Transcript of 4th Session between Charles Balis, M.D., and Mr. Jerico Freeman, Monday, April 14, 1997 at 9 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello Jerry. Please come in.
Mr. Freeman: Hi Doc. Almost couldn't make it again today.
Dr. Balis: Another emergency? Or is there some other problem?
Mr. Freeman: Emergency? No, I'm just not feeling good and thought about staying home in bed.
Dr. Balis: How has your health been the last couple of weeks? Let's see, I haven't seen you since last month--about three weeks ago.
Mr. Freeman: Can't complain too much, Doc. Been getting lots of rest. Took a few days off work. You know, mental health days and all that.
Dr. Balis: Have things been particularly stressful at work recently?
Mr. Freeman: Yeah, you could say that, Doc. The bastards have been trying to run me into the ground lately. I can only take it for so long. I've got plenty of sick leave coming to me, but the sons-of-bitches act like it's their own leave I'm using. Man, I don't think I can stand that place much longer.
Dr. Balis: Is there something particular about work that's adding to your stress?
Mr. Freeman: Lots of things.
Dr. Balis: For instance?
Mr. Freeman: I'll give you a for instance. Last week, I was supposed to work the day shift with my regular crew. So I worked it; put in a good nine hour day, in fact. When I'm getting ready to leave, the foreman comes over and says, "Hey, Jerry. Two men called in sick tonight and we've got that pipeline problem over in the Sunset. We really need you to put in some extra time and help out over there. Is that going to be a problem?" Well, Doc, the way he said it made it clear that I wasn't supposed to have a problem, you know? Hell, I was going to do something special with Diane that night and I told him, "Yeah. It's a problem. Can't do it." So then I get this big goddamn lecture about how I need to be more dedicated to the city and the job. I couldn't believe it.
Dr. Balis: So what did you do?
Mr. Freeman: I left. Told him it wasn't my problem and I'd already done nine hours. Told him to find some other patsy to play his mind games with.
Dr. Balis: Does this sort of thing happen very often at your work, Jerry?
Mr. Freeman: Well, it's been happening a hell of lot more recently than it used to. And I'm getting pretty fucking tired of them always coming crying to me to help bail them out when there're big problems.
Dr. Balis: Have you ever considered it as a sort of compliment? That they recognize your work abilities and are asking you to help out because you're good at what you do?
Mr. Freeman: No. I can recognize bullshit when I hear it, Doc. They're just trying to get more work out of me and a few others. The damn city won't pay for more workers, so we're spread pretty thin as it is. I say if the city has big problems, then they damn well can hire some more workers. It's like I've said before, the fat cats at city hall don't really give a damn about us. As long as the pipes stay clear and the shit keeps flowing, they're happy.
Dr. Balis: Yes, you've said that before. You seem to have a fairly negative outlook on your bosses, Jerry. Is it just this particular foreman or have you always had problems with those in higher authority?
Mr. Freeman: Nah. All the pricks in authority are scumbags. This guy isn't any worse than any other boss I've had, but he can be a real asshole at times.
Dr. Balis: Have you always had a low opinion of those in authority, Jerry?
Mr. Freeman: Is this where you really start to play Doctor, Doc?
Dr. Balis: Jerry, I'm here to help you smooth out some of your problems. One of the best ways to find out what those problems really are is to discuss anything and everything that relates to your home life, work and past. It's a standard technique psychiatrists use--almost like free association--and it works sometimes to get at the root of problems. But it's also my job to try and focus on those areas in your life that may be the cause of any obvious distress affecting your daily well-being.
Mr. Freeman: Sorry, Doc. Didn't mean to get you riled up.
Dr. Balis: I'm not riled up, Jerry, but you must understand that I'm not your enemy. I'm here as a friend. You can count on that. But I can only help you if you're willing to help yourself. If we don't have trust here, we're wasting each other's time. And that trust has to be a two-way street.
Mr. Freeman: Okay, Doc. Chill out. I get the message. Hell, I've never been good at talking about myself and you ask some damn good questions. All right, authority. My whole life I've never liked those people who try to put themselves above you, you know? Like you're some toad that they can just throw around and squash flat whenever they don't need you.
Dr. Balis: I hope you don't see me in that same light.
Mr. Freeman: What? Oh hell no, Doc. I mean people like teachers and bosses.
Dr. Balis: How about parents, Jerry? Any problems with them?
Mr. Freeman: Parents? Why'd you ask about my parents?
Dr. Balis: Well, often problems with authority can be traced back to problems with authority figures in early childhood--parents. You seem to be reluctant to have me ask questions about certain things. I think we need to explore these areas, but if you don't want to talk about your parents, you can just say so.
Mr. Freeman: Well, what do you want to know about them?
Dr. Balis: Anything you'd care to share with me. Were they lenient? Harsh? Strict? Loving?
Mr. Freeman: Lenient, ha! Loving? My mother was in her own way, I suppose. But my father, now there was a real bastard if I ever saw one. Do you know that son of a bitch used to whip me with a goddamn cane until I was old enough to...
Dr. Balis: You stopped.
