Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 3/07/97

Saturday, March 1, 1997

Sunday, March 2, 1997

Monday, March 3, 1997

9 am. First Session with Jerico Freeman. Jerico, who prefers to be called Jerry, made an appointment without referral and came in this morning. Jerry apparently works in the sewers under San Francisco. He's my first patient not affiliated with SII in any way. I found it sort of refreshing to talk to someone who wasn't shuffling bits for a living. Jerry is 41 and a bit rough around the edges. He gives a basic visual impression of being unkempt. He had shaved, but even though it was nine in the morning, he had the beginnings of five o'clock shadow. Of medium height with a powerful build, and curly black hair, Jerry was dressed in a flannel shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. His manner was furtive. He was constantly glancing at the window, trying to see if someone was there. In fact, Jerry presented symptoms of persecutory delusion. At this point, I don't know enough about Jerry's delusion to classify it as bizarre or non-bizarre. He spoke about a Them--evil apparently, humanoid in appearance, but unable to tell falsehoods. So when he asked and I answered, "One of Whom?" he was satisfied that I wasn't a one of Them. He also describes some non-specific apparently subterranean horror which is massing for an attack of some kind. The suppression of this evil is on the backs of the few (sewer workers?) to deal with. Jerry suffers from intermittent, apparently fibrillary, tremors. Lifting a glass of water to his lips, he spilled virtually the entire contents of the glass, although maintaining the glass in a vertical orientation. Jerry didn't complain of any physical problem, dismissing the tremors as of little consequence. He had no difficulty expressing himself and had normal affect in our conversation. He was concerned about the privacy of our sessions, but in a completely rational fashion. Primarily, he seems interested in enlisting my aid as an ally against the dangers he faces. He is very concerned that others at his workplace will discover he has talked to me, so I must be careful never to call him at work. Apparently, he has a relatively barren social life, although he has a long term relationship with a woman who I assume is a prostitute but whom he calls his "steady hired girlfriend." Finally, in passing, he indicated that he would not be amenable to somatic treatment, because he needed to keep his head clear of the influence of medicines. I presume we'll discover for what he needs to keep his head clear in future sessions.

10:13 am. Telephone Conversation with George Landau. George is sick with nausea again and can't make our session today. Apparently, he is suffering from some unidentified gastrointestinal distress. He wished to just skip this week's session, so we scheduled an appointment for next week.

11 am. Sixth Session with Peter Hossfeld. Against my strong advice, Peter is continuing his experiments with self-triggered epileptic seizures. He described a vision that he had where he engaged in a beautiful weightless dance of light and energy over a surreal landscape with a female entity. Serena, his psychic friend and sexual partner, is physically present when Peter is having these seizures. But Serena is not the woman in the vision. She has told Peter that the reason he is having good experiences is that she is providing him protection from the dangers in the psychic plane. But Peter seems to be beginning to wonder whether Serena is holding him back. Serena is taking on the role of a girlfriend as well as spiritual guide. But Peter doesn't welcome that. Despite Peter's feelings, which he hasn't clearly expressed to her, Serena is quite literally moving in on him, causing Peter some distress. He doesn't want to hurt her feelings and, more importantly, Peter believes that she can hurt him through psychic means. Peter explains that he was drinking with a co-worker who was saying some nasty things about Serena. Suddenly, she was there and angry, having overheard what was said. The co-worker left hurriedly and later it turned out that he had been involved in an automobile accident which caused some lacerations to his face. Peter believes that Serena gave him the "evil eye." So how does he explain to Serena that she was a stepping stone to a higher reality and that he is really not interested in a romantic relationship? Peter left the session disappointed with my unwillingness to believe in the psychic explanations for phenomena that he experiences. But Peter seemed to give me a little more credit when I spoke about human relationships and gave him some advice about dealing with Serena.

