Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Anna Green, July 15, 1996 at 1 pm

Ms. Green: Hello Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello Ms. Green. Please sit down.
Ms. Green: Thank you. Shall I just begin?
Dr. Balis: Please do.
Ms. Green: My friend told me I should go see someone. She has been seeing this woman for about 6 month herself and she thinks it really helped. I kept saying that this is not for me. I'm shy, you know. But she kept saying that it is not scary and I will like it and that it couldn't get worse if I see someone.
Dr. Balis: What couldn't get any worse?
Ms. Green: Oh, I did not tell you yet! Sorry. It is all so... so...I don't know...Strange! I mean being in your office and stuff. It seems more awkward than seeing a gynecologist. There you just lie down and...well, its pretty clear what's expected. Oh, sorry! I always blabber on when I am nervous. By the way, it shows that you just started.
Dr. Balis: I beg your pardon, started what?
Ms. Green: Your office, I mean. You don't even have a plant yet. I am very good with plants, you know. A couple of orchids and maybe a crawler or two. It would really tell your patients you care. My gynecologist uses pillows and a heating pad, you know. And we all notice. The patients I mean. In any case, orchids are easy, just water them a couple of times a week and make sure they don't get too much sun--they will burn. But you have to give them some sun or they will not flower. Maybe next time I will bring you a starter orchid kit.
Dr. Balis: That's very nice of you. But I would like to talk a little about why you came here. In your insurance form you mentioned that you have trouble concentrating at work and you haven't been sleeping well.
Ms. Green: Oh, it's just been a disaster. I can't turn my mind off. I keep talking with him. Just all the time non stop. Really long, meaningful conversations about life and stuff. I try to stop, but the moment I stop thinking about not thinking, I just go right into these conversations again. I mean, we have not talked liked that in real life, so why now?
Dr. Balis: Can you tell me about who he is?
Ms. Green: Bill, of course! Did I tell you?
Dr. Balis: Not yet.
Ms. Green: You see--no ability to concentrate or keep my mind on what I am saying. I am just like this all the time now. At work, someone would ask me something and I would start to answer but in the middle I would forget what the question was. Every one is trying to be nice to me, I know. But Caren, the girl friend I have been telling you about, the one that told me to go and see someone, before I get fired that is...what was I saying? Oh, Caren. Yes, she told me that I am now just impossible to talk to, like talking to the wall, you know. I think she said the wall, I don't remember. In any case, she keeps saying that I don't listen or listen and don't hear. And I know that this is true, but all I can think about is him and how it is too bad that it did not work out. And I know that he will regret it eventually. But by that time it will be too late. And it just does not help me now, you know? Well, it does help a little. I imagine the conversation we will have when he comes to his senses: him crying and all that because he realized that I was the one and me feeling sorry for him but distant, you know, not really caring. When I get to feel really bad, I just start to think about this conversation and I immediately start to feel a little bit better. I am crazy, right?
Dr. Balis: No. But it does sound like you are going through a crisis. Can you tell me a little about your relationship with Bill?
Ms. Green: I am sorry. I keep meaning to but...
Dr. Balis: That's okay. Please go on.
Ms. Green: Well, he works for the same company. You know how it is. You spend all of your time in this one place. 20 hours a day with the same people. I am exaggerating, but just a bit. The company does demand total commitment. And we all have slept there on an occasion or two. Not that I mind. I like that. I like what I do, you know. Not many women are in this profession. Well, now there may be more. But not many more. I remember being the only one in my classes in college. Not that I cared that much. But it is kinda cool. In any case, there are just a few women in my position in the company. There are other women of course, in management or secretaries...
Dr. Balis: So he works for the same company?
Ms. Green: Oh yes. As I was saying, we all work very hard and sometimes just too much. It seems a lot of people in the company have relationships with each other. We have...we don't see anyone else. All our lives are entangled in our projects. So when you try to date someone from the outside, they just don't understand. Plus you would never get to see them, you know. So we all date each other. Sometimes it gets really weird, you now. This one guy from my department was married to Suzy from Customer Relations, and now they are divorced. They both still work for the company. But now she is dating this other guy also an engineer, but from a different team. Everyone has seen them kissing in the corners. I bet they even did it in the lounge area, on the couch. Not that I care. I did it myself, you know. It is not bad. Kind of exciting. But not very comfortable. But it is killing Bob. He sees Suzy and just turns sort of gray. I think I have even seen him cry. But I did not want to look. I wanted him to have his privacy, you know.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel when you see Bill around?
Ms. Green: I try not to be in the same place at the same time, you know. And people help me.
Dr. Balis: How?
Ms. Green: Oh my friends set up a warning system. If one of them sees him walking in my direction, they signal for someone else to distract me away some where. It's quite sweet, you know. But I know what they are doing, even though I pretend that I don't notice. It helps to know that other people care.
Dr. Balis: Yes, it does. You were telling me about Bill.
Ms. Green: Oh yes, Bill. Well, he started to work for the company a few years after I did. I was on vacation. But I knew before I left that they were going to hire someone. We were working on this project and there just wasn't enough people. It was crazy. So it finally dawned on someone up in management that perhaps another person was needed. In any case, my part of the project was done and I really needed some rest. So I went to Disneyland, of course! I don't know what I was thinking. It was hot and tons of people. You had to stand in line for everything. But when you finally got on the ride it was cool. Disney really knows how to put on the show, you know.