Mr. Freeman: Ah shit, Doc. I've never talked about my parents to anyone. No one ever knew the things my father did to me before he died. I try not to think about him too much. The old bastard is dead and buried and that's the best thing he ever did for me.
Dr. Balis: Why did he beat you, Jerry? When did he stop?
Mr. Freeman: He didn't need a reason. He'd come home all pissed off for some goddamn reason or another and start in on my mother. Usually I'd get in his way just to keep him from getting on her. Hell, he didn't like the dinner she'd fixed or he didn't like the dress she was wearing or her hair wasn't combed just right--man, he really didn't need a reason like I said. Hell, we couldn't ever please the old fucker and I gave up trying.
Dr. Balis: Did your father beat your mother too, Jerry?
Mr. Freeman: When I was younger, I think he did. But he'd do it when I wasn't around or couldn't see him doing it. But I'd see her with a black eye or bruises on her arm. Once, I remember now, she couldn't sit down very well for about two days. I don't know what the prick did to her that time.
Dr. Balis: You said when you were younger. What happened as you grew older?
Mr. Freeman: I got fed up with him. When I was about sixteen, I was damn near as big as I am now. He used to have this limp--he got it in the prison he worked at I think--and he always used this bamboo cane with a dragon's head on the top of it. Man, I hated that thing. He came home one night and started screaming at my mother for no good reason at all. She never back-talked him but this one time, I remember, she said something to him that really pissed him off. Don't even remember what she said, just that she made some comment. He hit her across the back with that damn dragon's head, and when she fell to the floor, I came up behind the fucker and grabbed the cane when he swung it around to hit her again. I can still see the surprise on his face.
Dr. Balis: And what did you do with the cane, Jerry?
Mr. Freeman: Well, that's the funny part, Doc. He took a step toward me and I told him flat out that if he touched me, I'd kill him. And if he ever touched my mother again, I'd kill him. He didn't believe me. He screamed that I was a stupid ass son of a bitch and I'd better give him the cane or he'd whip me like never before. I was scared and I remember backing up a couple of steps. He limped toward me and reached out to get the cane and I was just getting ready to hit him with every bit of strength I had. Man, I was going to lay that dragon's head across his face as hard as I could.
Dr. Balis: It's okay, Jerry. Would you like to take a break? Get some water?
Mr. Freeman: No. I can't believe I'm telling you this. No one but the police ever really knew what happened.
Dr. Balis: And what was that, Jerry?
Mr. Freeman: Well, all this happened in the kitchen. When he came after me, my mother had dragged herself up by holding onto the counter by the sink. Since he had his back turned to her, he never saw her coming. She'd been tenderizing the steak or whatever the hell meat we were having for dinner and grabbed a hold of that hammer-like thing she used to pound the meat. She swung it with all her might and I'll never forget the sound that made. She must have buried the damn thing three inches into the back of his skull. His eyes rolled up in his head and he just fell forward toward me like a falling tree. I jumped back out of the way and looked at my mother and loved her more that minute than I had my whole life. I swung that cane as hard as I could and hit that bastard in the same spot my mother had hit him with the hammer. The fucker was dead, there was no doubt about that.
Dr. Balis: Well, that's quite a story, Jerry. How did your friends and relatives react when they found out what happened?
Mr. Freeman: I didn't have many friends. But my mother's sister was happy as hell. She never could stand the old bastard anyway. No one really knew, like I said, but the police. After my mother and I told our story, it was written off as self-defense--hers, not mine--and it was almost like the prick never existed. He was one sadistic piece of shit, I can tell you that.
Dr. Balis: And where's your mother today?
Mr. Freeman: She's..ah, well. She's not doing too well. She stays at her sister's house. She doesn't get around too good anymore and, ever since she killed the old man, she's been kind of slow. It's almost like she's in a dream most of the time but she's comfortable.
Dr. Balis: That's an extremely tragic story, Jerry. I can see where your difficulties with authority figures might stem from your past history with your father. I'd like to pursue this line of discussion in our next session if that would be all right with you. I'd also like to hear more about your father and his prison work.
Mr. Freeman: Yeah, I guess so, Doc. I can't believe the hour is up already. It's unbelievable to me that I just told you all this stuff about my old man that I haven't thought about or told anyone about since it happened.
Dr. Balis: You did very well today, Jerry. I'm very pleased with our progress. One question, though. Have you had any progress with your sexual problem?
Mr. Freeman: Couldn't be better, Doc. Me and Diane been going at it like rabbits. She's special, Doc. Really special.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad the medication is working, Jerry. I'd like to meet Diane someday, Jerry. She sounds like she's straightened out her life pretty well considering her past.
Mr. Freeman: Her past? What do you...oh, right. Well, I've got to run, Doc.
Dr. Balis: All right, Jerry. Let's see, we're on a staggered weekly schedule. How's Friday, April 25th at 9 am sound?
Mr. Freeman: That'll be great, Doc. See you then.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Jerry.
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Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Jerico Freeman's Transcripts Transcripts of Jerico Freeman's Communications
Button to Jerico Freeman's Patient File Jerico Freeman's Patient File

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