Tuesday, March 4, 1997

12 pm. Fourth Session with Eliza Raven. Eliza made peace with Luke last week by agreeing to accompany him once to his church. She says that it was disastrous. She was pointed out publically as a "confirmed Satanist" and was the target of efforts to convert her. Even Luke realizes that it did not go well and he's been apologizing ever since. Eliza's father got engaged to Calypso, a black woman who Eliza believes is just what her father needs. Eliza thinks her mother is jealous of her ex-husband's fiancée and rebelled against her mother's interrogation over Calypso. Actually, Eliza's response seemed disproportionate to the stimulus. When I questioned her, Eliza admitted that she has a lot of unresolved anger towards her mother. We clearly have some work to do there. I started to explore the idea of a somatic treatment with Eliza. She is hesitant but willing. I told her that I would explore the pharmacology of an appropriate medication with her pain management specialist to make sure to avoid a drug interaction with all the pills that he's prescribing. I'm leaning towards a serotonin reuptake inhibitor--perhaps Zoloft.

4 pm. Thirty-Second Session with Sylvia Bows. Ah, poor Sylvia! Richard has decided that he is that father of the twins and has filed a custody suit against Sylvia and Tom. In his lawsuit, Richard provides a chart of Sylvia's lovers. All of this information is apparently news to Tom, who believed that Sylvia had just had an affair with Richard. So Tom blew up, called Sylvia a whore, told her that he was still seeking sole custody, and told her to seek alternative living arrangements after she's given birth. Sylvia is becoming hysterical when, optimally, she should still have several more weeks of pregnancy left. I tried to refocus her priorities back to the twins, but her current distress is obviously justified. I received her permission to talk to Tom and I'm going to try to get him to realize that this isn't something that's worth fighting about anymore.

Wednesday, March 5, 1997

9:00 am. I got an e-mail from the Anonymous Faxer. This one really starts to give some important biographical information about the Faxer's childhood. I need to think carefully about what is said before I respond, especially in light of some of the images that now should be reinterpreted. The Faxer's father was killed in a car accident when the Faxer was 9 years old. The Faxer believes that his father was receiving fellatio from some woman who was in the car with him during the accident. There is a strong correlation between sex and death in many of the Faxer's work, and I suspect that the circumstances of his father's death have much to do with that. I'll send the Faxer an e-mailed response tomorrow.

10:45 am. A couple of memos regarding George Landau arrived. I had requested George's personnel record, especially anything involving illness or his carpal tunnel syndrome. I got only these two relatively recent memos--one from Simon Taylor to his boss Malcolm Spunt, and then the reply. Taylor noticed that George is always sick on the first day of each month and he conjectures that George is trying to avoid a training session on some computer software program which is scheduled at that same time. The pattern that Taylor noticed in his memo of January 6th held on February 3rd and again on March 3rd. Both of those days were the first Monday of the month and on both of those days George cancelled his sessions with me because of illness. George sounded genuinely sick when I spoke with him on March 3. Either he was dissembling or his unconscious has taken over to protect him from the training exercise which he clearly either consciously or unconsciously is trying to avoid. Obviously, this is a significant area which bears further exploration. I was also struck in the letter from Taylor to Spunt with the apparent degree of concern and regard shown to George. This is consistent with my conversation with Taylor on February 21 but is wholly inconsistent with the picture that George has painted of Simon Taylor.

Thursday, March 6, 1997

10:51 am. Telephone Conversation with Christina Herald. Christina called to cancel her appointment citing the press of school work. She was breathless, jittery, and agitated in her speech and affect. I asked her if she had been drinking a lot of coffee and, after first denying it, she admitted that she had. From the background noises I could hear over the phone, apparently she was calling me from the espresso bar. She said that she's been joking with the servers that she should just have an IV drip set up to administer the caffeine more readily. But I'm afraid she might really be suffering from caffeine-induced mania leading to panic disorder. I advised her to drink a lot of water and do some exercise to try to flush the caffeine out of her system as soon as possible. My sense, though, is she might try these measures after she's had just one more cup of espresso for the road.

