lippard that is unique. There was a glimmer in her eye or something. I bet she's a real nice person and just has to be a bitch for work.
Dr. Balis: Some people feel more comfortable in their work environment when the roles of leadership and responsibility are clearly defined.
Ms. Stillwell: I guess.
Dr. Balis: We are out of time, Olivia. But before you leave, I want you to know that I think you're doing wonderfully. We will work together to get past this anger, okay?
Ms. Stillwell: Sounds groovy, Doc! See, I'm even snickering and being my old silly self.
Dr. Balis: Some days will be easier than others, so please keep that in mind. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Stillwell: See you, Doc!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Olivia.
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