Dr. Balis: So Bill was hired when you were on vacation?
Ms. Green: Yes. When I came back I was going around the office delivering the Micky hats I got everyone as a present. You know, the personalized ones with names stitched on them and with the big ears?
Dr. Balis: I know the ones.
Ms. Green: So, I was delivering the hats, and this guy is standing in the corner looking at me. So I looked back and gave him a dirty look.
Dr. Balis: Why a dirty look?
Ms. Green: I did not know this guy and he was staring at me as if I had a hump or something, you know.
Dr. Balis: What happened then?
Ms. Green: Well, someone in the office, I think it was John, told me that that was the new guy that was hired when I was gone. John seemed to think that he was okay--they all went out for lunch a couple of times. Well, I had tons of work to do plus I was itching everywhere, my skin was just beginning to peel--I got burned pretty badly standing in lines for the rides at Disney. I knew I should have used the sun block. But they are just so, so... icky! So I got burned. No one to blame but myself. So I was working and itching and this new guy just comes over and asks me to go to lunch with him. I was so embarrassed about the itching that I said yes. So that's how we met.
Dr. Balis: What does he do?
Ms. Green: Bill is working on the internet development team. Their new project is kind of a secret so I am not sure exactly what he does now.
Dr. Balis: That's okay. Please tell me more about your relationship with Bill.
Ms. Green: Well, I am not sure where to start. It sort of happened, you know. First we went out on one lunch, the next thing you know we are spending all our free time together. Caren kept on asking me at that time whether we were going out or what? But frankly I did not know. Then one evening after the company's baseball know, they make us do it. I personally hate those game. It is good for those who play well, and for people like Suzy. She has huge breasts, you know. And looks really good in those t-shirts they make us wear. I think she must have asked for a size smaller. She really looks outrageous in it. Suzy is on our cheerleading team, and when she cheers everyone watches, you know.
Dr. Balis: So what happened at this game?
Ms. Green: Well, the game was no big deal. You know, the usual. Suzy jumped up and down a lot. John hurt his shoulder as he does every time. You know, I think he just pretends to hurt his shoulder so he doesn't have to play. They made me try to hit the ball. So I almost killed Julian, my boss. You'll think they've learned by now!
Dr. Balis: And what about Bill?
Ms. Green: Bill is a good player, you know. I also think he must have tried to show off for me, you know. In any case, after the game we all went back to our cars. I was parked way in the back because I did not get there till later, I had some work to finish up. Plus I am never eager to be there in the first place. So I was walking back to my car and he caught up with me. He asked me what I thought of the game. I said it was okay. Not my thing, you know. Then he asked me what I thought of how my boyfriend played. Well I just stopped dead cold in my tracks. That was a hell of a way of asking me to go out with him.
Dr. Balis: Were you offended?
Ms. Green: Well, no. I actually thought it was kind of romantic, in a sick kind of way. I told Caren about it that night and she thought it was rude of him to make the assumption that I would say yes, even if he thought I would.
Dr. Balis: But you didn't mind?
Ms. Green: No. As I said, I thought it was nice. In any case, that softball field sort of became our place. We would drive there after work and sit and watch the sunset and, you know...I feel sort of embarrassed.
Dr. Balis: Please don't be.
Ms. Green: Okay. I am just very new at this. Well, at first we would just sit there on the benches and look at the sky and talk. Then we would kiss. Bill is a good kisser. Then, then...well, it was dark so we did not think anyone could really see us. I also don't think we particularly cared. Well, he would unzip his pants...well, I never really had oral sex before. Is it okay to talk about this?
Dr. Balis: Of course.
Ms. Green: Well, I read about it in romance novels, like everyone else. But the books I read were never that explicit, you know. They just talked about the pleasure of the moment and ecstasy and paradise, but never really about the mechanics, you know. What goes into what. So I never really assumed you would just put it in your mouth. And here he was, taking it out of his pants and showing it to me. So I kissed it.
Dr. Balis: And then?
Ms. Green: At first that was it. But later I told Caren about it. And she asked if I sucked it. I said, "What?" I didn't think people really did that. They don't teach you in school about it, you know.
Dr. Balis: Did it seem like a bad thing to you?
Ms. Green: I was shocked to hear about it, at first. But the following day I could not wait for the evening to come. We met after work as usual and went out for pizza. After, he wanted to go home because he had a business trip in the morning. But I did not want to wait a couple of days to try this out. So I insisted.
Dr. Balis: And what happened?
Ms. Green: He was very surprised. And I mean very.
Dr. Balis: Did you like it?
Ms. Green: A lot!
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Green: I told Caren about it and she called me a slut. In a good way, you know.
Dr. Balis: Well I think we have to stop for today. I'd like you to come back on Thursday?
Ms. Green: This Thursday?
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Green: I did not think I was that sick.
Dr. Balis: No, of course not. But you mentioned you have problems sleeping and concentrating. So the sooner we meet, the faster we will be able to address your problems. So, Thursday at 4 PM?
Ms. Green: Okay. Thank you Doctor.
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