4 pm. Thirty-Second Session with Anna Green. Anna came in and we were finally able to talk about her night at the S&M club in Michigan. Anna has come to recognize that the girl who was undergoing the whipping was there of her own volition. But that night, Anna described the scene to the police in such a way as to give them cause to raid the house. Anna told the police that she believed the girl to be underaged and drugged, and that there might also be weapons on the premises, even though she admitted that she had seen neither firearms nor narcotics. The police clearly took advantage of the situation and had a ball. They dragged the naked and shivering girl, under a blanket, down to the police station, together with her hooded tormentor and a couple of others. The police delighted in humiliating the club members so that they awoke even Anna's sympathy. I would guess that Martin will be persona non gratis at the club from now on. Subsequently, Anna did some research about S&M and discovered that what she saw was not atypical. Although still incomprehensible to her, Anna no longer feels that she was watching some form of satanic ritual. But she still hasn't sorted out her feelings with respect to the incident and Martin. She still hasn't communicated with him, although he has used up all the tape in her answering machine leaving her messages. Anna's motto has become "repress, repress, repress," but repression is working less well than it did formerly--she is still going through her standard pattern of obsessively replaying the disturbing events over and over in her mind to the detriment of her sleep patterns. This mirrors her original complaint when she first saw me after her breakup with Bill.

Friday, March 7, 1997

11:30 am. Telephone Conversation with Tom Bows. I tracked down Tom at his office and was able to have a conversation with him. The conversation was very intense--he is very angry. I tried to explain Sylvia's point of view, while not making excuses for her. But Tom has an image in his head of Sylvia rutting with a dozen men. That image is eating away at him. My intention was to point out to Tom that they had almost achieved a reconciliation and that he had already forgiven her for having an affair. I wanted Tom to understand that this was one of the most important decisions he was ever going to make, and not to react out of some bruised ego or rage. I recommended that he see a therapist, but I don't think that went over particularly well. I don't know if Tom will take to heart the content of our conversation or not.

4 pm. First Session with Thomas Darden. Thomas came into my office for his first session. He is 25, about six feet tall, fairly thin, with dark hair cut close in an almost military style. He is clean shaven except for a goatee and he wears round wire rim glasses, John Lennon style. He was casually dressed without much regard for fashion. The expression about looking like an unmade bed comes to mind. I guess he'd be handsome if he worked at it. When Tom talks, he uses a great deal of hand gestures. I sensed that if his hands were manacled, it would destroy the fluency of his speech. Tom clearly has a ready sense of humor, using the technique of "kidding on the square." He started by commenting on my arrangement of chairs as if it was a test to see which one he would sit in. He was concerned whether the contents of the session would go back to his boss at SII, but was relatively easy to place at ease. We started talking about his work. He moved from the sales department because of complaints about Dan Martini, and ended up at the Internal Help Desk because he was promised some advanced engineering training. But his boss who made the promise is now gone and has been replaced by someone who doesn't feel the need to honor the commitment. Tom's real complaint, though, has to do with his lack of social life and his fear of social interaction. Tom told me some of his prior history after he left college in Pennsylvania. He was a journalism major, which made it difficult for him to get a job. Finally he got a position writing obituaries, and quietly lived a desperate life, drinking himself to unconsciousness in a nightly ritual and contemplating suicide. He somehow got involved with a high school girl named Sharon who seemed to truly care about him. Soon after meeting Sharon, Tom abandoned his journalism career, getting a new job at a computer company in Pennsylvania. For a while he described himself as content. The relationship with Sharon ended, probably because Sharon had to go off to college. The computer job led to his current position at SII. I don't know if Tom still has an alcohol problem. Clearly, though, Tom does not have much of a social life in San Francisco. His desire is to schedule our sessions late Friday afternoon. Most people prefer to go out Friday night. But I can sympathize. I don't have much of a social life in San Francisco either after 9 months here. I hope this won't be a case of the blind leading the blind.

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