Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Olivia Stillwell, Monday, December 15, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good day, Ms. Stillwell. Please come in.
Ms. Stillwell: Hi there, Doctor. Please, call me Olivia. I'm a rather informal person.
Dr. Balis: I'm pleased to meet you, Olivia. So how may I help you?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, it's really my father that you'll be helping. He's so over-protective. He seems to think there must be some deep-seated emotional trauma for me to deal with.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Stillwell: I haven't been sleeping too well lately, and even though I live on my own, Daddy still worries--Daddy's little girl and all that. But, I have been feeling a bit stressed, I suppose. When Daddy suggested I see you, I just knew you'd be the answer I needed.
Dr. Balis: Answer?
Ms. Stillwell: Yes. I need you to do some psychoanalyzing of someone. A stalker.
Dr. Balis: A stalker. Not you, I hope.
Ms. Stillwell: Yes, me! No. I mean...I'm not the stalker. I'm the stalkee, or whatever you call it. I'm being stalked.
Dr. Balis: Have you contacted...
Ms. Stillwell: The cops? No. They can't do anything until a crime has been committed. I just want to get into this guy's head and figure out how to shake him.
Dr. Balis: Please start at the beginning and explain to me your relationship with this man.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, we began talking a few months ago. Let's was July or August, I believe. Sometime around there. He said he's thirty two, but I've since learned that he's actually forty five. And he's married. We just talked about stuff in general for a while. Then, out the blue, he said that he loves me and wants to marry me! I was totally shocked! We were just friends, you know? And here he is talking about the big "forever." Okay, so I told him that I thought he was a great guy and all, but I was just not interested. I have my whole life in front of me, and I'm just getting started and all. Well, that's when he got a bit creepy.
Dr. Balis: Hmm, please go on.
Ms. Stillwell: For a week or two, it was like he was in denial or something. He didn't believe me, I guess. I wasn't rude or mean or anything, but I must have told him a zillion ways that there was no chance of us being together. Then, he just disappeared. Poof, gone. Not a peep out of him. I started getting worried. Then, I started getting weird messages from him. He...uh, said that he loved me more than life and that he was trying very hard to accept my refusal of his love. He told me that he was very, very sad--depressed, in fact--and that he hadn't slept for three days. He also had hardly eaten anything and sat in his room with the windows closed. And...
Dr. Balis: Take a moment to breathe, Olivia. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing a bit.
Ms. Stillwell: I'm okay now. It's still freaks me out, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Olivia, let's stop here for a moment. If you're really in danger, you need to alert the authorities. Before you protest, I must stress to you that alerting the authorities could possibly save your life. Even if he hasn't committed a crime yet, you can still get a restraining order against him so that if he ever does come near you, he's breaking the law. Do you think he's likely to do something criminal?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, he said he tried to kill himself. He drank a lot of vodka, swallowed a lot of Benadryl, smoked some pot, and then tried to hang himself.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah. Well, he didn't secure the rope or something and fell to the floor and hit his head. Then, he just slept it all off. You know I thought he was a decent guy. He seemed kind of stable. But now...jeez! He's like a freak! He's been trying to make me feel guilty, trying to guilt me into being with him. Forget that! I'm not stupid. But he's scaring me. He', mentioned to some of my friends that he plans to show up at my work and beg me to go away with him. I've been getting a lot of hang-up phone calls lately, too. This is constantly on my mind, and I guess it's been stressing me out a bit. Like I said, I haven't been sleeping too well lately.
Dr. Balis: It can be very frightening when someone tries to intimidate you into loving them. Do you think that his threats of suicide are emotional blackmail or are they serious?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, I hadn't given them that word, but yes. And then threats to show up at my work...sheesh! My dad would freak! I've been working at Stillwell Enterprises for a couple years now, and I'm finally at the point where I've proven to everyone there that I don't have my job because my dad owns the company. Daddy has always considered me his china doll, and the possible repercussion of all of this would send him ballistic!
Dr. Balis: What repercussion?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, the scandal of being involved with a married man, for example, even though I'm not involved with him. And the scare Daddy will get when he finds out I'm being stalked. The gossip at work. Once the initial shock wears off for him, he'll be "disappointed in my judgment" and all that stuff. He really does think I'm incapable of making good decisions.
Dr. Balis: I see. Let's set this matter aside for a moment, Olivia. You've mentioned some anxieties, you said you haven't been sleeping. Tell me a little about that.
Ms. Stillwell: Oh, I'm just really restless. I feel tired. My body gets tired, but my mind isn't sleepy. That sounds kind of weird, but it's the best way I can describe it.
Dr. Balis: Okay. Besides for dealing with your stalker, the first thing you and I will do is try to get you to sleep to get some rest. This will relieve some stress on your body and allow you to relax more, which in turn will allow you to deal better with your stalker problem.
Ms. Stillwell: Well, I could definitely use the rest. I'd appreciate your help with that, yes. But other than that, I just want to figure out how to get this guy out of my life. But as for other possible therapy issues...I know my feelings. I haven't been abused. I'm not psycho. I just want to get this guy to leave me alone.
Dr. Balis: All right. How often during the day do you think about this problem, Olivia?
Ms. Stillwell: Huh? Um...often. A lot. Okay, almost all the time.
Dr. Balis: I see. From what you told me so far, I don't have a real feel for whether this man is dangerous or not. I suggest that you go to the police and get a restraining order against this man. Get that little device that the phone companies have to identify the caller's number--caller i.d. If you suspect that the hang-up calls that you're getting are form him, you could tell the police about them and they will trace the number and try to deal with it. But you have to get the restraining order.
Ms. Stillwell: Restraining order? Won't that get him in trouble?
Dr. Balis: It's not like an arrest record. But remember, he shouldn't be bothering you either.
Ms. Stillwell: I'll think about it, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Good. Next, I would like you to pick up some Melatonin in the pharmacy downstairs on your way out. Melatonin is the agent in warm milk that makes you sleepy. It's not addictive and it might help you sleep.
Ms. Stillwell: I can do that. Oh, my father said he would send you the billing information. Did he?
Dr. Balis: Yes. I'll send the bills to him. This does not mean that I share any information with him, Olivia. He is only going to be paying the bills. I want you to understand that what you and I discuss here will remain strictly between us unless you give specific permission to do otherwise.
Ms. Stillwell: I was pretty sure about the confidentiality stuff, but it's nice to hear you say it.
Dr. Balis: Why don't we go ahead and schedule our next session?
Ms. Stillwell: I would like that. But next week is Christmas, and then there's New Year's Eve...
Dr. Balis: Let's schedule a session on the first Monday of 1998. That's January 5th. Does this time work for you?
Ms. Stillwell: Yes, it's fine. Since my dad insisted on therapy, I'm free to take time off during the week to see you. Four in the afternoon is just fine.
Dr. Balis: Good. In the meantime, if something comes up and you want to talk to me, you can call my number and my answering service will contact me.
Ms. Stillwell: I'm sure I won't need to do that, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: It's just in case. Okay, Olivia. It was very nice to meet you. Have a Merry Christmas. And I'll see in the new year.
Ms. Stillwell: Thank you, Doctor. And Merry Christmas to you too.
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