Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 8/30/96

Saturday, August 24, 1996

Sunday, August 25, 1996

Monday, August 26, 1996

I wrote a letter to Barkel at CalaCare, but I barely conceal my growing contempt for these clowns. The indemnity agreement that they asked me to sign was ridiculous. So I state in writing, and somewhat catagorically, that I was unwilling to give them the information they sought, and invited them to wave that statement around in a courtroom if they ever needed that opportunity. It was a grand gesture, but I'm a bit worried, actually. I think it is a foolish idea, but what if there is some sort of exception to the normal rules governing malpractice for CalaCare if they are denied access to the information. Here, they can build a case because I'm clearly refusing to deliver confidential materials. It almost seems like they're trying to set me up to be the patsy.

The answering service said they got a message from someone whom they could barely hear, he was talking so low. But he seemed to be saying that he was canceling his appointment. I have to assume that it was Hal. I can't imagine why he would have been speaking in a whisper to the answering service, unless he was trying to hide the fact of his call from someone else nearby. Could it be that the fact that Hal is undergoing therapy is a secret kept from his wife?

4 pm. Sixth Session with Joseph Mazurka. I got as angry with Joseph during this session as I have ever been with any of my patients. I was really on the verge of losing my cool. Joseph is completely unwilling to accept any real blame or responsibility for his actions, even when they involve beating up his wife so severely as to send her to the hospital. His posture is that he is interested in a reconciliation mostly for financial reasons--it is expensive to finance two households. But he lets slip that he is really lonely without his family, sitting in a bar to pass the evenings. Even his usual enthusiasm for prostitutes is muted. Joseph claims that he had temporary insanity which made him lose control. Of course, he was still taking steroids when the fight occurred, after he had promised me that he would stop. Joe is willing to go through couples counseling if that would help. Since he can't contact Carol, because of the restraining order, he asked me to call her and plead his case. I told him that I wouldn't do anything other than be honest with Carol, which seemed to disappoint him. He's also interested in visiting his kids in an unsupervised outing. At the end of the session, he started to threaten Carol, when I suggested that there was a possibility Carol would press charges. Joseph categorically refused to come more often than once a week, so I made an appointment with him for next Tuesday at 10 am.

6:30 pm. Telephone Call from Anna Green. Anna called me, sobbing uncontrollably. Apparently Tony met another woman in record time and wants to marry her. Tony elaborately ducked Anna's call, finally getting a co-worker to give her the news, with his coaching overheard from the background. While Anna had originally been okay about Tony's role as a one-night stand (especially when it was Anna's idea), since Tony's expressed enthusiasm, she had developed an elaborate fantasy about a relationship with him. That fantasy was dashed suddenly, so Anna is at her most fragile right now. Anna says that she feels like she is being punished and wants to take a shower to wash "it" all off her. I asked her to come in, but Anna hung up the phone. Repeated calls to her message machine were to no avail.

Tuesday, August 27, 1996
1 pm. Fifth Session with Cassandra Evans. Cassandra seems extremely tired. She says that she requires 12 hours of sleep a night, and rarely gets it. She had a fainting spell at work, which concerns me. She has seen Dr. Halsey, who's called me and left a message. I'm waiting on his report. She liked him, which is extremely important given her strong aversion to doctors. She had a fight with Brian over her ability to go out with him. She's proud of asserting herself with him even if it leads to discord in their relationship. A girlfriend is coming to town on an expense account, and Cassandra is looking forward to staying up all night, talking and having a girl's night out. She hasn't internalized her medical condition, because she is still able to think of herself as able to stay up all night. She vaguely requested sleeping pills which I deferred until I had a chance to talk with Dr. Halsey.

4 pm. Eighth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia reports that she had a confrontation with her mother. Her mother, although a very strong woman who was successful in business long before that was common for women, still believes that the man in a relationship should call the shots when it comes to issues that affect the family as a whole. For her, the crisis came when her husband forced her to abandon her successful business in Paris and to emigrate to San Francisco. For Sylvia and Tom's relationship, her mother believes, Tom was trying to act for Sylvia's benefit, saving her from the burdens of childbirth. Sylvia's mother doesn't see Tom's act as cowardly but rather as courageous. Needless to say, Sylvia doesn't see it this way and says that it is as if she and her mother occupy different worlds. Sylvia has not been forthcoming about her recent sexual activity with her parents and, for reasons of his own, Tom hasn't told them either. Sylvia had relations with three men this week, all of whom were new to her and part of her AIDS list. One of them, Victor Woodward, is a futurist who works with Richard. Sylvia fails to see anything wrong with her behavior, even when confronted with the possibility of a sexual harassment charge. She says that the contacts with these men were understood as one-night stands, without further commitment expected from either side. However, she admits that perhaps she needs to give both Richard and Brian more explicit explanation. She's planning on going away for the Labor Day weekend with Victor.

