Transcript of 7th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Olivia Stillwell, Monday, February 23, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Stillwell: Well, Doc, today we're going to need the couch.
Dr. Balis: Pardon me? And hello, Olivia.
Ms. Stillwell: All hell has broken loose! I never thought I'd do the stereotypical shrink-thing and lay down on a couch, but let me tell you, I just want to sink in and never come back out.
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Stillwell: I took your advice and told my father what happened. You should have seen the fireworks. You'd have thought they raped me and peeled my skin off from the way he acted. He immediately got on the phone with his attorney. Somehow, they got the names of the creeps who did this, and now my father is planning to sue those punks' parents. He blew his top when he found out that the boys are brothers. I think they are a year apart in school. I'm sure the neighbors heard my father bellowing on the phone with Mr. Bergen, our attorney. He was yelling about attempted manslaughter, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and all this stuff. Uh, I can just see us on the Jerry Springer show now. His face was an odd shade of purple, and he just kept storming around the den, pacing back and forth while muttering to himself. He'd stop every once in a while and bang his fist on the desk. It was a terrible scene. The housekeeper kept checking in on us. Later, she told me that she thought he was going to have a heart attack because his face was so red.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, that was last Monday after our session. I finally got home and tried to sleep. I was up almost the whole night. My mind was just racing. Now that my dad is calling all his attack lawyers, I'm scared that these punks will come after Steffy and me again.
Dr. Balis: Don't you think that would only bring more attention to their actions and cause more problems for them?
Ms. Stillwell: Oh, they have a heck of a problem coming their way as it is. My father even called the State Department. He's hounding them to do something about the incident. He said he won't rest until those hoodlums receive justice. He has even threatened to go to the press and make a big scene in the papers about this. I know for a fact that he's spoken with a writer for the Washington Post. Doctor, will you adopt me please? I need a sane father.
Dr. Balis: Now, Olivia...
Ms. Stillwell: I know--work with what you have. He's become such a freak, though. Doctor, look at my nails--they're all bitten down to the quick. My cuticles are all scabbed from picking at them. I can't concentrate at work. We had a staff meeting last Wednesday, and all I did was doodle. Here, take a look. Vinny kept giving me weird looks, so now I have to worry about my job, too. I'm going insane.
Dr. Balis: You do seem to be under a lot of stress.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah. Stressed, uptight, upset, scared, and angry. That's an accurate description, do you agree?
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Stillwell: Very stressed and very scared. I'm so jumpy. I can't sleep at night because I hear things. Every little bump, creak, or moan of the wind has me curled up in a ball, shivering. But what burns me up the most is that my father never once asked me how I am doing. He just went on this Alpha-rampage and became this Neanderthal man protecting his territory. I don't think he's stopped once to think how this all might turn around and bite him--or more likely me!--in the butt. If he makes all of this public knowledge, then the creeps will know my name and will be able to find me. They might hurt me again. I spent the weekend in my townhouse with the doors all double and triple locked, the curtains pulled, and no lights on. When it got dark, I didn't turn on any lights. I don't answer my phone or my door anymore. I have even been sleeping at work at night, so I don't have to go home after dark. My boss thinks I'm totally loony.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like your fear has really taken over. Let's work on that. You are a victim of a random attack.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah.
Dr. Balis: They didn't premeditate their attack on you. That means that you are anonymous to them. Although they might remember what you looked like, they don't know your name.
Ms. Stillwell: Uh huh.
Dr. Balis: Except for seeing you as they left the police station, they have no way of knowing who you are. Doesn't it seem logical that they can't know your name or where you live?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, I guess. But Steffy said that they could have followed us when we left the police station and then followed us home when we left work that day.
Dr. Balis: That would take a considerable amount of determination on their part. What reason would they have? They were in no danger of legal recourse because of their diplomatic immunity. It seems to me that they would have nothing to gain by standing outside your office to watch you.
Ms. Stillwell: I don't know. I just don't feel safe. Are guns legal in California? Do you know what I would need to do to get a gun?
Dr. Balis: A gun, Olivia? There are other alternatives available to you besides firearms.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah. I guess I could get a dog like Steffy did. She tried bringing that monster to work and was escorted out of the building. I'm no authority on dogs, but I think she has a real problem on her hands. She wanted a mean, tough dog, and that's what she has now.
Dr. Balis: What breed did she choose?
Ms. Stillwell: A Rottweiler. His name is Chain Saw. She has no idea what she's doing. I think the dog is dangerous.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, I've done some checking, too. I've been talking to some rescue groups that handle the adoption of abandoned Rottweilers, and it sounds like Steffy has a poorly socialized dog that is going to hurt someone. She got the dog from a guy who kept Chain Saw chained in his backyard. The dog had almost no socialization. It scares me. Steffy's going to wish she'd listened to me when that dog bites someone. But then, she says that's why she got the dog--she wants it to bite anyone who messed with her. I think she's confusing loyalty with lunacy. She does have a good idea though.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, a barking dog is a deterrent to any intruder. It might be worth looking into. It would be better than getting a gun, at least for me it would be.
Dr. Balis: I hope you plan on doing some research before you make any final decisions.
Ms. Stillwell: You know how I plan things out, Doc. I'll be sure to do some research first. I couldn't imagine making any decisions without thinking through all the possible consequences. I just want to feel safe again. I've even considered moving back in with my father.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Stillwell: I wouldn't give up my place, but I've considered just staying with him for a bit. I was staying with Steffy for a while, until she got Chain Saw. He growled at me a few times, and I decided that I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to bone-crushing power.
Dr. Balis: Last week, we talked about letting out some of your anger by talking to other people. How is that going?
Ms. Stillwell: Hmm. One day, I spent about an hour in Caren's cube talking about it. I don't think she'd gossip about me, so I felt safe telling her. She told me that people think Steffy and I are lovers. I just snorted at that--as if. Oh, I also called a couple of college friends and ran up a healthy long distance bill. It was good to catch up with them, even if it was to tell them about the horrors of my life.
Dr. Balis: Do you think talking about your attack has helped?
Ms. Stillwell: A little, I guess. I'm not so much angry as I am scared. Doc, I'm trying so hard to be rational about this and not be paranoid. But sometimes, I get this feeling deep in my gut that I should run screaming and just hide for a few months. I don't like the feeling. Damn, there aren't any tissues left.
Dr. Balis: Olivia, there is no need to throw things. Here is a new box. While I encourage you to express yourself freely here, please try not to be destructive.
Ms. Stillwell: God, I'm so sorry, Doc. I'm acting like a brat. I just want to close my eyes and know that when I open them, all this will be gone.
Dr. Balis: One step at a time; one day at a time, Olivia. You can work through this. I'm going to be here for you and help you. Remember that you can call me anytime you need to talk. If I'm not here, my service can find me. Are you still taking the Melatonin?
Ms. Stillwell: No. Actually, I'm all out and should pick up a new bottle.
Dr. Balis: Just get them downstairs on your way out. I'd like you to start taking them again to help you fall asleep.
Ms. Stillwell: Sure. Thanks. I guess our time is up, huh?
Dr. Balis: Just about. I want you to try to focus on one day at a time, okay? I know you are worrying about a lot of things and that you're scared. Try to stay focused on each day as it comes. I think doing so will help you relieve some of your anxiety.
Ms. Stillwell: I'll try, Doc. I'll see you next week. And again, I'm sorry I threw that tissue box.
Dr. Balis: It's okay; it was light. Have a good week, Olivia.
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