Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 12/06/96

Saturday, November 30, 1996

Sunday, December 1, 1996

Monday, December 2, 1996

9:10 am. Telephone Conversation with Phylis Birch. Phylis called me to cancel her session for today. Apparently, Jack and Phylis decided on the spur of the moment yesterday to take several weeks off and fly to Mexico. They leave tomorrow. Phylis thinks it will be good for their marriage and I agree. Phylis' major complaint was that things were too predictable in her relationship with Jack. A trip to an unknown foreign land sounds like just the prescription.

2 pm. Ninth Session with Sarah Wright. Sarah had a stressful Thanksgiving at Jeff's family's house, with relatives whom she doesn't like. Robby went to his sister's house. Robby's family doesn't know either about his sexual preference or about his contracting HIV. Jeff's family also doesn't know about Jeff's sexual preference and Sarah has no interest in telling them. She said that they would find a way to blame it on her anyway. Sarah is still willing to continue the charade of her marriage for the benefit of the children, but she says that she is starting to feel like one person again--not like the dual people that she initially described to me--one real and the other a false front for Jeff's benefit. Now things are more on her terms, although she has found out that the man she loves is dying and that her husband is gay. Others might not be able to turn that situation into one of personal growth and fulfillment, but that is exactly what Sarah is doing. Sarah welcomes Robby's interest in Melissa--now that Robby knows that Melissa is his daughter, he is interested in developing some form of relationship with her. Sarah is clear, however, that she doesn't want Melissa to know the true circumstances of her birth until Melissa is much older. She is having some sleep problems, although she reports improvement. Sarah ended the session early because she was tired. Sarah is also finding herself increasingly lonely and sexually frustrated. She gave a hint that something happened along that line, but declined to discuss it, putting it off until next week. She also directed my questions away from her sex life and from Robby at one point--she has definite ideas about what she wants to talk about and what she would rather leave alone.

Tuesday, December 3, 1996

1:30 pm. Conversation with FBI Special Agent John Kline respecting Joseph Mazurka. I was surprised this afternoon with a visit from the FBI. Actually, I have been half expecting it after Joseph's revelations during his last session. Joseph and his cronies stole sensitive computer data and then tried to extort money from the government by selling it back. The government went along and traced the money back to Joseph. Now he is in deep trouble, not only from the FBI but also from his compatriots, who must realize that Joseph is the only link between the money and them. Agent Kline convinced me that it would be in Joseph's best interests for me to reveal what I knew about the whole affair, which wasn't much. I hope they find him in time.

4 pm. Twenty-First Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia described her Thanksgiving dinner with Tom and all her relatives. Everyone was on very good behavior and tried to pretend that nothing was the matter. It sounded like one of those Jane Austin stories where everyone is extremely civil on the outside while passions boil fiercely beneath. But the surprising thing is that Sylvia found herself almost losing herself in the civility of the moment. She remembered Tom and Thanksgivings from her past, and found herself slipping into the old feelings with Tom--the illusion that they were trying to create occassionally became the reality. Sylvia found herself leaning against Tom at the end of the evening as they stood at the door and said their goodbyes. When she realized what she was doing, she recovered with a start. She says that Tom is extremely attentive to her at home, trying to anticipate her needs and wants. Paradoxically, she thinks that Tom might be trying to drive her insane. I think she is having difficulty figuring out Tom's motives, ascribing evil motivations to his every action but not being able to figure out his game plan. That's what's making her anxious. But Tom might genuinely be concerned about Sylvia and the children. I don't know Tom like Sylvia does, but Sylvia has a tendency to paint everything in one color or another--it is either all black or all white. She talked about running away to France to have her children, a plan that makes absolutely no sense at all. I tried to dissuade her from pursuing such a course. All my patients are trying to flee one way or another--Helen, Phylis, Joseph, now Sylvia. I must not take it personally! At least Anna still needs me!

Wednesday, December 4, 1996

Another fax arrived this morning. This one depicts a metal man put into a very old antique tin car. This one isn't as obvious as some of the others. The metal man's legs are very short and his arms are very long. It's almost as if he can switch the gears and turn the wheels and maybe even honk the horn, but he can't reach the gas or break peddles and thus can't really have control over the car. Like many of the previous faxes, it seems to depict a male figure powerless to reach a desired goal. The back wheel appears to have the axle off-center, which would make for a very uncomfortable ride if the car were ever to actually move.

Thursday, December 5, 1996

4 pm. Twenty-Second Session with Anna Green. Anna described the anxiety that she felt when I was gone and said that it mostly dissipated when she saw that I was back. When I questioned her as to why she didn't come and see me as soon as I came back, she told me that she had tracked my movements through my service. She even told me that she was watching the front of the building and saw me come in and that she saw me through my windows. She seems very upset over the prospect of my leaving town during Christmas. I will have to try to prepare her for the next period of separation. Anna was sick over Thanksgiving, which she spent with her parents. She describes her relationship with them as close, but she clearly doesn't share any confidences with them or discuss with them what is really going on in her life. She says that she doesn't want to upset them. Anna was curious as to whether I had told my parents about her. I tried to explain that my parents know that I won't talk about my patients, so they don't press me on that, even when I get calls in their presence. Anna seemed disappointed that I hadn't told my mother about "the girl that I'm treating." Anna spoke about John in a quite perfunctory way. When I called her on it, she said that it was just because she was tired and sick. She then went on to say that she didn't feel any passion towards John and indicated that she doesn't really consider John a candidate for a long term relationship. She said that it feels good to be pursued and then turned the tables on me, asking me whether I liked the feeling of being pursued by her. I tried to ramble about how I'm only interested in what's good for my patient, but the truth is that it makes me feel very good to be pursued by someone as desirable as Anna. Anna described a series of dreams with sexual content regarding me that she has had and said that they made her reach orgasm. I'm afraid she's given me an image that will stick with me for awhile.

Friday, December 6, 1996

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