Transcript of 2nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Anna Green, July 18, 1996 at 4 pm

Ms. Green: Hello Doctor. It's nice to see you again.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. It's nice to see you too. Please sit down.
Ms. Green: I see you still haven't gotten any plants. Remember what I told you: your patients will notice these kind of things, you know.
Dr. Balis: I remember. But I have been very busy this week. Now please, you have been telling me about your relationship with Bill.
Ms. Green: Oh God! I think I have been telling more than that. When I got into the car, after I left your office that is, I could not believe what I was saying to you. You must think I have an oral fixation or something. How embarrassing. When I told Caren what I told you, she said that you now must think that I have some sort of sexual obsessions. I hate to think what you wrote about me in your journal. I really am shy, you know. It's just you made it so easy for me to talk. And all I really need is an opportunity to talk and I just take off. I probably need even less than that. I just need to think that I have an opportunity.
Dr. Balis: Ms. Green, you really needn't worry about what I put in my notes or that I will form a bad opinion about you. This is not what this is all about. When you have a flu and go and see your regular doctor, do you think that your doctor will think badly of you for being sick?
Ms. Green: No, of course not. But I don't talk about oral sex with the doctor either. But, oh well. You're right. You are here to help me. And I do need help, you know. I am just obsessed. And these crying fits...
Dr. Balis: What crying fits?
Ms. Green: You see? I talk to you about oral sex and don't even mention that I have been a living Niagara Falls for the last couple of weeks.
Dr. Balis: So you have been crying a lot?
Ms. Green: Well, my mind just races all the time. I have these exhausting conversations with Bill. He was my best friend, you know. If I had problems with work or something, I would talk to him about it. If I read a book I liked, I would sometimes cuddle-up with him and read him that book through the night. Now, after all that happened, after finding out about everything, I still sort of find that I need to talk to him about it. Stupid, isn't it? Here he was this horrible bastard to me and I still want to talk to him about it. Tell him about this beastly man Bill that hurt me so much and lied to me. It's insane. And it is twenty-four hours a day. And my mind jumps from talking to him about him to talking with him when he is begging me to come back. My nerves are all just jumbled up. I could cry at the drop of a hat, so to speak. Just look at me. I don't normally look like that, you know. I am not a Suzy, but I am quite good looking, you know. Did I talk to you about Suzy?
Dr. Balis: You did.
Ms. Green: God, I am glad that my memory is all trashed too. I hate to think what else I talked to you about. And of course talking to you know.
Dr. Balis: How much have you been crying?
Ms. Green: You mean like a real estimate?
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Ms. Green: Well, my work days are about nine hours now. This is not including lunch. I have been so screwed up that it takes me much longer to do anything. For example, I have been working on setting up some text data, know how it is. You can never get simple data format from the editors. They always have to format it, just a little bit. You think these people will ever learn. We've been doing this for years. During every project we have these discussions about what we all would like from each other. You know, they would like us to do all the programming by yesterday and we would like them to think through the design and the interface and the data beforehand. If they did their part right, we would only have to write one program per project instead of thousands of variations on the same theme. And they never seem to understand that every "can we just change this one little thing?" takes time. Sometimes "the one little thing" means redoing hundreds of hours of work, you know. But actually I am pretty easygoing about changes. I can see how the final product gets better and better with each iteration. It's a process. John, on the other hand. He always says that if they just listened to him in the first place, it would have come out the same. Personally I don't think so. But this is just John's way of coping with frustration, I think. Fuming about, that is. Well. He is a good programmer though. Probably better then me. [Pause] What was I talking about? Before this, I mean.
Dr. Balis: You were trying to estimate the amount of time you spend crying during the day.
Ms. Green: Why don't you just stop me when I go on like this about nothing?
Dr. Balis: I am interested in what you have to say. Your stories give me a window into your life and I get better at understanding you. Please don't feel self conscious. We all have our own way of telling our stories.
Ms. Green: Thank you Doctor. That's very nice. You are a very compassionate person. I guess you have to be in your profession. I mean, if you just told people that they were crazy, it would be...Well, I don't know. And you have great eyes too. They are so intense.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Ms. Green.
Ms. Green: Okay. I was supposed to calculate my tears. You see, I am trying.
Dr. Balis: Very good.
Ms. Green: I pretty much cry all the time I'm not trying to concentrate on my work. I would say about four hours a day or so. When I am home, mostly.
Dr. Balis: That is a lot of crying. How have you been sleeping?
Ms. Green: Not very well. But I get so exhausted that I do pass out eventually. Maybe five hours or so.
Dr. Balis: Is that enough?
Ms. Green: No. But I am able to function still. If it wasn't for these dumb virtual conversations with Bill. He really screwed up, you know. He might get lucky and find someone like me again. But I don't think so. And even if he did, I bet he would just blow it again. I think he is really afraid of commitment, you know. As long as he thinks that a woman is not sure about him. You know, hasn't made up her mind yet. He is just so nice and tries so hard. But once he gets her, it just hits him: he's stuck and he just freaks out. So he does something really stupid and it all blows up in his face. And then he just moves on to the next victim. You know, he is the one that should be seeing you. He is the one with the problem. I wonder how many other lives he will destroy? I bet someone will murder him eventually. You know, like in that movie. What's the name of it again? "Fatal Attraction." You know, the one with Michael Douglas. Well, Michael Douglas really got lucky there. I think Bill will end up in the soup, not the rabbit. You know, it really feels good to fantasize about this. Sick, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: I don't think you are the first woman to fantasize abou her ex-boyfriend's death, Ms. Green. I think it's quite normal. But having you cry as much as you are and not sleeping well worries me.
Ms. Green: Oh, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I think I would like you to try something for me.
Ms. Green: Anything, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I would like you start a journal. Every time you begin a conversation with Bill, start writing it down. I think putting your thoughts and feelings on paper would help to stabilize your emotions somewhat. Perhaps this will give you a sense of closure by realizing your conversations on paper. Give them a sort of reality.
Ms. Green: It's an interesting idea. I'll try it. What about during work?
Dr. Balis: I don't mean for this to interfere with your work. But try this at home or during lunch. Now I would like to see you on Monday at 1 PM. Does this work for you?
Ms. Green: Yes, Doctor. I'll be there. Thank you.
Dr. Balis: Good. Have a good weekend, Ms. Green. I'll see you on Monday. Oh, and please do not hesitate to call me in case of emergency. You can call my office number and the answering service will know how to get in touch with me.
Ms. Green: Thank you, Doctor. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Ms. Green.
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