Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 11/01/96

Saturday, October 26, 1996

Sunday, October 27, 1996

Monday, October 28, 1996

12 pm. Eighth Session with Phylis Birch. Phylis has been sleeping better since the sleeping pills. She looked much better during this session. She was less apologetic about being upset with Jack. She covered up by stating how horrible she was as a person for blaming him, but blaming him she was and she was much more direct about it. She even talked, at one point, about leaving Jack as a possibility, although she quickly backtracked from that during the session. She spoke about the need for a physical sexual release, but not with Jack--she feels there is no sexual tension between them--apparently that evaporated all at once on the day of the rape. Jack felt Phylis' lack of interest, even when she was initiating a sexual encounter, and he backed off. Phylis has been thinking about the young woman who was stuck in a rut that she spoke of earlier. She also disclosed that she used to have an imaginary conservative persona named Thomas who disappeared about the time that she met Jack, her real life conservative persona. Martha, who appeared around the same time as Jack, seems to be the counterbalance to Jack's personality. Phylis thinks of Martha as a risk taker and rule breaker--everything that Jack is not. Creating secondary personas for herself is Phylis' particular coping mechanism.

5:40 pm. Telephone Call from Jeff Wright. Jeff called looking for Sarah. He hasn't talked to her since that day when he walked out after she confronted him with what she knew about his relationship with Robby. He didn't deny a sexual relationship with Robby but did say that Sarah was mistaken in her belief that their entire relationship had been a set-up from the beginning. Jeff wanted me to tell Sarah that he wants to talk to her. I told him that I would, although Sarah missed her session today.

8 pm. Letter from Sarah Wright. I went out for dinner and came back to the office to catch up on some paperwork. A letter from Sarah had been slipped under my door. She apologizes for missing the session this afternoon. It's apparent that her homicidal impulse has subsided somewhat but that her anger has not. She hasn't yet told her parents about Jeff and Robby, which indicates that she is still considering a possibility of some sort of reconciliation, although I wouldn't be surprised if she used this incident as her chance for freedom from a loveless marriage. The stationary, from Robby's dental office, has his logo, which is shaped like a smiling face, marred by vampire teeth and a crude representation of a penis aimed at its mouth. Robby's name has been scratched out.

Tuesday, October 29, 1996

4 pm. Sixteenth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia was in a strange humor today, almost passive which is at odds with her personality. She is trying to let things wash over her rather than attack them with the vigor that was once her custom. She has put the issue of Tom's custody suit squarely in the hands of her lawyer and is taking a fairly detached view of the proceedings--she believes that a judge will immediately throw out Tom's position and that Tom's petition will all be over in a few weeks. From the little I know of the legal system, I think she is probably mistaken. Also Kelly, her lawyer, seems a trifle on the sleazy side--once before she wanted to utilize a spousal abuse rationale to get Tom to move out and apply for a protective order, when Sylvia herself said that she was sure that Tom would never physically harm her. Now Kelly is trying to argue that Tom's motivation is to harm Sylvia and the babies so that he should be prevented from having any contact with them. This is contrary to what Sylvia believes. Tom is arguing that he needs to be physically present around Sylvia until the babies are born to protect them against some unnamed hazard. Sylvia is trying to blame herself for her mother's heart problems but I pointed out the obvious--that Sylvia is not responsible for her mother's heart disease. The prospective fathers are having a field day of speculation at SII trying to guess who is it. Richard has turned into a paranoid stalker, hanging around outside of Sylvia's house in a bizarre parody of some spy movie. Sylvia dealt with Hal by giving him an assignment and urging him to work a lot on it at home. I think it was probably a good idea. Sylvia referred to Hal as a spineless creep. She lied to Matthew about her due date to convince him that he couldn't have been the father. Sylvia is developing strategies to avoid the issues of paternity which she faces daily.

Wednesday, October 30, 1996

For the first time in fourteen weeks, I was not greeted with an anonymous fax when I came to the office this morning. I have come to look forward to receiving the cryptic visual missives and I found myself inordinately concerned with the fate of the faxer. I hope that this is a temporary interruption, because I was just beginning to feel like I was getting a handle on this person's character.

Thursday, October 31, 1996

Friday, November 1, 1996

I went out for Halloween last night--actually Sylvia insisted. She showed up at my office at about 6:30 pm and said that I had to join her and her nephew Robert trick or treating. I tried to resist, but resistance was futile. I threw on a lab coat and a stethoscope and went in a car crowded with adults and kids. Robert was too old to be trick or treating, but a friend of his had two younger brothers who were going and we all tagged along. We went over to Seacliff, a ritzy area of the City and wandered from house to house. As we were walking up one street, all the kids who were coming towards us (and many adults) were bedecked with strands of chemiluminiscent hoops around their necks. I was reminded of the conquistadors looking at natives covered in gold. There was a push towards mecca, to mix historical metaphors. We finally arrived at the source of the booty. Apparently, Robin Williams has a house in that neighborhood. Outside of his beautiful place was a mob of children and adults, probably about 150 in number. There were three men standing at the gate liberally handing out the glowing hoops. Mr. Williams was nowhere in sight--he was working, they said. I can't imagine the difficulty of being a celebrity in so public a place. While I am a great admirer of his talent and his work, I wouldn't switch places with him for anything. He can't go anywhere or do anything without being immediately recognized and sought after. It would be heady for a day or two and then it would rapidly become oppressive. A kind of prison from which there is no escape. (Maybe he was trying to escape his popularity with Popeye.) While being perfectly charming, Rene let me know that she was still interested in me. Frankly, it has been lonely living in a new city, and I was not immune to her charms. But discretion won out again and I went home alone.

4 pm. Eighteenth Session with Anna Green. Anna described a Halloween revel that she went to last night. She went over to Polk Street and went bar hopping with some undisclosed friends. She was dressed as an alien prostitute with two pairs of breasts, one of which was bare. She liked feeling anonymous and thought that she was much more uninhibited than normal--interacting with strangers and even getting involved in a public kissing performance with a leather-clad man acting the role of a policeman arresting the prostitute. She ended up back in an apartment with a number of other people and smoked some marijuana probably laced with PCP. She described having time dilation effects where she felt like she didn't want to move. People in the room were having sex in the corners while she watched. After about an hour, she found herself sexually excited and able to move so she sought release by discretely masturbating against the corner of a table. I tried to suggest that these stories might have more to do with fantasy than reality, but she insisted that they were true and that she could produce photographs if I demanded. Anna actually seemed quite happy and somewhat light hearted during this session. She seems to have made an adjustment away from Bill quite nicely through these sessions. I don't think he is a very big issue in her life anymore.

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