Wednesday, August 28, 1996
Received another anonymous fax this morning. A lone woman in a long dress stands at an open portal looking at lightning in the dark. On the arch above the temple-like opening are some words which might be from the Bible. I can discern the words "Song of songs" and "kiss me." The figure is small and far to the left of the image which is otherwise mostly of the lightning. The lightning could be striking the woman's hand, or she might be the source of the lightning. Her figure seems to me to be serene.

Thursday, August 29, 1996
1:30 pm. Telephone Conversation with Carol Mazurka. Honoring Joseph's request, I called Carol Mazurka at her home. Carol seems unwilling to consider a reconciliation at this time. She believes that it would be better for both her and for the kids if she separates from Joseph. She is glad for the fact that a precipitating event occurred which gave the relationship some clarity. She seemed genuinely afraid of Joseph, although strong. She threatened to kill him if he came around her. She said that she hates him and doesn't want to see him at all, even in court. She said that she might call me back but, as she warned me, I won't hold my breath.

2 pm. Fifth Session with Helen Gregory. Helen complained about multiple threads happening simultaneously and being mixed up together. Helen resists taking things one at a time because she believes that the truth will be lost through the simplification. I confronted Helen about her tendency to talk in riddles. Helen sees the riddles and the complexity as essential to discovering truth, which she claims not to fear, although she does admit to being afraid of everything. However, she says that her fear is an essential element shared by all which apparently doesn't control her search for truth, wherever it may lead. She was upset about something to do with Matthew. Matthew is apparently coming home with his (soon to be?) homosexual lover, Simon. Helen was angry at Calvin for trying to exercise dominion over Matthew--taking him hunting and fishing, for example, or giving him pornographic materials. She sees these acts as an attempt by Calvin to sever her bond with her son. Helen said that she was a second violinist with the San Francisco Symphony, where she met Ruby with whom she's carried on a homosexual relationship for nearly 13 years. She speaks of Ruby in extravagant and loving terms. Now that Helen has exposed an occupation, a date and a location, I should be able to check to see whether Helen was, in fact, a violinist with the San Francisco Symphony in 1983. For this patient, it would be extremely helpful to learn whether her persecutory delusions are of recent or long standing origin. If, in fact, she was a musician, perhaps I can find some of her colleagues willing to tell me about her. Apparently, Calvin knows about her relationship with Ruby, photographing them unawares in the midst of a sexual encounter in the garden of Ruby's residence.

4 pm. Ninth Session of Anna Green. Anna came in saying that she felt emotionally numb. I decided to take more of an active role in this session than is my normal practice. We talked about Tony and elicited that she really wouldn't have suffered emotional pain if Tony had been a one-night stand. It was when Tony raised her expectations and then dashed them that she suffered. Anna again said that she would like to have people respect her in the way that she seems them respect Sylvia Bows. She thinks Sylvia is admirable because she doesn't let people push her around and she is in command. People want to be liked by her. Anna admitted that sometimes she lets people push her around. We talked about a Personal Bill of Rights, with a first article that Anna be free to say no to any sexual encounter that she isn't in favor of. Anna liked the rule, but said that she had already broken it by performing fellatio on David, a programmer at SII, on Tuesday. I suspect she wanted to feel valued by men after her experiences with Bill and Tony. She didn't copulate with David and said that she didn't want to continue her sexual relationship with him. She also told me that she prefers to be addressed by me as Anna.

6 pm. Helen slipped me a doodle during the session. This one shows a giant eye with the superior and inferior tarsus pierced through with threads which hold the eye open--something like that horrendous scene in A Clockwork Orange. In conjunction with the image of the bulging eyeballs that she gave me on the fifteenth, this falls right into her eyeball theme. The watchers must keep watching.

7 pm. I received a letter from Dr. Doug Halsey on his examination of Cassandra Evans. Dr. Halsey believes that she may be suffering from an immunological disorder, although he is not ruling out infectious disease or other possibilities. He is concerned about ordering a multitude of tests because of Cassie's extreme distaste for medical procedures.

Friday, August 30, 1996
1:30 pm. I received a call from Cassie. She says that she has felt quite sick the last few days, and she is hoping that Dr. Halsey can get to the bottom of her ailments. She complained about irregular sleeping patterns. I told her that I wanted to wait until I got the lab report from Dr. Halsey before considering anti-depressants.

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